18th Battalion AIF
Serial Number: 1128
Date/Place of Birth: June 1884,Penrith, NSW
Date/Place of Death: 22 August 1915, Gallipoli, Turkey
Alexander Walker Aitchison was born in 1884, the son of David Frith and Elspeth Aitchison (nee Walker). He completed his schooling at Cleveland High School. In 1909 Aitchison married Elsie Mary Langshaw and a son Donald Frith Aitchison was born on 19 July 1909. He was a member of the Rose of Annandale Lodge No 288, United Ancient Order of Druids. Prior to enlisting, Aitchison had served in the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Pioneer as a cook and had been employed as an insurance agent.
Aitchison enlisted on 19 February 1915 and was allotted to D Company 18th Battalion, a battalion raised at Liverpool in March 1915 as part of the 5th Brigade. The battalion left Australia in early May and trained in Egypt from mid-June until 16 August 1915, when the battalion embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on Gallipoli. The battalion landed at Gallipoli on 22 August 1915 and was immediately committed to the last operation of the August Offensive – the attack on Hill 60 which lasted until 29 August in which the Battalion suffered a fifty percent casualty rate. On 22 August 1915, Aitchison was reported missing. Statements taken from 2 members of D Company 18th Battalion, Private J White and Sgt R J Everson stated that on 22 August the Company was close to Hill W. The Company left the trench and moved forward to an advanced trench where Aitchison was wounded in the face. He died from his wounds shortly afterward. On 21 January 1916, a Court of Inquiry held at Tel El Kebir found that it was reasonable to suppose that he was killed in action on 22 August 1915.
Memorial Details: Aitchison is commemorated at Hill 60 Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.
National Archives of Australia. Search: B2455, AITCHISON A W