18th Battalion AIF
Service Number: 1128
Born: 18 June 1884, Penrith, NSW
Died: 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. The battalion left Sydney on 25 June on the HMAT A40 Ceramic 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. The Battalion suffered a fifty percent casualty rate. On 22 August 1915, Aitchison was reported missing and believed died of 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.
- Hill 60 Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey.
- Former Annandale Council WW1 Roll of Honour
National Archives of Australia: B2455, AITCHISON A W
Photograph from: Sydney Mail 27 October 1915 page 9