Private Alexander Mitchell
13th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 6799
Born: 1883, Penrith, NSW
Died: 20 June 1917, Messines, Belgium
Alexander Malcolm Mitchell was born in Penrith in 1883 to railway man George and Elizabeth Mitchell. After attending school at Penrith, Bathurst and Cowra, Mitchell worked as a railway employee and held a trade as a plumber and fitter. His father also worked for the railways and after spending a few years in Penrith was transferred to Newcastle. The family was living at Wallsend by 1914. Mitchell married Rose Brodie in Sydney in April 1905 and a son Francis followed at the end of the year. According to Rose, she was ill treated by Mitchell and she had left him well before the outbreak of the war. According to his family, she had deserted him. Rose only found out he had died when she saw his death notice in the newspapers.
Prior to his enlistment Mitchell had spent five years with the 5th Regiment (AIR) in NSW. He enlisted with the Tropical Force on 8 December 1914 and served 11 months in Rabaul. After returning to Sydney he was discharged on 1 February 1916 and re-enlisted with the AIF on 7 February. He was allocated to the 13th Battalion as a sapper. Mitchell stated he was a single man, and listed his father as his next-of-kin. In his will he left his estate to his mother.
Mitchell left Sydney on 11 March 1916 on the HMAT Orsova. He arrived in Egypt on 18 April and was stationed at Tel-el-Kabir until May when he was sent to France. He remained there for four months before proceeding to England for signals training at Bletchley.
On 21 March 1917 Mitchell was sent to France and was taken on strength on 23 April with the 2nd Division Signal Company. During the Battle of Messines, Mitchell was wounded on 12 June with multiple gunshot wounds and died of his injuries on 20 June. Mitchell’s two brothers also served. Victor was wounded and returned in 1919, and Henry, who enlisted in November 1917, returned to Australia in 1919.
- Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France
- Honor Roll, Penrith Public School
National Archives of Australia: B2455, MITCHELL A M