Sapper Octavius Bloomfield
10th Field Company Engineers, AIF
Service Number: 15687
Born: 1891, Meranburn, NSW
Died: 24 November 1917, Messines, Belgium
Octavius Kenneth Eason Bloomfield (known as Ken) was born in Meranburn near Manildra NSW in 1891, the eighth of eleven sons of Charles and Ellen (nee Eason) Bloomfield. He attended Lyndhurst Public School. At the time of his enlistment his parents were living at Lincoln Grove, and orchard at Orchard Hills. They had arrived around 1912 and moved onto Mrs Woodland’s orchard, close to Orchard Hills Public School. Ken Bloomfield was a good sportsman and tennis player. He was a member of the winning Trundle tennis team along with his brother Lance who took out the Country Week Championship in Sydney for a number of years before the war. These men, all farmers later enlisted in the AIF Engineers. At the time of his enlistment, Bloomfield was farming with his brother Septimus, a property known as Ravenswood at Trundle.
Bloomfield and his brother Lance enlisted on 3 April 1916 and were allocated to the 10th Field Company, Australian Engineers. They embarked from Sydney on board HMAT Marathon on 31 October 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth on 9 January 1917. After some training in England they proceeded overseas on 29 March. On 9 April, the Bloomfield brothers were taken on strength in France with the 10th Field Company. They served with this Company at Hill 60.
Bloomfield was killed in action on the night of 24 November 1917 by shell fire in a trench in Warne Lane opposite Warneton at Messines in Belgium. He was buried on Hill 63 at a place known as Chateau Rosenberg cemetery. However, the Imperial War Graves Commission could not secure the site as a military burial ground and had the bodies exhumed in 1930 for reburial in the Royal Berks Cemetery at Ploegsteert.
Charles and Ellen Bloomfield left Orchard Hills in August 1918 and moved to their property Ravenswood at Trundle. Around the same time, theirs sons Wallace and Septimus enlisted in the AIF. They were demobilized a week after Armistice Day.
- Berks Cemetery Extension, Ploegsteert, Belgium
- Honor Roll, St Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Penrith
- Honor Roll, Orchard Hills Public School
National Archives Australia: B2455, BLOOMFIELD O K E