Is this the most Australian soldier ever? WWI documents unearthed reveal the unprecedented story of a teenage private who was always in trouble because he drank too much and cursed his superiors
- Soldier Humby C.R registered as a 19-year-old for the Australian army in 1916
- While in France he repeatedly failed to follow his orders and received detentions
- Soldier Humby finally stood in front of a field court in February 1918
- The soldier was accused of disobedience after ignoring official orders
- He had refused to get out of bed and told his superior officer “to fuck himself”
Traced judicial documents written during the First World War have revealed how a teenage baker who left the house to serve as a soldier built the Australian army a reputation as a troublemaker.
Private Cyril Roy Humby registered Sydney on April 28, 1916 as a 19-year-old Sydney.
His certificates of service showed that he worked as a baker, was born in Redfern and had been a volunteer with the civilian army since he was sixteen.
In October 1916, after taking his oath and taking his medical exam, the young soldier boarded a ship on his way to France.
Soldier Humby’s reports show an extensive “crime list” during his wartime.
PICTURED: members of the 36th Australian battalion in a training camp in England on 11 May 1916. Soldier Cyril Roy Humby was part of the battalion and was repeatedly punished for his behavior
Soldier Humby joined the Australian Army in Sydney in 1916 at the age of 19
He was accused of being arrested for 96 hours before he even left the ship for missing an appeal, breaking possessions and intoxicating.
During his time in the 36th Infantry Battalion, soldier Humby repeatedly failed to appear in parades, obeyed orders from his officers, and threatened “good order and military discipline.”
Soldier Humby finally appeared in the military court in 1918, after collecting hundreds of hours of detention for his “crimes of insolvency.”
A military record showed how the soldier was confronted on February 16, 1918 with a court martial in the field for disobedience.
A week before the hearing, soldier Humby was “instructed” by his command sergeant major to get out of bed and sign up for division of labor.
“I’m not going to get up, you can go yourself,” Humby shot back privately.
Soldier Humby pleaded guilty to the indictment and was found guilty of disobedience.
He was sentenced to twelve months’ imprisonment with forced labor.
Soldier Humby was punished in 1918 because he told a superior that he “had to go himself.” He was praised for having ‘Aussie spirit’ after a photo of the document was posted on Reddit
Despite the fact that he spent three years as a military volunteer, the 19-year-old had quite an attitude and quickly touched hundreds of hours of arrests during his time in the 36th battalion
The soldier of the 36th battalion of the Australian Imperial Force (photo) refused to get orders out of bed and told his command sergeant major to “go himself”
A ‘comments’ section at the bottom of the document stated that the private person’s punishment had been reduced to sixty days in field number one.
It is clear that the punishment meant that he would be placed in handcuffs and then chained to a gun wheel or fence for a maximum of two hours a day.
The document was posted on Reddit, where social media users quickly praised the soldier for his “Aussie spirit.”
“Probably they created the Australian of the Year award shortly afterwards,” someone said.
“Nothing captures my idea of Australian culture more than this,” another commented.
The 36th battalion dissolved in April 1918 after mass casualties in a German gas attack during the First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, a municipality in northern France.
Records show that soldier Humby returned to Australia on September 22, 1919.
A letter to the army headquarters in January 1923 revealed that the soldier was denied his war medals because of his “excessive number of violations.”
“He should have been fired as a disciplinary case. War medals are therefore automatically forfeited, “according to the letter.
Soldier Humby was denied his war medals because of his “excessive number of violations”
Service registration shows that the soldier returned from France to Australia in 1919