MILITARY MEDAL, G.V.R. ‘4577 CPL. F. J. SWEEDMAN 49/AUST: INF:’
M.M. London Gazette 29 March 1919. The original recommendation states:
‘During the period 26th March to 18th September 1918, this non-commissioned officer has done continuous good work as a leader of a Lewis-gun Section. In action he has invariably shown marked skill and bravery in heading his Lewis-gun team and his work generally has been most satisfactory. He has invariably set a splendid example of bravery and cheerfulness to all with whom he came in contact.’
Frederick John Sweedman, a 24 year old Teamster from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, 7 September 1915. Sweedman originally enlisted into 9th battalion and arrived in Egypt in March 1916. However in May he was transferred to 49th battalion which was just forming and embarked for France in the H.T. Huntspill, 7 June 1916. He served with the 49th Australian Infantry Battalion, as part of the 13th Australian Brigade, 4th Australian Division in the French theatre of war.
Norman James Hands, an 18 year old farmer from Sydney, New South Wales, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, 3 April 1916, and was posted to join the 1st Cyclist Corps. He had seen 2 years previous service as a Cadet. Hands embarked for Egypt in SS Clan McGillivray, and disembarked there 13 June 1916. He then travelled to the UK in August 1916, before transferring to the 4th Australian Infantry Battalion the following month. He served with the Battalion as part of the 1st Australian Brigade, 1st Australian Division in the French theatre of war from September 1916.
Sweedman received a gunshot wound to the left knee, 16 August 1916 during the battle of Pozières, which was the battalion’s first major battle. Having recovered from his wound, he returned to his unit in late September 1916, only to be invalided in May 1917 with trench fever. Rejoining the battalion in August, he was appointed Lance Corporal in October 1917 and was detached tpo Gunnery School for several weeks in April 1918, rejoining and being advanced to Corporal in May 1918. He was awarded his M.M. for a prolonged period of service on the Somme in 1918. Sweedman advanced to Sergeant in December 1918. He returned to Australia in H.T. Swakopmund in August 1919, and was discharged in September of the same year.
One of 85 MM’s to 49th battalion during the War
Condition VF with service papers on CD