Westgarthtown & WWI





Alfred Waser



Alfred Waser (1896-1974) was born on 20 July 1896, the son of John and Mary Ann (née Sutton) Waser who married in 1889 and lived at Yalca North, near Numurkah. John Waser was the eldest son of Johann Christian and Elizabeth (née Baumgarten) Waser.

Johann Christian Waser (also spelt Weser or Wiese and originally Waese), was born in 1818 and married Elizabeth Baumgarten in 1855. They emigrated from Köpernitz in Brandenburg, Prussia with their daughter Fredericke aboard the Macassar and arrived in Melbourne in January 1859. Soon after, they settled at Westgarthtown, where another daughter, Maria, was born in June 1859.

Sometime during the early 1860s, the Waser family moved to Epping, where they raised a large family. During the 1880s Alfred’s father, who was born at either Westgarthtown or Epping in 1861, moved to Yalca North in northern Victoria. Alfred was the third of John and Mary’s seven children. His grandfather Johann Christian Waser died at Yalca North in 1903 and grandmother Elizabeth at Epping in 1905. She is buried at Westgarthtown with a son Charles who died in 1869.

Alfred enlisted at Numurkah on 19 February 1918 aged 21. He gave his address as Ulupna West, near Strathmerton where his parents had a farm and his religion as Methodist. He was posted to the Recruit Depot at Broadmeadows, Private, No. 57466. He passed his riding test for the Light Horse, volunteered to serve in Egypt, then embarked at Sydney aboard the Port Sydney on 17 August with the 4th Reinforcements.

Alfred arrived at Suez on 19 September 1918 and joined the 4th Light Horse Regiment at Tripoli on 27 November. By this time, however, the war was over. He embarked aboard the Essex at Kantara on 15 June 1919 and arrived back in Australia on 25 July. He was discharged from the AIF on 9 August 1919.

Alfred returned to farming at Ulupna West. On 24 September 1923 he married Margaret Isabel Ross at Holbrook in New South Wales and they had several children. On 4 April 1942, during the Second World War, Alfred enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces and was allocated to the 22nd Battalion, Volunteer Defence Corps. His address was given as Waaia. He served part-time until 10 October 1945 when he was discharged with the rank of Corporal.

Alfred died at Numurkah on 26 June 1974 aged 77 and Margaret died on 13 November 1982. Both are buried at Numurkah.