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Cecil Albert HENDREN

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Staff Sgt 18062 22 Dec 1885 31y7m 1 Aug 1917 28 Aug 1919 3

Sergeant Cecil Albert Hendren (1885 – 1954)


Family background

The second son of Samuel James Hendren (1856 – 1921) and Sarah Jane née Butcher (1863 – 1950), Cecil Albert Hendren was born in Rockhampton on 22 December 1885.  Cecil’s three brothers were also born in Rockhampton where their father Samuel was the paymaster of the Central Railway.

Two of Cecil’s brothers died in their childhood years. Continuing his career in the Queensland Railway Department, Mr Samuel Hendren moved with his wife and surviving sons to Chelmer as traffic superintendent and later to Indooroopilly as controller of stores in the Southern Division.

Cecil attended Indooroopilly State School.  Like his father he followed a career in the Railway Department starting as a clerk in the Locomotive Engineer’s Office in Brisbane.  


Cecil also served in Citizen Military Force units in Brisbane including the Australian Intelligence Corps for one year and home service for a year and a half.  On the 30 March 1912, his name appeared in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette being promoted to Lieutenant (provisionally) of the Australian Intelligence Corps (Queensland District).  Cecil later enlisted on 1 August 1917 to serve overseas with the Australian Imperial Force.  Then a single man, aged 31 years 7 months, Cecil Hendren was appointed to No 6 Sea Transport Australian Medical Corps.

Sea Transport Staff were the personnel assigned to run the ships carrying reinforcements to the Middle East and Europe, and to transport the seriously wounded or ill soldiers back to Australia. These sea transport sections had been running from July 1915.  They allowed transport ships to return casualties instead of having to carry them on hospital ships. Each section made several voyages, staying in England for a few days to a few weeks before making another voyage, usually from the same port but on a different ship.  A section consisted of a medical practitioner, a matron, two nursing sisters, four staff nurses, a masseuse (staff sergeant), a quarter master sergeant (staff sergeant), a pharmacist (staff sergeant, later a lieutenant), a sergeant, a corporal and three to eight orderlies who were privates.

No 6 Sea Transport Section, one of seven sea transport sections, made four embarkations as follows:

From Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT A68 'Anchises' on 8 August 1917

From Melbourne, Victoria on board HMAT A72 'Beltana' on 19 January 1918

From Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT A30 'Borda' on 17 July 1918

From Melbourne, Victoria on board HMAT A32 'Themistocles' on 5 March 1919

On these voyages, Cecil Hendren was the staff sergeant and on his return to Australia on board Hospital Transport Durham Castle on 21 July 1919 the ship’s roll shows him as sergeant on the nursing staff.  He was discharged from the AIF on 22 August 1919 and received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his services.

Post war

Cecil returned to his parents’ home, Norceskenfell, Station Road, Indooroopilly and resumed his clerical duties at the railway audit office in Roma Street.  His father died in 1921.  Cecil and his mother continued to live there.  


On Easter Saturday 16 April 1927, Cecil Albert Hendren married Miss Delsie Shenton, elder daughter of Rev. and Mrs W. Shenton at North Ipswich Methodist Church where the bride’s father was the minister.  Rev. William Shenton officiated at the wedding ceremony, assisted by Rev. Charles Yuill, then minister at Hamilton Presbyterian Church in Brisbane.  The couple holidayed in North Queensland before settling at Norceskenfell in Indooroopilly for the rest of Cecil’s life.

Cecil and Delsie’s only son was born at Norceskenfell on 1 February 1928.  They named him Kenneth Shenton.

Working life

Cecil accepted office in the Indooroopilly Progress Association.  He served as vice-president in 1937.  In 1939 when he was assistant honorary secretary and treasurer, the association expressed satisfaction that a new police station in Coonan Road was nearing completion and that the traffic department had given attention to complaints of speeding by traffic in the district particularly near the state school.

In the preparations to celebrate the golden jubilee of Indooroopilly State School in 1939, Cecil Hendren was a member of the old scholars’ representatives’ committee. One of its objectives, apart from the historic and social aspects, was the raising of sufficient funds to purchase a picture projector, a modern radio combination set and other equipment for the school.

Cecil’s mother continued to live at Station Road till her death at the age of 87 in 1950. Cecil died at the Brisbane General Hospital on 15 August 1954 and his private cremation service was held the next day in the Chapel at Mt Thompson.

• Ancestry online
• Australian Electoral Rolls, 1905 – 1954
• Australian War Memorial, embarkations rolls and unit histories
• National Archives of Australia, military records, World War 1
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Queensland Government Gazette, 30 June 1908
Queensland Government Gazette, 30 June 1910
Morning Bulletin, 11 Nov 1886, page 3
Brisbane Courier, 25 October 1921, page 6; 9 April 1927, page 20;  16 April 1927, page 24;  20 April 1927, page 20;  2 May 1927, page 18;  15 February 1928, page 14;  
Queensland Times, 20 April 1926, page 4;   4 April 1931, page 7; 21 January 1933, page 6; 7 October 1939, page 2;  3 April 1944, page 2;  17 August 1954, page 8
Courier-Mail, 6 February 1937, page 10; 16 August 1954, page 16
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National: 1901-1973), 30 Mar 1912, Issue No 23, Page 447
Telegraph, 20 January 1939, page 9;  7 December 1939, page 11

Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane, January 2017.  Additions and images by Miriam 2023 ©



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