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Clifford Purdy MIDDLETON

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 2862 22y1m 29 Jul 1915 1 May 1919 4

Clifford Purdy Middleton (1893 - 1960)


Family background and early life

Clifford Middleton was born in Brisbane on 6 June 1893, the elder of two sons of James Middleton and Emily (née Purdy).  James Middleton was a joiner and the family lived at Newmarket Road, Windsor.

At the age of 12, Clifford sat for a Theory of Music examination in which he gained 92%.  As a young man, he worked for Engineering Supply Company of Australia, in charge of a department in the company’s store.  James and Emily Middleton and their son Clifford were listed on the roll of communicant members at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Brisbane from 1913 onwards.

Enlistment and service

On 29 July 1915 when he was 22 years old, Clifford Middleton enlisted to serve in the Australian Imperial Force.  He was given regimental number 2862 and assigned to the 9th Battalion to train at Enoggera Camp. With other reinforcements he embarked from Sydney on 1 September 1915 on board HMAT Ayrshire.

While in Egypt, Clifford Middleton’s unit was camped at Tel-el-Kebir and Habeita. On 5 June 1916 he embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force in France, travelling via Marseilles. Unfortunately he was in hospital at Camiers for much of the remainder of the year 1916 and when discharged was to be retained from the firing line to be employed at 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot at Étaples.

On 26 February 1918 Private Middleton was transferred to the 4th Australian Divisional Train, a unit responsible for supplies and transport for troops in the field.  His service record indicates he was granted leave in England for brief periods early in the years 1917, 1918 and 1919.

Return to Australia

He left Le Havre on 13 March 1919 for return to Australia. His ship, China, sailed from Plymouth on 1 May and after discharge from the AIF Private Clifford Purdy Middleton was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Clifford’s parents would have welcomed him home at Newmarket Road, their other son Clyde having been killed in action in France in 1916.  


Clifford married Grace Agnes Pearson in St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane on 9 July 1921. The couple lived at 6 Lincoln Street Windsor for the rest of their lives.  Electoral rolls record his occupation as ‘clerk’.  


Grace and Clifford Middleton had been married 35 years when Grace died in 1957. Clifford had reached the age of 67 years when he died on 10 August 1960.  He was buried at the Lutwyche Cemetery in Brisbane.

• National Archives of Australia, World War 1 military records
• Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Archives, Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Annual Reports 1901 – 1925
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths, Marriages
• Australian Electoral Rolls, 1913 – 1958
• Australian War Memorial - Unit histories, First World War Embarkation Rolls
Brisbane Courier, 31 March 1915, page 10;  9 July 1921, page 6
The Telegraph, 11 September 1905, page 2; 18 March 1915, page 3

Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane.  July 2016.  Additions by Miriam King, April, 2023 ©



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