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Hubert Mackay CORNWALL

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
ER Sgt 18187 23y8m 24 Jan 1916 26 Mar 1919 2

Sapper Hubert Mackay Cornwall (1892 – 1979)


Family background and early life

Hubert Mackay Cornwall was born in Brisbane on 9 May 1892 a son of William and Fanny née Satchwell.  He attended the Rockhampton Boys’ Grammar School where in 1910 he sat the annual senior examination of the Sydney University, passing with one A, five Bs and two Cs.  The University of Queensland Roll of Honour records Hugh [sic] matriculating to UQ in Engineering in 1911. 

Enlistment and service

Hubert enlisted on 24 January 1916 at the age of 23 years and 8 months, his occupation was listed as a civil engineer, and he was given the service number 1818.  His next of kin, his father, lived in Mount Morgan.   

Hubert was a sapper in the Field Company Engineers and served as a private in the No. 11 Depot Battalion from 27 March 1916 to 8 June 1916.  From 5 July he attended Engineer Officer Training School in Roseville and was promoted to acting sergeant from 9 December 1916.

He embarked on HMAT Miltiades as a sergeant, for the voyage only, leaving Sydney on 2 August 1917 arriving in Glasgow on 2 October 1917, from where he marched in to Parkhouse Camp located a mile south west of the village of Shipton Bellinger.

The troops did a lot of their training in the immediate area. The road running diagonally up the hill, known by the villagers as the Chalk Road, or Chalky Path, was made during this time and the area beyond was one mass of trenches and dug-outs.  Records indicate that the enormous amount of military traffic led the Parish Council to ask the Andover Rural District Council to tar the roads through the village in June 1917.

Hubert attended the School of Military Engineers Class at the Royal Engineers School of Instruction at Brightlingsea in late 1917 and qualified as a second class instructor with his practical work rated as good.

Hubert sailed for France from Southampton 31 January 1918 and marched in to Rouelles on 1 February 1918 and then on 8 February to the Army Training Company.  On 27 July 1918 he was transferred to the 14th company Engineers from 18th Army Troops Company.  Hubert was promoted to Extra Regimental Corporal on 3 January 1919 serving with the 14th Field Company Engineers.

Return to Australia

He returned to Australia from Liverpool on RMS Durham Castle on 22 May 1919 and was discharged on the termination of his period of enlistment on 28 Aug 1919. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Post war marriage and family life

Hubert married Mabel Lily Terry in 1924 and they lived at Waldheim Street, Annerley until the early 1930s. They moved to Warilda, New South Wales and later to Cambridge Street, South Grafton.  Hubert and Mabel had three children Allan, Judith, and Shirley.  On 6 June, 1962 Hubert and his family moved from Grafton to Cronulla in Sydney where he became a member of the Cronulla RSL.  After the move he had to contact the army because his discharge papers were misplaced. After providing a statutory declaration, his papers were replaced.


 Hubert died on 19 April 1979 and Mabel’s death at the age of 92 occurred on 19 January 1995. She was living at Plateau View Nursing Home.


Hugh’s brother Edward Satchwell Cornwall (1886-1954) was born at Ballinlough, Ireland.  The family migrated to Queensland when Edward was a child.  Educated at Mount Morgan Primary School, he served an engineering apprenticeship with Mount Morgan Mines Ltd.  In 1952 he became general manager and chief engineer of the newly formed S.E.A. (Southern Electric Authority of Queensland).

• National Archives of Australia
• Rockhampton Grammar School.
• University of Queensland Roll of Honour.
• Brightlingsea Museum.
• Marks, Horace B. Cornwall, Edward Satchwell.  Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, (MUP), 1993
• Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens & Crematorium.

Compiled by Bob Warrick, Brisbane,  February 2017 ©



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