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Great Southern Line | A Soldier's Story: Alexander Davies Ingleton
Dr Mary Hutchison
By admin Posted in The Great Southern Line on February 21, 2018 0 Comments
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Alexander Davie INGLETON

Porter (shunter, guard, signalman)

Goulburn Picton

War Service record: NAA B2455, INGLETON ALEXANDER DAVIES (service No. 114)

NSWGR Employment:  NSW Public Records (Staff no. 15559)

No family contact

Alexander Davies Ingleton Biography

Joined NSWGR in 1908 as temporary porter at Goulburn. Once permanent passed test as shunter and moved to Picton where he passed the guard’s and later signalmen’s tests. He declined several offers of promotion to Sydney stations and was awarded an Railway Ambulance corps certificate. Was working as an 8th class signalman when he enlisted at the end of 1916 to serve in the NSW railway unit (6thROC under William James). Served in France and returned to work as a shunter after discharge in 1919.  After a number of warnings, cautions, reprimands, eyesight tests and reviews he was regressed to porter in 1927. Worked at Goulburn and Harden before returning to Picton. He continued as a porter until his death in 1954. Long service paid to his widow.

Born in 1887 in Goulburn. Started work for the railway at the age of 21 and enlisted when he was 29.  His younger brother, Robert, also enlisted at much the same time and was killed in 1918. At the time of enlistment Alexander was moving up the levels in the traffic department of NSWGR, but after his return there were numerous occasions when he failed to carry out tasks properly.  He complained of frequent bouts of giddiness but tests did not diagnose any

‘disability’.  By 1927 he was back to the position of porter and died on the job in 1954 at the age of 67.  His widow, Eileen, living at 2 Campbell Street Picton, received his long service leave payment.

Before the War Alexander was involved in sporting activities including cricket and the Railway Ambulance rifle club (a family tradition), and contributed to musical events (also others in the family).  After the war he became more involved in community activities – served on the RSL committee, played the violin with the Picton Brass Band and was an early and active member of the Picton Musical Society.  It is possible that this is how he met his wife Eileen.  From the mid1920s they both

performed at many community occasions including fundraising and events at the Picton Memorial School of Arts in which his sisters as Red Cross members were also closely involved.

He seems to have had a strong sense of family and community and before the War refused promotion to several positions outside the district.

Alexander was part of a Goulburn-Picton railway family who had migrated from Scotland in the 19th century. Three brothers worked for Goulburn loco. His father, John Ingleton Loco foreman at Picton until 1912 when he moved to Goulburn, was back in Picton by the time Alexander enlisted.  One uncle was an engine driver and another who was an NSWGR employee was noted for his singing voice and singing Scottish songs. His grandmother lived well into her 90s and was a Goulburn ‘identity’. Obituaries, social notes etc in the local papers (Picton and Goulburn) and The Sydney Morning Herald indicate that the family had some standing in the community.

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