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Great Southern Line | A Soldier's Story: Ernest George Coulter
Dr Mary Hutchison
By admin Posted in The Great Southern Line on February 21, 2018 0 Comments
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Ernest George COULTER

Engine Driver, Fitter’s Labourer, Assembler

 Picton, Eveleigh, Clyde

 War Service record: NAA B2455, COULTER E G (service No. 8611)

NSWGR Employment: NSW Public Records (Staff no. 16984)

No family contact

Ernest George Coulter Biography

Employed as a Cleaner at Eveleigh workshop in 1908 aged 17 (possibly earlier casual work. Promoted to fireman in 1912 and moved to Picton in 1913. Enlisted in 1915 and served in Field Ambulance. In 1917 transferred to 3rd Anzac Light Railway Operating Company. Promoted to lance corporal and 2/corporal. Contracted venereal disease on leave in Glasgow Christmas-New Year 1918/19 and admitted to Bulford hospital for 103 days 1/1/19. Later to Parkhouse. In July 1919 he went to France as part of Graves Registration Detachment.  A relapse in VD in August and returned to Australia in October. He was discharged from the military in January 1920 and returned to work at Picton in April 1920.  Appointed as Driver in July 1920 and for Seniority purposes this was back dated to 1917.  Despite this he became a fitter’s labourer in 1921, taking a considerable pay cut.  By 1926 he was a boilermaker’s helper in Picton and then in 1927 moved as a fitter’s labourer to electric car repair at Eveleigh. In 1929 he was appointed Assembler and in 1933 moved to Clyde Railway Workshops.  He died in December 1949 whilst working at Clyde as a C and W Assembler.

Born in 1891 in Newtown.  He was single when he enlisted and his next of Kin was an aunt, Annie Salter.  In 1920 a change of address is noted for Military Records from Ashfield to Redbank. Picton.  The note was sent from the Invalid and Returned Soldiers Branch of the Military which may suggest some impairment.

There is nothing specific that suggests why he transferred from the responsible position of Driver to Fitter’s Labourer. The move back to Sydney to electric car repair may have been for lighter work or for many other reasons.

His transfer to Eveleigh was noted in the Picton Post and he and a fellow transferee were presented with smokers outfits at the Picton Railway and Tramway Institute Ball in April 1927 (PP 6 april 1927 p2).

He was 58 when he died and left a widow – Amy Maud Coulter.

Coulter and fellow servicemen Matthews employed in Loco branch at Picton lost discharge papers in fire at Picton. Protracted correspondence between NSWGR and Defence to get copies of papers.

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