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Friday, 30 March 2012

Sam Browne Belt: Lieutenant Frank Fourro, 35 Battalion AIF

ID Number    PERS013

Title               Sam Browne Belt: Lieutenant Frank Fourro, 35 Battalion AIF

Maker            M. Harve and CompanyLimited

Object Type  
Personal Equipment

Place made     England, Walsall

Date made      1916

Physical          Leather and brass

A brown leather Sam Browne belt with brass fittings and single shoulder strap. The belt is fitted with a double clawed brass buckle, and has a brass stud and sliding leather loop to locate the free end of the belt tongue.  A flat brass hook is located on the left hand side. There are 4 reinforced brass 'D' rings attached to the top edge of the belt, enabling 2 shoulder straps to be worn. A further pair of 'D' rings is located on the lower edge of the belt, at the left hand hip either side of the brass hook. The shoulder strap, which passes from the left hand front (over the right shoulder) to the left hand rear loop, is attached at front and rear by a brass stud and eyelet, and adjusted by a brass buckle. Marked inside the belt in ink is ‘F Fourro’ and stamped is ‘Lieut F Fourro AIF’.

Frank Fourro was a 29 year old married brickmaker from Auburn, New South Wales with 3 years service in the Australian Rifle Regiment and 15 months service in the Canadian Militia Artillery when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 17 August 1914. 124 Private Fourro embarked for overseas on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 19 October 1914 with A Company of the 3 Battalion.

Private Fourro landed on Gallipoli with the 3 Battalion on 25 April 1915. He was wounded in action on 27 April and was subsequently evacuated. He was promoted to Corporal on 17 May and rejoined his unit on Gallipoli on 28 August. On 23 September Corporal Fourro was evacuated from Gallipoli once again, this time being admitted to 3 Australia General Hospital at Mudros on the Island of Lemnos Island, with Dysentery. He returned to the Gallipoli and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant on 1 December 1915. Fourro arrived in Alexandria, Egypt from the evacuation of Gallipoli on 29 December 1915.

On 12 March 1916 Sergeant Fourro was transferred to the 1 Machine Gun Company and along with that he unit embarked at Alexandria on 22 March and arrived Marseilles, France on 28 March. On 27 July 1916 he was wounded in action for the second time with a gun shot wound to the right heel and was sent to the 4 Field Ambulance. He was subsequently sent to the 23 General Hospital Etaples, 20 August and embarked for England and arrived at the Beaufort War Hospital the next day.

Upon discharge from hospital, Sergeant Fourro was subsequently transferred to the 34 Battalion on 21 October 1916. He embarked for France on 21 November 1916 and attended a Bombing course from 22 to 29 January 1917. On 10 February 1917 Fourro was promoted to Second Lieutenant. He transferred to the 35 Battalion on 17 February. On 2 June 1917 Second Lieutenant Fourro was wounded in action for the third time with a Gun Shot Wound to the right leg which was listed as severe. He was sent to the 9 Field Ambulance, the 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, the 4 General Hospital and the 3 London General Hospital.

On 25 June 1917 Fourro was promoted to Lieutenant. He was discharged from 3 London General Hospital on 26 July and was posted to the 9 Training Battalion on 7 August. On 21 October 1917 he marched in to 10 Training Battalion, Fovent. Between 10 and 22 September 1917 Lieutenant Fourro undertook a bombing instructor’s course, at Lyndhurst.

On 4 February 1918 Fourro was admitted sick to Fovent Hospital. On 22 April he transferred to London General Hospital and on 3 May he was transferred to 5 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Wandsworth. Lieutenant Fourro returned to Australia due to Anaemia Debility/Anaemic Heart 12 May 1918. 

Photo of Lieutenant Frank Fourro circa 1918 wearing the exact same Sam Browne belt seen above. Courtesy of the Australian National Archives.

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