Friday, April 22, 2011
A Brilliant Student
Private Edwin James George Pitman of Smith Street, Kensington, departed for the war on the Barambah in August 1918. At the time of his enlistment in January 1918 he was one of the top maths student in the state. He had previously served four years with the 53rd (Albert Park) Battalion senor cadets, and with the Melbourne University Rifles during his period at the University. Was the Army protecting him by sending him to the Pay Corps? Any other volunteer of his age and previous military training might have expected to have been on a ship and heading towards France within weeks of his enlistment. He could have spent months in France in 1918 dodging shells - instead of which he arrived in London three days after the Armistice. Sheila Byard tells the story of this brilliant student.