No.55661 Gunner Roy Alexander McGregor
Roy Alexander McGregor was born at Richmond, Victoria in 1898 to John McGregor and Ascellia Annie Maria Mackellin. They had married in Victoria in 1892.
Prior to his enlisting in the A.I.F., Roy had spent two years with the Senior Cadets (Area 65).*
At the young age of 20 years, Roy McGregor swore his oath and enlisted in the A.I.F. at Footscray on 23 April 1918. He was then sent to the Recruit Depot Battalion at the Broadmeadows for initial training, which he completed on 6 May 1918.
On 23 July 1918, Private Roy McGregor embarked at Melbourne per H.M.A.T. Marathon (A74) as a member of the 7th Victorian Reinforcements, and sailed to England.
After a voyage of two months, they disembarked at London on 27 September 1919, and marched-in to the 1st Training Battalion at Fovant. There he was allotted as a reinforcement for the 7th Battalion.
On 5 October 1918 he was transferred to the R.B.A.A.** Artillery Details at Heytesbury, in Wiltshire. On arrival, he was taken on strength, and remustered as a Gunner.
At this time he caught influenza, and was admitted to the Sutton Veny Hospital for treatment, between 14 October and 6 November 1918.
Five days after returning to his unit, the Armistice was declared and the war ended. Nine days later, Gunner McGregor decided to go absent without leave, and he remained away until 28 November 1918. On his return he was found guilty and forfeited 14 days' pay, and was confined to barracks for 14 days.
Gunner McGregor was sent to France on 22 January 1919, and he arrived at the Australian Staging Camp at Abancourt on 25 Janaury 1919. From there he was sent to the Australian Veterinarian Hospital at Calais *** for two months, until 2 April 1919.
On 5 April 1919, he marched out from Calais and joined the 3rd Division Artillery, and was transferred to the 7th F.A. Brigade. After remaining with them for a month, he marched out, for return to Australia.
Rather than going home, he was admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital suffering with VD20, and he was transferred to the 39th Hospital at Bulford. His treatment lasted for 30 days, and he was then transferred to No.3. Companies. at Codford, and arrived there on 17 June 1919.
Gunner McGregor returned to Australia per H.T. Prinz Hubertus, embarking from Plymouth on 3 July 1919. His ship carried 900 returning troops.
After sailing via Capetown and Adelaide, he disembarked at Melbourne on 24 August 1919, and was discharged through the 3rd Military District.
The Victorian Electoral Rolls record that between 1919 and 1922 Roy Alexander McGregor was employed as a labourer, and that he lived in Essex Street, Yarraville.
Roy Alexander McGregor married Rosa Luise Anna Jungblut in Melbourne on 13 September 1920**** and they lived at 45 Francis Street Yarraville until 1937.
The family moved to 4 Thomas Street, Yarraville in 1942, and Roy changed his occupation to “drainer”.
Between 1949 and 1963 Roy and Rosa lived at 180 Francis Street, Yarraville, and Roy continued as a drainer.
In July 1963, Roy Alexander McGregor applied to the Repatriation Department for benefits under the Repatriation Act. This possibly allowed them to move to 180 Francis Street, Kingsville, where they remained until Roy’s death in 1972.
Roy Alexander McGregor died at the Heidelberg Hospital on 12 April 1972, and was buried in the Altona Memorial Park on 14 April 1972.
Rosa McGregor remained living at 180 Francis Street, Kingsville until 1977, when she moved to 4/21 Bishop Street, Footscray West.
Roy’s wife Rosa Louisa Anna McGregor died on 28 May 1991, and was cremated at the Altona Memorial Park.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: “McGREGOR. R.”
The name “McGregor, R. from Werribee” first appeared in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 13 February, 1919, p.3.
“Roy McGregor’s” enlistment was reported in The Independent (Footscray), 27 April 1918, p.2.
* Senior Cadets – The 17th Brigade's 65th Battalion was based at Footscray. The 18th Brigade’s 69th Battalion was based at Williamstown (A, B, C, D Companies Werribee).
** R.B.A.A. – Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery, at Heytesbury, England.
*** Australian Veterinary Hospital at Calais. In April 1917 an Australian Veterinary Hospital was established near Calais. The hospital could accommodate 1,250 horses and had an establishment of seven officers and 459 men. Twenty five thousand animals were treated during the eighteen months of its existence. https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/bitstream/2123/922/1/avhs_045.pdf
**** (Victorian Marriage Cert No.10170/1920)
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