Albert Chafen Broad

Personnel header
Sergeant Albert Chafen Broad
Life dates
09 Dec 1889 - 13 May 1957

Sergeant Albert Broad was a First World War veteran, but with an interesting story. He had been born in Fordingbridge and married at nearby Hyde in 1912 apparently in a double wedding, alongside his sister and wife’s brother. His father, also Albert, was a Woodman, but Albert was a dealer in pigs, who could be fed on the forest acorns amongst other things. He emigrated with his wife Lillian to Victoria, Australia.

In August 1915 he joined the Australian Army recording that his previous military experience was four years with the Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry, on the New Forest Levels, a Territorial Force cavalry regiment. His attestation records that he was 5 feet, 5 ½ inches tall, with blue eyes and dark brown hair, with his occupation given as Butcher. He was sent overseas on 1st August 1916 as part of the 58th Infantry Battalion, but on arrival to England was promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant and detached to the training cadre of 15th Infantry Battalion, based at Tidworth, not too far from his former home. In September 1917 he reverted to Corporal and was sent to France with the 4/58th Battalion where he was wounded in action in Polygon Wood on the 25th of that month, taking 3 months to recover before rejoining his battalion, only to be gassed at Messines in March 1918, but he was back with his unit in just 2 days. On 25th August 1918 he sustained a serious shrapnel wound to the head on the Somme and was evacuated back to England and admitted to Ilford Emergency Hospital.

Five months after this, following a month of recuperation in Weymouth in Dorset, and a period on Salisbury Plain, he was shipped back to Australia on the Hospital Transport Ceramic, being discharged in April 1919. Despite his wartime injuries he was passed fit on discharge and so received no war pension. By 1923 he was back in Fordingbridge, writing to Australia apply for his (British issued) medals.

On his return to Fordingbridge he seems to have taken on a bus and transport business. There are postcards showing his charabancs on outings from their base at the Coo-ee Garage, its name reflecting his Australian past. In 1939 he was recorded as Organiser of Commercial Traffic Group Western Area No 7/C/1/21. However, when war was declared it seems that the business was taken over by the government, probably as the coaches were commandeered for war work or even military service. Remarkably we have the account of his mother, who spent 14 weeks with him in 1940, as she wrote to her son Harry in Minnesota, USA, where the contents were published in the local paper. Her other son Leonard was in London where both his workplace and home were destroyed in bombing. Leonard was buried under the debris and his children gassed as the main in the house was broken. Not surprisingly, he evacuated his family to his mother’s home at Redlynch near Salisbury after this.

This lengthy story perhaps indicates why Albert Broad was chosen to serve with Auxiliary Units and why he was chosen to command the Patrol.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
Fordingbridge Patrol Patrol Leader 27 May 1940 03 Dec 1944
National ID
EESS 147/1

Motor haulage contractor

Coo-ee Garage, Salisbury Road, Fordingbridge, Hampshire