Herbert Hamilton Soderblom
- Born: 1896, Glen Wills, Victoria, Australia
- Marriage (1): Edith Smith in 1928 in Victoria, Australia
- Died: 1982, Victoria, Australia at age 86
Another name for Herbert was Bert Hamilton.
Herbert enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne on 10 Feb 1916 and was allocated the Service Number 27547. He was 19 years and 3 months old. He was a Gunner in the Field Artillery Brigade 12, Reinforcement 6. He had previously served in the 60th Infantry. His religion was recorded as Methodist and his occupation Confectioner. His address was 255 Station St, North Carlton, Victoria, which was his parents' address. His enlistment papers reveal that her had served 3 years in the Senior Cadets and 1 year in the Citizen's Forces in North Carlton.
Herbert was described as just 5 feet 5 3/4 inches tall, weighing 134 lbs with a chest measurement of 33 / 36 inches. His complexion was fair, eyes blue, and hair fair.
His initial few months were spend at the A.I.F. Singnal School and training camps at Langwarrin and Maribyrnong in Victoria. On the 31 August 1916 he was assigned to the 118 Howitzer Battery as a Driver.
His unit embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT A30 Borda on 20 Oct 1916 disembarking in Plymouth on the 9 Jan 1917. It wasn't a completely uneventful journey. While en route to England he was punished with 24 hours detention for "Breaking Ship" and for being AWL from 8 p.m. until arrested by a Guard, no doubt while the ship was in port somewhere!
On 20 February 1917 he was assigned to the Reserve Brigade Artillery at Larkhill in England and by the 7 May 1917 he was attending a "Cold Shoers" course at the Southern Command School in Romsey (England). He qualified as a cold shoer. This is a reference to the art of shoeing horses by the cold shoer method i.e. not involving the traditional blacksmith furnace. Shoes were taken "off the shelf", shaped a little more on an anvil and applied to the horses. At this time of course most artillery was dragged around with horses. By the 11 September he was on a boat to France and soon after arriving was taken on strength in the 12th Army Bde AFA and posted to the BAC (presumably the Battalion Artillery Corps).
He returned safely to Australia on 5 April 1919 aboard the Warwickshire, and was discharged from the army on 5 July 1919.
Herbert was the recipient of the Victory Medal No. 56880 and the British War Medal No 58399.
By 1924 he was living with his siblings Adeline, Mable and Oscar Henry at 1 Davison St, Richmond. His Occupation was Iron Moulder.
The following recollection has been provided by his nephew, John Sheppard:
Bert, lived in a Melbourne suburb. I visited them in 1952. Bert's wife, Edie, hated the name Soderblom, and persuaded him to change it to Hamilton. My mother was always scornful of this change. Bert and Edie had one child, a son named Robbie, born in 1927. A champion road cyclist, he won a renowned long-distance race in 1949. I have a snapshot, taken late in 1954, when I was heading back to Albury after valiant national service at Puckapunyal (medals and all, you know). It shows me sitting cross-legged on a lawn waving a rattle at Robbie's daughter, Janet (18 months old, perhaps). I still have that snapshot somewhere. Coming from that part of Melbourne, Edie Hamilton was a rabid St Kilda supporter, not a woman to stand directly in front of three minutes from a match's end with St Kilda trailing by seven points. She might have wielded an umbrella like a copper's truncheon at South Melbourne supporters.
Noted events in his life were:
• He worked as a Confectioner at the time of his enlistment in the AIF on 10 Feb 1916 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
• He worked as an Iron Moulder according to the Electoral Roll in 1924.
• He resided at the time of his enlistment in the AIF on 10 Feb 1916 in 255 Station St, Carlton, Victoria, Australia.
• He resided at the time of the 1924 Electoral Roll in 1924 in 1 Davison St, , Richmond, Victoria, Australia.
Herbert married Edith Smith in 1928 in Victoria, Australia. (Edith Smith died in 1976 in Victoria, Australia.)