Frederick Conrad Weickhardt.

Frederick Conrad Weickhardt was born in Clunes in February 1899.

Con as he was known to his family, was one of nine candidates to pass the entrance exam into Victorian School of Forestry (VSF) at Creswick in April 1913.

Like another of his fellow students who went off to the war, David Kennedy Galbraith, Frederick is not listed as having graduated from the school, but his name is on the VSF honour board.

Frederick was aged just 18 years and 4 months when he enlisted in Melbourne (#2278) on 15 June 1917.

He joined as an electrical air mechanic in the Australian Flying Corps (AFC). His parents owned the Clunes bakery and wrote a letter giving their blessing for him to join provided he could use his skills and follow his training.

He embarked overseas on 30 October and arrived in Devonport in England on 27 December 1917.

Frederick was admitted to hospital at Aylesbury with pleurisy on 27 February 1918. After a month in hospital and some further time in the AFC Depot, he was posted to the 6th Training Squadron at Leighterton in the Cotswolds on 16 May 1918, the home of the “Flying Kangaroos” where he served until the end of the war.

He returned to the AFC Depot at Wendover on 9 December 1918, where he remained for three months, before he was granted special leave to work as an electrical fitter for the firm of Edmundson’s Electrical Co. in Westminster in London from 20 March to 3 September 1919.

Frederick embarked for Australia on 22 September 1919 and arrived back in Melbourne on 12 November, where he was formally discharged from the AIF on 8 February 1920.

And just like David Kennedy Galbraith, Frederick’s name doesn’t appear on the State Forest Department honour board held at Beechworth.

His employment after the war is unclear.

Frederick died at Creswick on 5 December 1975.

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