NAME: Herbert CREEK
SERVICE NO: 5
YEAR OF BIRTH: 1888
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hamilton
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 2 July 1915
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Melbourne
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 27
UNIT: Armoured Car Corps
EMBARKED: 20 June 1916
TROOP SHIP: HMAT A13 Katuna
FATE: Returned to Australia-16 June 1919
AWARDS: Distinguished Conduct Medal
Herbert Creek was a son of Joseph Creek and Ellen Niven. They lived at The Elms in North Hamilton and Joseph worked as a herdsman. Herbert attended the Hamilton State School and the Christ Church Sunday School. He later played football for Christ Church. On leaving school, he became a mechanic.
By 1912, Herbert had moved to Horsham and was playing football for the Horsham Juniors Football Club. By 1914, he was working as a chauffeur at the Commercial Hotel, Horsham, and a licensed bookmaker. He also worked at Messrs. Young Bros garage (below)
On 2 July 1915, Herbert enlisted. An older brother James enlisted the month before and another older brother David enlisted in the weeks after Herbert. Herbert spent some time at the Flemington depot from the time of his enlistment before joining C Company of the 31st Battalion at Broadmeadows the following month, with a rank of corporal. He remained at Broadmeadows until 19 June 1916 when he was transferred to the Armoured Car Corps. The following day he left for Egypt.
In the following years, Herbert spent time in Egypt, Sudan and then Palestine, working on patrol. The Armoured Corps often acted as an advance party for the Light Horse Regiments. In August 1917, Herbert was promoted to Sergeant.
Initially, Herbert’s section had three armoured vehicles but they eventually received six light Ford cards.
The vehicles were not always suited to the desert, especially in thick sand.
Herbert’s actions on 20 September 1918 saw him recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). While out on patrol somewhere near Jordan, Herbert cut off three enemy trucks loaded with men and equipment. They surrendered and were taken prisoner. On 18 October 1918, while in Damascus, Bert wrote home to his mother. He told her about the advance on Damascus, a trip of 150 miles and how, on the way, they captured an aerodrome. His patrol was among a group of soldiers from the British and Indian armies. They went through Nazareth and across the Jordan River.
The war ended but Herbert remained in the Middle East until 18 May 1919. A week later he received the news he had been awarded a DCM for his gallantry and devotion on September 1918. Herbert returned to Australian during June 1919 and was discharged on 31 July 1919. He returned to Horsham and started a hire car business. On 18 September 22, he married Mary McClounan at the Horsham Presbyterian Church and they lived out their married life in Horsham until Herbert’s death at Bendigo in 1980 at the age of ninety-three.