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NAME: Alfred John Henry LOVETT
SERVICE NO: 2919
YEAR OF BIRTH: c1879
PLACE OF BIRTH: Milltown
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 29 July 1915
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Melbourne
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 35
UNIT: 26th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
EMBARKED: 27 October 1915
TROOPSHIP: HMAT A38 Ulysses
FATE: Returned to Australia – 10 March 1918
Born at Milltown, Alfred Lovett was the eldest son of James Ebenezer Lovett and Hannah McDonald, a Gunditjmara woman born at Lake Condah. Alf grew up in the Condah district. At just five foot two inches, Alfred was a jockey, but also a good footballer and played for Heywood. In a game against Hamilton in August 1904, Alfred was best for Heywood. He also umpired matches and after a game between Drumborg and Hotspur some of the players remarking that he was the best umpire that they ever played under and he kept down rough play.
Alfred was riding in races around the district from around 1902. In May 1905, fresh from some race wins over the jumps, Alfred rode at the Coleraine Cup meeting. During the Hurdle Race, Alfred’s horse Juliet fell and appeared to land on him. He was unconscious and was taken to Coleraine and although he regained consciousness, he was dazed for several hours. He had a good day out at Warrnambool in April 1906. On that day he rode Deering for Dr Hayden in the main hurdle race and rode second on Busboy in the steeple. Alfred moved to Hamilton and in 1909. He married Sarah Ella Spring and a son Alfred Patrick was born. Leo Lawrence Lovett was born in 1913 at Hamilton.
On 29 July 1915, Alfred went to Melbourne to enlist. His four brothers would follow him over the next two years, Edward on 17 August 1915, Leonard on 10 April 1916, Herbert on 30 April 1917, and Frederick on 17 May 1917. Alfred arrived in France in April 1916 with the 26th Battalion. In August 1916, he was attached to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. He fell sick on 21 November 1916 and didn’t rejoin his unit until January 1917 but returned to hospital after a few days. In April 1917, he was found to have rheumatism and was sent home for early discharge. Alfred returned to the Hamilton district, living at Bochara.
In 1930, while he was living at Richmond, Alfred wrote to the Defence Department to request a replacement medal because he had lost his from his swag somewhere near the Darling River several years before. He had been in the Balranald district at the time. Alfred then moved to Gowanford where he spent most of the 1930s. His father died in 1936 at Portland. During the 1940s, Alfred moved back to the south-west to Greenvale near Condah. Alfred’s eldest son Alfred Patrick enlisted in 1942 and served for three years. Alfred’s four brothers who served during WW1 also enlisted for WW2 as did their youngest brother Samuel.
Alfred’s mother Hannah died in 1946 at Heywood. At the time she was remembered as the “Mother of Condah Mission”. Alfred died in 1962 at Portland aged eighty-two.
Australian War Memorial – WW1 Embarkation Roll – Alfred John Henry Lovett
Discovering Anzacs – WW1 Service Record – Alfred John Henry Lovett
Newspaper Articles from Trove – Alfred John Henry Lovett