David Gibson Jude Badger

 14/4/1896 to 21/8/1916
Killed in Action, Poziers, France

The Australian Hero - a booklet written on his life and death.

David's Death - as told by Cpl. A. Smyth

Newspaper Clippings. - Extracts from the local newspapers of the day.

Magnus Rupert. Sent to replace David.

His Diaries.

His Kitbag


The Australian Hero - a booklet written on his life and death.

In a postscript to his last request his younger brother Magnus was sent to replace him. It was widely believed that Magnus went to the war at a very young age but it would appear that that was not the case. A lot of the history of this period came from stories given to Langdon Badger, Magnus's son, by an aged aunt. When interest in this area of history increased Langdon went back to his hsitorical artefacts and has corrected some of the misconceptions that had benn around for many years. He has scanned in many items of interest and these are presented here.

David's Death - as told by Cpl A.Smyth.

The following is an account of the death of David written by a compatriot in a letter to Magnus many years later.

21 Lake Terrace
Mount Gambier
Jan 5th 1958

Mr M.Badger

Dear Magnus,
As a regular reader of Vox's Column
in the Advertiser I came across your letter in references
to the late Billy McCann which I also served under
of the 19th December issue. Now to tell you most of
the old story from my enlistment^ April 12th 1915,
to the 21st August 1916
of which I was one of the eighth reinforcement to the 10th
Infantry. I think your brother David enlisted at the
same time and I was always a close comrade until
the 21st August 1916, when David was killed. Here is the
story of the second attack which took place on the 20th August
at 6 o'colock in the afternoonof that day. The previuos
night we, the Company, dug a trench in no-mans
land for a hop over for the first wave which portion
of B Company was to man including David then as
Sgt. in Charge ?? ??? ?? ( at let of) 60 men assisted by Sgt.
White and several Corporals including myself. However
things did not go so well, previous to the hop over
Fritz shelled us to no small measure & when
we tallied up to go out to the pop over trench there
were only 18 of us left and out we went at zero
hour and ever our objective was the German's second
trench. We've crossed the first but no sign of a
German only dead ones, we pushed on a bit further
then decided to get down in shell holes after which




we did. There were five of us in this one shell
hole including your Brother David, a Sgt White, McKenzie
and another chap, I forget his name and myself. Keeping
our heads down as much as possible as the Fritze's
were rattling the top of the shell hole with machine
gun bullets. While we were discussing what we were
going to do , shells were flying in all directions and
one came right under my arm , previous to that
David had the bad luck to get a shrapnel pellet
through the calf of his left leg, we took off his ????
rapping and bandaged him up , he was in pain but
braved it well until this shell that came along
and went under my arm as I lay up the side of
the shell hole using a Lewis gun after this close
shave for the rest of us David was again hit
this time by a piece of chagged steel about the size of
a halfpenny which presume a piece of the shell casing
entered his left leg on left side just above the
knee and right through to his testicles which we dis-
covered when we took off trousers to see what we could do
for him. But it was not long for he slowly but
gently passed on, we presumed he died from loss of
blood. & so this was still in broad daylight and we
planning to get in touch with out Battalion when
at night fall. But when we decided to move
back the trench we crossed over was full of Germas
so we were still in a bad way, however we hung on



till daylight hoping our chaps would make an-
other attack but in th emeantime we were picked
up by a squad of Fritze's so that undid our
soldering and fighting at least we suffered for it
in other ways being a prisoner. When we left the
shell hole where your brother died we covered him
with his groundsheet, I still have a photograph
of his in my possession. In reference to the late Billy
McCann, I met Bill several times in Adelaide in
later years and did not think that he looked to be
near the end of his tether. Still you never know when
your number is drawn. Well now after all of this I
extend to you a welcome if you are coming down
this way at anytimeto call in and see me as I am
in retirement now and would be pleased to see
you and have a good yarn of bygone days.

Yours faithfully,

21 Lake Terrace
Mt. Gambier

INSET: I visited Cpl. Smyth at Mt Gambier shortly after this and we had a good old yarn. I was able to tell him about going over to Pozieres in 1956 and walking over the very ground he wrote about. Magnus



Newspaper Clippings

Adelaide Advertiser Fri Oct 20 1916


Mr. H. J. Badger, of Petersburg, has
been officially informed that his son, Ser-
geant David G. J. Badger, who was pre-
viously reported as missing, was killed
in action on August 21.Sergeant Badger
sailed for Egypt 12 months ago. He was
for five months in the trenches in France,
He was 23 years old, and prior to his
enlistment he was teller in the English,
Scottish, & Australian Bank at Blyth.

Adelaide Advertiser Thu 26th October 1916.

Sergeant D. G. Badger was the
eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert J.
Badger, of Victoria-street. Petersburg, and
enlisted at the age of 19 years. He of-
fered his services three days after the war
had broken out, but was not called upon
for several months. He spent his 20th
birthday jn the French trenches in April
last. He sailed from Australia in August,
1915. He was a bright, intelligent lad, de-
servedly popular at school, and on leaving
entered the E. S. & A. Bank at Peters
burg He was moved to Brinkworth in
1914, and to the Adelaide head office in
1915. He was a lieutenant in the cadets,
and took a keen interest in military mat-
ters generally. After the big battle on
August 21 he was reported missing, and this
week his parents' were officially notified
of his death. In a letter just received,
Gunner Ivor Thompson says:-"I had
longed to see a bayonet charge, but never
wish to see another. It was at 5.30 p.m.
B Company, led by Sergeant D. Badger,
made the charge . The sergeant was the
first to hop the trench (the bravest of lads).
He was just marvellous. When the roll
was called next day I was the only one of
the Gunner's Australian section left. It
was hell on earth." In a letter written by
the deceased, and marked, "To be opened
when I am dead, he gave directions re his
personal and private matters, and asked his
parents not to mourn for him; he had done
his duty, and would do the same again, con-
cluding with the message, "All I ask is
that you send another in my place."

Adelaide Advertiser 30th Oct 1916

BADGER -On the 21st August, on active ser-
vice, in France, David Gibson J . eldest beloved
son of H. J and L. Badger. Petersburg, killed
in action. Bom to die April 14 1896. Died
to live, August 21 1916

Adelaide Advertiser Thu 23rd Aug 1917

BADGER.-On the 21st August, 1916, Sergeant'
David G T Badger, killed in action at Pozieres,
France "The grave has the victory and death
its sting" now, but later on he will triumph
over both.-By his mother, father, sisters, and


Magnus Rupert BADGER


Letter from his Parents the week before embarkation.

Extracts from his War Diaries.

Kitbag Contents














Photo at right taken at the end of the war.

11 Wilson St.
Saturday Oct 24th 1917

Our Beloved Magnus.

Both we and the girls

feel most keenly our parting with you for

we had no idea that when your dear Brother

David left us for the battlefields we felt sure

he would return to us full of rich experience

& covered with honor. The poor boy won the

honor & gained the experience but sacrificed hs life.

And now ?? ???? (we have) given you up at your own

request to King & country & ?? (we) pray and

hope for your return to us but the future

is hidden ?? (we) know not what shall be


but we promise you this that daily you

will be spoken of to God & commended to

his care and keeping you can often think

that when you are on the field of battle &

far from those who dearly love you. During

the silen watches of the night when you

may be on Sentry ?? or ??????. I may be the

same duty ???? & whenever you can ?? ? (or &) I am

on I am praying earnestly for you & ask that

you will do likewise for us for remember

Magnus my son that though you will be

thousands of miles from us & can only communicate

with us by letter you can talk with God &

walk with God instantly.



your Grandfather used to do this daily & was

the means of this being the Great Man he

was & it can be truly said of him today

the King died yet speaketh after all these

years His name is ?????? (Fragrant ??) & thankful

?? ??????? this God & his ???? to you.

???? ( A name ?) has given you a copy of his Word

read it & be wise, accept Him for yourself &

take the council & all will be well with

you. "Trust in God and

Do the Right".

Your breath is in the hands of God is in you

then let your body be a Temple in which he

can dwell clean pure bright and happy



Goodbye dear son till we meet again.

Mr ???? (Hawke) said to David on leaving

"In all things keep a clear conscience

& press forward"

his sounds good advice ?? (we)

also hand on to you.

We will write to you every mail & you

are in our thoughts and prayers day and


Your Affectionate

Mother Lena Badger

Father H.J.Badger


Extracts from the diaries of Magnus Rupert

Picture taken before leaving Australia and carried with him throughout war.
Magnus front row, third from right, with the 10th Battalion in Belgium.

Items carried around Europe in his kitbag.