Frederick Stephen McClean

Born: 19 December 1872

Died: 4 November 1962

Warrant Officer Class 1 Master Gunner Frederick Stephen McClean was serving with the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, Middle Head, Mosman prior to his appointment to the AIF as a Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in the 30th Battalion prior to his departure from Australia in November 1915. 

In March 1916, two months after arriving in Egypt, he was appointed commanding officer of the newly formed 5th Divisonal Ammunition Column.  He was promoted to Major in May 1916 and for the next 12 months commanded the unit which reached France in June 1916.

He transferred to the 5th Pioneer Battalion in June 1917.  He was wounded in action on 18 August 1918 but remained on duty.

For his distinguished service with the battalion he was twice awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO and Bar) and was twice mentioned in despatches.  He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The following are the official statements of service for each Distinguished Service Order:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty [at Zillebeke from 10 to 20 September 1917]  while engaged on road construction. The road was subjected to concentrated shell fire every night while his party was at work, but he carried out the work successfully, showing great courage and determination, as well as ability, in handling the transport units bringing up material. On one occasion, when a building, against which a large quantity of 9.2 shells had been dumped, was set on fire by enemy shelling, he at once organized a party, and prevented an explosion by removing all the shells under heavy fire.

Near Bellicourt [sic] on 29th September, 1918. He was in charge of the work entrusted to this battalion on two roads. He organized the whole of the preliminary details in a most thorough manner, and under continuous shell fire reconnoitred both roads up to the enemy lines, and did not leave the work until he was assured that the roads were through. Throughout he showed great gallantry, and was a great inspiration to all under his command.

[JSB]

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