The AIF Project

Walter Allen GRACE

Regimental number1537
Place of birthDerbyshire, England
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSmith's Creek, Tweed River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 5"
Weight157 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs. A. Grace, The Meadows, Spoudon, Derbyshire, England
Enlistment date21 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 July 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A41 Bakara on 5 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 3), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 7 December 1915; disembarked Egypt ex-HMAT 'Wandilla', December 1915.

Found guilty, Heliopolis, 9 December 1915, of being absent from parade: awarded 24 hours Field Punishment No.2.

Taken on strength, 31st Bn, Serapeum, 12 December 1915.

Found guilty, Ferry Post, 2 May 1916, of (1) being concerned in a fray, (2) breaking camp on 25 April 1916; awarded 48 hours' Field Punishment No.2.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1917.

'Identification disc received from Germany. No particulars afforded except that soldier is deceased. To be reported KILLED IN ACTION' on the authority of the Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section, 24 February 1917.

Handwritten note on bottom of B.103: 'buried in vicinity of Fleurbaix Sh[eet] 36 NW'.

A translation of a German message sent on 27 October 1919 stated, 'Iden: Disc handed over by Intell: Officer with 6th Army H.Q. 12/6/16. Austral[ian] Pte. W.A. Grace, 1537, 31st Btn. fell in the neighbourhood of Fromelles 19/7/16'.

Red Cross File No 1200103 has statement from 1061 Pte G.W. SERONG, 31st Bn (patient, County of London War Hospital, Epsom), 13 September 1916: 'A man named Grace was in my Company and his name was the same. Had the top of his head cut off by Machine Gun Fire (sic) at Fleurbaix.'

Second statement, Pte R.W. SHEPPARD, 31st Bn (patient, Tooting Hospital, London, England), 13 September 1916: 'Informant states that on July 19 at Fleurbaix (?) (sic) we started to attack. I saw Grace killed almost at once by high explosive. I think he fell back into our own trench.'

Third statement, 1550 Pte J. LANE, 31st Bn, 6 November 1916: 'I think he was killed by Machine Gun fire, though I am not sure, on (sic) No Man's Land. I saw him killed in an advance made on German trench (sic) on July 19th 1916, he was in the same Company with me.'

Note on file: 'The above name appeared on German death list dated 4-11-16.'

Fourth statement, 270 Pte J.S. NEWMAN, 31st Bn (patient, 23rd General Hospital, Etaples), 8 November 1916: 'Grace was a pal of mine. Someone, whose name I forget, told me that he saw him killed at Flower Bay (Fleurbaix), his head being blown off by shell.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, GRACE Walter Allen
Red Cross file 1200103

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