The AIF Project


Regimental number1401
Place of birthRiga, Latvia, Russia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 6"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinSister, Annie Hamann, Riga, Russia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date17 November 1914
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 February 1917
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 12 April 1915.

Wounded in action, and admitted to hospital, 29 May 1915 (fractured left shoulder); transferred by HS 'Neuralta' to Malta, 30 May 1915, and admitted to St Andrew's Hospital. Disembarked Alexandria, 16 July 1915. Embarked Alexandria, 18 July 1915; rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 25 July 1915.

Wounded in action, 10 August 1915 (gun shot wound, right arm), and admitted to 16th Casualty Clearing Station, Walker's Ridge; transferred to Mudros, and embarked for England, 14 August 1915; admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 23 August 1915. Rejoined 13th Bn, Ismailia, 15 January 1916.

Found guilty, 13 March 1916, of (1) drunkenness (2) creating a disturbance: awarded 3 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Transferred to 4th Division Artillery, 12 March 1916, taken on strength of 12th Field Artillery Brigade, 16 March 1916, and posted to 37th Battery.Admitted to No 3 Auxiliary Hospital, 19 April 1916 (not yet diagnosed: no further details).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 9 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 17 May 1916. Taken on strength, 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 20 May 1916. Found guilty, 29 June 1916, of creating a disturbance after lights out, 28 June 1916: awarded 14 days' confined to camp. Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 7 July 1916 (varicocele); rejoined 2 ADBD, 9 July 1916. Found guilty, 18 August 1916, of (1) being absent without leave from 5 am, 13 August 1916, until apprehended at 7 am, 16 August 1916; (2) being in possession of rum: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 1, and forfeited a total of 32 days' pay.

Transferred to 13th Bn, 7 September 1916. Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance, 15 November 1916 (influenza); rejoined unit, 16 November 1916.

Killed in action, France, 4 February 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Medals stamps marked 'Returned by Australia House, 2 July 1925'.

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