The AIF Project

Horace LANG

Regimental number903
Place of birthSpring Hill, Kyneton, Victoria
SchoolAscot Vale State School, Victoria
Address56 North Street, Ascot Vale, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 7.5"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, Thomas Lang, 56 North Street, Ascot Vale, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in College Cadets.
Enlistment date29 March 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 10 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches

'Gallantry in action and untiring energy throughout the operations at Fleurbaix, Armentieres and Pozieres, setting fine example.'
Not awarded.
Recommendation date: 15 September 1916

Military Medal

'Displayed conspicuous gallantry in constructing and holding an advanced bombing post near Flers.'
Recommendation date: 24 November 1916

FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Mary LANG, 56 North Street, Ascot Vale, Victoria

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry in constructing and holding an advanced bombing post near FLERS on 18th/19th November, 1916, within close range of the enemy. The garrison had to remain motionless throughout the day but Corporal LANG refused to be relieved until his Company left the trenches, setting a most encouraging example of endurance.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 103
Date: 29 June 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: Lt T J Lang, New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade, who died of pneumonia and malaria on 18/7/18, after 3 yrs 10mths of active service.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 30 August 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 10 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 26 March 1916.

Awarded Military Medal.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 5 November 1916.

Promoted Temporary Corporal,4 January 1917; rank made substantive same day.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 10 April 1917 (asthma), and transferred to Divisional Rest Station; to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 13 April 1917 (debility); discharged to duty, 21 April 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 22 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 3 May 1917, and posted as wounded and missing, 13 June 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 14 December 1917, concluded: 'Killed in action, 3 May 1917.'

Medals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFather's name entered as Thomas KING on Embarkation Roll.
SourcesNAA: B2455, LANG Horace

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