The AIF Project


Regimental number5064
Place of birthHill End, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School, New South Wales
AddressHill End, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 3"
Weight112 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs L. Lawson, Hill End, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 January 1916
Place of enlistmentLithgow, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 5 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death20
Age at death from cemetery records20
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: William and Glendora LAWSON, Hill End, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsTwo brothers, one was killed, one won the MM R D Lawson.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 3 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 3 August 1916; marched into 5th Training Bn, 4 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France with the draft and without authority, 7 October 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 9 October 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 20 October 1916; taken on strength of 13th Bn, in the field, 20 October 1916.

Evacuated to hospital, 6 February 1917; admitted to No 12 Australian Field Ambulance, 8 February 1917 (pyrexia of unknown origin); rejoined unit, 27 February 1917.

Wounded in action, 16 October 1917 (mustard gas); admitted to No 11 Australian Field Ambulance, 16 October 1917, and transferred to No 44 Casualty Clearing Station the same day; to No 9 General Hospital, Rouen, 18 October 1917; to England, 29 October 1917; to No 3 Southern General Hospital, Oxford, 31 October 1917; to No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 3 December 1917; discharged to furlough, 10 December 1917, and to report to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 24 December 1917.

Marched into No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, no date stated.

Marched into Overseas Training Bde, Longbridge Deverill, 5 January 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 February 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 2 February 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 4 February 1918; rejoined 13th Bn, 9 February 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, LAWSON Harold

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