The AIF Project

Henry William MANN

Regimental number3151
Place of birthHoxton, London, England
Age on arrival in Australia20
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm labourer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 6.5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, A Mann, 51 Appleby Street, Kingland Road, London, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date16 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22-25 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, France
Age at death from cemetery records24
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: Alfred and Elizabeth MANN, 69 Hows Street, Kingsland Road, London, England. Date of Death 22/25th July 1916
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 1st Bn, Tel el Kebir, 6 January 1916.

Found guilty, 3 February 1916, of breaking camp and remaining absent from 0815, 2 February till 2200, 2 February 1916: awarded 7 days' confined to barracks, and forfeited 1 day's pay.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 March 1916.

Found guilty, 11 April 1916, of (1) being drunk in town, 9 April; (2) absent from unit, 9 April: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Killed in action, 22-25 July 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1700305G, 4029 Pte C.V. FLETCHER, 1st Bn, 10 November 1916: 'He was accidentally shot in the trench at Pozieres. Some guns that we had taken from the enemy were stacked on our parapet. While removing them one that Mann had taken hold of exploded, the charge blowing his left arm nearly off aand passing through his body. He lived for about 10 minutes and when told nothing could be done to save him he calmly asked for a cigarette and bravely faced the end. He was buried by the 1st. Pioneer Co.'

Second statement, 2603 Pte R.W. LEE, 1st Bn (patient, Australian General Hospital, Etaples), 11 November 1916: 'He was collecting German rifles in trench we had taken. In placing one on parapet it exploded, blowing left arm almost off; charge then passing through shoulder. He died shortly after, I believe. I saw him taken away by stretcher-bearers.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MANN Henry William
Red Cross File No 1700305G

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