The AIF Project

Walter O'Malley MILES

Regimental number3575
Place of birthArmadale, Victoria
SchoolArmadale State School; Christian Brothers' School, St Kilda, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address32 Sullivan Road, Armadale, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 7"
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Miles, 32 Sullivan Road, Armadale, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 3.5 years in the Cadets; 4.5 years in the 47th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date22 September 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/40/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 5 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll59th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWas reported missing in action; after 12 months was confirmed as killed in action.
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 17), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Charlotte MILES, 82 Sutherland Road, Armadale, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 24th Bn, 14 March 1916.

Taken on strenth, 60th Bn, Ferry Post, 4 April 1916.

Transferred to 59th Bn, and taken on strength, Ferry Post, 4 April 1916.

Sick to hospital, Moascar, 30 May 1916; rejoined unit same day (no further details recorded).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 29 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Presumed Buried In No Man's Land approx 5J90 43 to 5K02.5.1 Sheet Hazebrouck 5A'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1770304, 3694 Pte N. BLOCK, 59th Bn, 15 November 1917: 'Well I dressed Casualty's wounds in No Man's Lnd about 75 yards in front of the enemy lines on the 19th July, 1916 at Fleurbaix. He was wounded by a piece of shell which took out the back of the leg, and he ws wounded in the other leg below the knee. The bleeding had stopped and he seemed very well and in good spirits. When I left him he was in a very safe spot in dead ground. That is in a hole in the ground. He was quite safe from machine gun fire. I di (sic. did?) not believe he is dead.'

Cutting attached to file adds further words by Pte BLOCK: 'I do not believe he is dead, considering he was close to the trenches. I feel sure he is prisoner of war, as the enemy could easily have got him.'

Father wrote to the Countess of Harrowby, February 1918, seeking her help ('To my mind missing is the saddest feature of the war[;] the anxiety & tension created is terrible to families.' Red Cross replied, 2 May 1918, saying that there was no chance, after such a period of time, of him being a prisoner of war, and that 'we have now been forced to close our enquiries for Missing men of 1916'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MILES Walter O'Malley
Red Cross File No 1770304

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