The AIF Project

Bertram John Sylvester MUNDAY

Regimental number7108
Place of birthDubbo, New South Wales
SchoolSt Aloysius School, Dubbo, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressBrisbane Street, Dubbo, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 7"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Munday, Brisbane Street, Dubbo, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Militia.
Enlistment date29 May 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 May 1916
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 9 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 May 1917
Age at death from cemetery records18
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: John and Annie MUNDAY, Water Works, Dubbo, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1916; found guilty, at sea, 5 December 1916, of being absent without leave for 6 hours on 4 December: awarded forfeiture of 2 days' pay; total forfeiture: 3 days' pay; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 April 1917; taken on strength, 1st Bn, in the field, 2 May 1917.

Reported missing in action, 5-8 May 1917.

Now, 18 June 1917, declared 'killed in action, 5 May 1917'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1850514O, 7064 Pte F. WILLEY, 1st Bn (patient, 7th Canadian General Hospital, Etaples), 20 August 1917: 'I am almost certain he was killed by a shell at Bullecourt ... He was only a bit of a boy, hardly more than 17. He was quite short and a delicate boy. He would be well-known as Young Mundy.'

Second statement, 7032 Pte A.L. ROOTES, A Company, 1st Bn, 24 July 1917: 'I saw Bert Mundy [sic] blown out in a trench near Bullecourt on May 5th, a shell came over and he was blown to pieces, I was two bays away. It was in the evening about 7 o'clock.'

Third statement, 7010 Pte M. McCLUSKEY, 1st Bn, 13 September 1917; 'I knew B.J.S. Mundy [sic]. His number would be about 7108 and he was in A. Coy. We sailed together from sydney on the 9th Nov. 1916. I heard he had been killed last may near Bullecourt. I was told by [7117] Pte Hush of A. Coy who was a mate of Mundy's, that he and Mundy were in a shell hole together for a time. After a bit Hush left the shell hole and left Mundy behind him. Shortly afterwards when Hush returned for Mundy he found the shell hole had been blown up and feels sure that Mundy must have been killed. I never heard of Mundy's body was recovered and buried.'

Fourth statement, 6971 Pte G.M. DEMPSEY, 1st Bn (patient, 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, England), 15 October 1917: 'I was with Munday at Bullecourt. We were both on post duty. I went to get a tin of water and when I came back Munday had been killed. I could only find one of his legs. I was not away more than 3 or 4 minutes. We were being shelled heavily at this time.' [Eyewitness: 'Practically'. Description: 'A mere boy, not more than 19.']

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFirst given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Bertrand.
SourcesNAA: B2455, MUNDAY Bertram John Sylvester
Red Cross File No 1850514O

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