The AIF Project


Regimental number701
Date of birth1872
Place of birthRichmond, Victoria
OccupationBush labourer
AddressEmma Watterson, Pitfielde, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation42
Height5' 9"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinEmma Watterson, Pitfield, Victoria
Enlistment date12 October 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll12 October 1914
Place of enlistmentMeeniyan, Victoria
Unit name4th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/9/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A13 Katuna on 3 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Light Horse Regiment
FateKilled in Action 25-26 March 1917
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
Other details

Statement, 345 Pte G.S.T. STANLEY, 4th Light Horse Regiment, 8 September 1917: 'I knew Troopers [701] Geo. Alexander and Fred Adams. I saw them both in the Bapaume Town Hall on the day it was blown up, about 7 p.m.; they were billeted there. It was blown up about mid-night. Troopers Joe Lloyd, and Patterson, in the same unit as these boys were dug out of the debris about 12 hours after, along with a mate. A number of bodies were recovered, but so mutiliated that they were unreconisable. There were about 30 [?: illegible] men, and some Officers sleeping in the building the same night. Two Officers were dug out alive. Lloyd and Patterson told me that they saw both of these boys about 9 p.m. before going to bunk.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesRed Cross File No 0020306B

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