The AIF Project

John Reginald STORER

Regimental number1047
Place of birthEnmore, Sydney, New South Wales
SchoolLeichhardt Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationEngineer
Address23 Prospect Street, Leichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, William Edgar Storer, 23 Prospect Street, Leichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales
Enlistment date5 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll28 April 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, C Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Pioneer Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 October 1918
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
173
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William Edgar and Alice Elizabeth STORER, 'Camden', Broadford Street, Bexley, New South Wales
Medals

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, especially since Battalion moved to SOMME Area early in April, 1918. During the gas shell bombardment at VILLERS BRETONNEUX on 27th July, 1918, his skilful handling of the platoon whilst under the bombardment and his prompt actions afterwards resulted in the casualties being light. Though badly shaken and weary he took great precaution to minimise the effects of gas, went to a dressing station, found out what to do and applied preventative measures to the platoon. On 8th August, 1918, he showed remarkable courage in working under heavy fire and in making a road reconnaissance. This N.C.O. has been through all forward operations we have been in since April and during operations incidental to capture of MONT ST. QUENTIN he commanded a platoon that did splendid work in repairing forward roads.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 109
Date: 15 September 1919

Bar to Military Medal

'For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 8th August 1918 during operations east of Amiens. He reconnoitred the road to Cerisy Gailly moving with the advancing infantry and coming under machine gun and rifle fire, and later he again showed great determination, coolness and devotion to duty in repairing road in vicinity of GAILLY CROSS where he and his party came under shell fire and close enfilade machine gun fire, which played on the road where they were. He showed absolute disregard for danger and by his example kept the men at work on repairs urgently needed so that the 18 pdrs could get forward. In this operation and the operations leading up to it Sergeant Storer has shown unfailing devotion to duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115
Date: 10 October 1919

Family/military connectionsBrother: Lt William Edgar STORER, 13th Bn, killed in action, 21 February 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Medals: Military Medal & Bar, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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