The AIF Project

Alfred George TUCK

Regimental number1252
Place of birthKyneton, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressHigh Street, Kyneton, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 9"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinFather, James Tuck, High Street, Kyneton, Victoria
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
Unit name29th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 1), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 10 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19/20 July 1916; placed on Supernumerary List of NCOs after being absent from the unit for a period of three months, 20 October 1916.

On 17 November 1916, James Tuck, the father of Corporal Tuck, wrote to Colonel Hawker of the 3rd Military District Headquarters, asking for information about his missing son as: 'I have just seen a letter sent by No 3345 Pte R Fagan[,] 7th Reinforcement[,] 29th Battalion[,] 8 Inf Brigade[,] A.I.F. that No. 1252 Cpl A G Tuck, D Coy[,] 29 Battalion[,] 8 Inf Brigade[,] A. I. F. is now a prisoner[,] can you give me any particulars of my son[,] he was officially reported missing between nineteenth and twentieth of July last[,] by doing so you will greatly oblige me.' This letter was passed on to Base Records and on 28 November Base Records responded: 'I beg to state no report other than "Missing 19/20-7-16" has been received here concerning your son, No. 1252 Corporal A. G. Tuck, 29th Battalion, but if you will obtain and forward to this office the original letter you state it is mentioned that your son is a Prisoner of War, upon receipt of same, and if such action is warranted, enquiries will be instituted by cable and the result communicated to you.' James subsequently responded to the request of Base Records on 4 December and stated, 'in reply beg to state that I have interviewed Miss Fagan with regards to the letter written by her brother 3345 Pte R Fagan[,] 29th Batt stating that my son Cpl A G Tuck is a prisoner. I regret that unfortunately the letter has been accidently (sic) destroyed. Enclosed is a letter from one of my son's mates I received sone time ago.' This exchange of letters concluded on 11 December when Base Records replied to James Tuck and acknowledged his letter and concluded, 'there is nothing in the letter you enclosed, to warrant investigations being made.'

However, on 25 January 1917 the Victoria Branch of the Australian Red Cross contacted Mr J.H.V. Dale of the Federal Stores in Warragul by letter regarding Corporal Tuck and stated, 'Lance Corporal A. Pollard, No. 1208 states:- "Sergeant O.S. Cole, 15th Platoon, D Company, sent through a list of men in our Battalion who are also prisoners. These men's names [including Corporal Tuck] appear on the list." We would again point out that his information is unofficial and we do not vouch for its accuracy but send same on knowing it to be of interest.'

Mr Dale responded to this information the next day, 26 January 1917, by writing to Base Records and asking, 'In regard to the above mentioned [Corporal Tuck] of whom no trace seems to have been found. Could you supply me with the full address of the relations of 1131 Pte D. Grant[,] D Company[,] 29th Battalion. This soldier was constantly with Corpl Tuck and the address of his next of kin may help. Sergeant O.S. Cole[,] 15th Platoon[,] D Company (prisoner of war) sent a list of names of men from 29th who were prisoners and he included the name of Corpl Tuck.'

The Officer in Charge of Base Records responded to Mr Dale on 31 January with the address of Private Grant's next of kin and requested, 'if you are in receipt of reliable documentary evidence that he is a Prisoner of War, and will forward same to this office, if it is decided such action is warranted, investigations will be made, and the result communicated to next-of-kin?'. Mr Dale subsequently responded to the Base Records request on 2 February 1917 by letter where he noted, 'this is the second occasion on which reports have been made by members of 29th Battalion stating that Corpl Tuck was taken prisoner.' Mr Dale also enclosed the letter from the Red Cross for further investigation.

On 3 April 1917, the day after the father of Corporal Tuck received a telegram about his son?s death, he wrote to Colonel Hawker at the 3rd Military District Headquarters and asked 'I received your Wire [sic] but I cannot understand it in the face of Red Cross information that Cpl, A. G. Tuck is a prisoner of war[,] Dulmen[,] Germany. Also from Sgt A.S. Cole 1321 that my son is a prisoner with him in Dulmen with four companions and Pte R Fagan 3345 ... 7 Reinforcement[,] 29 Battalion[,] 8th Inf Brigade[,] A. I. F[.,] that he is a prisoner of War [sic]. Kindly let me know how you have arrived at it that my so was killed on the 19 July 1916[,] by doing so yo will greatly oblige me.' The Officer in Charge of Base Records replied to James Tuck on 16 April 1917, 'I have to state the report "killed in action, previously reported missing 19/7/16", is evidently the result of a Court of Enquiry held to investigate the case. The evidence upon which this decision was based is not yet available at this office, but you will be notified immediately upon receipt of further details.'

This was the final correspondence in the file on the matter. On 8 June 1917, James Tuck wrote once more to Colonel Hawker at the 3rd Military District Headquarters requesting that a Certificate of Death be forwarded to him.

'Identification Disc received from Germany. No particulars afforded except the soldier is deceased. To be reported as KILLED IN ACTION, FRANCE 19.7.16.' on the authority of Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section from War Office.

A confirmation letter from Berlin dated 3 October 1919 stated, 'asutr. Sold. Tu[c]k, A.G.D.29.Bn. Nr. 1252. am 19.7.16. in Gegend Fromelles gefallen' and it was translated as 'Australian Soldier A.G.D. Tuck, 29 Batt., No.1252, fell in the neighbourhood of Fromelles on 19/7/16.'

Red Cross File No 2780808 has statement from 1175 J. MACINTOSH, D Company, 29th Bn (patient, No 8 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne), 3 October 1916: 'At 9 on July 19th, the 29th Battalion folding trenches at Fromelles, and attacking enemy trenches about 300 yards off. The Battalion held second line enemy trenches for 11 hours. Cpl. Tuck in command of No. 12 Section. Informant was told next morning by Private Grant of D. Coy, 12 Section, that during the attack a shell burst near Corporal Tuck and after the smoke and mud had cleared off, there was no sign of him, and several other men standing near him. Several men saw this besides informant.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, TUCK Alfred George
Red Cross file 2780808

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