The AIF Project

Thomas Matthew Tanian WASON

Regimental number6131
Place of birthTooborac, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressTooborac, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 9"
Weight157 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs. E. Wason, Tooborac, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date21 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll1 May 1916
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll59th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
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
Commemorated on Tooborac Roll of Honour, Victoria.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 28 July 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 11 September 1916; marched into 2nd Training Bn, Perham Downs, no date stated.

Proceeded overseas to France, 2 November 1916; marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 3 November 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 15 November 1916; taken on strength of 59th Bn, in the field, 17 November 1916.

Detached for duty with Anzac Light Railway, 8 January 1917; rejoined unit, 13 June 1917.

Wounded in action, 26 September 1917; admitted to No 6 Australian Field Ambulance, 26 September 1917, and transferred to No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 26 September 1917 (shrapnel wound, right thigh); to No 22 General Hospital, Camiers, 27 September 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 1 October 1917; to No 22 General Hospital, Camiers, 2 October 1917; to No 6 Convalescent Depot, Le Treport, 30 October 1917; to No 4 Convalescent Depot, Le Havre, 31 October 1917; marched into 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 13 November 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 13 December 1917; rejoined 59th Bn, 17 December 1917.

On leave to United Kingdom, 20 January 1918; rejoined unit, 8 February 1918.

Admitted to No 15 Australian Field Ambulance, 25 March 1918, and transferred to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station the same day; to No 26 Ambulance Train, 26 March 1918; to No 9 Canadian Stationary Hospital, 26 March 1918 (pyrexia of unknown origin, trench fever); to No 7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 3 April 1918; to No 10 Convalescent Depot, Ecault, 5 April 1918; discharged to Base Depot, 23 April 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 28 April 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 13 May 1918; rejoined 59th Bn, 18 May 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WASON Thomas Matthew Tanian

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