The AIF Project

Alexander Charles WHITNALL

Regimental number3308
Place of birthBalmain, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationTram conductor
AddressFire Station, Forth Street, Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 6"
Weight143 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Whitnall, Fire Station, Forth Street, Woollahra, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in Royal Australian Field Artillery, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date12 August 1915
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William WHITNALL
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to, and proceeded to 55th Bn from 5th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 16 February 1916; taken on strength of 55th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Found guilty, 8 March 1916, disobeying lawful command of his superior Officer: awarded 7 days' confined to barracks.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 July 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 2930712: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10.10.19.'

Statement, 1701 Sergeant H. ANSON, B Company, 55th Bn (patient, No 6 General Hospital, Rouen, 23 March 1917): 'Whitnall was one of my men. He as killed in the German line at Fromelles. He was buried by a burial party. He died pushing the Germans back as they came pushing in on our flanks.'

Second statement, 4861 Corporal G.W.F. NIXEY, B Company, 55th Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 16 August 1917: 'Whitnall was a Company bomber under me and Ggt. Hanson. After the attack at Fromelles on 19th or 20/7/16I called the roll of the Company Bombers[;] only about 6 out of 38 answered and in reply to enquiries, I then made, about men who did not answer, I was told that Whitnall had been killed ... I was with the Bombers all the time and in the German lines from which we had to retire. He has not been reported as Prisoner ... '

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WHITNALL Alexander Charles
Red Cross File No 2930712

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