The AIF Project

Eric Harding CHINNER

Date of birth15 January 1894
ReligionBaptist
OccupationBank clerk
AddressPetersburg, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 10"
Weight156 lbs
Next of kinFather, T H Chinner, Petersburg, South Australia
Enlistment date8 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name32nd Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915
The 32nd Bn (Headquarters, Signallers, A, B, C, and D Companies) embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on two ships, HMAT A2 'Geelong', on 18 November 1915, and HMAT A13 'Katuna', on 24 November 1915. The Embarkation Roll does not distinguish between these ships, and it is therefore not possible from the Embarkation Roll to ascertain on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateDied of wounds 19 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot II, Row D, Grave No 8), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
120
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Mitcham Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia. Parents: Thomas and Sarah CHINNER, 85 Grant Avenue, Toorak, South Australia. Native of Peterborough, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 45 Pte Wilfred Clive CHINNER, Australian Army Ordnance Corps, returned to Australia, 3 July 1919; Brother-in-law: 1999 Pte Basil John Manning COCKING, 32nd Bn, returned to Australia, 4 May 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 18 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 18 December1915.

Proceeded to Officers' School, Zeitoun, 5 March 1916.

Appointed Lieutenant, 21 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

On Command, School of Instruction, Terdeghen, 3 July 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 9 July 1916.

Reported missing in action, 19 July 1916; fate subsequently recorded as 'killed in action', and then changed to read 'Died whilst prisoner of war in Germany'.

Red Cross File No 730103 has statement from 416 Orderly Room Sergeant P.A. OHLSTROM, 32nd Bn (patient, Northants War Hospital, Duston, England), 7 September 1916: 'Informant states that Lieut. Chinner was bombing Officer. A shell landed in the middle of the bombs at Fleurbaix on July 20th and he was blown to pieces.'

Second statement, 2281 Pte J. BALLANTYNE (patient. HS 'St. David', Boulogne), 15 September 1916: 'I saw this officer killed by a high explosive shell in the first German line when we made the attack at Vermelles, South of Armentieres on the 19th July at 6 p.m. He was killed just before it was dark at about 8.30 p.m. He must have been killed instantaneously. He seemed to fall down on his face. We went on to the second line but we had to retire the next morning at daybreak to our own original line again, so his body was left out. He was a very nice chap and much liked by his platoon. I knew him well because he was in next platoon to mine.'

'The [German] Left Property Office reports that he died on 19.7.16 and was buried in the neighborhood of Fromelles, nothing further known.'

Third statement, Major J.R.B. O'Sullivan, 48th Bn (patient, 4th London General Hospital, Denmark Hill, England), 22 September 1916: 'Informant states that Mr. Chinner was killed at Fleurbaix during the attack and was buried with others.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 4), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France
SourcesNAA: B2455, CHINNER Eric Harding
Red Cross file 730103

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