The AIF Project

Cecil Henry DENNETT

Regimental number2033
Place of birthLondon, England
SchoolLondon County Council School, England
Age on arrival in Australia16
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSixteenth Street, Irymple, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 2.5"
Weight114 lbs
Next of kinFather, Frank Dennett, Sixteenth Street, Irymple, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date16 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death from cemetery records21
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 in Mildura Cemetery. Parents: Frank (d. 30 April 1930, aged 59; bu. Mildura Cemetery) and Lottie Emily DENNETT, Irymple, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3026 Pte Frank Ernest DENNETT, 57th Bn, returned to Australia, 8 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 22nd Bn, Gallipoli, 25 October 1915.

Wounded in action, 2 November 1915 (bullet wound, shoulder), and admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, and transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station; to HS 'Nevasa', 2 November 1915, and admitted to No 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 7 November 1915.

Rejoined 22nd Bn, Tel el Kebir, 8 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 26 March 1916.

Pay account debited 56 francs (loss of field dressing), 6 May 1916, and 10/- (loss of gas goggles), 17 May 1916.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 5 August 1916 (gun shot wound, right arm), and admitted to 44th Casualty Clearing Station; transferred to 8th General Hospital, Rouen, 6 August 1916; to England, 9 August 1916, and admitted to Beaufort War Hospital, Fishponds, Bristol, 10 August 1916; transferred to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford (date not recorded); discharged on furlough, 30 October 1916, to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 14 November 1916.

Marched in to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 15 November 1916.

Found guilty, 2 March 1917, of (1) breaking camp; (2) being absent without leave from 9.30 pm, 26 February, until apprehended, 11.15 am, 27 February 1917: awarded 6 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeiture of a total of 8 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 15 March 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 21 March 1917.

Reported Missing in Action, 3 May 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 November 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 3 May 1917'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0910412H, 3774 Pte H. BELL, C Company, 22nd Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, Kent, England), 19 November 1917: 'I did not see the casualty, but I was told by Cpl. W. Moody who has since been killed that he saw Dennett killed near Bullecouirt by a piece of shell that blew half his head away, death being instantaneous. I knew him very well, he came from Mildura, Victoria, and was only a lad about 19 years. I did not know place of burial, and I cannot refer to anyone for details. I believe he has relatives residing in England somewhere named Blackmore'.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsAttestation Form signed as Cecil Harry DENNETT.
SourcesNAA: B2455, DENNETT Cecil Henry
Red Cross File No 0910412H

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