The AIF Project

Frank Patrick ADAMS

Regimental number4352
Place of birthChurch Street, Camperdown, New South Wales
SchoolSt Fiacre School, Leichhardt, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationEngineer
Address22 Young Street, Annandale, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 4.5"
Weight137 lbs
Next of kinFather, P F Adams, Paling Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the 31st Bn, Citizen Military Forces, Haberfield; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date15 December 1915
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 9 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 December 1916
Place of death or woundingDelville Wood, France
Age at death22
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
87
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Patrick Francis and Augustus ADAMS
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria, 29 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 7 June 1916.

Admitted to Bulford Military Hospital, 12 October 1916; discharged to duty, 8 November 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 27 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 19 November 1916; taken on strength, 19th Bn, in the field, 3 December 1916.

Killed in action, 23 December 1916.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 00204028, 4487 Pte D. McEwen, A Company, 19th Bn, 24 February 1917: 'He was killed in Needle Trench, the other side of Delville Wood, on 23rd. Dec. while we were in reserves. A shell got five of us, he amongst the five. I saw his dead body. The bodies were buried together afterwards, back of the parados. He had been on guard just previously at the Dump, and was brought into the trench with the others because of the heavy shelling.'

Second statement, 4356 Pte R.G. ASHTON, A Company, 19th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 5 March 1917: 'I came over from Sydney with him. He was a great friend of mine and got him to join my platoon. I saw him killed at Needle Trench on the Somme. I thought it was the 22nd of Dec. not the 23rd. He was buried the same day he was killed and has a cross on his grave with name and No.'

Third statement, 4497 Pte E.J. NAUGHTON, 19th Bn, 12 March 1917: 'I knew him. He was killed by a shell in Needle Trench, Flers front. He was buried in a little burying ground behind the dugout. Four men who were standing together were killed by this shell and the four of them were buried together.'

Fourth statement, 4507 Pte O.M. PETERSON, 19th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 8 March 1917: 'This man was killed by a shell in the support trenches near Fleur [sic] on the right of Delville Wood. I saw a 59 shell catch this man and three of his companions, as they were going for their rations. I saw the four men brought in dead. I did not see him buried, but I saw the grave where he and three others were buried in the trenches.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ADAMS Frank Patrick
Red Cross File No 00204028

Print format