The AIF Project


Regimental number2167
Place of birthMaryborough Queensland
SchoolAlbert State School, Maryborough, Qld and Maryborough Grammar School, Queensland
AddressRichmond Street, Maryborough, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 7"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Margaret Helen Fairlie, Richmond Street, Maryborough, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets from the age of 14.
Enlistment date31 March 1916
Place of enlistmentMaryborough, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name52nd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/69/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A42 Boorara on 16 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Place of death or woundingNoreuil
Age at death19.5
Age at death from cemetery records19
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
Parents: John Alexander and Margaret Helen FAIRLIE, 'Coollroo', Maryborough, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2166 Pte David FAIRLIE, 52nd Bn, killed in action, 17 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 16 August 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 13 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 12 December 1916; taken on strength, 52nd Bn, 19 December 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 10 March 1917 (mumps), and transferred same day to 2/1 South Midlands Casualty Clearing Station; rejoined unit, in the field, 8 April 1917.

Killed in action, 11 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FAIRLIE Edward

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