The AIF Project

David Henry AVARD

Regimental number3752
Place of birthEast Maitland, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School and Boys High School, East Maitland, New South Wales
Other trainingOxford College, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBank clerk
AddressHigh Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 11"
Weight150 lbs
Next of kinFather, D J Avard, High Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Enlistment date2 September 1915
Place of enlistmentArmidale, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentActing Corporal
Unit name20th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 January 1916
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion

2nd Lieutenant

Unit: 19th Battalion
Promotion date: ----

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Cross

'For conspicuous good work leading a patrol and entering German lines near Bapaume under heavy machine gun fire.'
Recommendation date: 23 March 1917

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularSecond Lieut David Henry Avard was awarded the Military Cross for conspicious gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a patrol. He carried out a dangerous connaissance under very heavy fire, and obtained most valuable information. (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
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: David John and Martha Jane AVARD, High Street, East Maitland, New South Wales

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of a patrol. He carried out a dangerous reconnaissance under very heavy fire and obtained most valuable information.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 133
Date: 21 August 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 16946 Sapper Roydon John AVARD, 9th Field Company Engineers, returned to Australia, 12 June 1919; Cousin: 949 Sapper Richard Benjamin HILLS, 12th Field Company Engineers, killed in action, 7 February 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Cross, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, AVARD David Henry

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