The AIF Project

Richard Edmund GOUGE

Regimental number5386
Place of birthBox Hill, Victoria
SchoolBox Hill State School, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationClerk
Address1 Huddersfield Road, Box Hill, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7.75"
Weight124 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr J. Gouge, 1 Huddersfield Road, Box Hill, Victoria
Previous military serviceSenior Cadets (1911-1913), 48th Infantry (1913-1916)
Enlistment date21 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll17 February 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 4 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll59th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
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
137
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Frances GOUGE, 61 Zetland Road, Box Hill, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousin: 3277 Pte William Frederick CROW, 59th Bn, killed in action, 19 July 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 4 April 1916; disembarked Suez, 14 May 1916.

Allotted to 60th Bn reinforcements, 15th Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 24 May 1916.

On strength of 5th Australian Divisional Details, 9 July 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 2 August 1916; ; marched into 15th Training Bn, Larkhill, England, 21 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 September 1916; marched into 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 11 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 29 September 1916; taken on strength of 59th Bn, 28 September 1916.

Admitted to No 14 Australian Field Ambulance, 29 December 1916 (pyrexia of unknown origin); transferred to Corps Rest Station, 29 December 1916; to No 38 Casualty Clearing Station, 30 December 1916; to No 39 Casualty Clearing Station, 2 January 1917 (suspected dysentery); to No 9 General Hospital, 6 January 1917 (dysentery); to England, 5 March 1917; to University War Hospital, Southampton, 6 March 1917; to Barton on Sea Convalescent Depot, 23 April 1917; discharged to furlough, 16 May 1917; marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 1 June 1917, and classified 'B1A'.

Marched into Overseas Training Depot, 12 June 1917.

Posted in error as being absent without leave, 15 June 1917.

Marched out to Camp Headquarters, Perham Downs, 18 June 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 31 December 1917; marched into Australian Base Depot, Le Havre, 1 January 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 2 January 1918; rejoined 59th Bn, 5 January 1918.

On Command at 4th Army Musketry School, 15 March 1918; rejoined unit, 26 April 1918.

Detached to Australian Corps Headquarters for Guard Duty, 2 June 1918; rejoined unit, 16 June 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Note on B.103, Buried Merricourt sur Ancre (near Morlancourt, Sheet 63.D.N.E).

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, GOUGE Richard Edmund

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