The AIF Project

Royal Aloysius GRACE

Regimental number3643
Place of birthJerry's Plains, Singleton, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationFarmer
AddressTambar Springs, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation34
Height5' 8.25"
Weight195 lbs
Next of kinFather, E Grace, Box Forest, Tambar Springs, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 November 1916
Age at death from cemetery records35
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
85
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in St Joseph's Catholic Church (Stations of the Cross 11: presented by E. GRACE in memory), Gunnedah, New South Wales. Parents: Edward and Esther GRACE, Box Forest, Tambar Springs, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3644 Pte Harold James GRACE DCM, 18th Bn, returned to Australia, 15 February 1918; Cousin: 5731 Pte Charles RICHARDS, 3rd Bn, killed in action, 6 May 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 27 July 1916 (shell shock),and admitted same day to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance; transferred same day to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station; to No 1 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 28 July 1916; discharged to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 9 August 1916.

Found guilty, 18 September 1916, of without reasonable excuse allowing to escape a person committed to his charge in that he when acting as escort allowed a prisoner to escape: awarded forfeiture of 14 days’ pay.

Killed in action, 8 November 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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