The AIF Project

Walter Victor GRAY

Regimental number147
Place of birthDorchester, Dorset, England
Place of birthDoncaster, England
SchoolUniversity High School, Victoria Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Age on arrival in Australia4 months
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationEngineer
Address375 Park Street, North Carlton, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 6.5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinM E Gray, 375 Park Street, North Carlton, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date20 August 1914
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentSapper
Unit name2nd Field Company Engineers
AWM Embarkation Roll number14/21/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A3 Orvieto on 21 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Field Company Engineers
FateKilled in Action 23 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPoaieres, France
Age at death27
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
23
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Edwin and Alma GRAY
Family/military connectionsBrother: Lt Cyril Wentworth GRAY, 3rd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, effective abroad (still overseas)
Other details

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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