The AIF Project

Edwin Wesley HAUSER

Regimental number864
Place of birthBelmont near Geelong, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
Other trainingTeachers Training College, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationTeacher
Address48 Bond Street, East Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 7.5"
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Hauser, 48 Bond Street, Ballarat East, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed as Instructor in Junior Cadets for 3 years.
Enlistment date4 February 1915
Place of enlistmentRutherglen, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll21st Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'In sport deceased played with various sporting teams. He was for a time in Pembroke College, University Cambridge, England, in an Officers Training School, on leaving which he obtained his Commission (having left Australia as a Private No. 964). He was wounded at Pozieres and died at Bullecourt.' (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 7 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
93
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Jacob and Annie HAUSER, 133 Barkly Street, Ballarat East, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 6513 Sapper Frederick Belmont HAUSER, 5th Divisional Signal Company, returned to Australia, 10 June 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 29 August 1915.

Found guilty, Anzac, of neglect of duty, 22 November 1915: admonished.

Disembarked Alexandria from Udros, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Promoted Sergeant, Canal Zone, 2 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 26 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 31 July 1916 (gun shot wound, knee), and admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station; transferred to 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 2 August 1916; discharged to Base Depot, Etaples, 16 September 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, Belgium, 21 September 1916.

Pomoted Company Sergeant Major, 1 October 1916.

On Command to School of Instruction, Pembroke College, Cambridge, 5 November 1916.

Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 30 March 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 27 April 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, France, 2 May 1917.

Killed in action, 7 May 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1290811M, 6135 Pte E.H. TINSLEY, 21st Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 28 September 1917: 'In support of trenches at Bullecourt which was an original line. I saw Lieut. Hauser killed by shell. He was killed at omce. He only joined us up that day. Came back from England I think. He was not an officer before. Don't know where buried.'

Second statement, 6055 Pte W.W. KILBORNE, D Company, 21st Bn, 6 October 1917: 'I knew the Lieutenant; he was killed between Bullecourt and Rancourt on the morning of May 7th, 1917, hit by shell. He was buried in a shell hole near the Railway Line where our old front line trench was. We held the ground. I could point out the spot; it is alongside the sap leading to the support trench.'

Third statement, 4097 Pte D. DONOGHUE, 21st Bn (patient, Colmore Road Hospital, King's Heath, Birmingham, England), 11 October 1917: 'I remember Lt. Hauser being killed. It was after Bullecourt on a fatigue party. A shell burst killing him and wounding some of his men. I did not see it but Sgt. H. Woolnoth now instructor, 6 Training Battn Rollestone, Salisbury, told me. He saw it. The Sgt. of Pioneers of the Battn would bury him ... It was the first day up the line for the Lt. with his star.'

Fourth statement, 6374 Pte H.W. RUNDLE, 21st Bn (patient, 26th General Hospital, Etaples,), 15 October 1917; 'I saw him killed by a shell while on a fatigue party at Bullecourt on 7th May. He was standing on a bank near our supports when a shell lit near him and smashed him badly. He died in a few minutes. I saw his dead body. Soon afterwards the body was buried in a shell hole near by. I saw the burial. The grave is about midway between Noreuil and Bullecourt. I knew him well. His father is a Methodist minister at Kerang, Victoria.'

Fifth statement, 875 Corporal G. HOGG, 21st Bn (patient, 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne), 17 October 1917: 'I knew him well ... He was killed outright by a shell. He was hit in the head. He had volunteered to go up to the line we had just taken with a fatigue party carrying bombs and we had just got back as far as our old line when he was hit. We buried him where he fell the same afternoon. A Chaplain officiated and we put a cross up on his grave. He was very popular with the men and had only just got back from England with his commision.'

Sixth statement, Lt G.A. EDMUNDSON, 21st Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 27 October 1917: 'I was with Lt. Hauser half an hour before his death but not present at the death. He was coming from the front line trenches at Bullecourt with a fatigue party when he was killed outright by a shell. He was hurriedly buried in a shell hole close to where he was killed, and his personal effects were taken from the body. I do not think there is any mark on the grave, certainly no cross. I have informed his people.'

Seventh statement, 3804 Pte T.G. DOOLEY, 21st Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 29 October 1917: 'I saw him dead at Bullecourt. I was only a few yards away at the time of casualty and saw the shell land that killed him. He was alongside the Railway Embankment at the time. He did not seem to be much knocked about and I was told by the man that overhauled him, that a shell fragment had caught him behind the ear, killing him instantly ... I do not know his place of burial, and cannot refer to anyone for particulars. He was killed between the lines and was sure to have been buried.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, HAUSER Edwin Wesley
Red Cross File No 1290811M

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