The AIF Project

Ernest Ludgate HILL

Regimental number5048
Place of birthGreyabbey, Co Down, Ireland
SchoolGreyabbey National School, Co Down, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia17
ReligionChurch of England
AddressUpper Coldstream, Clarence River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 9.875"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinFather, Marshall Hill, Greyabbey, Co Down, Ulster, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 February 1916
Place of enlistmentLismore, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 4 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularMigrated alone to Australia.
FateKilled in Action 4 November 1916
Place of death or woundingFlers, nr Bapaume, France
Date of death14 November 1916
Age at death18.10
Age at death from cemetery records18
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
Son of Marshall HILL, Grey Abbey, Co Down, Ireland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 4 May 1916; disembarked Egypt, 15 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 2 August 1916; disembarked England (date not recorded).

Proceeded overseas to France; marched in to 2nd Division Base, Etaples, 24 September 1916.

Taken on strength, 26th Bn, in the field, 3 October 1916.

Reported missing in action, 14 November 1916.

Reported Prisoner of War, Limburg, Germany; subsequently confirmed killed in action, 14 November 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, HILL Ernest Ludgate

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