The AIF Project

Arnold Harry LEANE

Regimental number1055
Place of birthPort Lincoln South Australia
ReligionChurch of Christ
OccupationDriver
Address158 O'Connell Street, North Adelaide
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs M Leane, 158 O'Connell Street, North Adelaide
Enlistment date21 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 31 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 November 1916
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
110
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Ernest and Martha LEANE, 158 O'Connell Street, North Adelaide
Family/military connectionsFather: 373 WO 1 Ernest Albert LEANE, Australian Army Ordnance Corps, returned to Australia, 17 March 1920; Brother: 374 Corporal William Ernest Raymond LEANE, Australian Army Ordnance Corps, effective abroad (still overseas); Uncles: [3] Major Benjamin Bennett LEANE, 48th Bn, killed in action, 10 April 1917; Colonel Raymond Lionel LEANE, 11th Bn, returned to Australia, 6 September 1919; Lt Colonel Allan William LEANE, 28th Bn, died of wounds, 4 January 1917;
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsAddress incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as O'Connor Street.

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