The AIF Project

James LIHOU

Regimental number5713
Place of birthDubbo, New South Wales
SchoolWongarbon Public School, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressWombiana via Blayney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, S Lihou, Wongarbon, New South Wales
Enlistment date3 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll15 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A46 Clan Macgillivray on 3 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal


Recommendation date: 4 July 1918

Distinguished Conduct Medal


Recommendation date: 8 July 1918

Bar to DCM


Recommendation date: 23 September 1918

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 'Commonwealth Gazette', 1 February 1919

FateKilled in Action 18 September 1918
Place of death or woundingLe Verguier, France
Date of death18 September 1918
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
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
70
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of Stephen and Eliza Lihou, Wongarbon, New South Wales
Medals

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in charge of a Lewis gun section during an attack. Throughout the advance he fired from the hip with great effect, and when an enemy post threatened to hold up the line he engaged it so effectually that a bombing section was enabled to approach it from a flank without casualties and kill all the occupants. Shortly after, when one of his section became a casualty, he carried his gun as well as his own right up to the final objective. He set a splendid example of cheerfulness and cool confidence to his men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 4 March 1919

Military Medal


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 1
Date: 2 January 1919

Bar to DCM

'For great gallantry and initiative during the attack on the 18 September, 1918, near Le Verguier. He and a small party of seven attacked a machine gun post, killing three of the crew, and taking the remainder prisoners. Later, when the party reached the first objective, they met with opposition from several machine guns. Sergeant Lihou charged ahead, bombed and captured one crew, thus enabling his party to get into the trench. He was later severely wounded while charging a machine gun single handed.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 35
Date: 15 April 1920

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal & Bar, Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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