|Date of birth|
|Place of birth||Bendigo, Victoria|
|School||Kalgoorlie Central State School, Western Australia|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||8 Keenan Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia|
|Age at embarkation||23|
|Next of kin||Mother, Mrs B Aitken, 8 Keenan Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia|
|Previous military service||Served in the School Cadets.|
|Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll|
|Place of enlistment||Blackboy Hill, Western Australia|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||11th Battalion, F Company|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Lieutenant|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||11th Battalion|
Unit: 11th Battalion
Unit: 11th Battalion
Unit: 3rd Train Btn
|Recommendations (Medals and Awards)||
Mention in Despatches
|Other details from Roll of Honour Circular||'He enlisted Aug 10th 1914, in Camp 17, and except for leave was never off duty for 4 years with 11th Battn and all promotions earned on the field. Received the Military Cross.' (details from mother)|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Place of death or wounding||France|
|Age at death||27.7|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||Australian 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|
|Parents: Bessie and James Murray AITKEN.|
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in handling his own platoon with great skill and determination, and by his dash and initiative controlling platoons on his flank. Single handed he attacked an enemy machine gun post which was enfilading the company, and captured the gun and twelve prisoners. This saved many casualties, and cleared the right flank of the attack. He did splendid service.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front
Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediteranean Expeditionary Force, 2 March 1915.
Appointed Lance Corporal, 11 July 1915; promoted Corporal, 15 August 1915; Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 1 September 1915.
Disembarked Alexandria from Lemnos, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).
Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, 12 March 1916.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 5 April 1916.
Promoted Lieutenant, 15 June 1916.
Wounded in action, 22-25 July 1916; remained at duty.
Seconded for duty with 3rd Training Bn, England, 2 March 1917.
Proceeded overseas to France, 18 September 1917; rejoined 11th Bn, in the field, 25 September 1917.
Performed duties of Acting Adjutant, 16 April-1 May 1918.
Wounded in action (slight), 3 June 1918; remained at duty.
Killed in action, 10 August 1918.
Note, Red Cross File No 00402028: 'Buried Memorial Plot Heath Cemetery. Sheet 62D.Q29.d.5.4. Plot 7. Row 1. Grave 4. Cert by Captain Spedding's List 23.7.19. Sheet 133.' Grave subsequently lost.Medals: Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Sources||NAA: B2455, AITKEN James Murray
Red Cross File No 00402028