The AIF Project

Walter Leonard MEAKINS

Regimental number138
Place of birthEden Valley South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressAngaston, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Meakins, Angaston, South Australia
Enlistment date21 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915
The 32nd Bn (Headquarters, Signallers, A, B, C, and D Companies) embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on two ships, HMAT A2 'Geelong', on 18 November 1915, and HMAT A13 'Katuna', on 24 November 1915. The Embarkation Roll does not distinguish between these ships, and it is therefore not possible from the Embarkation Roll to ascertain on which ship an individual embarked.
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from
The 32nd Bn (Headquarters, Signallers, A, B, C, and D Companies) embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on two ships, HMAT A2 'Geelong', on 18 November 1915, and HMAT A13 'Katuna', on 24 November 1915. The Embarkation Roll does not distinguish between these ships, and it is therefore not possible from the Embarkation Roll to ascertain on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 6 November 1916
Age at death from cemetery records24
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
120
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Angaston Cemetery, South Australia. Parents: Walter (d. 3 December 1943, aged 79; bu. Angaston) and Mary (d. 15 December 1960, aged 94; bu. Angaston) MEAKINS, Angaston, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1700 Pte Ernest Argent MEAKINS, 48th Bn, killed in action, 12 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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