The AIF Project

Frederick MILLS

Regimental number6068
Date of birth8 April 1887
Place of birthOldham, Lancashire, England
SchoolEmanuel School, Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Age on arrival in Australia24
Address247 Bellerine Street, Geelong, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinFather, Samuel Mills, Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 1 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularFamily left Oldham when he was 2 and settled in Blackburn. He left for the USA in 1910 'to see a bit of the world'. In 1912 he moved from British Columbia, Canada, to Australia, and settled for 18 months in Colac, Victoria. He made a visit home, and then returned to the USA. He was anxious to see the Panama Canal, and returned to Australia by that route, arriving in October 1915. He became engaged to Miss Jean Deans of Colac, and intended settling there, 'but the call of the war was very great just about then and he enlisted in March 1916.' 'He spoke very highly of the land of his adoption and we feel very grateful to the Australian people that they are honouring our Beloved Dead in so fitting and immortal a manner.' (details from sister, Mrs. M.E. Cooper)
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death30
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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Name registered at birth as Fred; was incorrectly recorded as Frederick on Attestation Papers.

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