Frederick Walter MITCHELL

Regimental number6792
Place of birthLinwood, South Australia
AddressNorth Croydon, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Weight128 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs E. Mitchell, Ann Street, North Croydon, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 October 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 7 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Eliza MITCHELL, 15 Ann Street, North Croydon, South Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 7 November 1916; admitted to Ship's Hospital, 22 December 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 9 January 1917, and transferred to Devonport Military Hospital, the same day.

Marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 13 January 1917.

Marched into 3rd Training Bn, Durrington Camp, 15 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 19 April 1917; marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 20 April 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 21 April 1917; taken on strength of 10th Bn, 27 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 20/21 September 1917; admitted to No 6 Australian Field Ambulance, 21 September 1917 (gunshot wound, face); transferred to No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 21 September 1917; to No 24 Ambulance Train, 21 September 1917; to No 10 General Hospital, Rouen, 21 September 1917; to England, 24 September 1917; to No 3 Southern General Hospital, Oxford, 25 September 1917; to No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 8 October 1917; discharged, 5 November 1917, and marched into No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, the same day.

Marched into No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 15 November 1917.

Marched into Overseas Training Bde, Longbridge Deverill, 4 February 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 February 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 22 February 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 23 February 1918; rejoined 10th Bn, 26 February 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Note, Red Cross File No 1790414Q: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10.10.19.'

Statement, 5128 Pte D.L. JAMES, 10th Bn, 16 November 1918: 'I was on the same post as them [MITCHELL and 7508 J.G. KNIGHT] when they were killed. I buried them a few yards from our post, but I am sorry to say about two weeks after we were going back in the line again and I looked where I had buried them and the Cross was gone, but if ever I am up that way again I will do my best to put a Cross on the Grave.'

Second statement, 5994 Pte E.G. FOX, A Company, 10th Bn, 5 October 1918: 'It was at Strazeele. We were holding the line at the time. I was in supports at the time. He was hit by a shell and killed immediately. He was buried on the spot and a cross put up. I knew him very well.'

Third statement, 7501 Pte W. HONEYMAN, A Company, 10th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary hospital, Dartford, England), 15 October 1918: 'He was in "A" Coy. but I did not see the casualty when he was killed instantaneously by [the] same shell as killed Knight, J.G. 7508 near Merris on the evening of July 4/18, at which time they were in [the] front line ... I think he was buried at Borre.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MITCHELL Frederick Walter
Red Cross File No 1790414Q