The AIF Project

Ray Scott BETTLES

Regimental number2081
Place of birthBright, Victoria
ReligionCongregational
OccupationBlacksmith
AddressHeyfield, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinSister, Miss Adelaide Bettles, c/o Miss Donaldson, Heyfield, Victoria
Enlistment date25 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll25 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/40/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll23rd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 25 August 1915. Taken on strength, 23rd Battalion, 12 October 1915. Promoted Lance Corporal, 27 July 1916.
FateKilled in Action 28 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozi?res, France
Age at death19
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
98
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1887 Pte Charles Leslie BETTLES, 22nd Battalion, killed in action, Pozi?res, France, 29 July 1916.

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