The AIF Project

Sidney George Birch BEWLEY

Regimental number1687
Place of birthCrookwell, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressMaryamma, Mt McDonald, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 8.25"
Weight158 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Edwin Bewley, Maryamma, Mt McDonald, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Place of enlistmentLithgow, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 17 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 March 1917
Place of death or woundingBapaume, Somme Sector, France
Date of death23 March 1917
Age at death22.9
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
116
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William Edwin and Mary Jane BEWLEY, Luddenham, New South Wales. Born at Maryamma, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsUncle: 1673 Albert Henery BEWLEY, 45th Battalion, killed in action, Messines, Belgium, 7 June 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 23 January 1916.

Admitted to No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 4 March 1916 (mumps); discharged, and taken on strength, 8th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 4 March 1916.

Proceeded to and taken on strength of 30th Bn, Ferry Post, 1 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Killed in action, 23 March 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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