The AIF Project

Percival BINNS

Regimental number269
Date of birth22 August 1890
Place of birthWilliamstown, Victoria
SchoolGuildford State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Address1 Leek Street, Yarraville, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 7"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Binns, 1 Leek Street, Yarraville, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the 6th Infantry Regiment; 2 years as Lieutenant, 56th Regiment (Yarra Borderers), Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date22 August 1914
Place of enlistmentRichmond, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentColour Sergeant
Unit name6th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A20 Hororata on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 3 July 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Died at sea on the voyage back to Australia.
Date of death8 July 1917
Age at death27
Place of burialAt sea
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

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry during the consolidation of a position, when he and his men dug a firing line in broad daylight under heavy sniping fire. When the line was heavily bombarded later he shifted his men to shell holes in front, thus saving many lives.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 18 April 1916

Family/military connectionsPte Arthur Lawrence BINNS, killed in action.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915.

Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, 28 April 1915; Lieutenant, 15 July 1915.

Admitted to Australian Casualty Hospital, Anzac, 19 August 1915 (diarrhoea), and transferred to Mudros; admitted to HS 'Assaye', 25 August 1915; transferred to Alexandria, 30 August 1915 (enteritis); admitted to 17th General Hospital, Alexandria, 31 August 1915 (diarrhoea: moderate); transferred to British Red Cross Convalescent Hospital, Montazah, 5 October 1915; discharged to duty, 23 October 1915.

Medals: Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death8 July 1917
SourcesNAA: B2455, BINNS Percival

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