The AIF Project

John Alfred PALLANT

Regimental number2434
Place of birthThurmaston, Leicestershire, England
SchoolMiller Street Council School, Leicester, England
Age on arrival in Australia25
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm labourer
Addressc/o Holders, Rockbank, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 2.5"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinMrs Harriet Beatrice Pallant, 462 Abbey Lane, Belgrave PO, Leicester, England
Previous military serviceNil.
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/40/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Osterley on 29 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll23rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death27
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: Egypt

Contracted enteric, Zeitoun, 17 December 1915; admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 21 December 1915; transferred to Shoubra Hospital, 11 January 1916; discharged, 28 January 1916, for return to Australia.

Admitted to 5th Australian General Hospital, Cairo, 8 March 1916 (enteric); discharged, 9 May 1916, for light duty.

Commenced return to Australia from Suez on board HT 'Suffolk', 29 January 1916 (invalided, medically unfit, 3 months change: post-typhoid debility).

Returned to duty, 3rd Military District, 8 August 1916.

Re-embarked Melbourne, 1 August 1916, with 23rd Bn, 14th Reinforcements.

Killed in action, 3 May 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSee other entry for second period of service.
SourcesNAA: B2455, PALLANT John Alfred

Print format