The AIF Project

Ivan Leslie PARKER

Regimental number3618
Place of birthHerne Hill, Geelong, Victoria
School'Ashby', Geelong, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCarter
Address47 Elizabeth Street, West Geelong, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 6.25"
Weight137 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Frances Parker, 47 Elizabeth Street, West Geelong, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the 29th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll16 July 1915
Place of enlistmentGeelong, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 5 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 July 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*second given name is Leslie
Age at death from cemetery records19
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
166
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Geelong West Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: William (d. 22 March 1900, aged 40; bu. Geelong West) and Frances Ann PARKER (d. 17 April 1946, aged 83; bu. Geelong West)
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 57th Bn, 23 February 1917; taken on strength, Tel el Kebir, 23 February 1917.

Transferred to 58th Bn, and taken on strength, Tel el Kebir, 15 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported Missing in Action, 16 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 September 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 16 July 1916'.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Believed buried Rue Petillon Mil Cem'.

Handwritten note on file: 'Extract for A.G.S. London: Killed 16.7.1916. Vicinity of Pozieres. Said to have been buried with 4 others of the 58th Bn. Cross erected on grave bearing the inscription "To an Unknown Australian Soldier" 15 July 1916.'

Statement, Red Cross File No 2090310F, 3555 Pte E. HILL, 58th Bn (attached 5th Pioneer Bn), 4 March 1917: 'He also came from Geelong, Victoria, and I have been told by many of his pals that he was killed in the first wave at Fromelles.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, PARKER Ivan Leslie
Red Cross File No 2090310F

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