The AIF Project

Henry John PENNY

Regimental number4882
Place of birthHughenden, Queensland
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationSelector
AddressHughenden, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28.8
Height6' 0.5"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinBrother, N G Penny, Hughenden, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 September 1915
Place of enlistmentTownsville, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 28 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches


Recommendation date: 4 February 1917

FateKilled in Action 1 February 1917
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
77
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 28 March 1916; disembarked Egypt, 5 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria for England, 6 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 30 September 1916.

Reverted to Pte on marching into Base Depot, Etaples, 1 October 1916.

Taken on strength, 15th Bn, in the field, 16 October 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 14 January 1917.

Reported missing in action, 1 February 1917.

Extract from Routine Orders, by GOC, 1st ANZAC: 'Name brought to notice for gallant conduct during operations in an attack on enemy position NE of Guedecourt during night of 1/2nd February 1917.'

Now, 8 August 1917, reported 'Killed in action, 1 February 1917'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, PENNY Henry John

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