The AIF Project

Victor William QUINN

Regimental number3900
Place of birthTrafalgar, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressLavers Hill, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 4"
Weight124 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr Patrick Quinn, Lavers Hill, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (exempt area under Compulsory Military Training scheme); previously rejected for AIF enlistment on grounds of eyesight.
Enlistment date15 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name7th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/24/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 23 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 15 July 1916
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 59th Bn, 26 February 1916.

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

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

Killed in action, 15 July 1916.

Buried 'in the vicinity of Fleurbaix'; grave subsequently lost.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Mother, Mrs Lucas Quinn, Innisfail, Queensland, wrote to Base Records, 29 May 1919: 'I hear to (sic) many reports about mistakes being made that I am very uneasy concerning my son Private Victor William Quinn No 3900 who enlisted from Beech Forest Vic in 1915. I have not had any final official report of his death, but one of my other sons R.S. was speaking to one who had just come back and had been in the hospital. He told my son that in the next bed to him lay a Quinn who had lost his memory[,] that this lad Quinn had come from Victoria.The only news of his death is a letter on the 15th July 1916 and it is assumed [underlined] he was in action in France. I trust Sir you will endeavour to enquire if the same V W Quinn is dead or alive and relieve the minds of his anxious parents.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, QUINN Victor William

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