The AIF Project


Regimental number5464
Place of birthInglewood, Victoria
SchoolArnold West State School, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressSalisbury West, via Inglewood, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinMother, Mrs M J Riordan, Julbina Street, Inglewood, Victoria
Enlistment date11 January 1916
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 4 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 June 1918
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Arnold West State School Roll of Honour (now in Arnold Public Hall), Victoria. Parents: William and Mary Jane RIORDAN
Other details

War service: embarked from Melbourne, 4 April 1916; disembarked Egypt.

Proceeded from Alexandria, 31 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 12 June 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 14 August 1916; taken on strength, 6th Bn, Belgium, 3 September 1916. Attached for duty to 1st Canadian Tunnelling Company, 28 September 1916; rejoined 6th Bn from detachment, 16 October 1916. Admitted to No. 2 Australian Field Ambulance, 4 November 1916 (trench feet), and transferred the same day to Corps Rest Station. Embarked for England on Hospital Ship 'Carisbrooke Castle', 6 December 1916: entry originally stated condition to be 'venereal disease'; subsequently amended to read 'bronchitis'. Marched out to No 4 Command Depot, Weymonth, 4 April 1917; transferred to 67th Bn, Windmill Hill, 28 April 1917. Transferred to 6th Bn on marching out to 63rd Draft Bn, 19 September 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France via Southampton, 17 October 1917; taken on strength, 6th Bn, in the field, 3 November 1917.

Admitted to No. 2 Australian Field Ambulance, 12 December 1917 (sore feet); and transferred the same day to No. 3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne. Transferred to No. 7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 19 December 1917 (chilblains). Rejoined 6th Bn in the field, 17 January 1918.

Admitted to No. 1 Australian Field Ambulance, 5 March 1918 (scabies); transferred to No. 2 Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 12th Casualty Clearing Station, 14 March 11918; discharged to unit to duty, 19 March 1918.

Killed in action, 5 June 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

SourcesNAA: B2455, RIORDAN George

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