The AIF Project

Arthur Patrick BOURCHIER

Regimental number4749
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
SchoolHigh School, Ballarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSchool teacher
AddressWarrenheip, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 7"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Bourchier, Warrenheip, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in the 70th infantry, Citizen Miliatry Forces; then moved to exempt area under Compulsory Military Training scheme.
Enlistment date13 July 1915
Place of enlistmentBallarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name5th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/22/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22 November 1916
Place of death or woundingLe Transloy, Somme sector, France
Date of death22 November 1916
Age at death20
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
165
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Roll of Honour, Peacock Hall, Ballarat High School, Victoria. Commemorated in Ballarat (New) Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: Patrick (d. 31 December 1939, aged 86; bu. Ballarat) and Elizabeth (d. 9 August 1942, aged 85; bu. Ballarat) BOURCHIER
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 7 March 1916; disembarked Suez (date not recorded).

Taken on strength, 58th Bn, Ferry Post, 20 April 1916.

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

Reported Wounded in Action, 22 November 1916.

Now, 1 December 1916, reported Killed in Action, 22 November 1916.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Buried in Trwenches between Le Transloy & Ligny Thilloy opposite Bapaume'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0470203G, 386 Pte W. GILMORE, formerly 58th Bn, 20 April 1917: 'I saw him in a wounded condition at Flers on November 22nd. We were going up into the front line at the time. He was lying in the open about ½ mile from the front line. I did not see where he was wounded. He appeared to be unconscious. I had to go on and did not see him again. He belonged to C. Coy. and was a Lewis Gunner. He came from Victoria, which part I do not know. The casualty occurred at night.'

Second statement, Lt J.E. TURNER, 59th Bn, 15 June 1917: 'This man was with the M.G. Sec. of the 58th Battn. He was wounded in an attack and became detached from his own Coy. in the early morning of Nov. 22nd, 1916 at Le Transloy Front. I and some of my men found found him, treated his wounds and placed him in a bomb proof dug-out. We had not gone far before a shell hit the dug-out and blew it to pieces killing Bouchier [sic] instantly. Cpl. Pearson (58th Battn.) dug the grave and placed a cross with name and No. over the grave. I handed the pay-book and disc to 59th Battn. H.Q. He came from Victoria.'

Third statement, 4939 Pte A.W. LANGLEY, 58th Bn, Machine Gun Section, 12 March 1917: 'He died of wounds in the front line. It was the first night we went in. He was about 20 yards from me. I am not sure if his body was got for burial.'

Fourth statement, 3309 Pte H. DUNN, B Company, 58th Bn, 6 April 1917: 'I last saw him about 22nd. Nov. going into Shine Trench (Somme) about 1.30 a.m. He was hit by a Whizz-bang and had both his legs broken. I saw this happen. Later I heard he was put into a shell hole by one of the Bn. S/B's. (I forgot his name) who told me that he died of wounds there. I know nothing as to burial.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BOURCHIER Arthur Patrick
Red Cross File No 0470203G

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