William James BRAGG

Regimental number4139
Place of birthCharters Towers, Queensland
SchoolBoys' Central State School, Charters Towers, Queensland
Other trainingTechnical College, Charters Towers, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationEngine driver
AddressTownsville, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 7.5"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinFather, J M Bragg, Alabama Hill, Charters Towers, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 August 1915
Place of enlistmentTownsville, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 3 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 July 1916
Place of death or woundingnear Albert, France
Age at death27.3
Age at death from cemetery records27
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
Parents: James Matthew and Mary Ann BRAGG, Albama Hill, Charters Towers, North Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: 4132 John Robert BRAGG, 47th Bn, died of wounds, France, 19 August 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 3 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 19 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 4 April 1916.

Taken on strength, 9th Bn, Steenwerck, France, 14 May 1916.

Admitted to hospital, 2 July 1916 (septic left knee); discharged to duty from 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 5 July 1916; returned to duty, 5 July 1916.

Reported 'missing in action', 23 July 1916; subsequently confirmed as 'killed in action, 23 July 1916'.

File (p. 7) has notation in red: 'Buried'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BRAGG William James