The AIF Project

William Louis WARD

Regimental number2490
Place of birthPlainly, Queensland
SchoolState School, Queensland
ReligionMethodist
OccupationFarmer
AddressCrows Nest, Toowoomba, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, Louis David Ward, Crows Nest, Toowoomba, Queensland
Enlistment date5 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 20 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHe was a clever writer especially of essays and stories from the age of 10 years. A perfect letter writer. Many I have of 16 to 24 pages describing his surgeon abroad. (Mother)
FateKilled in Action 3 September 1916
Place of death or woundingGillemont Farm, France
Age at death19
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
149
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Louis David and Ottelie WARD.
Family/military connectionsCousin Pte R P Ward killed at Gallipoli and Cpl H W Ward killed in France.

Print format