The AIF Project

Lewis Creelman WHITE

Regimental number5686
Place of birthBenambra, Victoria
SchoolBenambra State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressBenambra, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 5.5"
Weight142 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M White, Benambra, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 April 1916
Place of enlistmentSale, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 25 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 April 1917
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 and Margaret WHITE.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 25 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 11 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 December 1916; proceeded to join unit, 8 January 1917.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 9 January 1917 (mumps), and transferred same day to Casualty Clearing Station; to 25th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 10 January 1917; to No 2 Convalescent Depot, 25 January 1917; to Base Depot, Etaples, 8 February 1917; rejoined 24th Bn, in the field, 19 February 1917.

Killed in action, 16 April 1917.

Buried, isolated grave, 57c.C.10.c.00. Grave subsequently lost.

Note on file, Base Records to mother, 10 March 1920: 'I am now in receipt of advice that your son was buried on the Western outskirts of Noreuil, approximately 5.5 miles North East of Bapaume, France.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WHITE Lewis Creelman

Print format