The AIF Project

Arthur Percy BRIGHTON

Regimental number4133
Place of birthPaddington, London, England
SchoolSt Mark's College School, Chelsea, London, England
Age on arrival in Australia22
ReligionChurch of England
AddressMelbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 4"
Weight119 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr D G Brighton, 3 Palace Street, Buckingham Gate, London, England
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in College Cadets.
Enlistment date11 August 1915
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name7th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/24/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll7th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHit by a shell in the front line during an intensive bombardment.
FateKilled in Action 17 April 1918
Place of death or woundingVieux, Belgium
Age at death27.9
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 7th Bn, Serapeum, 18 March 1916, and reverted to the ranks.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 25 March 21916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 31 March 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 6 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 22-25 July 1916 (gun shot wound and shell shock); admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance, 25 July 1916, and transferred to 3rd Casualty Clearing station; to 14th General Hospital, Wimereux, 26 July 1916; to England, 28 July 1916, and admitted to 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge; transferred to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield (date not recorded); discharged to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 13 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 11 November 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 25 November 1916.

Appointed Acting Corporal, 10 January 1917; promoted Corporal, 10 January 1917.

Admitted to 5th Divisional Rest Station, 8 May 1917 (ulceration, legs); transferred to 9th Casualty Clearing Station, 10 May 1917; discharged to duty, 20 July 1917; rejoined Bn, 20 July 1917.

Detached for duty with Assitant Provost Marshal, 1st Division, 17 August 1917; rejoined Bn from detachment, 4 February 1918.

On leave to United Kingdom, 5 February 1918; rejoined Bn from leave, 22 February 1918.

Killed in action, 17 April 1918.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Buried Sh 36 NE K.4.a central 1600 yards SE of Wambrechies + mile NW of Marcq en Baroeul'.

Grave subsequently lost.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0530906N, 6465 Pte J. HART, B Company, 7th Bn, 5 November 1918: 'At Nieppe Wood he was killed instantly by a shell, whilst holding the line on April 17th 1918, at about 10. a.m. I saw him lying dead on the trench, killed by concussion. I know nothing of his burial.'

Second statement by HART, 22 February 1919: 'I was alongside him when he was hit at Nieppe Forest on 17th April about 7.30 a.m. Fritz was shelling very heavily, we were in front line trench and a 5.9 shell landed on the edge of the parapet, killing 3 men. He was killed instantly but I could see no marks on him and think the concussion killed him. They were buried a few yards away and an indication put on their grave.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BRIGHTON Arthur Percy
Red Cross File No 0530906N

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