The AIF Project

Alexander Geoffrey BROCKHOFF

Regimental number2270
Place of birthForest Range, South Australia
SchoolLobethal and Forest Public Schools, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGardener
AddressForrest Range, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs A P Brockhoff, Forrest Range, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Compulsory Military Trainee (Gawler, SA camp).
Enlistment date23 September 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 6 August 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death22
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
145
Other details

War service: Western Front

Statement, Red Cross File No 05405051, 2301 Pte F. BURGESS, C Company, 48th Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, England), 10 October 1916: Informant states that on August 6/26 at Pozieres he saw Brockhoff pass in the trench. He was walking to the dressing station - his hand had been shattered. Informant knew him well, and all his people.'

Second statement, 1629 Corporal A. LONGSON, 48th Bn (patient, Guildford War Hospital, England), 19 October 1916: 'On 6th August 1916, to right of Pozieres, A.G. Brockhoff in an attack made on enemy's trench, at night, did not reach the trench and was proably killed. Informant was in the same section as Brockhoff. The ground was held.' [Note, underlined, by interviewer: 'Informant is interlligent.']

Third statement, 2449 Pte W. WOOD, 48th Bn (patient, Crowthers Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, England), 24 October 1916: 'Informant states that on Aug. 6th at Pozieres, Brockhoff was wounded and came to a Hosp. in England. He is absent from his unit but not missing.'

Fourth statement, 1872 CAMPBELL, 48th Bn (patient, 2nd Birmingham war Hospital, Hollymoor, England), 14 January 1917: 'Informant states that on Sunday morong near Contalmaison Wood Brockhoff was taken by the Germans who occupied that part of the trench, but whether alive or dead informant cannot say.'

Fifth statement, 2346 Pte A.J. HAYES, B Company, 48th Bn, 19 March 1917: 'He was in A Co. I saw him killed at Pozieres on the above date by a rifle bullet. We had to retire from the ground.'

Sixth statement, 2380 Pte C.R. OVERALL, 48th Bn, 3 May 1917: ''... I am sorry I can do little to help you. It is not known by any in this unit for sure whether he was killed but there are men who saw him in a portion of trench that was a few minutes after blown in by a shell and it is generally believed he was still there when the explosion took place and was killed and buried by it ... '

Note on file: 'No trace Germany Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-16.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesRed Cross File No 05405051

Print format