The AIF Project

Harold George WOODMAN

Regimental number794
Place of birthSouth Yarra, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationAccountant
Address10 Narong Road, Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 11.75"
Weight187 lbs
Next of kinCharles H. Woodman, 10 Narong Road, Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed as Sergeant for 3 years in the Junior Cadets, Prahran; 4 months in the Caulfield Rifle Club.
Enlistment date5 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name31st Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollWarrant Officer (Class II)
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 21 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records30
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
119
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles Harold and Annie WOODMAN
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

Promoted Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class II), 2 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Killed in action, 21 July 1916.

File (p. 3) bears notation 'Buried in the vicinity of Fleurbaix Sh 36 NW'.

Notation on file (p. 33), 8 November 1917, 'Identity disc ex Euripides to NOK'.

Note on Red Cross File No 3010905: 'German Death list dated 4.11.16. Buried Fleurbaix Sheet 36 N.W. Cert by Capt. Spedding's List. Disc received from Germany and forwarded to N/K. 20.6.17.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsAttestation Form notes 'scar L knee'.
SourcesNAA: B2455, WOODMAN Harold George
Red Cross file 3010905

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