The AIF Project

Percy Archibald WOODWARD

Regimental number750
Place of birthBedford, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationJoiner
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 7"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Eliza Woodward, 15 Parkhurst Road, Manor Park, Essex, England
Previous military serviceServed in the Territorial Force, England; resigned.
Enlistment date29 August 1914
Place of enlistmentKensington, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A14 Euripides on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Light Trench Mortar Battery
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records24
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
21
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John Bailey and Elizabeth WOODWARD
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 20 June 1915 (diarrhoea); discharged to, and rejoined, unit, 26 June 1915.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 14 August 1915 (general debility), and transferred to Mudros; admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 25 August 1915, and transferred same day to No 3 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis; to A&NZ Convalescent Hospital, Helouan, 6 September 1915; discharged fit for Active Service, 16 October 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to rejoin unit at Gallipoli, 18 October 1915; rejoined unit (date not recorded).

(No details re return from Gallipoli.)

Rejoined 4th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 21 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 23 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 30 March 1916.

Transferred to 1st Australia Light Trench Mortar Battery, 19 April 1916.

Killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsMother's address subsequently 45 Stanley Road, Hounslow, London, England
SourcesNAA: B2455, WOODWARD Percy Archibald

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