The AIF Project

Geoffrey Heron YEOMANS

Regimental number183
Place of birthBrewarrina, New South Wales
SchoolSydney Grammar School, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationGrazier
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 11"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinFather, Allan Yeomans, Gilgai, Brewarrina, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 October 1914
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/11/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A29 Suevic on 21 December 1914
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Battalion
Promotions

Lieutenant


Unit: 1st Battalion
Promotion date: 12 March 1916

FateKilled in Action 22 July 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Nominal Roll lists fate as 'died'.
Place of death or woundingContalmaison, France
Age at death25
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
31
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Allan and Margaret Campbell YEOMANS
Family/military connectionsBrother: [2200] Lt Julian Clyde YEOMANS DSO, 30th Bn, returned to Australia, 8 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 26 May 915 (shrapnel wound, right arm); admited to Fleet Sweeper 'Clacton', 27 May 1915; transerred by HS 'Neuralia' to Malta,; disembarked Malta, 4 June 1915, and same day admitted to St Andrew's Hospital; discharged as fit for active service, 26 June 1915; disembarked Alexandria, 16 July 1915, and marched in to Overseas Base, Mustapha.

Base Records wrote to father, 2 July 1915: 'It has just been brouyght to my attention that for some unaccountable reason you were not advised of the reported wounding of your son in action at the Dardanelles. Every safegaurd is employed to obviate such distressing mistakes, and I am unable to account for this one having crept in, although the staff is working long hours at very high pressure. The clerk concerned has been severely dealt with. I am directed to express the Minister's sincere regret for the distress occasioned you by the oversight, and at the same time to say that your son is not reported as seriously wounded.'

Rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 6 August 1915.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 9 August 1915; Provisional Lance Sergeant, 23 September 1915; Supernumerary Provisional Sergeant, 1 October 1915; reverted to Temporary Corporal, 15 October 1915; promoted Corporal, 14 November 1915; Temporary Sergeant, 14 November 1915.

Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 28 November 1915.

Transferred to 1st Bn, 29 November 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 28 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Attached to Divisional Train, Serapeum, 7 March 1916.

Appointed Lieutenant, 12 March 1916.

Rejoined unit from detachment, 15 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 March 1916.

On leave, 18 May 19816; rejoined unit from leave, 29 May 1915.

Killed in action, 22 July 1916.

Copy of office letter D.16, undated, from A/Adjutant,1st Bn (personal file, p. 41): 'We have to advise that [Lieut. G.H. YEOMANS] was killed in the night of the 22nd July 1916 together with Major LINDEMAN of this Unit, prior to the attack for Posieres (sic) at approximately X.10.C. somewhere near the Chalk Pit at CONTALMAISON, reference Sheet 57D. S.E.'

Undated report, A.A/L.S.5/6467 (personal file p. 40) lists burial in Pozieres British Cemetery (4.47 E).

Personal file (p. 68): Extract from folder of photograph of grave. Buried Pozieres Military Cemetery.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFather died, 18 May 1916; executor listed as R.J. Yeomans, 14 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, New South Wales; Next of kin listed as mother, Mrs M.C. Yeomans, 305 Edgecliffe Road, Woollahra, New South Wales.
SourcesNAA: B2455, YEOMANS Geoffrey Heron

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