The AIF Project

Roy Charles CROSSLAND

Regimental number599
Place of birthGuildford, Western Australia
SchoolGuildford Grammar School, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLicensed surveyor
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26.5
Height5' 7.5"
Next of kinSister, Mrs C.M. Lukin, Toodyay, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years 7 months in the Malay States Volunteer Rifles; discharged at own request in order to enlist in the AIF.
Enlistment date27 January 1916
Place of enlistmentCairo, Egypt
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Field Company Engineers
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularServed as District Surveyor, Kuala Lumpur, Federated Malay States.
FateKilled in Action 18 August 1916
Age at death from cemetery records27
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
23
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Margaret Geraldine CROSSLAND
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Enlisted in Cairo.

Transferred from Garrison Institute, AIF, and taken on strength of 3rd Field Company Enginners, 24 February 1916; allotted Regimental No 599.

Admitted to 1st Field Ambulance, Serapeum, 4 March 1916 (mumps), and transferred same day to 2nd Field Ambulance; rejoined unit from hospital, 13 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 27 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 3 April 1916.

Allotted new Regimental No 5728.

Appointed 2nd Lieutenant, in the field, 9 August 1916.

Transferred to 1st Field Company Engineers, 13 August 1916; taken on strength, in the field, 14 August 1916.

Killed in action, 18 August 1916.

Statement by OC, 1st Field Company Engineers: 'Lieut. CROSSLAND was killed in action on 18.8.16. During the operations at MOUQUET FARM he was leading his section into action when a shell bust in front of the party and Lieut. CROSSLAND [was] killed instantaneously. A cross was erected to his memory in [a] cemetery about 500 yards N.N.W. of CONTALMAISON.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFull name: Royden Charles CROSSLAND
SourcesNAA: B2455, CROSSLAND Roy Charles

Print format