The AIF Project

Alexander LITTLE

Regimental number3254
Place of birthMotherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25.8
Height5' 4"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Little, Collieburn via Collie, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in Aygyll & Sutherland Highlanders, British Army; 3 months in 27th Bn, AIF: discharged for disciplinary reasons.
Unit name10th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 27 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 June 1918
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.

Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Elizabeth Calder LITTLE, Collieburn, Western Australia
Other details

Discharged ('unlikely to become an efficient soldier'), 29 April 1915.

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Tried by Field General Court Martial on five charges: (1) when on Active Service absenting himself without leave, in that he, at Aerodrome Camp, Heliopolis, absented himself without leave from about 7 am, 17 January 1916, until about 8.30 am on 14 February 1916 (found guilty); (2) When on Active Service losing by neglect his equipment and regimental necessaries, in that he at Aeroplane Camp, Heliopolis, on 17 January 1916 was deficient of a short magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle value £3.12.2 and two Blankets value £1.0.0 (found guilty); (3) When on Active Service, when in confinement escaping in that he left Aerodrome Camp, Helipolis, at about 9 pm on 16 February 1916. When in confinement in the 3rd Training Battalion Quarter Guard Detention Tent at Helipolis, escaped (found guilty); (4)When on Active Service absenting himself without leave, in that he at Aeroplane Camp, Heliopolis, absented himself without leave from about 9 pm on 16 February 1916 to about 3 pm, 18 February 1916 (found guilty); (4) When on Active Service conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military discipline, in that he at Cairo on 18 February 1916 in the vicinity of the Australian French Bar was creating a disturbance (found not guilty): awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2; initial stoppage of 28 days' pay quashed.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 6 June 1916.

Found guilty, 14 June 1916, of (1) being absent ithout leave from 5 pm, 7 June 1916, until 8 am, 9 June 1916: awarded 7 days confined to camp, and forfeited 3 days' pay under Royal Warrant: (2) When on Active Service drunkenness, and using obscene language: awarded 35 days' Field Punishment No 1; conviction quashed, 2 August 1916.

Tried by Field General Court Martial, 24 July 1916 on charge of an act to the prejudice of good order and Military Discipline, 15 July 1916: awarded 1 year's imprisonment with hard labour..

Tried by Field General Court Martial, 12 October 1916, on charge of striking his Superior Officer in the execution of his office: sentenced to 'suffer death by being shot';sentence confirmed by Sir Douglas Haig, 26 October 1916; sentence commuted to 2 years' imprisonment with hard labour, 26 October 1916.

Admitted to No 2 Military Prison, Rouen, 30 October 1916.

Admitted to 1st Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 5 December 1916 (dysentery); escape from hospital, 28 December 1916; Court of Enquiry ruled him an illegal absentee.

Readmitted to No 2 Military Prison from escape, 13 February 1917.

Admitted to 53rd Stationary Hospital, Havre, 23 March 1918 (dysentery); discharged to No 3 Military Prison, Havre, 22 April 1918.

Remainder of sentence suspended as from 18 May 1918.

Rejoined 10th Bn, in the field, 24 May 1918.

Killed in action, 4 June 1918.
Miscellaneous detailsName does not appear on Embarkation Roll.

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