The AIF Project

James Alfred BROWN

Regimental number1506
Place of birthNumurkah, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressNorth Wonthaggi, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinMother, Mrs J Brown, Ivor Street, North Wonthaggi, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the 48th Infantry.
Enlistment date10 December 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 19 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 August 1918
Age at death from cemetery records21
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Jane BROWN, Fernbank Dairy, North Wonthaggi, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 279 Pte John Morris BROWN, 26th Bn, returned to Australia, 14 January 1917; 4669 Pte Robert William BROWN, 23rd Bn, returned to Australia, 5 July 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 6th Bn, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915. Taken on board HS 'Braemar Castle', 14 May 1915 (rifle wound, foot); discharged from hospital to Convalescent Camp, Ricasoli, Malta, 13 June 1915. Transferred to Egypt: disembarked Alexandria, 27 June 1915. Rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 10 July 1915.

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 13 July 1915 (buried by shell: head not buried; not knocked unconscious). Transferred to No. 2 Stationary Hospital, Mudros, 13 July 1915; discharged to rejoin unit, 29 July 1915.

Taken on board HS 'Caledonia', 7 August 1915 (shock); transferred to 15th General Hospital, Alexandria, 11 August 1915; to Convalescent Home, 17 August 1915.

Proceeded to England to join the British Expeditionary Force, and joined 2nd Training Bn, Perham Downs, 10 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 September 1916; taken on strength, 6th Bn, 19 September 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 10 May 1918.

Killed in action, 10 August 1918.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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