The AIF Project

Thomas BROWNE

Regimental number4099
Place of birthSwineford, Co Mayo, Ireland
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCane cutter
AddressLismore, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 10.75"
Weight182 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Caroline Browne, Cloongul Lane, Swinford, Co Mayo, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date14 September 1915
Place of enlistmentLismore, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 28 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 14 September 1915 - 26th Bn, 10th Reinforcements. Taken on strength, 26th Bn, 8 August 1916. Promoted Corporal, 25 March 1917.
FateKilled in Action 26 March 1917
Place of death or woundingLagnicourt, France
Age at death31
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
10
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked, Brisbane, 28 March 1916; proceeded to France via 7th Training Bn, England, 25 July 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, France, 26 July 1916; proceeded to join unit, 4 August 1916; taken on strength of 26th Bn, in the field, 8 August 1916.

Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance (cellulitis), 9 November 1916; transferred to Corps Rest Station, 9 November 1916; discharged to duty, 20 November 1916; rejoined Bn, 22 November 1916; promoted to temporary Corporal, 25 February 1917; promoted to Corporal, 25 March 1917; reported missing, believed to be a Prisoner of War, 26 March 1917; previously reported missing, now reported killed in action, France, 26 March 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BROWNE Thomas

Print format