The AIF Project


Regimental number3753
Place of birthNorth Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria
SchoolSouth Brunswick State School, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address126 Albert Street, West Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 4.25"
Weight150 lbs
Next of kinFather, J W Alliston, 126 Albert Street, West Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll23rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death24
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
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2462 Corporal George Duncan ALLISTON, 22nd Bn, returned to Australia, 15 April 1918; 203 Pte William Donald ALLISTON, 5th Bn, killed in action, 20 September 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 27 June 1916.

Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 7 April 1916 (influenza); discharged to Base Details, 17 April 1916.

Found guilty, 29 May 1916, of being absent from 6 am parade, 27 May 1916: awarded 3 days' confined to camp.

Taken on strength, 23rd Bn, 1 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 28 July 1916 (shell shock); admitted to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance, 1 August 1916, and transferred to 1st Anzac Rest Station; discharged to Bn and rejoined, 5 August 1916.

Appointed Lance corporal, 12 August 1916.

Mentioned in 2nd Division Routine Orders, 26 August 1918, for gallant conduct in connection with recent hard fighting at Pozieres.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 26 August 1916; Corporal, 5 October 1916; Sergeant, 5 October 1916.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 5 December 1916 (gastritis), and transferred to No 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Amiens; to Ambulance Train, 6 December 1916, and admitted to 1st Australian General hospital, Rouen, 7 December 1916; discharged to Base Details, 14 December 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 25 March 1917.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 16 April 1917 (influenza); transferred to 56th Casualty Clearing Station, 24 April 1917; discharged to unit, 28 April 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 29 April 1917.

Killed in action, 3 May 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALLISTON James

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