The AIF Project

William Claude BURFORD

Regimental number728
Place of birthJamestown, South Australia
SchoolJamestown Public School, South Australia
ReligionBaptist
OccupationLabourer
AddressJamestown, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height6' 2.5"
Weight182 lbs
Next of kinFather, William J H Burford, Jamestown, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed as a Private in 'B' Company, 24th Light Horse Regiment, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date4 September 1914
Place of enlistmentMorphettville, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentColour SGT
Unit name12th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Hobart, Tasmania, on board Transport A2 Geelong on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Quartermaster Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Pioneer Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularAfter leaving farm life he studied under the Rev. A C Hill, BA and accepted a call to the ministry; he was stationed as a Home Missionary at Parilla. He enlisted in August 1914, and was at the landing at Gallipoli on April 25th. (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 3 August 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
173
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Mr W. and Mrs C. BURFORD, Jamestown, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3042 Pte Anthony Ray BURFORD, 32nd Bn, killed in action, Armentieres, France, 20 July 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 2 March 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 6 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to 52nd Bn, Railhead, 1 March 1916.

Trabnsferred to 4th Pioneer Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 4 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 11 June 1916.

Killed in action, 3 August 1916.

Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, 6 August 1916; commission cancelled.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BURFORD William Claude

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