The AIF Project

Alfred William BURGOYNE

Regimental number1808
Place of birthPort Augusta, South Australia
SchoolPublic School, Norwood; Prince Alfred College, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPort Augusta, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation38
Height5' 7.5"
Weight139 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr Burgoyne, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date27 April 1916
Place of enlistmentPort Augusta, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name43rd Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/60/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 12 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 May 1918
Age at death39
Age at death from cemetery records39
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: Thomas and Julie BURGOYNE, 83 Fullerton Road, Adelaide, South Australia

Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95
Date: 27 June 1918

Family/military connectionsBrother: Sergeant Hugh Vivian BURGOYNE, 1st Depot Unit of Supply, returned to Australia, 9 December 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 12 August 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 30 September 1916, and taken on strength, 11th Training Bn.

Taken on strength, 36th Bn, 11 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

Detached to Power Buzzer Crs, 16 September 1917; rejoined Bn from detachment.

Temporarily attached for duty to Base Post Office, London, 26 October 1917.

Detached from duty and granted furlough , 18 March 1918, prior to proceeding overseas to France.

Rejoined Bn, in the field, 5 April 1918.

Awarded Military Medal for operations near Ypres, October 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 17 April 1917.

Transferred to 33rd Bn, 30 April 1918.

Wounded in action and missing, 7 May 1918.

Subsequently, 3 November 1918, confirmed killed in action, 7 May 1918.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0630803K, 2290 Pte A.L. COUGHLIN, 33 Bn (Australian Convalescent Camp, Rouelles), 30 July 1918: 'I knew Private Burgoyne, C. Company, 12th. Platoon, slightly, about 23, medium height, stout build, fair, clean-shaven. I saw him fall hit by a bullet in the stomach. I was about 2 yards from him. He was conscious and was talking to Private Jack Burton, C. Company, 12th. Platoon. This happened in 'No Man's Land' at Morlincourt [sic] on the night of May 7th. 1918, about 100 yards in front of or lines. We went further on but got the order to retire about 2 a.m. & left our dead and wounded behind. I did not hear any more of Burgoyne. Burton is with his Unit.'

Second statement, 3256 Pte G. BURTON, C Company, 33rd Bn (Patient, No 2 Ambulance Train), 9 August 1918: 'I came across a man named Burgoyne lying dangerously wounded being shot in the back in No Man's Land at Morlancourt at night. I was carr[y]ing another man at the time and I aske him his name. This occurred about 100 yards from Fritz first line. I left Sergt Reed of the 33rd Ba in C. ... , also wounded, talking to him. There was shelling going on at the time and I do not think he could be taken P/W.'

Third statement, 3007 Pte O.E. AMOS, 33rd Bn (patient, No 1 Casualty Clearing Station, Boulogne), 19 August 1918: 'Alfred Burgoyne was in C. Hqrs with me. He had the M.M. and his number was about 1808. I believe before the war he had an hotel at Port Augusta, South Australia. He was medium height, hair turning grey, clean shaven and a widower. I was told by Pte Burton of C.XIII that he had seen Burgoyne wounded during the fighting around Morlancourt on the night of the 7th May. Burton told me he dressed his wound. He said he then continued advancing and took our objective and went beyond it. I never heard what happened to Burgoyne afterwards.'

Fourth statement, 1408 Lance Corporal S.H. BRAZIL, 33rd Bn, 6 September 1918: 'We were holding the line; had just releived the 17th. Battalion, and he was hit but was able to walk out. I saw him go to the F.A.P. but did not hear what became of him after that. He was a signaller[;] he came from South Australia.'

Fifth statement, 3258 Pte J. BURTON 33rd Bn, undated; 'On 7th May last I passed a wounded man lying flat on his chest and on speaking to him as passing along he told me his name was Burgoyne and that he was wounded in the back and could not get up. He asked me to bandage him but I replied I could not wait to do this as we were advancing. However, just then, Sgt Read (or Reid) of the 33rd Battalion came up and as he was only wounded in the Buttock he took charge of Burgoyne. This is all I can say about the matter.'

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt Mills. 10.10.19'.

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BURGOYNE Alfred William
Red Cross File No 0630803K

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