The AIF Project

Benjamin Edmonds CAMERON

Regimental number1653
Date of birth10 February 1885
Place of birthFinniss, South Australia
SchoolFinniss Public School, South Australia; Finniss, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressFinniss, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 9"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Rachael Cameron, Finniss, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 March 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name50th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/67/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 11 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 August 1916
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death31
Age at death from cemetery records31
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
150
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Alexander and Rachel CAMERON, Finniss, South Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Proceeded to unit from 13th Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 27 May 1916; taken on strength of 50th Bn, Railhead, 30 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 12 June 1916.

Killed in action, 16 August 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAMERON Benjamin Edmonds

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