The AIF Project

Harry CARLIN

Regimental number154
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
SchoolCatholic School, Glasgow, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressBirrill Street, Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 6.5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinSister, Miss L Carlin, Birrell Street, Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Seaforth Highlanders, British Army, Scotland
Enlistment date28 August 1914
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/19/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 18 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
158
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Philip and Elizabeth CARLIN
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915.

Evacuated to Casualty Clearing Station, 16 May 1915 (piles); transferred to Malta, 31 May 1915; admitted to Forrest Military Hospital, 7 June 1915 (gonorrhoea); embarked Malta, 12 July 1915; admitted to Base Details, Alexandria, 18 July 1915; entrained for duty from 5th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 27 August 1915; rejoined 2nd Bn at Gallipoli, 3 September 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 28 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Appointed Lance Corporal, 8 January 1916.

Found guilty 28 January 1916, of breaking camp from Tatto, 25 January, to Reveille, 27 January 1916: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2, forfeited 3 days' pay, and reverted to rank of Private.

Found guilty, 9 February 1916, of breaking camp and being absent without leave from Reveille, 8 February, to 0900, 9 February 1916: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2 and forfeited 2 days' pay.

Transferred to 54th Bn, 14 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916; subsequently reported killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 690412, 2554 Sergeant G.F. BURNSIDE, 54th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 24 november 1916: 'At Bac-St.-Maur near Armentieres on 19th July, he was killed by the same shell that killed Capt. Taylor and Lieut. Boone, and most likely buried same place as them.'

Second statement, 4909 Pte T.E. WALLINGS, A Company, 54th Bn (patient, 51st General Hospital, Etaples), 14 May 1917: 'He was killed on the morning of July 20th just before we commenced to retreat from the position we had arrived at during the charge at Fromelles. He was killed outright by a bomb in the German second line. I saw his dead body in the trench ... I know as to the burial of his body.'

Third statement, 255 Pte J. ADAMS, 54th Bn, 26 February 1919: 'It was reported to me by eye-witnesses who's (sic) names I am sorry I cannot recall at the moment that L/Cpl. Carlin had been shot through the head and was seen lying on the Bochs (sic) parapet. After being told I tried to get round to see him but owing to the circumstances I could not do it. It was at Fromelles S of Armentieres. We withdrew from the position so were were unable to bring away or bury our dead.'

Note on file: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19[.]' ,

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CARLIN Harry
Red Cross file 690412

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