The AIF Project

Hector Edwin COLEBATCH

Regimental number2332
Date of birth8 October 1896
Place of birthEast Adelaide, South Australia
SchoolSuperior Public School, North Broken Hill, New South Wales; Broken Hill Superior Public School, New South Wales; Unley Public School, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMotor mechanic
Address65 Park Street, Hyde Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinMother, Mrs G G Colebatch, 65 Park Street, Hyde Park, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed 4.5 years in the Junior and Senior Cadets and in the Citizen Forces.
Enlistment date27 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A61 Kanowna on 24 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollWarrant Officer (Class II)
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death20.6
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
145
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Kate COLEBATCH, 65 Park Street, Hyde Park, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 3044 Pte Harold Gordon COLEBATCH, 41st Bn, effective abroad (still overseas); 63984 Pte George Gibbons COLEBATCH, 2nd Australian General Hospital, returned to Australia, 25 September 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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