The AIF Project


Regimental number4585
Place of birthMoree, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressMoree, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 5"
Weight125 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Coleman, Moree, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected on account of varicose veins)
Enlistment date6 December 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll28 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Orontes on 29 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 6 December 1915 - 22nd Bn 11th Reinforcements; taken on strength 22nd Bn 31 July 1916.
FateKilled in Action 5 August 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death27
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
Other details

First enlisted, 6 December 1915, as 3072 Pte, 31st Bn, 5th Reinforcement. Embarked Melbourne, 14 March 1916, on board HMAT A68 'Anchises'; failed to re-embarked Adelaide, 16 March 1916; Warrant issued for arrest on grounds of desertion; Warrant withdrawn 30 January 1919.

Re-attested, 25 March 1916.

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 29 March 1916; disembarked Suez, 25 April 1916.

Taken on strength, 22nd Bn, in the field in France, 31 July 1916.

Reported missing in action; subsequently confirmed by Court of enquiry, 26 November 1917, killed in action, 5 August 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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