The AIF Project

George Burgess ADAM

Regimental number2330
Date of birth2 September 1894
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
SchoolThomson Street School, Glasgow, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia16
Address24 Grenfell Street, Kent Town, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Elizabeth Adam, 24 Grenfell Street, Kent Town, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 June 1915
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 21 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 November 1916
Place of death or woundingFlers, France
Date of death5 November 1916
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
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 Wilson and Elizabeth Burgess ADAM, 23 7th Avenue, St Peters, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 51871 Pte Alexander ADAM, 50th Bn, returned to Australia, 12 July 1919.
Other details

Statement, Red Cross File No 0010906G, 2394 Driver H.G. MARSHALL, 27th Bn (patient, 3rd Southern General Hospital, The Base, Oxford, England), 27 April 1917: 'I was going up with rations about Nov. 5th at Flers when I was told by the C. Coy. Trench Mortar quarter Master (whose name I forget) that George Adam (27., C) had been killed by a shell in the lines that morning. He was buried behind the line. I have not actually seen his grave ...'

Second statement, 4775 Pte S.V. WADEY, 27th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 4 May 1917: 'In front of Bapaume he was shot in the Head. I was next to him at the time[;] it was in a German trench held for a day and evacuated in the morning [of] 6th Nov.'

Third statement, 2nd Lt J. JURY, D Company, 27th Bn, 7 June 1917: On November 5th I was cpl. with him and though I did not actually see him killed I know he was shot through the head at Bayonet trench Flers ... I know nothing as to burial.'

Fourth statement, 486 Pte H.J. WORK, 27th Bn, 3 January 1919: 'He was killed at Flers Nov. 5th, 9 a.m. sniped through the head. I saw his dead body. It was put out of the trench. Moved on night of 6th. No details of burial'.

Fifth statement, 4560 Driver E. ELLERY, 27th Bn Transport, 23 May 1919: 'We had captured a portion of a trench at Flers and Adam was alongside me sniping. He got up to have a shot when he was shot through the head. the back of his head was blown off killing himinstantly. Next morning we had to evacuate the trench which was not retaken until some months later, as far as I know, as I was sent to hospital. I believe that he was buried and that Lt -arch 27th Battn. saw his grave some time later.'
SourcesRed Cross File No 0010906G

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