|Place of birth||Mount Seaview, Upper Hastings River, New South Wales|
|Place of birth||Mount Seaview, New South Wales|
|School||Rollands Plains Public School, New South Wales|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Bonny Doon, Rolland, Plains, New South Wales|
|Age at embarkation||35|
|Next of kin||Mother, Mrs Margaret Coombes, Bonny Doon, Rollands Plains, New South Wales|
|Previous military service||Nil|
|Place of enlistment||Holsworthy, New South Wales|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||1st Battalion, 16th Reinforcement|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||23/18/4|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT SS Makarini on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Private|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||1st Battalion|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Place of death or wounding||Pozieres, Somme Sector, France|
|Age at death||37|
|Age at death from cemetery records||36|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||Australian 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|
|Parents: Henry and Margaret COOMBES (nee NEILAN)|
|Family/military connections||Cousins: 4565 Pte Arthur COOMBES, 45th Bn, returned to Australia, 13 February 1917; 41 Pte Alfred COOMBES, 34th Bn, killed in action, 7 June 1917; 1669 Pte Matthew John COOMBES, 5th Light Trench Mortar Battery, returned to Australia, 4 May 1917; 4564 Lance Corporal Stanley COOMBES, 45th Bn, died of wounds, 12 October 1917.|
War service: Western Front
Embarked Sydney, 1 April 1916; disembarked Suez, 2 May 1916.
Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 9 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 17 May 1916.
Taken on strength, 1st Bn, in the field, 7 July 1916.
Killed in action, 22-25 July 1916.Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Sources||NAA: B2455, COOMBES Arthur James|