The AIF Project

Robert James CULMSEE

Regimental number3788
Place of birthCreswick, Victoria
SchoolCalifornia and Long Gully State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
AddressYarraby via Swan Hill, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinFather, Christina Culmsee, Yarraby via Swan Hill, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets (Area 68A), Citizen Military Military Forces, Eaglehawk, Victoria.
Enlistment date16 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll9 July 1915
Place of enlistmentSandhurst, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
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
96
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Eaglehawk Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: Christian (d. 4 November 1932, aged 70; bu. Eaglehawk Cemetery) and Louisa (d. 27 August 1938, aged 77; bu. Eaglehawk Cemetery) CULMSEE, Yarraby Post Office, Victoria~
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CULMSEE Robert James

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