The AIF Project

John Thomas DAVERN

Regimental number2231
Place of birthSt Marys, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationFireman
AddressAscot Vale, St Marys, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 5"
Weight143 lbs
Next of kinFather, James Davern, Ascot Vale, St Marys, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll15 May 1915
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 06-10 April 1917
Age at death from cemetery records24
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
65
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Elizabeth DAVERN
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Admitted to Government Hospital, Suez, 18 July 1915 (measles); discharged to duty, 3 August 1915.

Embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 19 September 1915; taken on strength of 12th Bn, Gallipoli, 28 September 1915.

Admitted to No 1 Australian Field Ambulance, Mudros, 27 November 1915 (ulcerated throat); transferred to No 3 Australian General Hospital, Mudros, 29 November 1915; to Lowland Casualty Clearing Station, Mudros, 13 January 1916 (diptheria); to No 3 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Mudros, 15 January 1916; disembarked Malta, 26 January 1916.

Taken on strength of 3rd Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, Egypt, 17 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 9 May 1916.

Rejoined 12th Bn, in the field, France, 28 June 1916.

Killed in action, 6/10 April 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVERN John Thomas

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