The AIF Project

Walter Ehrenfried ARNOLD

Regimental number3511
Place of birthJohnburg, South Australia
SchoolJohnburg Public School, South Australia
ReligionBaptist
OccupationBlacksmith
AddressPort Pirie West, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinMother, Mrs Augusta Helena Arnold, Port Pirie West, South Australia
Enlistment date17 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 12 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1918
Place of death or woundingNavroy, France
Age at death29
Age at death from cemetery records29
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
119
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Freidrich and Augusta ARNOLD, 28 Laureate Street, Port Pirie, South Australia
Medals

Military Medal

'During the night attack on 28/29th July astride the Bray-Corbie Road Lance Corporal ARNOLD showed great courage and bravery under heavy Artillery and Minenwerfer fire Lance Corporal ARNOLD led his section throughout the attack with considerable ability and rendered valuable assistance during consolidation both to his own section and also to those on his flanks. Later in the morning when his position was being heavily shelled by Minenewerfers he rallied his section and reorganised them, though himself somewhat shaken. He then set to work and dug out two of his men who had been buried and wounded by the Minenwerfer fire, and when unable to obtain stretcher bearers he personally assisted in carrying the two men back to the relay carrying station through a severe enemy barrage. The tenacity with which he stuck to his work through very severe circumstances exhibited great bravery and devotion to duty on the part of Lance Corporal ARNOLD and is worthy of much praise.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 36
Date: 14 March 1919

Family/military connectionsBrother: 564 Pte Reuben William ARNOLD, 4th Machine Gun Bn, effective abroad (still overseas).
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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