The AIF Project

Frederick James ADAMS

Regimental number831
Place of birthFern Tree Gully, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressNotting Hill near Oakleigh, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 8.5"
Weight180 lbs
Next of kinFather, Alfred Adams, Notting Hill near Oakleigh, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/18/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A57 Malakuta on 10 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Light Horse Regiment
FateKilled in Action 25-26 March 1917
Place of death or woundingBapaume, Somme Sector, France
Age at death31
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
9
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Alfred Thomas and Eliza ADAMS, Police Road, Springvale, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrothers: Pte 6767A James ADAMS, 23rd Bn, returned to Australia, 12 May 1918; Pte 6767 Arthur ADAMS, MM, 23rd Bn, returned to Australia, 21 December 1918.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Transferred to 1st Light Horse Training Regiment, Tel el Kebir, 17 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 28 May 1916; disembarked England (no further details recorded).

Proceeded overseas to France, 29 August 1916; taken on strength, 1st Anzac Corps Light Horse Regiment, in the field, 15 September 1916.

Attached for traffic duty to 1st Australian Division Headquarters, 21 September 1916; ceased to be attached, and rejoined unit, 19 December 1916.

Reported missing in Action, 25-26 March 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 December 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 25-26 March 1917'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0020306B, 345 Pte G.S.T. STANLEY, 4th Light Horse Regiment, 8 September 1917: 'I knew Troopers [701] Geo. Alexander and Fred Adams. I saw them both in the Bapaume Town Hall on the day it was blown up, about 7 p.m.; they were billeted there. It was blown up about mid-night. Troopers Joe Lloyd, and Patterson, in the same unit as these boys were dug out of the debris about 12 hours after, along with a mate. A number of bodies were recovered, but so mutilated that they were unrecognisable. There were about 30 [?: illegible] men, and some Officers sleeping in the building the same night. Two Officers were dug out alive. Lloyd and Patterson told me that they saw both of these boys about 9 p.m. before going to bunk.'

Second statement, 1318 Pte C.A. BOAKES, 1st Anzac Light Horse Regiment, 18 October 1917: 'I was with Casualty on the 24th March, 1917 at Bapaume when the town Hall was mined. We were sitting there. Casualty was destroyed. I got out alive. The majority were killed. The bodies were searched for. Several were found. Adams' body was missing. Casualty was about 3 or 4 yards away from me at the time.'

Third statement, 1021 Trooper J. LLOYD, 15th Light Horse Regiment, 21 September 1917: 'I saw him in the Bapaume Town Hall on the night of March 26th, 1917. I helped him to make his bed and we turned in about 9.30 p.m. I was sleeping in a different cellar to him. About 12 p.m. a mine exploded in the building which was entirely wrecked; the cellar I was in being the only part to escape the explosion. I was dug out about 5 p.m. the following day. No trace of Adams was found.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ADAMS Frederick James
Red Cross File No 0020306B

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