The AIF Project

William Jarvis DURDIN

Regimental number2151
Place of birthLochiel, South Australia
SchoolCameron East Public School, (Nantawarra), South Australia
AddressLochiel, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinFather, Joseph Jarvis Durdin, Nantawarra, South Australia
Previous military serviceHe was a member of Church of Christ, Lochiel. Footballer of Lochiel Team, Tennis player, Lochiel Courts. He was unmarried, an eldest son.
Enlistment date1 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name48th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/65/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 12 August 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2151B
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph Jarvis and the late Margaret Ada DURDIN, "Nantawarra", Da Costa Avenue, Prospect, South Australia. Born at Lochiel, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother of George Allen DURDIN , Pte 2150, 48th Bn, connected with the Band in France, returned to Australia January 1919. Cousin of Edley PREDHAM MM, cousin of Reginald DURDIN who gained several honours MM, cousin of Lieutenant Bruce DURDIN MM.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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