The AIF Project

Harvey Herbert EDMONDSON

Regimental number3689
Place of birthWagga Wagga, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationStriker
Address25 Hugh Street, Ashfield, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 9.5"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinFather, J. Edmondson, 25 Hugh Street, Ashfield, New South Wales
Enlistment date22 August 1915
Place of enlistmentHoldsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 12 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1916
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
88
Family/military connectionsSister: Staff Nurse Margaret Esther EDMONDSON, Australian Nursing Service, returned to Australia, 8 December 1918; Step-brothers: 5813 Pte Alexander Keith EDMONDSON, 20th Bn, returned to Australia, 27 August 1917; (6682) Lt John Gordon EDMONDSON, 17th Bn, returned to Australia, 9 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Admitted to No 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 11 February 1916 (orchitis); discharged from No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 12 February 1916.

Taken on strength of 19th Bn, Ascania, 15 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 29 July 1916.

Now, 13 October 1916, reported as 'Wounded and Missing, 29 July 1916'.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 11 December 1917, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, 29 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsTrue age at embarkation: 15.
SourcesNAA: B2455, EDMONDSON Harvey Herbert
Red Cross File No 0990603R

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