The AIF Project

Allan Leslie Hope ATKINSON

Regimental number386
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
SchoolHigh School, Montreal, Canada
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMotor driver
AddressGlamore Road, Paddington, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 10.75"
Weight157 lbs
Next of kinEuphemia Atkinson, 81 Victoria Street, Potts Point, Sydney, New South Wales
Enlistment date21 August 1914
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollDriver
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22-27 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death23.3
Age at death from cemetery records23
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
39
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert Hope and Euphemia McPhee Hope ATKINSON, 'Norwood', Campbell Street, Milson's Point, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alxandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 5 April 1915.

Wounded in action, 30 April 1915 (gun shot wound, right thigh: slight); admitted to No 17 General Hospital, Alexandria, 1 May 1916; transferred to England, 16 May 1915, and admitted to 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester, 20 May 1915.

Embarked Avonmouth, 13 July 1915; disembarked Rouen, France, 15 July 1915.

Transferred to 23rd Ammunition Sub Park, in the field, 14 August 1915.

Appointed Driver, 28 August 1915.

Transferred to 4th Bn, 14 June 1916; taken on strength, 15 June 1916.

Killed in action, 22 July 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 01510029, 2840 Pte M. SANDERSON, D Company, 4th Bn, 22 September 1916: ' ... I saw him killed at Pozieres on 21-22.7.16. He was hit in the head and side and his body was lying in front of Dressing Station and I recognised him. He was tall, dark, thickset and came from Bathurst and had been to America. I am quite sure it was he; he had officer's boots on and was the only one in the Coy who had such boots.'

Second statement, 487 Pte N.E. CLOUT, 4th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 16 September 1916: 'Atkinson was engaged with others digging a trench near Pozieres, in advance of the Line, so that we might get some protection in the rush to be made next day, when a shell exploded near and killed him. He and [3911 Corporal C.] Snell were buried together behind the lines, just near Pozieres.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ATKINSON Allan Leslie Hope
Red Cross File No 01510029

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