The AIF Project

David FERRIS

Regimental number64
Place of birthBelfast, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia26
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationShipwright
AddressBroome, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation38
Height6' 0.5"
Weight153 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs B Ferris, 199 Barker Road, Subiaco, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 February 1915
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia,
30 Officers and 982 Other Ranks embarked at Fremantle on HMAT A11 'Ascanius' on 29 June 1915; 12 others embarked at Fremantle on HMAT A36 'Thirty-Six' on 12 July 1916. From Embarkation Records it is not possible to distinguish the latter 12.
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll28th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1916
Place of death or woundingUnknown
Age at death40
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
112
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Margaret FERRIS; Wife: Bertha FERRIS, 203 Barker Road, Subiaco, Western Australia. Native of Belfast, Ireland
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 4 September 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 10 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 21 March 1916.

Reported missing, 29 July 1916.

Reported captured at Pozieres, and detained as Prisoner of War, 2 August 1916.

Court of Enquiry, 25 July 1918, confirmed fate as killed in action, 29 July 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FERRIS David

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