The AIF Project


Regimental number275
Date of birth7 August 1881
Place of birthBorung, Victoria
SchoolBorung and Wychitella State Schools, Victoria
AddressThyra, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 11"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinFather, Lewis Borella, Thyra, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 18 months in the Victorian Rifles; resigned at own request.
Enlistment date15 March 1915
Place of enlistmentTownsville, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 24 May 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned 2nd Lieutenant 7 April 1917
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 11 March 1917

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 30107, 1 June 1917; 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169, 4 October 1917.

Distinguished Service Order

Awarded the Victoria Cross.
Recommendation date: 25 July 1918

FateReturned to Australia 6 November 1918

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery in attack. Whilst leading his platoon with the first wave, Lieutenant Borella marked an enemy machine gun firing through our barrage. He ran out ahead of his men into the barrage, shot two German machine gunners with his revolver, and captured the gun. He then led his party, now reduced to ten men and two Lewis guns, against a very strongly held trench, using his revolver, and later a rifle, with great effect, causing many enemy casualties. His leading and splendid example resulted in the garrison being quickly shot or capturred. Two large dug outs were also bombed, and thirty prisoners taken. Subsequently the enemy twice counter attacked in strong force, on the second occasion outnumbering Lieutenant Borella's platoon by ten to one, but his cool determination inspired his men to resist heroically, and the enemy were repulsed, with very heavy losses.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Military Medal

'For conspicuous bravery in action. This Sergeant in the attack on MALT TRENCH, north of WARLENCOURT on the night of the 1st/2nd March, 1917, did splendid work. After taking a leading part in the furious fighting on the right of the Battalion objective he assisted Lieutenant WARD in reorganising the men and consolidating the line. Throughout he displayed the greatest coolness and devotion to duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 140
Date: 27 August 1917

Discharge date23 February 1919
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 6224 Pte Charles BORELLA, 7th Bn, returned to Australia, 30 June 1918; 6266 Pte James BORELLA, 7th Bn, returned to Australia, 25 January 1919; 1949 Pte Rex Thomas BORELLA, 8th Light Horse Regiment, returned to Australia, 3 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Promoted Corporal, Gallipoli, 8 September 1915. Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance, 19 November 1915 (jaundice), and transferred same day to 13th Casualty Clearing Station; to HS 'Delta', 20 November 1915; admitted to No 3 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 26 November 1915; transferred to Australian Overseas Base, Cairo, 10 December 1915; rejoined unit, Tel el Kebir, 5 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 15 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 21 March 1916.

Admitted to 1st Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 8 May 1916 (mumps); transferred to No 7 General Hospital, 8 May 1916; discharged to duty, 30 May 1916; returned to unit, 2 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 29 July 1916 (gun shot wound, right arm); admitted to 4th Casualty Clearing Station and transferred to Ambulance Train, 29 July 1916; admitted to No 3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 30 July 1916; transferred to England, 3 August 1916, and admitted to 3rd Northern General Hospital, 4 August 1916 (wound: slight); discharged, 12 September 1916; marched in to 7th Training Bn, 2 September 1916. Granted furlough, 14 September 1916; proceeded overseas to France, 2 November 1916; rejoined unit, 20 November 1916.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 14 January 1917 (influenza); transferred to Anzac Corps Rest Station, 14 January 1917; rejoined unit, 22 January 1917. Promoted Sergeant, 6 January 1917.

Awarded Military Medal.

Promoted 2nd Lt, 7 April 1917.

Special mention in Sir Douglas Haig's despatch of 9 April 1917.

On leave to England, 2 June 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 13 June 1917.

Proceeded to England to join 7th Training Bn, 9 August 1917. Promoted Lt, 28 August 1917. Transferred to Overseas Training Brigade, Longbridge Deverill, 8 November 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 27 November 1917; rejoined unit, Belgium, 29 November 1917.

Detached to 7th Brigade Raiding Party, 2 December 1917; rejoined 26th Bn, 31 December 1917. On leave to England, 22 January 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 15 February 1918. Detached to Corps School, 7 March 1918; rejoined unit from detachment, 28 March 1918. On leave to Paris, 4 August 1918; rejoined unit from leave, 4 August 1918. On leave to England, 1 September 1918; detached to AIF Headquarters, London, pending furlough to Australia, 16 September 1918.

Awarded Victoria Cross.

Commenced return to Australia; discharged, 23 February 1919.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Also served in World War II as Lieutenant, 12th Australian Garrison Bn; attached to the Prisoner of War Group at Rushworth; promoted to Captain on 1 September 1942 and served with the 51st Garrison Company at Myrtleford until the end of the war.
Date of death7 February 1968
Age at death86
Place of burialPresbyterian Cemetery, Albury, New South Wales

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