The AIF Project

Blair Anderson WARK

Date of birth27 July 1894
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationQuantity surveyor
Address16 Princes Street, McMahon's Point, North Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7.5"
Weight155 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Blanche Wark, 16 Princes Street, McMahon's Point, North Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year, Senior Cadets; 3 years,18th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; 30th Bn at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date15 September 1915
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name30th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollMajor
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
Promotions

Major


Unit: 32nd Battalion
Promotion date: 27 April 1917

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches


Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 30706 (28 May 1918); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165 (24 October 1918).

FateReturned to Australia 10 June 1919
Medals

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery, initiative, and control during the period 29th September to 1st October, 1918, in the operations against the Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt and the advance through Nauroy, Etricourt, Magny La Fosse and Joncourt. On 29th September, after personal reconnaissance, under heavy fire, he led his command forward at a critical priod, and restored the situation. Moving fearlessly at the head of, and at times far in advance of, his troops, he cheered his men on through Nauroy, thence towards Etricourt. Still leading his assaulting companies, he observed a battery of 77mm guns firing on his rear companies, and causing heavy casualties. Collecting a few of his men, he rushed the battery, capturing four guns and then of the crew. Then moving rapidly forward, with only two N.C.O's he surprised and captured fifty Germans near Magny La Fosse. On 1st October, 1918, he again showed fearless leading and gallantry in attack, and without hesitation; and regardless of personal risk, dashed forward and silenced machine guns which were causing heavy casualties. Throughout he displayed the greatest courage, skilful leading, and devotion to duty, and his work was invaluable.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23/5/1919

Distinguished Service Order


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 173
Date: 7 November 1918

Discharge date28 September 1919
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 60056 Sergeant Alexander WARK, 56th Bn, returned to Australia, 12 July 1919; [2895] Lt Keith Newlands WARK DCM, 56th Bn, returned to Australia, 2 June 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Promoted Captain, 20 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916 (gun shot wound, leg), and admitted to 7th Stationary Hospital, Boulogne; transferred to England, 22 July 1916, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 23 July 1916; transferred to 5th Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Digswell House, Welwyn, 7 August 1916; discharged and granted leave, 1 September 1916. Marched in to and taken on strength of No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 16 September 1916. Marched to Administrative Headquarters, London, 20 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France; taken on strength, 5th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 22 September 1916; posted to 30th Bn, 23 September 1916; attached to 32nd Bn, 9 October 1916; taken on strength, 32nd Bn, 18 November 1916. Detached to Army Infantry School, 2 January 1917; rejoined Bn, 11 February 1917.

Promoted Major, 27 April 1917.

On leave to Paris, 2 June 1917; rejoined Bn from leave, 8 June 1917. On leave to United Kingdom, 3 November 1917; rejoined Bn from leave, 19 November 1917.

Detached to Senior Officers' course, Aldershot, England, 2 January 1918, and proceeded to England. Completed course of instruction, 16 March 1918, and proceeded on leave; rejoined unit from detachment, 20 March 1918.

Awarded Distinguished Service Order.

On leave, 24 August 1918; rejoined Bn from leave, 11 September 1918.

Awarded Victoria Cross, 26 December 1918.

On leave to United Kingdom, 5 January 1919; rejoined unit from leave, 19 February 1919.

Detached to 30th Bn under amalgamation for demobilization. Marched out to England for return to Australia, 23 April 1919; marched in to 5 Group, Weymouth, 24 April 1919.

Married Phyllis Marquiss MUNRO, spinster, aged 24, at St George's Church, Worthing, Sussex, 31 May 1919; marriage dissolved, 1922; remarried to Catherine Mary DAVIS, 1927.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Port Lyttleton', 10 June 1919; appointment terminated, 28 September 1919.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Also served in World War II: appointed to command 1st Bn with rank of Lt-Colonel, 26 July 1940. Died, 13 June 1941. V12437 Captain J.E.D. CROZIER, Medical Officer, AAFV School, Puckapunyal, Victoria, stated: 'The cause of death in my opinion was angina pectoris, the fatal attack having been brought on by physical exertion during a night exercise under very cold conditions.'

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Port Lyttleton', 10 June 1919; appointment terminated, 28 September 1919.

Medals: Victoria Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death13 June 1941