The AIF Project

Francis Arthur ABBOTT

Regimental number3170
Date of birth1893
Place of birthPenrith, New South Wales
SchoolPenrith Superior Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPenrith, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 5.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinFather, Joseph Abbott, Hornsey Wood, Penrith, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the 3rd Infantry Regiment; 2 years as a Lieutenant in the Senior Cadets; 1 year 7 months as a Staff Sergeant Major on the Instructional Staff, from whiuch he enlisted.
Enlistment date16 February 1917
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll15 February 1917
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name36th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/53/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 10 May 1917
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 August 1918
Place of death or woundingPeronne, France
Age at death25.7
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph and Mary ABBOTT, Hornseywood, Penrith, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousin: 6799 Sapper Alexander Malcolm MITCHELL, 13th Bn, died of wounds, 12 June 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 10 May 1917; admitted to ship's hospital, at sea, 3 June 1917 (bronchitis); discharged from ship's hospital, 7 June 1917; disembarked Plymouth, England, 19 July 1917; marched in to 9th Training Bn, 20 July 1917.

On Command, BF&PT School, Tidworth, 2 September 1917; rejoined 9th Training Bn, 15 September 1917.

On Command, BF&PT School, Aldershot, 29 September 1917; attended 21-working days course in the Special & Supply PT & BF, 1-25 October: qualified as 'Good'; rejoined 9th Training Bn, 25 October 1917.

On Command, School of Instruction, Jellalabad Barracks, Tidworth, 5 November 1917; marched in to 9th Training Bn, 17 November 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 18 December 1917; taken on strength, 36th Bn, in the field, 25 December 1917.

Admitted to 9th Australian Field Ambulance, 30 January 1918 (tachycardia), and transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station; to Ambulance Train, 5 February 1918, and admitted to 8th Stationary Hospital; transferred to England, 13 February 1918, and admitted to Middlesex War Hospital, Clacton-on-Sea (trench fever); transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 25 February 1918; discharged to No 3 Command Depot, 25 February 1918; marched out to Overseas Training Brigade, Longbridge Deverill, 23 March 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 2 April 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 18 april 1918.

Transferred to 33rd Bn, and taken on strength, 30 April 1918.

Killed in action, 31 August 1918.

Handwritten note on Form B103: Buried by Rev W Burkett att 33rd Bn [map refence not legible]'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ABBOTT Francis Arthur

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