The AIF Project

Owen Cressy BARRY

Regimental number72
Date of birth23 June 1891
Place of birthClarence River, New South Wales
SchoolArmidale State School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCane inspector
AddressBroadwater Mill, Richmond River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, Arthur Cressy Barry, Broadwater Mill, Richmond River, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed as a Trooper in the 6th Light Horse, Citizen Military Forces, Tweed River.
Enlistment date18 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/17/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 13 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Squadron Flying Corps
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularServed with the 12th Light Horse in Egypt; subsequently at Gallipoli and Gaza, serving with the Australian Flying Corps for 10 months.
FateKilled in Action 11 May 1918
Place of death or woundingLille, France
Date of death11 May 1918
Age at death25
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: Arthur Cressy and Edwyna BARRY, 182 Kurraba Road, Neutral Bay, New South Wales. Born at Harwood Island, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: Cyril Cressy BARRY; Father: Major AC Barry, Superintendent AIF & War Chest Club, Horseferry Road, London ["Dad" of the AIF].
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Palestine, Western Front

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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