The AIF Project

Adolf Thompson KNABLE

Regimental number1603
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSchool teacher
AddressWellington Mills, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 11"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinFather, Adolf Michael Knable, Wellington Mills via Dardanup, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the 86th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date3 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll2 August 1915
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 18 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialPheasant Wood Military Cemetery (Plot II, Row E, Grave No 14), Frmelles, Pas de Calais, France
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 5), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 18 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 18 December 1915.

Taken on strength, A Company, 32nd Bn, 16 February 1916; transferred to D Company, 1 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

German report, 2 August 1916: 'austr. Sold. Knable, A.T. Erk.Mrk. 1603, 32.Bn. am 19.7.16 in Gegen Fromelles gefallen.'

Prisoner of War German List date 4 November 1916 received by Wounded & Missing Enquiry Bureau.

Previously reported Prisoner of War; now reported Killed in Action. Death List from Germany.

Red Cross File No 1530206, has eyewitness statement by 3144 Pte Leslie HASTWELL, 32nd Bn (patient, King Edward Hall Hospital, Church End, Finchley), [?] December 1916: 'Informant states that on July 20th, 1916 near Fleurbaix he saw Knable wounded in the face and hip, trying to crawl back to the trenches. They were retiring after the attack. Knable was in No Mans (sic) Land, and there was no chance of rescuing him. He must have been killed or taken prisoner.'

Second statement, 1584 Corporal J.C.G. WARNCKEN, 32nd Bn (patient,No 2 General Hospital, Calais), 21 February 1917: 'At Fromelles on 19th July wemade a feint attack; we took the German first line and on the morning of the 20th we retired to our lines which we held. I was alongside of Knable and during the attack I saw him hit in the foot. He stayed with us and on our retirement between the first and second German line he was again hit under the arm by machine gun and fell. I had to get back to our line. He must have been either taken prisoner or killed as he was between the German lines.'

Note on file: 'Disc sent from Capt. Mills 28.7.19. and forwarded to A.I.F. Hdq. Disc received from Germany and forwarded to next of kin.'

Note on file: 'The above name appeared on German death list dated 4-11-16.'

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

Father wrote to Base Records, 15 November 1921: 'can you inform me if my son is buried in the cemetery at Fleurbaix "Rue Petillion" (sic). It would be a great consolation to me if I could be sure of the fact. I would go and visit the grave.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, KNABLE Adolf Thompson
Red Cross file 1530206

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