The AIF Project

Kenneth Malcolm MORTIMER

Place of birthLeneva West, Victoria
SchoolRoyal Military College, Duntroon, New South Wales
Other trainingAgricultural High School Wangaratta, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationOfficer
AddressWodonga, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 11"
Weight164 lbs
Next of kinFather, D H Mortimer, Wodonga, Victoria
Enlistment date1 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name29th Battalion, Headquarters Staff
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHe, with other students, were specially graduated for active service from Duntroon Military College. He received his commission June 29, 1915, going to camp in Melbourne.
FateKilled in Action 29 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death20.9
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 1), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
116
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: David and Florence MORTIMER, Wangaratta, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2446 Pte David Horn MORTIMER, 14th Bn, returned to Australia, 13 February 1917; Cousins: 3135 Pte Thomas CURNOW, 57th Bn, killed in action, 8 August 1918; Sister Isobel Kathleen CURNOW, Australian Army Nursing Service, returned to Australia, 1 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

To be Lieutenant in the Permanent Forces, Australia, 29 June 1915.

Disembarked Suez, ex-HMT 'Ascanius', 7 December 1915.

To be Captain, to complete establishment, Ismailia, 20 February 1916.

Admitted to No 8 Field Ambulance, Moascar, 5 June 1916 (parotitis); transferred to No 24 Stationary Hospital, Moascar, 5 June 1916; rejoined 29th Bn, 15 June 1916.

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

Reported missing in action, 19/20 July 1916.

Placed on Seconded List, 20 July 1916.

Struck off strength of Bn, 26 October 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 23 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Note on Red Cross File No 1830907: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt. Mills 10.10.19.'

Statement, 1190 Pte M. MATTHEWS, 29th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 18 August 1916: 'In the raid of German trenches near Armentieres 19th July both of these officers [Captains K.H. MORTIMER and T.F. SHERIDAN] were in the German trenches. I was talking to Capt Sheridan. We were not in the trenches more than half an hour when there was a counter attack and we had to retire. Neither of them came back with us.'

Second statement, Captain M. COATS, 29th Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 26 August 1916: 'Informant states that on the 18th July at Fleurbaix near Armentieres at 6 p.m. the 31st and 32nd batt. (sic) commenced the assault by gaining the enemy's 2nd line. The 29th Batt: acted as General reserve and at about 8. p.m. Capt. Mortimer's Coy was ordered up to [the] firing line and was in [the] 2nd line of German trenches the greater part of night. They were bombed and machined (sic) gunned on the flanks and rear and some of those who returned said they were ordered to retire by Capt. Mortimer who was then seen to move forward evidently with the object of ascertaining whether any other members of his Company had been left in the front trench. He has not been seen since.'

Third statement, 295 Pte C. MEEKING, 29th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 6 September 1916: 'I saw him in [the] German trenches badly wounded.'

Fourth statement, 553 Pte M. GARDNER, 29th Bn (patient, Church End Hospital, Finchley, England), 21 September 1916: 'Informant states that on 20th July 1916 he was attached to the 8th Brigade Headquarters and was told by Capt. Smith that Capt. Mortimer was taken prisoner in action on 19th July. The British were attacking and the eney recaptured ground at Fleurbaix.'

Fifth statement, 2133 Pte F. TOWNER, B Company, 29th Bn (patient, 11th General Hospital, Etaples), 24 October 1916: 'I saw him in the German lines. He went back from the German front line to their second line. Cpl. McGregor of A. Coy was the last to see him. He was not wounded then. We had to retire and a terrible lot of our fellows were captured.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MORTIMER Kenneth Malcolm
Red Cross file 1830907

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