The AIF Project

Clarence Ernest NASH

Regimental number4341
Place of birthCudal New South Wales
AddressOakburn, Cranberry, Cudal, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 5.75"
Weight115 lbs
Next of kinFather, J E Nash, Oakburn, Cranberry, Cudal, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 September 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll13 August 1915
Place of enlistmentLithgow, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19-20 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 10), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Mary NASH, 'Oakburn', Cranbury, Cudal, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1796 Pte Reginald James NASH, 14th Light Trench Mortar Battery, returned to Australia, 9 March 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to 54th Bn, Zeitoun, 16 February 1916; joined 54th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19/20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19/20 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 1980408: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt Mills 10-10-19.'

Statement, 4206 Pte J. FITZGERALD, 54th Bn, 11 August 1917: 'On the 19th July '17 (sic), Nash and I were in the same part of the trench at FleurBaix (sic), waiting for word to "Go Over". When it came Nash jumped up over the parapet, and I followed close on his heels. We went thrugh our own barb wire together, and I am positive it was Nash who was in front of me. Afterwards, however, I was only conscious of following the figure in front of me. When we got to within 30 or 40 yards of the German trench, we all took cover as much as possible. I jumped into a shell hole, and the man I Take (sic) to be Nash, jumped into one about 3 yards in front of me, and slightly to the right. After remaining there for a little while, I got up to move forward a little, and at the same time fired a few shots at Germans appearing above the trenches. The man in front of me had also risen and moved forward a lttle. Suddenly I saw him clutch at his tunic, and double up, falling first on his knees, and then right down. He struggled for awhile (sic), and then turned on his back and died. Ithought to myself, that is Nash! I was struck myself at that time, bya bullet in the knee, and fell down. I bound my knee up, as it was not serious, and went to look at Nash. Then I thought "No! it is not him". But I did not pay much attention to his face, as Iwas struck by the way in which his tunic was out about just above the belt. I went away with the impression that it was nothim, but since thinking it over, I cannot imagine who else it could possibly have been. He went over just in front of me, and I never lost sight of him the whole time.' Note on file: 'From the manner in which this story as told, and the appearance of the man who told it, we feel sure it is the correct account of what happened.'

Second statement, 4206 Pte J. FITZGERALD, 54th Bn, 3 September 1917: 'On the 19th July 1916 I went over in an attack on the German trenches at Fleurbaix. I followed Pte Nash over the top of our parapet and about three quarters of the way across No Man's Land when thefirst wave were halted and I found that I was some distance in the rear so I got up again to get up into line to be ready for the final assault. As I did so a man slightly in front of me and to the right of me got up also (I thought at the time this man was Nash). We went forward a few yards when this man doubled up. I also got hit in the leg and when I had put my field dressing on to the wound I went to have a look at the man that was wounded and in front of me. He was dead and his face somewhat distorted. I did not think at the time that it was Nash. He was hit through the stomach by Machine Gun Bullets, I think.'

Third statement, 4407 Pte G.H. BUCKLEY, 54th Bn (patient, No 4 General Hospital, Randwick), 3 April 1917: 'On 19th July, about 7 in the evening at Fleurbaix, Nash was near Informant in a charge against the German trenches[.] Nash was hit in the shoulder and thigh. He fell and Informant went over to him and helped him into a dugout in the German trenches. When Informant again passed the dugout, about half an hour later, it had been blown to pieces by a shell, and so far as Informant knows, nothing more was seen of Nash.'

Fourth statement, 4245 Corporal J. JONES, 54th Bn, 13 September 1917: 'I am sorry to say there seems to be no truth in Pte. Buckley's report, as I have since met one of Nash's tent mate's (sic) who saw him mortally wounded in No Man's Land and he says Nash died immediately he was hit. Pte Buckley was not in the 54th Batt, as I've made extensive enquiries, with regard to the matter nd find that he was transferred to another unit previous to the 54th Batt. leaving Egypt. He was invalided home to Australia and made it his business to acquint Mrs Nash of his part in trying to save his (sic) son's life. Sorry to have to make this report re Pte Buckley.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA B2455 file
Red Cross file 1980408

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