The AIF Project

Raymond Charles BISHOP

Regimental number3761
Place of birthMoruya, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School, Moruya, Eurobodalla, New South Wales
AddressEurobodalla, South Coast, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 6.5"
Weight141 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Alice Ann Bishop, Eurobodalla, South Coast, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date28 September 1915
Place of enlistmentHolsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/36/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingArmentieres, France
Age at death20
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row E, Grave No 11), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Moruya Uniting (formerly Methodist) Church, New South Wales. Parents: Alice A. and the late William BISHOP, Tilba Tilba, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: [197] 2nd Lt Harold Mackay BISHOP, 3rd Bn, killed in action, 5 November 1916; Cousin: 3762 Pte Walter Herbert BISHOP MM, 55th Bn, returned to Australia, 8 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 20 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 25 February 1916.

Transferred to 55th Bn, from 5th Brigade Details, Moascar, 3 April 1916; taken on strength 55th Bn, Ferry Post, 3 April 1916.

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

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Previously reported missing, now reported killed in action, 20 July 1916, on the authority of the Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section, 3rd Echelon, General Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force, 13 March 1917.

Extract for A.G.S. London, 'Killed 20.7.1916 about 70 yards beyond German front line and near spot where Ray's M.G. was stationed. Fromelles, Fleurbaix.'

German report, 2 August 1916, 'austr. Sold. Bishop, R. C. Nr.3761. 55.austr.Batl. am 19.7. in Gegend Fromelles gefallen.'

Red Cross File No 391003 has statement from 5441 Pte C.R. RILEY, 56th Bn (patient, Northants War Hospital, Duston, England), 30 October 1916: 'Informant statesthat on July 20/16 at Lavantie Pte Bishop was wounded in the leg and taken prisoner. He was with a Lewis Gun and was covering the retreat of some men. A cousin went to his assistance and saved the Lewis Gun, but could not help Bishop as well.'

Second statement, 2603 Corporal A.A.C. COMMELIN, 55th Bn (patient, No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples), 15 December 1916: 'We had official intimation from Germany that Bishop was a prisoner of war. He was a Lewis Gunner.'

Third statement, 3762 Pte W.H. BISHOP, 55th Bn (patient, Kitchener's Hospital, Brighton, England), 2 December 1916: 'Informant states that Bishop was his cousin, he volunteered to bomb the Germans out of a position, he was wounded on the way over and cut off by the enemy. This was on July 19th. at Armentieres.'

Fourth statement, 3911 Sergeant T. ROBERTS, 55th Bn (patient, Queen's Hospital, Birmingham, England), 19 December 1916: 'I was told by others in the Battalion that Pte. Bishop was shot through both thighs. He was made comfortable but we had to retireand were obliged to leave him behind. This was at Fromelles, July 19th. He was apparently alright but his name was not included in the list of prisoners of war received by the Battalion.'

Copy of letter on Red Cross File, 3762 W.H. BISHOP to 197 H.M. BISHOP, 26 July 1916: 'Well when the German trenches had been taken our machine guns went across to the second German Trench, and fixed up possies there, the gun Ray was on being one of the most advanced. All night scrapping was going on, and the last I saw of Ray was about midnight when I was over to their trench with a load of ammunition, but his mates on the machine gun told me afterwards what happened. Towards daylight on Thursday morning, the Germans commenced counter machining very strongly and after a long fierce struggle the position of our Brigade was becoming very serious and the word was given to retire. A party of German bombers got up close to where the machine guns were and were causing them a lot of trouble, in order to give Rays (sic) gun a better chance of getting away their Officer asked for two volunteers to go with bombs and try to drive them off for a while. Ray and another chap volunteere (sic) loaded up with bombs and away they went (here something scored out by Censor) [.] Ray went a little further, when he fell wounded in the thigh, he then crawled closer to where the Germans were, and threw every bomb he had at them, then started to crawl back. Before he got far however, the Germans who were now coming on in scores, cut him off, one of his mates tried to get to him, but had not the slightest chance of reaching him, and had to leave him. His mates speak very highly of his action, and reckon he deserves a V.C. for it. Of course he is in a pretty serious position but there is good reason to hope that he will come out alright in the end. Those who saw him do not think his wound serious, and if the Germans did the proper thing by him, he ought to be pretty alright.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 11), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, BISHOP Raymond Charles
Red Cross File No 391003

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