The AIF Project

Walter Hainsworth PRETTY

Regimental number1556
Place of birthKilkenny, South Australia
AddressKilkenny, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 6"
Weight152 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Carrie Catherine Pretty, Kupman Street, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in 77th Bn, Senior Cadets; transferred to 76th Bn, Citizen Military Forces, and then to 77th Bn; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date15 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentKeswick, South 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
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row C, Grave No 6), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Albert James and Carrie Catherine PRETTY
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

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

Found guilty, Ismailia, of being absent without leave from 2 pm parade: forfeited 2 days' pay, and confined to barracks for 3 days.

Found guilty, Ferry Post, 12 May 1916, of being absent from CO's parade at 1600: awarded 6 days confined to barracks.

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

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Identification disc received from Germany (German Death List, 4 November 1916). No particulars were afforded except that soldier is deceased. To be reported as KILLED IN ACTION 20/7/16.

Mother wrote to Base Records, 16 October 1916: 'It is seven weeks today since I received telegram, telling me that my son Private W.H. Pretty, No 1556, was reported missing since July 20th, is there no other information you can send me, the suspense is to (sic) awful ... '

Mother wrote again to Base Records, 14 March 1917: 'I had a letter from the Y.M.C.A. ... telling me , Private W.H. Pretty's name appears on a German death list dated November 4th. Please send me particulars as soon as possible, the suspense is to (sic) dreadful.'

German report, 2 August 1916: 'austr. Sold. Pretty, W.H. Nr. 1556. austr. Batt. 32.A.I. am 19.7.16 in Gegen Fromelles gefallen.'

Red Cross File No 2200306, has statement by 407 Sergeant C.F. LEWIS: '[Pretty] was lying, severely wounded in the head, in a captured trench and when I last saw him he was unconscious and in a dying condition. This was about 8 p.m. 19th July 1916.'

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

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 6), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, PRETTY Walter Hainsworth
Red Cross file 2200306

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