The AIF Project

AntoineTheophile BLANCHARD

Regimental number1891
Place of birthStawell, Victoria
SchoolPatrick Street State School, Stawell, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressScott Street, Warracknabeal, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation38.3
Height5' 3.75"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinFather, Fred Blanchard, PO Chiltern, Chiltern, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected for AIF enlistment on account of hight)
Enlistment date3 August 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 August 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death39
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Frederick and Theresa BLANCHARD
Family/military connectionsBrother: 5991 Pte Alfonso James BLANCHARD, 16th Bn, died of wounds as a POW, 20 August 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Proceeded to join 14th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 4 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Killed in action, 9 August 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File, 4547 Pte W.J. MARTIN, A Company, 1 14th Bn, 16 May 1919: 'Little stout fellow, dark. Came with 2/29th Rfcts. Belonged to "A" Company. In the front line he was hit by a shell and killed outright. Casualty occurred in the evening in front line of Pozieres village. HENLEY of Victoria [1721 George HENLEY] ... and I buried him on the parapet of the trench. There is nothing to mark his grave.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BLANCHARD AntoineTheophile
Red Cross File No 0420503E

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