The AIF Project

Victor Horatio Buller SAMPSON

Date of birth12 May 1888
Place of birthUpper Manilla, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School and Tamworth Grammar School, New South Wales
AddressBringelly, Liverpool, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinFather, B E Sampson, Bringelly, Liverpool, New South Wales
Previous military serviceHe was a member of Australian Garrison Artillery where he became 2nd Lieut from 1910 to 1914, Area Officer for Pyrmont, Sydney.
Rank on enlistmentMajor
Unit name19th Battalion, B Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollMajor
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion


Unit: 19th Battalion
Promotion date: 1 June 1915

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWon gold medals for rowing (Junior Eights) and Motor Cycling. Was a good cricketer, and an excellent rifle shot. Joined first Expeditionary Force to leave Australia (Aug 1914) and was placed second in command of H Company. On return from Raboul joined Officers School and became Captain and about a month later was a Major. Left for Egypt in command of B Co 19th Batt. Served in Egypt, Gallipoli and France.
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot IV, Row C, Grave No 1), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Mr B. & Mrs K. SAMPSON, Bringelly, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousin: Lt Francis Horatio FADDY, 13th Bn, killed in action, 3 May 1915.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 16 August 1915.

Admitted to HS 'Guildford Castle', 19 September 1915 (malaria and diarrhoea); transferred to 2nd Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh, 25 September 1915 (not yet diagnosed); diagnosed as colitis and malaria, 22 October 1915, and transferred to England, 25 October 1915; admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 7 November 1915.

Returning to Egypt, 16 February 1916; taken on strength, 55th Bn, Ferry Post, 3 April 1916; transferred to 53rd Bn, 13 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 June 1916.

Killed in action, 19 July 1916.

Note, Red Cross File No 2410108: 'No report of burial ... Cert. by A.I.F. Headquarters, 19.3.17'.

Statement, 2485 Pte R.W. WEAVER, 19th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 5 March 1917: 'Was in command of 53rd Batt. C. Coy. at time and was killed at Fleurbaix just outside our barb wire[.] I saw him killed but was hit myself soon after and came back so do not know where buried.'

Second statement, 3550 Corporal J.T. JAMES, C Company, 53rd Bn, 31 March 1917: 'At Fleurbaix on the 19th July we were attacking at 6 p.m. We took three lines of German trenches[;] we were driven out of them at daylight. I saw Major Sampson wounded about 10 yards in front of the 1st German line: he was wounded very badly about the body. He said "Help me in boys, and I will try to throw a few bombs". We were at the time bombing the Germans who were retreating to their 2nd line. I was wounded in the German 2nd line and got back to the Dressing Station. Just after I got there a man came in and said that the Major was dead.'

Third statement, 3533 Pte J. WIGGINGTON, C Company, 53rd Bn, 28 March 1917: 'I saw him bringing reinforcements across No Man's Land at Fleurbaix on July 19th. Later on as I came back I saw his dead body lying out about 50 yards from the German front line. He had been killed by M.G. fire. I passed close to his body and am certain he was dead. He was my Coy. Commander.'

Fourth statement, 620 Pte J.A. POWELL, B Company, 19th Bn, 4 November 1916: 'I remember Major Victor Sampson. He was taken with malaria on the peninsular [sic]. I saw him lying ill in his dug-out with the doctor attending him. He was sent to England, and was absent a long time.He came out again in March and I saw him at (?). He was not appointed to our Battn. but joined the 55th. and I was told by some men of the 55th that he was killed going over the top at Fleurbaix some time in July. I knew him very well.'

Fifth statement, 573 Pte W.H. HAMPTON, 19th Bn, 4 November 1916: 'He was taken ill with Malaria at Popes [sic] Post and left us in September. I saw him lying ill. He came out and joined the 55th. in March. I have seen a portrait of him with a statement of his death in the Sydney paper. He was killed at Fluerbaix.'

Sixth statement, 1457 Sergeant A.G. ELLIS, Lewis Machine Gun Section, 19th Bn (patient, 18th General Hospital, Etaples), 11 November 1916: 'He was our adjutant for a long time and was my officer when he was a lieut. on our first expedition - to New Guinea. He left us about May and took command of a new Battn in the 1st. Div. We had word from them in Sept. that he was killed.'

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, SAMPSON Victor Horatio Buller
Red Cross File No 2410108

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