The AIF Project

Rueben James BONSER

Regimental number654
Place of birthBranxholm, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMiner
AddressDaylesford, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinFather, J Bonser, Tasmania
Enlistment date19 August 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name7th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/24/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Pioneer Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Meritorious Service Medal


Act of gallantry and resource on 19 March 1917.
Recommendation date: 1 April 1917

FateReturned to Australia 24 September 1918
Medals

Meritorious Service Medal

'For rescuing a comrade from a 60 feet well. About 11 p.m. on 19/3/17, Pte. CAMPBELL, a groom from the 6th Infantry Brigade Headquarters in charge of two horses on the ALBERT-BAPAUME Road, got off the main road and entered the village of LE SARS, and with the horses fell down a 60 feet well. A party of men spent all night trying to rescue Pt. CAMPBELL but were unsuccessful. Sergeant BONSER at 9 a.m. on the 20/3/17 heard what was wrong and volunteered to rescue him. He was lowered down the well, but found dit was necessary to move one of the horses before Pte. CAMPBELL could be reached. After some trouble owing to the rope frequently breaking the horse was removed. Sergeant BONSER again descended and after several attempts was successful in having Pte. CAMPBELL, who was unconscious, hauled up, himself remaining at the bottom of the well whilst this was being done. Owing to the condition of the rope, and having to remain at the bottom of the well in the mud and water for half an hour, Sergeant BONSER reached the top in an exhausted condition.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 140
Date: 27 August 1917

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