The AIF Project

Harold Leslie BOWDEN

Regimental number7205
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
SchoolGoodwood Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of Christ
AddressHyde Park, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23.6
Height5' 7.5"
Weight110 lbs
Next of kinFather, J J Bowden, Mitchell Street, Hyde Park, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil (Previously rejected on account of hernia)
Enlistment date10 January 1917
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 24th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 23 June 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 August 1918
Date of death26 August 1918
Age at death26
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
Commemorated on Goodwood Public School Roll of Honor. Photo: Peter Dennis.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 23 June 1917; disembarked Plymouth, England, 26 August 1917, and marched into 3rd Training Bn.

Proceeded overseas to France, 8 January 1918; taken on strength, 8th Bn, in the field, 23 January 1918.

Wounded in action, 30 May 1918 (Contusion, right foot), and admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, and transferred to 15th Casualty Clearing Station; to 14th General Hospital, 3 June 1918; discharged to duty, 19 July 1918; rejoined unit, 4 August 1918.

Wounded in action (second occasion), 11 August 1918 (shrapnel wound, left leg), and admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance, and transferred to 20th Casualty Clearing Station; discharged to duty, 15 August 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 17 August 1918.

Killed in action, 26 August 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BOWDEN Harold Leslie
Red Cross File 0471001D

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