The AIF Project

Harold William YORK

Regimental number4286
Place of birthMusselbrook, New South Wales
SchoolMarist Brothers School, Newcastle, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressAlfred Street, Waratah, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, Mr W. York, Alfred Street, Waratah, New South Wales; subsequently Tudor Street, Hamilton, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 5 years Compulsory Military Training, 16th Bn, at Waratah, New South Wales; temporarily exempt on account of being physically unfit.
Enlistment date24 August 1915
Place of enlistmentNewcastle, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll4286A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 July 1916
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Personal file (p. 17) records' Died of wounds, received in action, 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 23 July 1916'.
Place of death or woundingPozieres, France
Age at death19.10
Age at death from cemetery records19
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: William Henry and Elizabeth Florence YORK, 31 Marguerite Street, East Mayfield, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 2nd Bn, Tel el Kebir, 14 February 1916; and allotted letter 'A' after Regimental Number.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 March 1916.

Killed in action, 23 July 1916.

Buried 'in the vicinity of Pozieres SW 57º SE X5-X4'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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