The AIF Project

James CAMERON

Regimental number4700
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
SchoolNewlands Public School, Glasgow, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionProtestant
OccupationFireman
Address47 Windmill Street, Valley, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 4"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Annie Cameron, c/o Parish Priest, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 September 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name26th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/43/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Mooltan on 12 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 March 1917
Place of death or woundingVimy, France
Age at death31
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
107
Family/military connectionsNil
Other details

War service: Western Front

Found guilty, onboard HMAT 'Mooltan', 8 May 1916, of (1) leaving the ship without permission of Officer Commanding: (2) being absent without leave for 20 hours: awarded 72 hours' detention, and total forfeiture of 4 days' pay.

Found guilty, 7th Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 23 July 1916, of overstaying leave from midday, 13 July 1916, until apprehended by Military Police at 2100 hours, 15 July 1916: awarded 168 hours detention, and forfeits 9 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 15 September 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 17 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 28 September 1916; taken on strength of 26th Bn, 28 September 1916.

Found guilty, 22 December 1916, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he absented himself from the ranks without permission: awarded 168 hours Field Punishment No 2.

Killed in action, 26 March 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CAMERON James

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