The AIF Project

Leonard William ANDERSON

Regimental number570
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
OccupationPicture framer
Address84 Elgin Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 6"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs. Ada Anderson, 84 Elgin Street, Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the Junior Cadets.
Enlistment date14 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll7 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C and D sailed on two ships, HMAT A62 Wandilla, 9th November 1915 from Melbourne, and HMAT A41 Bakara, 5 November 1915, from Melbourne. It is not possible to tell from the Embarkation Roll on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 21 July 1916
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, ex-HMT 'Wandilla', 7 December 1915; transferred to hospital, same day (nephritis); to No 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezereh, 14 December 1915; to Helouan Convalescent Depot, 11 January 1916; discharged, 27 January 1916 (Class B); marched in 8th Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 3 May 1916.

Proceeded to and rejoined 31st Bn, Ferry Post, 25 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 21 July 1916.

Now, 22 August 1916, reported wounded and missing, 21 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 21 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 90706, 581 Pte H.W. BLACKMAN, D Company, 31st Bn, 31 October 1917: 'We were in the trenches at 6 p.m. about on 19.7.16. at Fleurbaix when a portion of the trench we were in was blown in[,] the section being scattered. I never saw him after this and cannot say whether he charged over with the rest of us or not, the signal being given very shortly after the trench being blown in. In company with other members of the Batn I worked on this trench later for some weeks and several bodies were recovered all being recognised. Anderson's body was as far as I know not recovered there.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFather, James Anderson, 95 Brunswick Road, East Brunswick, Victoria
SourcesNAA: B2455, ANDERSON Leonard William
Red Cross file 90706

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