The AIF Project

Sidney William CHENEY

Regimental number5011
Place of birthRushden, Northamptonshire, England
ReligionChurch of England
AddressQueenstown, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 1.5"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs S J Cheney, 26 Duck Street, Rushden, Northamptonshire, England
Enlistment date6 August 1917
Place of enlistmentMurray Brigde, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 6 August 1917, 32nd Bn, 14th Reinforcements; taken on strength, 32nd Bn, 10 May 1918; 50th Bn, 22 May 1918.
FateKilled in Action 9 June 1918
Place of death or woundingSomme
Age at death23
Place of burialVillers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery (Plot XIII, Row D, Grave No 1), Fouilloy, France
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: John (d. 9 June 1922) and Sarah CHENEY, 24 Fraser Street, Richmond, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1847 Pte David Isaac CHENEY, 46th Bn, died of wounds, 13 August 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 22 December 1917; disembarked Suez, 16 January 1918.

Embarked Alexandria,17 February 1918; disembarked Taranto, Italy, 21 February 1918; disembarked Southampton, 4 March 1918; marched in to 15th Training Bn, Codford, 5 March 1918.

Marchedin to 14th Training Bn, 11 April 1918.

Found guilty, 15 April 1918, of being in Wylye at 2.45 pm, 12 April 1918, without a pass: forfeited 1 day's pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 29 April 1918; taken on strength, 32nd Bn, in the field, 10 May 1918.

Transferred to 50th Bn, 22 May 1918.

Killed in action, 9 June 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsAddress of next of kin incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as Duke Street.
SourcesNAA: B2455, CHENEY Sidney William

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