The AIF Project

Gladstone John Garland CLAYTON

Regimental number1667
Place of birthMurrumburrah New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationStation overseer
AddressBinalong Street, Harden, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs M Mackay, Binalong Street, Harden, New South Wales
Enlistment date7 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A61 Kanowna on 19 June 1915
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Cross

Recommendation date: 23 May 1918

Military Cross

Recommendation date: 29 May 1918

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 7 May 1915; taken on strength 18 Battalion 16 August 1915; wounded at Hill 60, Gallipoli 27 August 1915; shellshock at Pozieres 5 August 1916; wounded but remained on duty at Bullecourt 3 March 1917; 2Lt 20 January 1917; Lt 22 April 1917.
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Name does not appear on Nominal Roll
Place of death or woundingVillers-Bretonneux
Age at death25
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.


Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer led his platoon with great gallantry in the face of heavy artillery and machine gun fire to the attack of an enemy command post, which he captured with the officer in charge, who was in the act of sending a message by telephone when he was taken. Whilst our troops were consolidating, several officers and men were shot by snipers, whom he eventually drove off by skilful bombing. His coolness during the work of consolidation was not more marked than the courage with which he led the attack, and his whole conduct set a high example to his men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 15
Date: 4 February 1919

Other detailsMedals: Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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