The AIF Project

Charles William CLIFFORD

Regimental number6003
Place of birthTerang, Victoria
SchoolKolora, Victoria
AddressTerang, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 11"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinFather, J H Clifford, Springbrook, Kolora via Terang, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 April 1916
Place of enlistmentGeelong, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 1 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 April 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
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: John Harriman and Mary Helen CLIFFORD, Springbrook, Kolora, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 1 August 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 4 December 1916; taken on strength, 14th Bn, in the field, 26 December 1916.

Reported Missing in Action, 11 April 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, Predefin, 13 November 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 11 April 1917'.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Buried Military Cemetery Trois Arbres'. This, and note on Red Cross File for 6003 Charles William Richard CLIFFORD, has apparently been confused with 1801 Edward Thomas CLIFFORD, 14th Bn, buried at Trois Arbres Cemetery.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFather's name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as J.B. CLIFFORD.
SourcesNAA: B2455, CLIFFORD Charles William

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