The AIF Project


Regimental number2808
Date of birth19 November 1892
Place of birthPenrith, New South Wales
SchoolSuperior Public School, Penrith, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressNorth Street, Penrith, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs E J Colless, North Street, Penrith, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date19 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 30 September 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion

2nd Lieutenant

Unit: INF55
Promotion date: 23 August 1916

Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Recommendation date: 3 August 1916

Military Cross

Recommendation date: 10 March 1918

FateKilled in Action 1 September 1918
Place of death or woundingPeronne, France
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialHebecourt British Cemetery (Row C, Grave No. 1), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Elizabeth Jane COLLESS, North St, Penrith, New South Wales

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in a raid on the enemy's trenches. Strong opposition was encountered and as he led the final rush his party came under heavy machine gun fire. He attacked the gun with his party, and captured it, taking two of the gun team prisoners and inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy garrison. His men were attacked from the flank as they withdrew, but with seven men he covered the withdrawal of the remainder, causing further losses to the enemy. Owing to his splendid leadership and coolness the raiding party returned, having suffered only two casualties.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165
Date: 24 October 1918

Family/military connectionsCousins (1st): 1194 Sergeant Frederic Joscelyn COLLESS, 32nd Bn, died while a prisoner of war, 23 July 1916; 1179 Pte John William COLLESS, 3rd Bn, killed in action, 4 October 1917; 18744 Gunner Frank Lancelot SEALE, 7th Field Artillery Brigade, killed in action, 11 September 1917.
Other detailsMedals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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