The AIF Project

George Henry DARK

Regimental number3069
Place of birthMirranatwa, Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressMirranatwa via Dunkeld, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 10.5"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinFather, Arthur Dark, Mirranatwa via Dunkeld, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously reject for service due to teeth)
Enlistment date3 August 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 26 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 December 1916
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
157
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Arthur John and Mary Jane DARK, Mirranatwa, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 861 Pte Frederick Charles DARK, 39th Bn, returned to Australia, 27 August 1917; 1157 Pte Albert William DARK, 53rd Bn, died of wounds, 5 December 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Marched out of 6th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 24 February 1916, and taken on strength of 8th Bn, Serapeum, 24 February 1916.

Admitted to No 1 Field Ambulance, Serapeum, 17 March 1916 (mumps); transferred to No 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 18 March 1916 (parotitis and orchitis); to No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital, Ismailia, 19 March 1916; to No 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 19 March 1916; marched into Overseas Base, Cairo, 29 March 1916.

Transferred to 13th Light Horse, Zeitoun, 29 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria and proceeded to England, 28 May 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France from England, 30 September 1916; marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 1 October 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 15 October 1916; taken on strength of 53rd Bn, in the field, 16 October 1916.

Killed in action, 4 December 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DARK George Henry

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