The AIF Project

Victor William DATSON

Regimental number4459
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
ReligionMethodist
OccupationClerk
AddressWaite Street, Glanville, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 2.75"
Weight125 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A. Datson, Waite Street, Glanville, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil (living in exempt area)
Enlistment date11 September 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll31 August 1915
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 7 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 13 December 1916
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
58
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia. Parents: William Henry and Ann DATSON, Waite Street, Glanville, Port Adelaide, South Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 7 February 1916; disembarked Suez, 1 March 1916.

Found guilty, Tel el Kebir, 1 April 1916, of whilst on active service, neglect of duty in that he left the Mess table dirty: award, admonished.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 May 1916.

Marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, France, 6 June 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 26 July 1916; taken on strength of 10th Bn, 20 August 1916.

Admitted to Anzac Rest Station, no date stated (shell shock); transferred to No 3 Casualty Clearing Station, 22 August 1916; to No 19 Ambulance Train, 24 August 1916; to No 26 General Hospital, Etaples, 1 September 1916; to No 6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples, 8 September 1916; discharged, 28 September 1916.

Proceeded to unit from 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, 28 September 1916; rejoined 10th Bn, 30 September 1916.

Admitted to No 2 Australian Field Ambulance, 9 November 1916, and transferred to Corps Rest Station the same day (trench feet); rejoined unit, 14 November 1916.

Killed in action, 13 December 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DATSON Victor William

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