Regimental number577
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBoilermaker's assistant
Address91 Wilson Road, South Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 9.75"
Weight167 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Ethel Earles, 8 Little Boundary Street, South Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military service7th Infantry, Ballarat (5 years )
Enlistment date5 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 February 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name37th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/54/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 3 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 February 1917
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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 3 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 July 1916.

Found guilty, 12 September 1916, of being absent without leave from midnight, 10 September 1916, until midnight, 11 September 1916: awarded 7 days' confined to barracks, and forfeits 1 day's pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

Admitted to No 10 Australian Field Ambulance, 17 December 1916 (influenza); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 20 December 1916; discharged, 24 December 1916, and rejoined 37th Bn, the same day.

Posted as missing in action, 27 February 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 May 1917, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, 27 February 1917'.

Believed to be buried to the east of Armentieres.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, EARLES Walter