The AIF Project

Huntleigh Albyn EAST

Regimental number3393
Place of birthStrathalbyn, South Australia
SchoolPrince Alfred College, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
AddressKalgoorlie, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 8.25"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Beryl Olga East, 1 Hinde Terrace, Brookman Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Previous military serviceWas a Colour Sergeant of Prince Alfred College Cadets and one of few selected to represent the College Corps (resigned 1899/1900); South Australian Infantry Regiment (6 months, resigned 1900).
Enlistment date15 December 1915
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name44th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/61/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 29 June 1917
Regimental number from Nominal Roll3393A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'Passed examination at Duntroon College. Exchanged in England from 44th Battalion to 51st Battalion in order to get earlier to France and obtain his commission.' (details from Wife)
FateKilled in Action 24 April 1918
Place of death or woundingVillers-Bretonneux, France
Age at death34
Age at death from cemetery records33
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: Joseph and Mary EAST; husband of Beryl EAST, 37 Brookman Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Family/military connectionsCousin: Pte Fred DROWN MM, Signals Corps, killed in action, Messines.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 29 June 1917; disembarked Plymouth, 25 August 1917; marched into 11th Training Bn, Larkhill, 26 August 1917; reverts to rank of Private from Voyage Only Sergeant, 27 August 1917.

Promoted Acting Lance Corporal, 24 September 1917.

Marched into 10th Training Bn, Sutton Mandeville, 5 November 1917.

On Command at Officer Training School, Kandahar, 31 December 1917; marched into 10th Training Bn, Sutton Mandeville, 20 February 1918.

Reverts to the rank of Private, 2 March 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 4 March 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 5 March 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 7 March 1918; taken on strength of 51st Bn, in the field, 9 March 1918.

Allotted letter 'A' to Regimental Number.

Killed in action, Villers Bretonneux, 24 April 1918.

File notes, 'not buried by [51st] Battalion'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsPreviously rejected for military service four times due to varicose veins
SourcesNAA: B2455, EAST Huntleigh Albyn

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