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Regimental number4293
Place of birthBilston, England
SchoolBoarding School Education, England
Other trainingServed with the British Army in England and India
Age on arrival in Australia29
ReligionChurch of England
Address36 Botany Road, Waterloo, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation39
Height5' 7"
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr. J. Edmunds, 25 Cross Street, Smethwick, Birmingham, England
Previous military serviceRoyal Artillery (8 years 6 months)
Enlistment date10 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll2 August 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Battalion
FateKilled in Action --/07/1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death38
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

Admitted to No 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 11 February 1916 (dental); discharged, 7 March 1916; marched into Garrison Camp, Zeitoun, 9 March 1916.

Taken on strength of 1st Bn, Serapeum, 17 March 1916.

Admitted to No 1 Field Ambulance, 19 March 1916 (venereal disease); transferred to No 1 Casualty Clearing Station, 20 March 1916; to No 1 Australian Dermatological Hospital, 22 March 1916; to No 1 Stationary Hospital, Ismailia, 23 March 1916; discharged, 28 March 1916, and marched into Overseas Base, Ghezireh, the same day; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 9 days.

Marched into 1st Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 29 April 1916.

Admitted to No 2 Stationary Hospital, 29 April 1916 (not yet diagnosed); discharged, 3 May 1916.

Found guilty, Tel el Kebir, 13 May 1916, of being in Bagazig without a pass: awarded 96 hours' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeits 2 days' pay.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 May 1916.

Transferred to 4th Bn, 25 May 1916.

Admitted to No 2 Australian General Hospital, France, 30 May 1916 (conjunctivitis).

Found guilty, 24 June 1916, of (1) drunkenness; (2) being out of hospital without a pass; awarded 48 hours' Field Punishment No 2.

Discharged from No 2 Australia General Hospital to Baggage Guard, 25 June 1916.

Found guilty, Anzac Base Details, Marseilles, 26 June 1916, of being absent from Defaulters' Call at 1315 hours, 24 June 1916: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 1.

Admitted to No 2 Australian General Hospital, 26 June 1916 (dental); discharged, 13 July 1916, and marched into Anzac Base Details, Marseilles, the same day.

Taken on strength of 4th Bn, 22 July 1916.

Now, 25 November 1917, records and enquiries fail to show that this man ever joined 4th Bn; reported, date unknown, as 'absentee, considered possible to have been killed in action'; letter to ADMINAUST, 18 August 1918, asking 3rd Echelon to investigate by querying (1) this soldiers relatives in Australia; (2) Australian Kit Store, London; (3) 3735 Pte G.W. Dickinson, 1720 Pte L. Leahy, 488 Pte S.C. Crummer.

Court of Enquiry, Acoz, Belgium, 27 February 1919, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, Pozieres, during the night of 21 July 1916'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, EDMUNDS James

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