The AIF Project


Regimental number2562
Place of birthTumbarumba, New South Wales
SchoolTumbarumba Public School, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressWolseley Park, Tumbarumba, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, W Adams, Grevillea, Tumbarumba, New South Wales
Enlistment date5 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll25 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll20th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
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
Commemorated on Tumbarumba Roll of Honour ('Advance Australia'). Parents: William and Martha ADAMS, Tumbarumba, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2563 Pte George Raphael Burnard ADAMS MM, 20th Bn, returned to Australia, 17 December 1918.
Other details

Statement, Red Cross File No 0020505C, 1388 Pte S.C. SHEARSBY, 20 Bn (later 61st Bn), 25 May 1917: 'I saw Adams shot through the lung and lying on the ground midway between our trenches and the German trenches at Pozieres. Lieut. Holmes said to leave him as it was useless to remove him.'

Second statement, Lt G.S. HOLMES, 61st Bn, 23 August 1917: 'An attack on the German lines was made by C Coy of the 20th Btn on the night of 25/26 July 1916, which was unsuccessful. L/Cpl Adams was reported as wounded in the chest and left in no Man's Land. On the next night I was in charge of a a party searching for wounded but L/Cpl Adams was not among those brought in.'
Miscellaneous detailsAddress entered incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as Tumberumba, New South Wales.
SourcesRed Cross File No 0020505C

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