• 1st Battalion A.I.F. - Killed November 5th 1916 - Buried March 3rd 1917

The age of these men when they died ranged from 18 to 42, however through research, I have discovered that one of them lied about his age so he could enlist. The youngest of these men was in fact 16 years and 4 months when he died (15 years when he enlisted). I (Leeta Rutherford) have created a website for these men, with a virtual memorial and all the information I have come across in my research. The website is: http://www.november5th1916-gueudecourt.com AN OVERVIEW OF THE ATTACK In the early morning of November 5th, 1916 in the pouring rain and thick mud, the 1st Battalion along with other battalions attacked the Germans on the front line near Gueudecourt. The 1st Battalion attacked near the intersection of Bayonet and Hilt Trench. They immediately came under machine-gun fire from Hilt Trench. After the first failed attempt another two were made. Each running into the same problems - the mud and the machine-gun fire. After these three failed attempts many men were lost and the attack was finally called off. Unfortunately, due to the multiple attacks, the mud and the ground most of these men laid on being No Man's Land, the bodies had to be left where they lay - some fortunate men were recovered on November 5th. Most of the men of the 1st Battalion who were killed November 5th weren't recovered on that day. Those whose bodies weren't retrieved on November 5th, 1916, were recovered around March 3rd, 1917 when the 1st Battalion were in reserve at Bancourt Le Abbey. Burial parties were sent out from C and D Company of the 1st Battalion. They went searching for the missing men reported after the Gueudecourt attack on November 5th. Seventy-four 1st Battalion soldiers were reported missing after the attack, of these seventy-three were confirmed as being killed in the attack near Gueudecourt. There are multiple reports of the burials. Most reports state that the men were buried where they lay in shell holes. These reports also state that there was "...a collection of 50 graves, with one cross erected in the middle bearing all the names." Near by a battlefield cemetery was created called 'Bayonet Trench Cemetery' (all of those buried in this cemetery after the war were moved to Grevillers British Cemetery). Forty of the seventy-three 1st Battalion men killed November 5th, 1916 to this day are classed as having an unknown grave. They are remembered on the walls at Villers-Bretonneux, France and Canberra, Australia.
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