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Bernard William Chatfield

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Bernard William Chatfield
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Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1897
Place of Birth Burton on Trent, Manchester, England
Death 3 Sep 1916
Place of Death Mouquet farm, Pozieres, France
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 4 months
Description 5'3½" (1.61m) tall ; 129 lbs
58.513 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address 'Bridge Farm', Serpentine, Western Australia (Turner farm)
Next of Kin Sister , Miss Elsie Monica Chatfield
Military Information
Reg Number 2798
Date of Enlistment 5 Jul 1915
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement B Company, transferred to B Company 51st Battalion / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 5 Oct 1915 ‒ ? Oct 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A20 Hororata
Fate Missing in Action 3 Sep 1916 Mouquet Farm, later confirmed KIA
Monument Serpentine Roll of Honour
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

Permission to enroll was signed by Eliza Turner given that both parents were dead. Parents were Edmund John and Annie.

War Service

On arrival at Blackboy Hill camp, Bernard was allocated to the 9th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. He travelled with them to Egypt where he undertook further training before he was taken on strength by the 11th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir camp. On 29 Feb 1916 he was one of the first to be transferred to the 51st Battalion at Serapuem as part of the expansion and reorganisation of the AIF.

Along with his battalion, he boarded HMT Ivernia in Alexandria on 5 Jun 1916 for Marseilles in France where they arrived on 12 Jun 1916.

The battalion was engaged in an attack on Mouquet Farm between 13th and 16th August, and given that on 18 Aug 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal during the battalions reorganisation at Warloy, Bernard must have acquitted himself well.

At 6:30pm on 1 Sep 1917 B Company left BRICKFIELDS to lead the battalion forward to relieve the 47th Battalion and prepare for an attack on the enemy trenches. Relief was completed by 5am. Later, B & D Companies were to lead the attack on Mouquet Farm, and although the attack advanced to the farm and beyond, the defenders were able to use a very extensive underground system to emerge behind attacking troops and harass them with snipers and machine guns.

Support troops, finding themselves under attack from both flanks as well as the front were forced to withdraw, leaving the remnants of C and D Companies isolated in an old German trench.

Bernard's Red Cross file notes their inability to find anyone who can tell them how Chatfield was killed. A Court of Enquiry was held on 23 Apr 1917, and it resolved that Bernard had been Killed in Action on 3 Sep 1916.[1].


Post War

Following confirmation of his death, sister Elsie was awarded a pension of 10/- per fortnight from 7 Dec 1916. Elsie (married name McIntyre) wrote to the Defence Department in June 1967 requesting Bernard's Anzac Medal. At the time she was living at 'Big Bend', Clunes, Victoria.

Notes

No grave having been identified for Bernard, he is recorded on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

  • photo Linton Reynolds 2015
  • Section of 51st Battalion panel Villers-Bretonneux Memorial


  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Bernard William Chatfield". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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