Rudolf Eberhardt

From Our Contribution

Rudolf Eberhardt
Eberhardt Rudolf.jpg
Western Mail 25 Aug 1916 page 28
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1875
Place of Birth Urtenen (near Berne), Switzerland
Death 30 May 1916
Place of Death Cordonnerie Farm, Fromelles, France
Age at Enlistment 40 years, 7 months
Description 5'3¾" (1.62m) tall ; 136 lbs
61.689 kg
; dark complexion ; light brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation Sleeper hewer
Religion Church of England
Address Keysbrook, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Suzanne Eberhardt
Military Information
Reg Number 3781
Date of Enlistment 17 Aug 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement, B Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Nov 1915 ‒ 14 Dec 1915
Ship Embarked On RMS Mongolia
Fate Killed in Action 30 May 1916
Monument Keysbrook Roll of Honour
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Following two months basic training at Blackboy Hill camp, Rudolph was allocated to the 12th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion.

He joined the 11th Battalion on 2 Mar 1916 at Habieta in Egypt and was posted to B Company. On 29 Mar 1916 he boarded the HMT Corsican in Alexandria for Marseilles in southern France, arriving on 5 Apr 1916.

On 30 May 1916 Rudolf was Killed in Action. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission internet site records....

"On 30 May, the Germans staged another raid, this time attacking a salient held by the 11th Battalion AIF at Cordonnerie Farm. British and Australian miners had been tunnelling in this part of the line, and the objective of the German raid was to identify the Commonwealth regiments in the area and destroy mine shafts. At 8.15 in the evening, the Germans unleashed a devastating bombardment of artillery shells and heavy trench mortar bombs. This intense fire continued for over an hour and twenty minutes and completely destroyed the flimsy breastworks behind which the Australian troops were sheltering. Despite the noise and thick clouds of shell smoke, the men of the 11th rallied well and began firing Lewis gun rounds toward the German troops who started advancing across no man’s land just after 9.00 pm. The raiders managed to enter the Australian positions and capture a handful of prisoners, but were forced to retreat before they could inflict further damage. The lengthy bombardment that accompanied the raid on 30 May caused over 100 Australian casualties, over 40 of whom were killed. Many of those killed during the raid were buried at Rue Pétillon, which is also the final resting placing of over 100 Australian soldiers killed at the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916." a website hosted by the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs credits a large German mortar shell for the deaths of Rudolf and 39 other members of his unit. Rudolf along with Frank William Dowell also a victim of the same shell were the first locals to lose their lives on the Western Front.

  • Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery


Buried in Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row H, Grave No. 31), 5 km east of Laventie, 7 km south west of Armentiers.

Suzanne's address was Merligen, Lake of Thum, Canton Berne, Switzerland.

External Links