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Alfred Ernest Green (1893-1917)

Citation

“Alfred Ernest Green (1893-1917),” Wyndham History, accessed November 23, 2017, http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/1532.
Description

Residents of the Werribee Shire who served in World War One, 1914-1918 named on the Honour Boards held at the Werribee RSL and the Church of England, Werribee (known as the Little River Honour Board).

Description

Residents of the Werribee Shire who served in World War One, 1914-1918 named on the Honour Boards held at the Werribee RSL and the Church of England, Werribee (known as the Little River Honour Board).

Title

Alfred Ernest Green (1893-1917)

Subject

Green, Alfred Ernest

Publisher

Wyndham City Libraries

Contributor

Ian Cropper

Format

text

Language

eng

Type

Text

Biographical Text

No. 2192  Private Alfred Ernest Green

Alfred Ernest Green was born in Birregurra, 130 kilometres south west of Melbourne, in July 1893.

His mother and father, John William and Elizabeth Ann Green, lived at Little River.

He enlisted in Melbourne on 6 March 1916 and spent the early part of his service at the Depot Battalion at Geelong.

His brother, William John Green, also enlisted in the AIF on 8 January 1916.

He was assigned to the 4th Reinforcements, 46th Infantry Battalion in July 1916.  A month later, the Battalion boarded RMS Orantes and sailed for England, disembarking at Plymouth in early October.

Alfred Green and his mates were sent to join the 12th Training Battalion based at Codford on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.  During the war, thousands of ANZAC soldiers passed through this camp that was used as a staging and training facility before they were sent to the front line in France.

Private Green was sent to France on 4 December 1916 where he was officially taken on strength with the 46th Battalion in March the following year.

The 46th Battalion was formed in Egypt in February 1916.  Half its contingents were veterans from Gallipoli – the other half, fresh recruits from Australia.  It had served with distinction at Pozieres in August 1916.

In 1917, the 46th Battalion was involved in the first battle of Bullecourt in northern France.  The Germans had consolidated its defences into what became known as the Hindenburg Line and Bullecourt was a heavily defended village at its very heart.

The attack by the 46th Battalion on 11 April 1917 was the first assault by Australian forces on this newly fortified position.  It resulted in the heaviest casualties suffered in a single action by an Australian brigade during the First World War – 2239 killed, wounded or missing in action out of a total force of just 3000.

Private Alfred Green was killed in action on the first day of the assault. Although his place of burial is unknown, he is remembered at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in the Somme.

One of the mysteries surrounding Private Green’s service is a notation in his records that he was to receive the Military Medal for an act of bravery during the assault on Bullecourt.  Elsewhere in his records, an entry says that the commendation was an error.

A small article was published in the Werribee Shire Banner, 24 May 1917 p.3 regarding Alfred Green being missing in France. 

He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and his family presented with the Memorial scroll, Plaque and King’s Message to commemorate his sacrifice.

Lest we forget

Bibliography

Service record: NAA: B2455: GREEN A E
http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11233.asp - 46th Battalion history and battle of Bullecourt details.

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