Henry Ryall (1889-1917)Subject
Wyndham City LibrariesContributor
No.12393 Private Henry Ryall
Henry Ryall was born in the village of Butleigh in Somerset, England, to Richard Ryall (a wheelwright)* and Fanny Ellen Barnett.**
He was the eldest of two sons; his brother being John Ryall, who was also born at Butleigh, in 1891.
Henry Ryall embarked from London on 2 January 1914 per S.S. Otranto, bound for Melbourne Australia.***
[On the ship’s passenger list, his occupation is listed as a gardener.]
After arriving in Victoria, Henry Ryall moved to Dookie, near Echuca, where the resumed his occupation as a gardener.****
While he underwent his basic military training, Henry Ryall made contact with his relatives at Little River. In a copy of a letter (in his A.I.F. Service File) that he sent to his mother from Melbourne on 8 May 1916, he mentions travelling to Little River, and visiting Sade and Mat. He also said that he had completed his Will, and that he had left it with his Uncle.
On his embarkation documents, Mr John Eades of Butleigh in Little River, his uncle, was cited as being Henry’s last place of residence in Victoria.
Henry Ryall enlisted in the A.I.F. at Dookie on 9 August 1915, and then travelled to Melbourne on 10 August 1915, where he again swore his oath and was accepted into the A.I.F.
After completing his initial training, on 18 May 916 at the Ascot Vale Camp, he was appointed as a Private with the 10th Field Ambulance.
One month later, Private Henry Ryall embarked at Melbourne on 20 June 1916 per HMAT Runic A54, with the 10th Field Ambulance (A.M.C.), and sailed to England. He disembarked at Plymouth on 10 August 1916, where he underwent further training.
On 24 November 1916, Private Henry Ryall embarked at Southampton, and sailed to the front in France, with his Unit.
Seven months later, while in action near Charring Cross in Belgium, he was severely wounded in both legs, and died on 7 June 1917, whilst being treated by the 9th Field Ambulance Unit. His death is also recorded in the 10th Field Ambulance Unit War Diary entry for that day.
Private Henry Ryall was buried in the Strand Military Cemetery, Floegstreert Wood, Plot 5, Row C, Grave No.1; two and a half miles from Messines, France.
A death notice was published in the Geelong press:
DEATH ON ACTIVE SERVICE.
RYALL.- Killed in action in France on 7th June. Private Henry Ryall of 10th Field Ambulance, beloved son of R. and N. Ryall, "Butleigh" Somersetshire, England, only brother of John Ryall, B. E. F., France, beloved nephew of John Eades, "Butleigh", Little River.
One army of the living God,
To his command we bow,
Part of the best have crossed the flood,
And part are crossing now.
- Inserted by his Uncle, John Eades, Little River.
Geelong Advertiser, 7 July 1917, p.1.
Medals and Entitlements
Private Henry Ryall was posthumously awarded:
- British War Medal, 42013
- Victory Medal, 41570
- A Memorial Plaque and Scroll, 325441
- “Where the Australians Rest”, 54/675
* ancestry.com -1901 English Census
** ancestry.com - England Civil Marriage Index 1837-1915
*** ancestry.com - UK Outward Passenger List 1890-1960
**** ancestry.com - Australian Electoral Roll 1903-1980, Victoria–1915
Unit War Diary
10th Field Ambulance Unit Diary