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17th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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17th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force



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Those known to have served with

17th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

during the Great War 1914-1918.

  • Finlay Cuthbert Clive. Cpt.
  • Fussell MC.. Leslie George. Maj.
  • Goddard DSO MID.. Arthur Henry. Brig.Gen.
  • Parkes Herbert Leslie. Pte. (d.3rd Oct 1918)
  • Watson William. Pte. (d.4th May 1916)

All names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List



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Dec 2017

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1205925

Pte. Herbert Leslie Parkes 17th Btn. (d.3rd Oct 1918)

Herbert Parkes was killed in action on the 3rd of October 1918, aged 19 and buried in the Bellicourt British Cemetery in France. He was the brother of Amelia Parkes

s flynn




1205911

Pte. William Watson 17th Btn. (d.4th May 1916)

William Watson died of gunshot wounds to the chest on the 4th of May 1916, aged 27 in No.3 Casualty Clearing Station, France. He is buried in the Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension in France.

Born on 15/09/1888 in Scotland he was the youngest child of Alexander & Eliza (nee Clark) Watson and was employed as a Tailor in Guyra, NSW Following the death of his father, Great-uncle Willie and his older brother Alex came to Australia in 1909 to establish themselves so that they could bring their mother and two sisters, ( the youngest being my Grandmother), to Australia. Alex settled some land in Nowendoc, NSW and Willie set up business as a tailor in Guyra, NSW. His mum and sisters were on their way to Australia when war was declared in 1914. He enlisted in Sydney 21/7/1915; embarked 5/10/1915; embarked Egypt 17/3/1916 and disembarked in Marseilles, France 23/3/1916. He was wounded in action 3/5/1916 and died 4/5/1916.

s flynn




217566

Brig.Gen. Arthur Henry Goddard DSO MID. 25th Battalion

Henry Arthur Goddard was born in England in 1869 and, immigrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1890. He married Elizabeth Maud Morrow in 1897. Goddard was placed in command of Brisbane defences at the outbreak of war in 1914. He joined Australian Imperial Force as Lieutenant Colonel in 1915 and appointed to command 25 Battalion. He was transferred to 17th Battalion and left Sydney on 12 May 1915 for Egypt. Goddard didn't get to Gallipoli until 2 September due to illness. He served at Quinn's Post and remained there until evacuation on 20 December 1915.

Suffering further sickness he was invalided to Australian in 1916. In July 1916 he embarked again, being appointed commander of 35 Battalion. He arrived in France in November and took part in the battle of Messines and was awarded the DSO. Goddard also served at Broodseinde Ridge and Passchendaele; and repealed an attack at Amiens in April 1918; and Morlancourt. Appointed to command 9th Brigade in May 1918, Goddard, led the Somme offensive until the end of the war, including the battle of Bray-sur-Somme and the attack on the Hindenburg line. Goddard was mentioned in dispatches three times, and after the Armistice the awards of the CMG and the Belgian Croix de Guerre were announced. He returned to Australia in 1920.

s flynn




217561

Maj. Leslie George Fussell MC. 17th Batn.

Leslie George Fussell was born at Ballarat on 3rd November 1883. He was married to Ruby Evelyn Fussell and was employed as a bank clerk, when he was commissioned into the Australian Imperial Force as a lieutenant on 7th May 1915. He departed Australia with the 17th Battalion aboard HMAT Themistocles only five days later.

The 17th Battalion trained in Egypt before landing at Anzac Cove on 20th August 1915. At Gallipoli, the Battalion participated in the last action of the August Offensive and then spent the remainder of its time defending Quinn's Post. After the evacuation, Fussell proceeded to France with the 17th Battalion and by June 1916 had become a captain. He fought at Pozières between 25th July and 5th August 1916 and in Belgium until the end of the year.

Fussell spent most of 1917 away from the 17th Battalion as between 3rd January and 23r July 1917, he was seconded for duty to the Ist Anzac Corps School. He was awarded the Military Cross on 5 June 1917 for his consistent devotion to duty, and was promoted to major on 22nd June 1917. After a short period back with the 17th Battalion, he was attached to the 2nd Australian Division as a brigade major trainee from 13th August 1917. He returned to his unit on 23rd November 1917 and remained with the 17th Battalion through most of 1918. The 17th Battalion helped to thwart the German Spring Offensive of 1918 after which the Allied armies turned to the offensive. During this period, the 17th Battalion participated in a number of battles: Amiens on 8th August, the attack on Mont St Quentin on 31st August, and the forcing of the Beaurevoir Line around Montbrehain on 3rd October. Montbrehain was the battalion's last battle as it was in training when the armistice was declared. Active throughout 1919 with demobilisation of the AIF, Leslie Fussell returned to Australia in early 1920 and his military appointment was terminated on 16th June 1920.

s flynn




217557

Cpt. Cuthbert Clive Finlay 17th Btn.

Cuthbert Clive Finlay was born at Stroud, New South Wales in 1894 to Doctor Sinclair and Ethel Finlay. He attended Sydney Grammar School and was a medical student at the University of Sydney at the outbreak of the First World War. Finlay was active in the University of Sydney Scouts and had reached the rank of sergeant.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 3rd March 1915 and was appointed acting corporal in 'C' Company, 17th Battalion. He was promoted to corporal 29th March 1915 and departed Australia with the 17th Battalion aboard HMAT Themistocles on 12th May 1915. Finlay, and the 17th Battalion, arrived at Gallipoli on 20th August 1915 where they remained until the evacuation in December.

Finlay was stationed at Quinn's Post and was promoted to second lieutenant in November 1915. After further training in Egypt, the battalion landed in France on 22nd March 1916 and were engaged in the battle of Pozières between 25th July and 5th August 1916. Finlay received a gunshot wound to the arm on 27th July and was evacuated to the 27th Stationary Hospital. He returned to his unit on 12th August 1916 before being transferred to the 5th Training Battalion in November 1916. During April 1917, he was transferred again to a newly raised 61st Battalion. During April 1917, he attended the Bombing School and left with qualifications as an instructor in bomb throwing. Finlay was promoted to the rank of captain on 22nd June 1917 and returned to the 17th Battalion in November 1917. Finlay returned to Australia aboard HMAT Ceramic and arrived in Sydney on14th March 1919. He was was discharged on 23rd May 1919. Cuthbert Finlay returned to the University of Sydney to complete his medical studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine in 1923 followed by a Master of Surgery in 1924.

s flynn






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