Pte
Arthur George Anson

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1895
Place of birth:
Purnim, Victoria, Australia

General information

last known residence:
Timboon, Victoria, Australia
Profession:
Labourer
Religion:
Presbyterian

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
6276
Enlistment date:
07/10/1916
Enlistment place:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 22nd Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/10/1917
Place of death:
Zonnebeke Lake, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
22

Cemetery

Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXIII
Row: C
Grave: 20

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

Arthur George Anson, a former labourer, was born in 1895 in Purnim, Moyne, Victoria, Australia. He was the son of James Anson. On October 7, 1916 he enlisted in Melbourne and embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A20 Hororata on November 23, 1916, with the 18th reinforcement of the 22nd Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade of the 2nd Australian Division.

On the 4th of October 1917 the 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 22nd Battalion was part of the 6th Brigade, which attacked on the right of the divisional front. The 22nd Battalion would take the first objective, the red line. Once they had taken this line, the 24th would pass through the 22nd on the right and the 21st would do the same on the left. The Battalion assembled before the attack at the jumping-off positions in front of Tokio, but soon moved closer to the road leading to Tokio on account of German artillery fire on and around Albania. They made use of shell holes and old trench systems to form a line. At 5.35 a.m. moments before the Battalion would attack, the German artillery, including minenwerfers, started shelling the jump-off line, causing heavy casualties. The Germans were about to attack themselves in the hope of recapturing Zonnebeke. The heavy shell fire was very destructive. At 6 a.m. the British and Australian artillery opened fire on the German positions and the troops started to advance. The 22nd led off, followed by the 21st and 24th. Zonnebeke Lake was on the jumping-off line on the left. The three battalions had to storm the front over 3oo yards right of the lake. Once they had passed the lake the units on the left had to change direction to cover the ground allotted to them. The German infantry was utterly surprised by the allied barrage. They were quickly dispersed, killed or taken prisoner by the advancing Australians. Docile Trench and De Knoet Farm fell without much opposition and the 22nd Battalion reached their objective by 6.50 a.m. On the right flank of the 24th Battalion the troops met resistance in Romulus Wood, but the Germans were eventually overpowered. At 7.30 a.m. the 21st and 24th moved up behind the protective barrage, reaching the second objective, the blue line at 8.10 a.m., where the dug in and prepared for eventual counterattacks.

Private Arthur George Anson never made it past the Zonnebeke Lake. Arthur George, aged 23, was killed in action on October 4, 1917, close to the jumping-off line, due to the heavy German shelling. Several witness reports in his Red Cross Wounded and Missing File state that he was killed by shellfire together with Lance Corporal Chester George Mather, while lying in a shell-hole. Both men were initially buried along the jump-off line, just south of Zonnebeke Lake (28.D.28.a.30.20). His remains were exhumed and reinterred at Buttes New British Cemetery; Plot 23, Row C, Grave 20.

Files 2

Sources 6

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99."
Sources used
22nd Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/39/26).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used
6th Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/6/26).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used
Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), RCDIG1064166).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
https://www.naa.gov.au/
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used

More information 4