Informatie over geboorte

Harrow, Victoria, Australië

Algemene Informatie


Informatie legerdienst

Australian Imperial Force
Service nummer:
Dienstneming datum:
Dienstneming plaats:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australië
 —  Australian Infantry, 59th Bn.  (Laatst gekende eenheid)

Informatie over overlijden

Datum van overlijden:
Plaats van overlijden:
Jetty Wood, België
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Onderscheidingen en medailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Geboorteplaats
#2 Dienstneming plaats

Mijn verhaal

Private David Bird of the Australian Infantry, 59th Battalion, part of the Australian 15th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division fought in the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele. On the 26th of September 1917 the 59th Division took part in the Battle of Polygon Wood, a stage of the Third Battle of Ypres.

Private Bird enlisted on 26 July 1916, aged 31. His unit embarked from Melbourne on 2 October 1916 aboard HMAT A71 Nestor, reaching Plymouth on 16 November. Bird was appointed acting Lance Corporal whilst aboard the HMAT A71, and reverted to Private upon disembarkation. Prior to enlisting Bird had been a Police Constable, living and working in Inglewood, Victoria and was married to Agnes Mary Bird (née Shepherd).

At 5:50 a.m. on 26 September 1917 the 59th Battalion attacked German positions in Polygon Wood, starting from Black Watch Corner. Their first objective line was captured quickly, however troops on their right flank had not been quite so successful and the 59th Battalion had to drop back slightly to what was known as the 'Racecourse'. It was there that the vast majority of their casualties were suffered. Two Battalions of the 8th Australian Brigade then reinforced their position and after 'stiff fighting' the second objective was largely taken with communication being re-established with 14th Australian Infantry on their left flank and British troops further reinforcing the right flank.

At 11a.m. the line was consolidated around the Jetty Wood pillboxes. From then till 5p.m. small Enemy counter-attacks were felt on their left side and at 5p.m. a larger counter-attack was staged on the right. There was 'a great deal of machine gun fire and sniping, and the shelling was very heavy.' The positions of the 59th Battalion was also attacked by air from German aircraft who directed fire towards them from sometimes as close as 50feet. The Battalion was finally moved forward to create new strong points and 4 or 5 enemy machine guns were secured and taken to the new positions. Another counter-attack later occurred to the right of the line and again the men of the 59th came under heavy shell fire but positions were largely maintained and it was soon reported that all had gone quiet.

Private Bird was Killed in Action on 26 September 1917. He was buried near Jetty Wood, which may indicate that he fell while consolidating the line. After the War, his remains were exhumed and interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Plot XII, Row B, Grave 6; and commemorated on panel 167 of the Australian War Memorial. Unfortunately two of Bird's Brothers-in Law, Private Frank Shepherd and Sapper Archie Shepherd were killed in France during the First World War.

Bestanden 2

Bronnen 6

Gebruikte bronnen
Australian War Memorial
Gebruikte bronnen
Gebruikte bronnen
National Archives of Australia
Gebruikte bronnen
The Long, Long Trail
Gebruikte bronnen
War Diary Australian Infantry 59th Bn.
Gebruikte bronnen