Ray James Collis FLOWER

Poppy

FLOWER, Ray James Collis

Service Number: 4523
Enlisted: 17 October 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Yongala, South Australia, 30 November 1891
Home Town: Aberdeen , Burra, South Australia
Schooling: Yongala Public School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 6 July 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Vignacourt British Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial (South Australia), Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Burra HB1 District WW 1*, Burra M*, FarrellFlatB*
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World War 1 Service

17 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4523, Adelaide, South Australia
16 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4523, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Berrima, Adelaide
16 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4523, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
6 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4523, 32nd Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"
6 Jul 1918: Wounded Private, SN 4523, 32nd Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front", Shell wound (right knee)

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School

Ray James Collis Flower

The First World War happened not long after Australian independence from Britain. Australia decided to fight partly because we still had close ties to Britain, and partly Australia wanted to show its strength and military power as its own independent nation. Another reason that Australia joined the war was to increase its popularity and legitimacy. If Australia had not joined World War One, other countries would have thought Australia weak, and joining also strengthened relations with many other nations.

There were over 400000 soldiers from Australia who fought in the war, and just under 35000 of those soldiers were South Australian.

Some key dates from World War One were the 28th of July 1914 which was when the war started, and 11th of November 1918. On the 16th of December 1916, Ray James Collis Flower embarked on the ship HMAT A35 Berrima and on the 6th of July 1917, Ray James Collis Flower died from his wounds in Morlancourt, France.

Ray James Collis Flower was born in the year of 1891, in Mannarie, Yongala in the state of South Australia. Ray James Collis Flower was at school in Yongala, and was raised a Methodist. When Ray James Collis Flower came of age, he moved to Aberdeen, Burra and became a farmer.

Ray James Collis Flower had no military history at all before enlisting in the Army on the 17th of October 1916. He had not had any previous experiences in war or any other major conflicts. Ray James Collis Flower lived in Yongala for most of his life. He had four siblings. He lived with his mother Emily Selina Dunn, and his father James Flower.

Ray James Collis Flower enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces on the 17th of October 1916. Ray James Collis Flower embarked from Adelaide, South Australia on the 16th of December 1916. He embarked on the HMAT A35 Berrima. Ray James Collis Flower was enrolled in the 32nd Battalion in the Australian Imperial Forces. His battalion was fairly small, as they had just lost 718 people, which was 75% of their battalion, and 90% of their actual fighting strength in a horrific battle at Fromelles for the 32nd Battalion.

The 32nd Battalion spent small stints of time on the front line, but there was no major conflict until early 1917. The 32nd Battalion was moved to the so called ‘Hindenburg Line’. This allowed the British forces to advance on the ‘Hindenburg Line’. This meant that the 32nd Battalion took a back seat and acted as reinforcements. Some of the 32nd Battalion were involved in the direct fighting on the ‘Hindenburg Line’, and Ray James Collis Flower was one of these soldiers.

During one of the many fights along the Line, Ray James Collis Flower was injured. This came after one particular push by the Allied forces, mostly consisted of British and Australian forces, in an attempt to gain ground and get better position. Ray James Collis Flower died of the wounds he sustained in the attack. Ray James Collis Flower died at the age of 26. He died in Morlancourt, France. Ray James Collis Flower is buried in Vignacourt British Cemetary, France in Plot ll, Row E, Grave No. 20 along with his father. Ray James Collis Flower is on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial on Panel 120. Ray James Collis Flower received the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

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