Andrew Reid GLOAG

GLOAG, Andrew Reid

Service Number: 3277
Enlisted: 3 October 1916, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 49th Infantry Battalion
Born: Lutwyche, Queensland, 23 March 1884
Home Town: Kilcoy, Somerset, Queensland
Schooling: State School, Queensland
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Killed in Action, France, 6 May 1918, aged 34 years
Cemetery: Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux
Adelaide Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Esk War Memorial, Kilcoy Honour Roll, Linville War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

3 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3277, Brisbane, Queensland
23 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3277, 49th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3277, 49th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Demosthenes, Sydney
6 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3277, 49th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"


Andrew Reid GLOAG #3277 49th Battalion

Andrew Gloag was born at Lutwyche on 23rd March 1884, the second son of Dunlop and Agnes Gloag. By the time that Andrew enlisted on 3rd November 1916, he was running cattle with his elder brother, John, at Monsildale between Linville and Jimna.

Andrew, then aged 32, named his brother John as next of kin as by that time both of his parents were deceased. He also made business arrangements for a portion of his pay to be deposited in a Union Bank of Australia account at the Kilcoy branch. Andrew also made out a detailed will with the Public Curator leaving the benefit from a life assurance policy to his three nephews, the sons of his younger sister Margaret. The rest of his estate was bequeathed to his brother John.
Just six weeks after enlisting, Andrew boarded the “Demosthenes” in Sydney and arrived in Plymouth before marching in to Codford Camp. Andrew was taken on strength by the 49th Battalion on 3rd July 1917.

In July 1917,the 49th was rotating in and out of the line at Ploegsteert (Soldiers called it Plug Street) just south of Messines in Belgian Flanders. Time out of the line was taken up with training, sports and fatigue work. The battalion took part in major attacks of the Passchendaele campaign in September at Polygon Wood and later in October at Broodseinde Ridge. For the remainder of 1917 and the first two months of 1918, the Australians remained in and around Poperinghe preparing for the much anticipated German attack in the spring of 1918. Andrew remained with his unit the entire time and it can therefore be assumed that he took part in the Flanders actions.

For the 49th, the familiar routine of camp life interspersed with short periods in the line was shattered when the battalion was given orders to move south to the Somme in France to meet the German advance that had smashed through the British 5th Army on 18th March 1918. After travelling by motor bus for two days the 49th and the rest of the 13th Brigade AIF were positioned at Dernacourt where a major battle was fought on 5th April, resulting in two Australian brigades holding out two and a half German divisions.

The German threat to the vital communication centre of Amiens remained throughout April however until a night counterattack by the 13th and 15th Brigades wrested the village of Villers Bretonneux from German hands on the morning of 25th April. The 49th Battalion was in reserve at Villers Bretonneux but was put into the defensive line once the village had been taken. On 6th May, Andrew was part of a small party manning a forward post in front of the front line when a round from a rifle grenade landed in the position.

Andrew was hit in the mouth and neck with grenade splinters and was killed outright according to an eye witness. He was buried near the front line and his temporary grave remained undisturbed as the battles moved on eastwards until the Graves Registration Commission exhumed his remains in 1920. Andrew was reinterred in the Adelaide British Military Cemetery at Villers Bretonneux.

When Andrew’s name appeared in the casualty lists of local newspapers, a Miss Doyle of Kandanga near Gympie wrote to base records requesting particulars of his death. It seems that Miss Doyle had been writing to Andrew while he was in Belgium and France.

A small parcel of Andrew’s personal effects which included a wallet, letters and photographs was despatched to John Gloag from the AIF Kit Store in London on the S.S. Barunga in July 1918. Unfortunately the Barunga was torpedoed by a U-Boat off the Scilly Isles. All passengers and crew were rescued but her cargo was lost when the ship sank. John Gloag received his brother’s service medals and the memorial scroll and plaque in the 1920s along with three photographs of his brother’s grave.

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