Edgar Robertson READ

READ, Edgar Robertson

Service Number: 5449
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 14th Infantry Battalion
Born: Not yet discovered
Home Town: Camperdown, Corangamite, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in Action, France, 11 April 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

4 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, 5449, 14th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '11' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Euripides embarkation_ship_number: A14 public_note: ''
4 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, 5449, 14th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Melbourne

Edgar Robertson Read - Our Hero.

Camperdown Chronicle - Thu 3 May 1917 Page 3 LATE PRIVATE E.R. READ:
As could only be expected with the opening up of the big spring offensive on the Western front, the number of casualties among our, troops is much greater than for some time past. The Australians are doing magnificent work, but not without sacrifice. The frequent half-masting of flags in Camperdown tells the story of how nobly our men are doing their share in the greatest of all battles.
The sad intelligence was received by the Rev. M. M. Bennett on Tuesday last, from the Defence Department, that another Camperdown boy had made the supreme sacrifice - Private Edgar R. Read. The deceased soldier was the second son of Mrs J. Read, of Gellie-street. He was 26 years of age and enlisted from Warrnambool. After a brief period in camp he left Australia with his comrades, on April 4, 1916, for England, where he spent a little time and then crossed to France, where he had seen considerable fighting with the Australian army, his service only being broken by an attack of pleurisy, which he contracted after the battle of the Somme, and which necessitated his entry into hospital. He was killed on April 11 and had evidently participated in the strenuous fighting the Australians were engaged in at Easter.
The late Private Read spent the greater portion of his life in Camperdown and he was well known and greatly admired in this town and district, and extreme sorrow was expressed when the news of his untimely end was circulated. He was possessed of many sterling qualities, which gained for him every respect and the sympathy of the whole community will go out to the bereaved mother and relatives in their irreparable loss.
The Read family have nobly responded to the Empire's call. Of three sons, two have seen active service, the other being a married man. They have also been particularly unfortunate, for while Private Edgar has been killed, his brother - Private Chester Read - was seriously wounded on November 29 last, and has since been an inmate of a hospital. Flags were flown at half-mast from public and private buildings in Camperdown yesterday in respect to the memory of the deceased soldier.

War service: Western Front:
Proceeded overseas to France from 4th Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 21 July 1916; joined 14th Bn, in the field, 12 August 1916.
Admitted to 44th Casualty Clearing Station, 28 August 1916 (pleurisy).
Transferred to 2nd General Hospital, Wimereux, 31 August 1916; to England, 3 September 1916, and admitted to North Evington Hospital, Leicester, 4 September 1916; discharged from hospital, and marched into No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 26 September 1916.
Proceeded overseas to France, 24 January 1917; rejoined 14th Bn, in the field, 11 February 1917.
Killed in action, 11 April 1917.
Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal.

In March 1917, the German army had withdrawn to the Hindenburg Line in order to shorten their front and thus make their positions easier to defend. This move was rapidly followed up by the British and empire forces, and they launched an offensive around Arras in early April 1917.
To assist the Arras operations, an attack was launched on Bullecourt on 11 April 1917 by the 4th Australian and 62nd British Divisions. The attack was hastily planned and mounted and resulted in disaster. Tanks which were supposed to support the attacking Australian infantry either broke down or were quickly destroyed. Nevertheless, the infantry managed to break into the German defences. Due to uncertainty as to how far they had advanced, supporting artillery fire was withheld, and eventually the Australians were hemmed in and forced to retreat. The two brigades of the 4th Division that carried out the attack, the 4th and 12th, suffered over 3,300 casualties; 1,170 Australians were taken prisoner - the largest number captured in a single engagement during the war.

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