Owen Campbell RIAL


RIAL, Owen Campbell

Service Number: 105
Enlisted: 11 February 1916, Wangaratta, New South Wales
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 37th Infantry Battalion
Born: Albury, New South Wales, 7 October 1890
Home Town: Albury, Albury Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Brighton Grammar School
Occupation: Station Overseer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 27 February 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery, Hazebrouck, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

11 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 105, 37th Infantry Battalion, Wangaratta, New South Wales
3 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 105, 37th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 105, 37th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Persic, Melbourne
27 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 105, 37th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages

My Uncle Owen.

In the past year, I have had the opportunity of researching the lives and army service of two of my uncles who both died in Northern France in the Great War. Their names were Leonard Alexander Rial and Owen Campbell Rial. The story of Len’s service is described elsewhere on this website.

Owen was born on his parent’s farm, Four Mile Creek, near Holbrook , in 1890, and was educated at Albury Grammar and Brighton Grammar (Vic.). He was renowned as a talented horseman and won numerous prizes in local Riverina shows. After leaving school, he worked as a jackaroo for three years before becoming the trusted Overseer on Bonus Downs cattle station in Queensland.

He enlisted in the AIF in February 1916, a member of the 37th Battalion Machine Gun section, sailing from Melbourne in June 1916. He arrived in England to undergo further training in July, only to be told a few days later of the death of his younger brother Len near Pozieres.

After embarking for France in November 1916, Owen was stationed near Houplines close to the France/Belgium border. Corporal Owen Rial died of gunshot wounds to the head and thigh, sustained near Armentieres. His death occurred on 27 February 1917 at the 12th Casualty Clearing Station. He is buried at Hazebrouck Cemetery in Northern France.

Only twenty six years old. Such a short life. His letters home define his character. I wish so much that I had known him.

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Owen Campbell RIAL was born in Albury, New South Wales on 7th October, 1890

His parents were George Horatio RIAL & Edith JOBSON who married in Albury in 1887