Reginald Harold KNOWLES

KNOWLES, Reginald Harold

Service Numbers: 617, R817
Enlisted: 9 March 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Unley South Australia, 9 March 1897
Home Town: Hyde Park, South Australia
Schooling: Prince Alfred College
Occupation: Journalist
Died: Killed in Action, "Turk Lane Trench" in Flers, Somme, France, 5 November 1916, aged 19 years
Cemetery: AIF Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers
Plot VIII, Row K, Grave No. 1
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kent Town Prince Alfred College 'Nobly Striving, Nobly Fell' Roll of Honour, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

9 Mar 1915: Enlisted
31 May 1915: Involvement Private, 617, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
31 May 1915: Embarked Private, 617, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
24 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, R817, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Bulla embarkation_ship_number: A45 public_note: ''
24 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, R817, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Bulla, Adelaide
5 Nov 1916: Involvement Private, 617, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 617 awm_unit: 27 Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-11-05

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte Reginald Harold Knowles

in the old battlefields of the Somme, the poppies bloom, they wave under the sun and the wind like waves of blood, the blood of millions of young men that was shed here, a whole generation of men of all nationalities rest together under the rows of their white graves that roses bloom and that the sun comes to illuminate to make their names live in the light so that they will never be forgotten, all rest in the peace for which they fought and for which they fell giving their today for our tomorrow, they were young and brave and will stay young, gone but not forgotten, we will always watch over them and today,it is one of these young boys, one of my boys of the Somme that I would like to honor, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 617 Reginald Harold Knowles who fought in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action 104 years ago,on November 5, 1916 at the age of 19 on the Somme front.

Reginald Harold Knowles was born on March 9, 1897 in Unley, South Australia, and was the son of Horace Robert and Violet Caroline Knowles.Before the outbreak of the war, Reginald lived with his parents at 28,Commercial Road, Hyde Park, South Australia, and worked as a journalist.

Enlisted on March 9, 1915 at Keswick, South Australia, in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, C Company, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on May 31, 1915 and sailed for Egypt where he arrived on September 4, 1915 and embarked for the Gallipoli peninsula where he fell ill and was evacuated to the 7th Field Ambulance on October 19, 1915 suffering from enteritis and diarrhea. A few days later,on October 27, he was evacuated to Malta and was reported as dangerously ill on November 3, 1915 then on November 10 as out of danger.A month later, on December 14, 1915, he embarked on board Salta and sailed for Egypt where he was again sent to the hospital in Heliopolis suffering from enteritis and on January 5, 1916, Reginald was sent to convalescent camp in Port Said and was sent back to Australia on January 21, 1916.

Five months later, after recovering, Reginald embarked from Adelaide on 23 June 1916 on board Bulla and sailed for England where he arrived on 24 August 1916 in Plymouth to complete his training with the 7th Training Battalion.One month later, on September 29, 1916, he embarked for France where he was disembarked on October 1, 1916 and was promoted to the rank of Corporal on October 4 and demoted to the rank of Private on October 14 then he was sent to Belgium to join the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion.

After Belgium, Reginald was sent at the beginning of November to the Somme front but unfortunately, on November 5, he was reported missing on the battlefield of Flers, Somme,but the next day the Germans and Australians agreed to a one and a half day truce to recover the bodies of their comrades and Reginald's body was found, he was killed in action while attempting to capture a German trench , the "Turk Lane Trench" in Flers, Somme, he was 19 years old.

Today Reginald Harold Knowles rests in peace with his comrades, friends and brothers in arms at the A.I.F.Burial Ground, Flers, Somme.

Reginald, on this day, it is from the bottom of my heart that I would like to thank you for all that you did when you were so young but despite your young age you decided to answer the call of duty and proudly wear the uniform alongside your friends under the flag of Australia and serve your country just as so many young men did. walking with a smile and pride in your heart and with the love of your family, you have crossed the world and the oceans to reach the shores of a world torn by the flames and darkness of war, from Gallipoli to the Somme, you fought with great courage and with devotion, you faced your fears and the darkness that plunged millions of young men into turmoil and the uncertainty of never seeing the sun rise under the dawn of a new day, they lived day after day in the mud of the trenches that separated them from no man's land and almost certain death under the murderous fire of the machine guns which never ceased to spit death at an infernal rate and which mowed down so many brave men, they faced showers of shells, metal burning everything in their path and which broke so many young boys, morally and physically.The war they went through was a never-ending nightmare but through these horrors, they all showed exceptional determination and acts of courage, rewarded or not, medals or not, they were all heroes who all fought with bravery in the same terrible conditions, they were all united for the same causes, they gave all they had for the peace they all wanted, they fought for their families, for their country and for France which will never forget the sacrifices and the courage of all these men who rest in peace here and on whom we watch with the greatest respect and with love so that they are never forgotten,the Somme will always be grateful to each of these young boys who did so much for us and we will always be extremely happy to welcome their families for whom I feel a very deep respect, your boys will always be loved as if they were our own son.It is with great affection that I love to call them my boys of the Somme because even if I am only thirty years old, I consider them my boys, as a guardian watching over them and carrying with pride the flame of remembrance, I will be forever present for each of them and for their families to whom I want to say thank you by bowing very humbly. Thank you all, thank you Reginald, with all my heart, your name, in our hearts, will never cease to live.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.