Bernard Ambrose COYTE

COYTE, Bernard Ambrose

Service Number: 4757
Enlisted: 2 October 1915, Enlisted in Orange, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 13th Infantry Battalion
Born: Borenore, New South Wales, Australia, September 1895
Home Town: Borenore, Cabonne, New South Wales
Schooling: Borenore Convent, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres, France, 18 September 1918
Cemetery: Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Plot II, Row A, Grave 25 (originally buried in Pozieres, exhumed and reinterred in 1920),
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Orange Cenotaph, Orange Shire of Canobolas, Orange WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

2 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4757, Enlisted in Orange, NSW
8 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, 4757, 13th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '11' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Star of England embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note: ''
8 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, 4757, 13th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Sydney

1st October 1918 - A letter home

Before going into battle in September 1918 Bernard wrote the following letter to his brother Gabriel’s wife, Lottie. Interestingly, it is dated 1 October 1918; apparently it was not uncommon for men to date letters this way as they went into battle. This is believed to be the last letter that Bernard wrote.

October 1, 1918 France
Dear Lottie,
Just a few lines, Lottie, in answer to your welcome letter to hand dated 9 June, was pleased to get a long letter from you and Gabe. So your little girls don’t forget me by what Gabe told me.
Well I am expecting to be going to England on leave soon. I have been over here a long time and have been existing well.
All the girls getting married, well good luck to them and tell your sisters that I wish them the best of luck as besides fighting hard for years and wasting the best years of my life over here but you know I have a nice little girl over here first for the time being and will close this letter wishing you and the children the best of luck.
I remain, Bernard xxx

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan, courtesy of Jenny Kingsford (nee Coyte).

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Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Born Bernard Ambrose Coyte, in 1895 in Borenore (near Orange), New South Wales

Father William Henry Coyte (b. 1861 - d. 02/12/1936 Orange, NSW) and
Mother Mary Louisa Coyte (nee Schmich) -  b. 1862 - d. 13/11/1937 Orange, NSW)

Bernard was the fifth of ten children born - all of which were educated at Borenore Convent.

Mary Josephine Williamson (nee Coyte  b. 29-10-1886 Molong, NSW)
John Joseph Coyte  (b. 11/07/1888 Molong, NSW)
William Henry Coyte  (b. 06/06/1890 Borenore, NSW)
Gabriel Francis Coyte   (b.1892 - d. 1954)  - his Grandmother Ann Maloney was midwife
Joseph Augustine Coyte  (b. 1897 Molong, NSW)
Francis Xavier Coyte  (b. 1899 Molong, NSW  -  d. 12/02/1931 Borenore, NSW)
Edward Kasper Coyte  (b. 06/10/1901  Molong, NSW)
George Anthony Coyte   (b. 12/04/1903  Borenore, NSW)
Dorothy Philomena Coyte  (b. 27/08/1905 Borenore, NSW)

He was one of twenty two men who joined the Coo-ees when they arrived in Orange on
Saturday, 23 October 1915. He was 20 years of age, although he claimed to be 21 on his
attestation papers.

Described on enlisting as 21 years 1 month of age; single; 5' 11" tall; 11 stone;
dark complexion; brown eyes; black hair; Roman Catholic

02/10/1915      Bernard enlisted into WWI, at Orange, NSW (from his Attestation Papers)

04/10/1915      appointed to 13th Battalion, Liverpool Camp

After completing the Coo-ee march Bernard proceeded to Liverpool Camp, a private in the
15th reinforcements to the 13th Battalion.

08/03/1916      embarked Sydney, NSW onboard the HMAT A15 Star of England 
                       as a Private with the 15th reinforcements, 13th Infantry Battalion

After further training in Egypt, arrived in France for service on the Western Front.

Bernard was hospitalised several times during his war service.

In March 1917 he was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance in France, suffering
from influenza and pneumonia.

He was subsequently transferred to hospital in England, followed by a period of furlough.

In September 1918 the 13th Battalion was engaged in battle just south of the town of
Le Verguier in northern France (near Pozieres). This battle claimed the lives of 5 officers and
82 enlisted men;  one of whom was Bernard.

18/09/1918   killed in action at Pozieres, France  (just weeks before the Armistice was signed)

Buried in:      Pozieres Cemetery

1920             He was exhumed and reinterred in:
                    Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
                    Plot II, Row A, Grave 25

His name is commemorated on:-
                   St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll
                   Borenore and District Honour Roll
                   Borenore District War Memorial, and
                   Orange War Memorial

His name also appears on panel 68 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to
commemorate fallen WWI soldiers - Borenore Retuned Soldiers donated a tree in
honour of Private Coyte.

Medals:         British War medal (33323), Victory medal (33094)
                    Memorial Plaque and Scroll (352659)

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  19/02/2017.  Lest we forget.