Alfred Stanley EWART

EWART, Alfred Stanley

Service Number: 2626
Enlisted: 19 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 24th Infantry Battalion
Born: Violet Town, Victoria, 1896
Home Town: Violet Town, Strathbogie, Victoria
Schooling: Tamleugh State School
Occupation: Porter
Died: Killed in Action, France, 5 August 1916
Cemetery: Serre Road Cemetery No.2 Beaumont Hamel, France
Serre Road Cemetery No 2, Beaumont Hamel, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Euroa Telegraph Park, Violet Town Honour Roll WW1, Violet Town St Dunstan's Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

19 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2626, Melbourne, Victoria
27 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, 2626, 24th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '14' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ulysses embarkation_ship_number: A38 public_note: ''
27 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, 2626, 24th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Melbourne

The Ewert Family

Friedrich Ewert was very saddened during WW1, two of his grandsons were killed in France. He would say “my friends in Germany have killed three of my grandsons”. Source:Ewert Family History p 50.

Charles Ewart who lived in Cowslip Street and previously on the farm Inverleigh at Tamleugh. The farm which his German born father Frederick Ewart purchased in 1873 under the government scheme in which land was released for rural settlement, he sold in 1915. Their home they built was a 24 x 16 foot three room family house of palings and bark together with a 20 x 12 foot bark and slab kitchen.(VPRO) Charles wife Annie Lubina Ewart (nee Sherriff) died in February 1917 in Violet Town. She had come from Forbes, NSW and married Charles, they had 4 sons and 4 daughters - Elsie, Olive, Myrtle, Emilie, Ted, Bert, Walter and Alfred.
Charles and Annie milked cows, grew grain crops, had an orchard and grazed sheep. They were one of the Ewert family members during WW1 to anglicise the surname to the Scottish EwArt when many German immigrants were interned in country Victoria until the end of the war.(Ewart Family History p59.)

In 1916 Charles son Alfred was killed in action in France and just 6 months later his wife Annie died in February from a long illness.

Charles and his brother Louis were prominent citizens and active members of the MUIOOF lodge in Violet Town and instigators of the VT Anzac Avenue planting. They were among the Violet Town citizens who attended a meeting to welcome and settle the district soldier’s home coming. Their sons served on the western front and the families suffered greatly.

Alfred enlisted on 28th July 1915 in Melbourne after serving 12 months in the CMF 55th infantry.
He was 21 and a Porter at the Flinders Street Railway station. He was the second youngest son and attended the Violet Town State School.
His ship took him through the Suez and on to Marsailles. He saw just 1 month of front line action before he was reported missing and then killed in action after the battle at Pozieres. A court of inquiry was conducted and the witness, L/Cpl J Mills No 4027 of Tamleugh via Violet Town was one of the witnesses who saw his death. Mills lived on a neighbouring farm to the Ewarts at Tamleugh.
His account to the court of enquiry – I knew the casualty well. He came from my district in Victoria. He was killed behind Pozieres Ridge on the 5th August , our first time into Pozieres. Casualty was in the act of running past a section of the road where I had a machine gun concealed, when I saw him destroyed by an HE shell. I went up to the body immediately and we buried him where he fell. About three hours afterwards when the fire slackened we put up a cross to mark the spot with his bayonet alongside it.

Bert was the oldest son and farmed with his brother Walter at Tamleugh and was later employed as a Registrar of Births and Deaths at Whittlesea. He attended the Tamleugh State School.

He enlisted in February 1916 in Melbourne aged 32yo and sailed to England on the “Themistocles”. At the time of his marriage to Annie Robina (Nance) Wilson he was at the Broadmeadows Army Camp.

He saw 10 months front line action and in the battle at Broodseinde and was wounded by gun shot in both legs – his left leg was later amputated at the thigh. He was promoted to Lance Corporal 7 days prior to injury. After some time in hospital in England he was returned to Australia on the “Kanowna” in March 1918.

4 Oct 1917 Battle of Broodseinde Ridge was the third operation launched by British general Herbert Plummer as part of the Ypres offensive. It was a large operation, involving twelve divisions, including those of both 1 and 11 ANZAC. The attack was planned on the same basis as its predecessors – the attacking troops objectives were approximately 1500 metres deep, the advance would be preceded by a massive artillery bombardment; and a creeping barrage would lead the troops on to their objectives and then protect them while they consolidated their positions.
The attack began before dawn. The Australian troops involved were shelled heavily on their start line and a seventh of their number became casualties even before the attack began. When it did, the attacking troops were confronted by a line of troops advancing towards them; the Germans had chosen the same morning to launch an attack of their own. The Australians forged on through the German assault waves and gained all their objectives along the ridge. It was not without cost, however. German pillboxes were characteristically difficult to subdue, and the Australian divisions suffered 6500 casualties. J Starkey

Bert and his brother retired to Parkdale where they lived in brick villas beside one another. Annie and Herbert are buried at the Fawkner cemetery.

Walter , the second son, enlisted but did not go overseas. He was 28yo and married to Maude Ewert – Annie Wilson’s sister who lived at “Dalhooston” Land . . . . St, Brighton North. He worked for the tramways. He attended the Tamleugh State School. After the war he farmed at Trafalgar, then became a pastry cook at Moe and then a farmer again at Humevale. Walter and Maude had one son, Keith Walter Edward Ewert.

Olive was also touched by this terrible war and placed a notice in the VT Sentinel following the death of her friend Pte Reg Ramage, KIA Bullecourt, France 1917. She went on to marry John “Jack” Black who worked as a fireman on the steam trains. They later moved to work his father’s farm. They had twin boys who tragically died in their first year and a daughter who died at age 16.

Norman was an Essendon Cadet and member of the CMF before he enlisted with his parents consent. He was 2 months away from his 20th birthday and wanted to be part of the action with his cousins. Louis, his father was a coachbuilder with a business in Violet Town which was carried on by his older brother George. The business later moved to Trafalgar in Gippsland. Norman worked as a fitter and turner with an eye to his fathers business perhaps. He was the second oldest of six children with one sister. He enlisted early, May 1915 and sailed in November aboard the “Wiltshire”. He served in France for a total of 24 months as a driver with the 4th Field Artillery Brigade and the 2 Divisional Ammunition Column having formerly been a gunner with the 4th Artillery Brigade 10th Battery. His war was long and he suffered illness, gassing and exhaustion. He returned on the HT Orca in May 1919.
It is thought that he found life extremely difficult and was quite troubled when he returned and often spoke of his fruitless war experiences. He was a very clever, caring and sensitive young man. He had various jobs including working at the Trafalgar Butter Factory and Cox Bros Furniture Store.
He visited his aunt in WA and became engaged to marry but life perhaps became too much and he seemed to breakdown and died soon after in Perth.

i. Ewert Family History, p59
ii. Ibid
iii. Ibid
iv. Ewert Family History, p90

© Sheila Burnell, December 2015


Family Farm for Sale

Tuesday 20 April 1915 – Violet Town Sentinel

Sale at Tamleugh - We draw attention to the important clearing sale to take place at Tamleugh on Saturday next when E Stribling will submit by public auction the whole of the stock, implements, furniture etc of Mr Charles Ewert about 7 miles from Violet Town. As Mr Ewert has sold his property everything is for absolute sale.

Showing 2 of 2 stories


2626 PTE EWART Alfred Stanley
24th Battalion

By the time Christian Friedrich Daniel (Carl) Ewert had migrated to Australia in 1856 thousands had already left Germany to seek a more profitable life. Carl’s future wife Maria Rosel, had also migrated with her family and she and Carl were married a year after they landed in the new country.  They settled on a farm at Janefield, north of Melbourne and raised a family of 14 children. 

From this beginning they farmed and produced large families.  A branch of the family moved to Violet Town district and bought a farm at Tamleugh which is now owned by Bruce Cumming.

In 1914 two generations later, their adopted country was at war with their homeland. Alfred Stanley Ewart’s  father, a grandson of Christian Friedrich had taken the precaution of changing the spelling of their surname to Ewart to coincide with the Scottish spelling, thus lessening the risk of being interned as an alien during the war. However, this new spelling was not always adhered to by family members.                   

Alf’s parents:   Charles John Ewert  1860-1937
                        Bridget Sheriff  1858-1917

Alf’s Siblings:   Herbert Frederick Ewert  1883-1963
                         Walter Arthur Ewert 1885-1965
                         Emily May Ewert  1887-
                         Violet Elsie Ewert   1889-
                         Edward Henry Ewert 1891-1964
                         Olive Agnes Ewert  1894-1965
                         Myrtle Jane Ewert  1901-1989

According to his service records Alf was working as a Porter when he enlisted in the AIF on 28 July 1915, aged  21 years. He was drafted into the 24th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements.

By the time Alf sailed for overseas, Gallipoli had been evacuated. After a brief stop in Cairo where he was hospitalised with mumps, Alf sailed on to Marseilles and the Western Front. On 5 August, during the first major offensive around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm Alf was reported ‘missing in action’ which was later changed to ‘killed in action.’

He is buried at the Serre Road Cemetery No 2, Plot 38, Row D, Grave No 16.  There is also a Memorial Headstone in the Violet Town Cemetery.

Alf’s mother died from cancer early the following year.

His father received a Memorial Plaque and Scroll in 1921 together with Alf’s service medals, the 1914-18 Star, British War Medal, and the Victory Medal.

Tree No 4, a Brachychiton acerifolius - Illawarra Flame Tree - was planted in 1917 by Alf’s father, Carl Ewart.

It is still standing.

© Sheila Burnell, December 2015


"...2626 Private Alfred Stanley Ewart, 24th Battalion. A porter from Violet Town, Vic prior to enlistment, Pte Ewart embarked with the 6th Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Ulysses on 27 October 1915. Originally declared as missing in action, a subsequent Court of Enquiry determined that he had been killed in action on 5 August 1916, aged 19, and is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial. His remains were later recovered and were interred in the Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, near Hamel, France..." - SOURCE (