WHITFORD, Roy Victor

Service Numbers: 6449, 3449
Enlisted: 6 October 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Won Wron, Victoria, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Narrogin, Narrogin, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in action during the raid on Celtic Wood, Belgium, 16 October 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)
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World War 1 Service

6 Oct 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 6449, 5th Pioneer Battalion
23 Dec 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3449, 5th Pioneer Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '5' embarkation_place: Fremantle embarkation_ship: HMAT Berrima embarkation_ship_number: A35 public_note: ''
14 Jul 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, Transferred to 10th Battalion at Fovant England TOS 25 August 1917
30 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3449, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
9 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3449, 10th Infantry Battalion, Raid on Celtic Wood

Help us honour Roy Victor Whitford's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Raid on Celtic Wood 

 3449 Private Roy Victor Whitford a farmer from Narrogin, Western Australia was in the field with 11 Platoon C Company.

Credible witness statements in his Red Cross file. Private Wilson MM. - ‘Passchendaele out on a raid, he was killed by shell, left leg blown off. His body was left there. I saw him killed and brought his pay book back, gave it to Lieut. Ingles. I knew him well. Comes from W.A. I wrote to his father about it’. 

Private D Rhodes MM for actions on the raid. -  ‘I was only a few yards from him when I saw him killed during a raid we made on Celtic Wood on the early morning of the 8th Oct. He was killed by a shell which blew his left leg off and he died almost instantly. I took his paybook and wallet off him and handed them to his pltn. officer to be given in to the battn. orderly room...’  

He was recorded on the 13 October Field Return as ‘Missing ’ on 7 October but the finding by a Court of Inquiry convened on 16 May 1918 was that he had been killed in action on 8 October 1917.

Note: - Extract from letter of reply dated 1 March 1918 to Base Records Office letter from Mr. Thos. Whitford, 14 Mill Brook, Narrogin WA – ‘Am enclosing correct copy of letter received from Pte. Wilson, who also returned a number of photos taken out of Pte. R.V. Whitford’s pocket. ...’ [i]

[i] National Archives of Australia, B 2455, Whitford Roy Victor / 8386489, viewed 11 June 20128.