Alan Lindsay FLOWER

FLOWER, Alan Lindsay

Service Number: 3675
Enlisted: 1 May 1916, Mackay, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Pioneer Battalion
Born: Bega, New South Wales, Australia, 24 September 1897
Home Town: Bangalow, Byron Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Lismore High School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Died of Wounds, Morlancourt, France, 29 July 1918, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery
Plot III, Row B, Grave No. 6 Buried by Reverend E.J Harewood,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bangalow Public School Honour Roll, Commercial Banking Company of Sydney WW1 Honour Roll, Mackay Old Town Hall Honour Roll, Sarina War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

1 May 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3675, Mackay, Queensland
24 Jan 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3675, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
24 Jan 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3675, 4th Pioneer Battalion, HMAT Ayrshire, Sydney
29 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3675, 4th Pioneer Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

Help us honour Alan Lindsay Flower's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte 3675 Alan Lindsay Flower
5th Pioneers Battalion
 
Over a hundred years ago, in the Somme, served, fought and fell a whole generation of young men who, for Australia and France, served with pride and honor and who, for the peace and freedom in which we live, gave their youth and their lives and rest in peace among the poppies and the roses of remembrance that grow and flourish between the rows of their white graves on which are inscribed for eternity, more than names but lives and the destinies of millions of men, of heroes over whom we will forever watch to perpetuate their memory and bring their stories to life so that they are never forgotten.

Today, it is with gratitude and the highest respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who paid the supreme sacrifice.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 3675 Alan Lindsay Flower who fought in the 5th Battalion of the Australian Pioneers and who died of his wounds 103 years ago, on July 29, 1918 at the age of 20 on the Somme front.

Alan Lindsay Flower was born on September 24, 1897 in Bemboka, New South Wales, and was the son of Frederick Gregg Flower, of Bangalow, Byron Shire, New South Wales. Alan was educated at Lismore High School, New South Wales and before the outbreak of the war worked as a bank clerk and lived in Sarina, Queensland.

Alan enlisted on May 1, 1916 in Mackay, Queensland, in the 4th Battalion of the Australian Pioneers, Reinforcement 9, and after an eight month training period, he embarked with his unit from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on January 24, 1917 and sailed for England.

On April 12, 1917, Alan arrived in England and was disembarked in Devonport and joined the same day the Pioneers Training Battalion in Fovant then five months later, on September 6, 1917, was promoted to the rank of Acting Lance Corporal and was selected to attend school of instruction in Tidworth then in Fovant on September 10. Two months later, on November 14, 1917, at Sutton Veny, he was reverted to the rank of Private then embarked the same day with his unit from Southampton and proceeded overseas for France.

On November 15, 1917 Alan arrived in France and was disembarked at Le Havre where he joined the 5th Australian Divisional Base Depot and was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Australian Pioneers then was taken on strength on the field on November 24 and sent to the Somme.

in early 1918, Alan and the 5th Battalion of the Australian Pioneers supported the allied defensive actions that were fought in response to the German Spring Offensive. In mid-April, during the second battle of Villers-Bretonneux, elements of the battalion were subjected to a gas attack whilst guarding road-mines around the village.They were later employed to dig a defensive switch to provide flank defence prior to the German attack and connect the first and second line of defensive systems.After the Allies had blunted the German offensive, in the lull that followed the Allies sought to regain the initiative through a series of minor attacks before going on the offensive. During this period, the battalion took part in an attack around Morlancourt at the end of July, during which they suffered 16 casualties.

Unfortunately, it was during this period of very intense fighting that Alan was seriously wounded at Morlancourt on July 29, 1918 and was evacuated but died a few hours later, he was 20 years old and was buried by Reverend E.J Harewood.

Today,Alan Lindsay Flower rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Also Trooper J.H Flower wounded at Gallipoli buried at sea 25.5 .15 ".
Alan had a brother and a sister who served courageously in the war.

His brother was called James Herbert Flower and fought bravely with service number 357 in the 7th Light Horse Regiment and was disembarked at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli on May 19, 1915 (first day of war for James). Unfortunately, on the night of the May 19, the Turks attacked the Australian positions and James was seriously wounded. He was evacuated on the hospital ship "Soudan" where unfortunately he died of his wounds six days later, on May 25, 1915 at the age of 23 and was buried at sea. Today, his name is remembered and honored with respect at the Lone Pine Memorial To The Missing, Gallipoli.

Alan's sister was named Vera Emily Flower and also served with the greatest courage as a nurse with the rank of Nursing Sister in the 2nd Australian general Hospital in North Africa and France. She survived the war and died peacefully in Lismore, New South Wales on September 6, 1959 at the age of 72.

Alan, you who were in childhood, at the dawn of a life full of hopes and projects, it is determined and full of will that despite your very young age you have answered the call of duty to do your part in the great war and to serve your country with a heart full of pride by carrying the flag, the colors high and proud alongside your friends and brothers in arms who walked with conviction towards France that they did not know but for which so many of these young men gave so much, a country that has become theirs and for which, in the mud, in the poppies, they gave their lives and for all that you have done for us, it is from the bottom of my heart, with gratitude, respect and love that I would like to say thank you, to express to you the eternal gratitude of my country for which so many young men gave their all in the muddy trenches in which they lived and fell under fire holding their positions alongside their comrades in which they found the strength and courage to fight and resist under the bites of the steel which rained down on them at a endless rhythm and which, hour after hour, changed the shape of the land on which these young men bravely served and which, in the flames, transformed peaceful and silent landscapes into fields of death and destruction on which nothing could survive.Under the weak protection of their steel helmets, they endured hell on earth under the sinister and dismal howl of the artillery which sent on these young boys tons of steel which shattered bodies and souls, on young children who became men who were forever marked by what they lived and who saw, in terrible assaults, their best friends, their brothers, their fathers who fell under the fire of the machine guns who spit on them hundreds of bullets by minutes and which mowed down a whole generation of men in bloodbaths wave after wave that broke into barbed wire and spilled their blood side by side on fields of mud that became open-air cemeteries.Many of these men knew that these assaults would be the last moments of their young lives but none backed down and waited for the decisive moment, legs and hearts shaking they held their heads high, praying to god to bring them home and to bring an end to this horrible war.They were young and wanted to live but in the moments preceding the assaults, they wrote to their loved ones, to their parents to share their fear, the fear of never seeing them again, how did these men who were 20 years old and who knew that the next day they would probably be killed in the battlefield ?, they wrote with tears in their eyes and heavy hearts but were ready to do their duty and ready to give their lives, they were all heroes, each of them and together, alongside their officers and friends, following their hearts and their convictions, they climbed the wooden ladders and went over the top bayonets forward in courageous charges to capture the enemy trenches but after a few meters traversed in the calm of the fields of poppies, the enemy machine guns spilled death and one after the other, were struck by the bullets and the shrapnel which stopped them under the weight of their bags and their rifles, they did their duty with the greatest bravery until their last breath of life, struggling to move forward alongside their comrades whom they did not want to give up even in the face of death and fell next to each other as they lived and fought, together and united as they are today behind the shadows of their graves and still stand proudly in the comradeship that war and death never broke.Forever young, they rest in peace under the song of the birds, under the flowers of the Somme and it is with pride and respect that I will always watch over them so that who they were and what they did for us are never forgotten so that after me, after us,they never cease to live.They gave their lives for us so I would give them mine so they would never be forgotten.Thank you so much Alan, for everything. We will never forget either your brother James who gave his life and your sister Vera who saved so many lives on the battlefield and will always be remembered and honored, present and alive in our hearts forever.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember them. 

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Biography

"...3675 Private Alan Lindsay Flower of Bangalow, NSW. A bank clerk prior to enlistment, Pte Flower embarked with the 4th Pioneer Battalion on board HMAT Ayrshire (A33) on 24 January 1917. He served with the 5th Pioneer Battalion in France and died on 29 July 1918 of wounds received in action at Morlancourt. He was 23 years of age. Pte Flower's sister Vera Emily Flower served in North Africa and France as a nurse with the 2nd Australian General Hospital. His brother 357 Trooper (Tpr) James Herbert Flower, 7th Light Horse Regiment, died on 25 May 1915 of wounds received in action at Gallipoli." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

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