Albert William (Bert) DARK

Poppy

DARK, Albert William

Service Number: 1157
Enlisted: 20 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 53rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Mirranatwa, Victoria, Australia, November 1889
Home Town: Mirranatwa, Southern Grampians, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Wounds, France, 5 December 1916
Cemetery: Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban
Bernafay Wood British Cemetery (Row I, Grave No. 44), Montauban, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Dunkeld & District Roll of Honour, Dunkeld War Memorial, Penshurst War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

20 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1157, 13th Light Horse Regiment
26 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1157, 13th Light Horse Regiment
26 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1157, 13th Light Horse Regiment, SS Hawkes Bay, Melbourne
17 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 1st Light Horse Regiment
15 Oct 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 53rd Infantry Battalion
5 Dec 1916: Involvement Private, SN 1157, 53rd Infantry Battalion

Killed By The Same Shell As His Brother



' Albert William (Bert) Dark, 13th Light Horse Regiment (later 53rd Battalion), of Mirranatwa, Vic. A farmer before enlisting on 20 July 1915, Pte Dark embarked from Melbourne on SS Hawkes Bay with the 6th Reinforcements on 26 October 1915. His younger brother, 3069 Pte George Dark, joined him in the 13th Light Horse on 29 March 1916. After service in the Middle East the brothers were sent for training in England, and then taken on strength of the 53rd Battalion in France on 16 October 1916. On 4 December 1916, while on picket together on the Anzac Light Railway at the edge of Delville Wood, the shelter they were in was hit by a German shell. Albert Dark died of his wounds the next day at the 4th Australian Field Ambulance. His younger brother was killed instantly by the same shell. The death of the two brothers caused great shock to the town of Mirranatwa '.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

Brothers who died in the Great War by Frank Mahieu

Remember ALBERT & GEORGE DARK Died 4 & 5 Dec. 1916.
September 8, 2019


GEORGE HENRY DARK and ALBERT WILLIAM DARK were the sons of Arthur John Dark and Mary Jane Ford of Mirranatwa, Dunkelk, Victoria. The family has 1 children. Both brothers were born at Mirranatwa, Albert in 1889 and George on 18 January 1891. George was killed December 5th 1916 while his brother Albert was wounded in the same action and died the next day.

On 20 July 1915, ALBERT, aged 25 years and 9 months, enlisted in Melbourne. He was a farmer and had served 5 years with H. Company Light Horse at Dunkelk before. Description of Albert: medium complexion, grey eyes, black hair, 5 ft. 10 inch. tall (1m.78). Three weeks later, on August 3rd GEORGE also enlisted at Melbourne. George was a labourer.
Description of George: medium complexion, blue eyes, brown hair, 5 ft 10 ½ inch tall (1m.79).

The following month on 18 September, a send-off was held at Mirranatwa for five local men, including the 2 brothers Albert and George Dark. Their brother who Fred enlisted later, left later in 1916. He survived the war.

ALBERT Dark was the first of the brothers to leave Australia, departing from Melbourne with the SS Hawkes Bay on 26 October 1915 with the 13th Light Horse Regiment. When in Egypt Albert got ill and was in the 4th Australian Hospital in Abbassin with mumps from 2nd to 24th Jan. 1916. He was transferred to 1st Light Horse Training Regiment on 17 April 1916 *. (* There’s an inconsistency here in the Service Record that says this transfer was in Egypt while the other entry says he was already in England on 15 Febr. when being transferred to the 1st. Btn. of the Light Horse Training Regiment). He, and George, proceeded to France on 30 Sept. 1916 and spend some time at the renowned base of Etaples till 15 Oct. when they joined the 53rds Btn., taken on strength there the 16th. On 1th November, on sentry duty, Albert made some irregularity for which he was punished. The next entry in his record says: wounded on the 4th of December.

As mentioned, GEORGE enlisted on 3 August 1915 at Melbourne and left for Egypt 26th November, a month later than Albert. Once in Egypt he joined the 8th Battalion at Zeitoun on 24 Febr. 1916. He got ill and was in Hospital at Serapeum on March 17th (also at Ismailia, Abbasssin and Cairo) returning to duty the 29th. with the 13th Light Horse Regiment this time. The two brothers, George and Albert so were reunited. Embarked at Alexandria with HMT Corsican on 23 May 1916 for England. From here their story is about the same till that fatal 4 December 1916.

With their 53rd Battalion they were at the Somme near Mametz before moving on to Montauban by the end of November. They were with the 11th Platoon of C Company and on the night of 4 December, the brothers were with a picket guarding the railhead of the ANZAC Light Railway somewhere between Trones Wood and Delville Wood.

George and Albert were sitting in a dugout with several other men when a shell hit. Several men were killed instantly, including George Dark, aged 25. Albert Dark was severely wounded and he Died Of Wounds, aged 27, the next day, December 5th 1916 at the 4th Australian Field Ambulance,.

GEORGE was initially buried in the field near Delville Wood and a cross placed on his grave but is got lost. He is commemorated at the Villers-Bretonneux Australian Memorial to the Missing. ALBERT was buried at the nearby Bernafay Wood Cemetery. At the time, in Australia, their mother, Mary was sitting at the table in her home with a picture of the brothers at the wall and the picture fell down, so their mother had the instant feeling one of her boys had been killed as she indeed said “I have lost one of my sons”. It turned out to be so and even worse, two of her boys were never to come home, only Fred did. (he returned to Australia on 27 August 1917 after he was wounded in France (?) on 7 June.) Together with my pal piper Gil Vermeulen I commemorated George and Albert on August 13th 2019.

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