Boxer Allen WARE

Poppy

WARE, Boxer Allen

Service Number: 11118
Enlisted: 6 January 1916
Last Rank: Driver
Last Unit: 3rd Motor Transport Company
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, May 1896
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College
Occupation: Wool classer
Died: Killed in Action (RMS Leinster- torpedoed), Dublin Bay, Ireland, 10 October 1918
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Buried at Sea
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide St John's Anglican Church Memorial Tablet, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton
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World War 1 Service

6 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 11118
9 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Driver, SN 11118, 3rd Divisional Train, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Driver, SN 11118, 3rd Divisional Train, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
10 Oct 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Driver, SN 11118, 3rd Motor Transport Company

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Biography

Father: George James Ware and Mother Evelyn Ware, living at South Terrace, Adelaide, SA

Described on enlisting as 19yrs 8mths old; single; 5' 9.5" tall; 139 lbs;
medium complexion; hazel eyes; light brown hair; Church of England

From the book Fallen Saints

Boxer Allen Ware was born in Adelaide, South Australia and during his time at St Peter's College served 4 years in the cadets. After leaving the School in 1912, he gained employment as a Wool Classer and served a year in the 22nd Light Horse Regiment Citizens Force.

He enlisted at the AIF Exhibition Camp in Adelaide on 6 January 1916 and was posted to the Base Light Horse at Mitcham until allotted to the Army Service Corps as a Driver at the beginning of March. Driver Ware was posted to 25 Company, 3rd Divisional Train, ASC, sailed from Adelaide with his unit aboard HMAT Afric on 9 June 1916, and disembarked at Southampton in late July.  

On 13 November, he was attached to 870th Company as a Motor Driver and proceeded to France where he rejoined the Brigade Motor Transport Division at Rouen at the end of the month. Two days before Christmas he joined the 3rd Division Supply Column but rejoined the Divisional Train in March.

On 18 May 1917 he was charged for leaving a Government vehicle unattended and when found guilty was deprived of a days pay. In January, he was granted a fortnights leave in England and rejoined the 3rd Australian Divisional Mechanical Transport Company in March.

On 3 October, he proceeded on leave again and was aboard the RMS Leinster when the German submarine UB 123 torpedoed it on 10 October. The Leinster was carrying more than 700 passengers (300 being soldiers on leave) and only 270 survived.

Among the hundreds who perished in the sinking of the Leinster was 11118 Driver Boxer Allen Ware, HQ, 3rd Mechanical Transport Company; he was 21 years of age.

Reports and witness statements [i]

Sergeant Francis Coleman in a letter to the Red Cross dated 2 January 1919 wrote:-
"that he had last seen Driver Ware swimming on his back. He described him as being about 5ft 10 in height, medium build about 11 stone, fair hair, light complexion, blue eyes."

His hair at the forehead had a peculiar twist resembling what is familiarly known as a ‘Cow’s lick.’ Sound teeth with the two front teeth on the upper jaw slightly prominent. The upper jaw appeared to be more angular in shape than semicircle – making the whole of the top teeth appear prominent. This could not be noticed until he opened his mouth. Driver Ware’s appearance was generally termed neat and rather good looking. He wore size 7 boots which were bought in London. Dark tan and rather heavy soles. He was wearing at time of the disaster, bought riding trousers, soft leather strappings, issue Tunic, and cap. His paybook and papers were in the pocket of his Tunic, which he had on under his life belt.

In a second letter dated 21 January 1919 Sergeant Coleman stated that the only Australians he could remember seeing up to the time they were landed in Dublin – were Driver Ware and a man wearing the colour patches of the 4th Machine Gun Battalion. ‘ … My pal, Driver Ware, is missing, and from information given to me by a Scottish officer who told me, that an ‘Australian was hanging on to my boat but let go his hold, and was lost.’ I asked him if he saw the colour patches the man was wearing and he described the black and yellow circles of that unit. …’

In his report the Ships Adjutant, Captain H Parker of the 3rd Cameron Highlanders wrote: - I enclose herewith a report anent the Australian whom I saw in the sea after the sinking of the ‘Leinster,’ I regret my inability to give a fuller description of this brave man. I was personally clinging to a raft for about two hours and on another raft about 10 yards distant I particularly noticed an Australian hanging on with one hand - his head and shoulders being out of the water. Our rafts kept in close proximity fro about one hour and during that time, I spoke words of encouragement to him, but it was obvious his strength was failing fast. Every time I spoke to him, he smiled but never answered. The seas kept breaking over us, and this combined with the cold and exposure, undoubtable caused his death. Ultimately he let go his hold and sank smiling to the last. In all my experiences (which includes several) I have never seen a braver death. He was clean shaven, dark hair, strong chin, fine profile, well tanned skin, and I would describe him as a typical good looking Colonial. He had his colonial hat on all the time, with the chin strap under his chin, but I am unaware of his particular corps or regiment.

[i] Australian War Memorial, Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau files - Boxer Allen Ware / 2860404, viewed 21 January 2006

Submitted by Robert Kearney.   19/4/2016.

 

Commemoration details Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton, England

His name is commemorated on Panel  181 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.

His name is also commemorated on his families grave at West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, SA.

Medals:   British War medal (43025), Victory medal (4556)
              Memorial Plaque and Scroll (354778)

Updated by Julianne T Ryan.   15/5/2016.  Lest we forget.

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