Athol Gladwyn ADAMS


ADAMS, Athol Gladwyn

Service Numbers: 619, Officer
Enlisted: 17 August 1914, Prahan, Melbourne Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Born: South Yarra, Melbourne Victoria., 17 May 1894
Home Town: South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Melbourne Grammar School
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Accidental (injuries) - compound fracture of the skull, Egypt, 19 February 1917, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, MCC Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918 - Melbourne Cricket Club, Melbourne Grammar School WW1 Fallen Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

17 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 619, 5th Infantry Battalion, Prahan, Melbourne Victoria
30 Sep 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 5th Infantry Battalion
21 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 619, 5th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HMAT 'A3' Orvieto from Melbourne on 21st October 1914, disembarking Egypt.
1 Jan 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Company Sergeant Major, 5th Infantry Battalion, Had been promoted to Colour Sergeant on 1st October 1914.
3 Feb 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 5th Infantry Battalion
5 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 5th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HMT Novian from Alexandria, Egypt on 5th April 1915 to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on Gallipoli.
25 Apr 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 5th Infantry Battalion, Wounded in action, rejoined battalion on 5th May 1915.
25 Apr 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 5th Infantry Battalion
10 May 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 5th Infantry Battalion, Wounded, second occasion, gunshot wound to right thigh and forearm. Transferred to Glymenopoule, rejoining battalion on 20th June 1915.
16 Jan 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Camel Corps
11 Jul 1916: Transferred Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Graded as qualified observer and Flying Officer on 25th August 1916.
19 Dec 1916: Transferred Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Attached to no. 3 School of Military Aeronautics for instruction.
19 Feb 1917: Involvement Lieutenant, SN Officer, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Athol Gladwyn ADAMS was born on 17th May, 1894 in South Yarra, Victoria

His parents were the late Alexander James ADAMS & Adah Emilie SHERWOOD.

His brother Valantyne Harold ADAMS also lost his life in WW1 (Pilot with No. 70 squadron, 9th wing, Royal Flying Corp

Biography contributed by Daryl Jones


Who was killed as the result of an aeroplane accident in Egypt on 19th February 1917, was the, son of, the late Mr. Alexander J. Adams. He was born, in 1895, entered Melbourne Grammar School in 1906, and left in 1912, going into the shipping office of, Huddart, Parker & Co. Ltd. He was a Prefect, in the crew and athletic team in 1912, and in the football teams of 1911 and 1912. He. was a most popular boy.

When war broke out he was one of the first to offer his services, and when the Public Schools Company was formed was transferred to it, and marched out to Broadmeadows with the first 5,000. He had been a Lieutenant in the Senior Cadets but gave up his stars and enlisted as a private, but soon rose to the position of Company Sergeant-Major, and in Egypt on 3rd February 1915 was given a commission.  He was promoted to Lieutenant in 5th Battalion on 25th April, and was in the famous Landing on Gallipoli, and being wounded in the leg was sent back to Alexandria for treatment. He returned to the front in a week. At the engagement at Cape Helles he was more seriously wounded, and was five weeks out of action. On his return to the Peninsula he took part in the Lone Pine engagement, and remained at Anzac until his Battalion was sent away. In February 1916 he was transferred to the Australian Camel Corps, and was in charge of the first Company to go into action, and was attached to the Duke of Westminster's Armoured Car Expedition, which rescued 90 men. On 11th July 1916 he was transferred to the Australian Flying Corps, and in August was gazetted as an observer. In December he went into the instructional school, and passed his technical examinations, coming out second with 81' per cent. He was in the El Arish engagement.

The accident which caused his death occurred when he was practising landings preliminary to going off alone. He and another officer had done two landings, and were flying round for the third time when the engine was heard to stop, and the machine dived from a height of about 100 feet to earth, becoming a total wreck. The pilot was not suffering much from his injuries, but Athol was unconscious, and died soon after. He was accorded a military funeral. The official enquiry resulted in a verdict of accidental death. His Captain writes : "The Flying Corps have lost not only an officer popular with all he met, but one who gave promise of making a good and valuable pilot." Another officer writes : "I could not have wished for a better officer; he was keen and full of zeal in all his work, and I, as well as the C.0., was looking forward to the time when he would join the squadron as a pilot, which would have been in a very few days but for his untimely end."


Source : War Services Old Melburnians 1914-1918