Bertie BEARE

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BEARE, Bertie

Service Number: 4
Enlisted: 15 June 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Moonta, South Australia, 1894
Home Town: Wallaroo Mines, Copper Coast, South Australia
Schooling: Wallaroo Mines Public School
Occupation: Shop assistant
Died: Killed in Action, Fromelles, France, 20 July 1916
Cemetery: VC Corner Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Kadina Arch*, KadinaHB03*, KadinaHB04*, KadinaHR1*, National War Memorial (South Australia)
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World War 1 Service

15 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
18 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 4, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 4, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong (A2), Adelaide
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 4, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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Biography

Bertie Beare was born at the Moonta Mines in 1894.

Piror to enlisting in the AIF he had served 1 year with the Senior Cadets 81st Battalion and then 3 years with the 81st Infantry (Citizen Military Forces) with which he was still serving with when he enlisted. He enlisted at Adelaide on the 15th of June 1915 and as a result of his extensive military service he was quickly promoted through the ranks to Sergeant by the 1st September 1915.

He embarked with the A Company, 32nd Battalion at Outer Adelaide on the 18th of November 1915 on HMAT Geelong (A2). After arriving in Egypt the 32nd Battalion went straight into training while the AIF underwent an expansion and reorganisation of its forces. This included the splitting of the 1st Division and the 4th Brigade into two new divisions the 4th and 5th. While this process was happening Bertie Beare was admitted to the 8th Field Ambulance with Influenze. He was discahrged to duty 6 days later.

Once the reorganisation was complete the 32nd Battalion transited the Mediterranean Sea and landing at Marseilles on the 23rd of June 1916. From here they were then moved by train to Northern france, arriving in the Green Fields of France near the 'Nursery' section of the front line near Armentieres and a little village called Fromelles. As soon they arrived the battalion was informed they would partake in the Battle of Fromelles - the first engagment an AIF unit would make on the Western Front. Not only the first attack, the battle, would sear itself forever into Australian history for the number of casaulties suffered.

On the night of the 19/20th of July 1916, A and C Companies of the 32nd Battalion formed up on the exterme left of the 'attack zone' before launching their attack at 6:00pm. The attack was a disaster and within 11 hours of fighting Australian forces had suffered 5,533 casaulties, with just under 2,000 killed including Sergeant Bertie Beare. It is unclear as to how, where and when he died however an eyewitness (PTE 2694 George Brighton) reports seeing him around the morning of the 20th of July 1916 standing up and having "five shots rapid. He was then called to breakfast and said 'I'll have just one more shot' when a bullet took him in the middle of his forehead." After the battle he was orginally listed as Missing in Action, but this status later changed to Killed in Action.

He has no known grave and as a result is memorialised on the memorial to the Missing in VC Corner Cemetery. He was 21 years old.

           

Memorial Plaque/ Scroll: 329610

1914/15 Star: 24519

British War Medal: 24738

Victory Medal: 24571

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