Arthur Stanley HOODLESS


HOODLESS, Arthur Stanley

Service Number: 1872
Enlisted: 31 December 1914, Cairns, Queensland
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 9th Infantry Battalion
Born: Westbury, Tasmania, Australia, 8 August 1893
Home Town: Railton, Kentish, Tasmania
Schooling: Westbury State School,Tasmania, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Wounds, 1st Australian Field Ambulance, Bazentin-Le-Petit, France, 25 February 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Bazentin-le-Petit Military Cemetery
Row G, Grave 22, Bazentin-le-Petit Military Cemetery, Bazentin, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kentish Municipality Honour Roll Mural, RailtonM1, Sheffield War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

31 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1872, 9th Infantry Battalion, Cairns, Queensland
8 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1872, 9th Infantry Battalion
8 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1872, 9th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
25 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 1872, 9th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Arthur Stanley HOODLESS was born in Westbury, Tasmania on 8th August, 1893

His parents were James Condre HOODLESS & Eva Annie WOODS

He enlisted in Cairns in Queensland on 31st December, 1914 & embarked from Brisbane with the 9th Infantry Battalion, 4th reinforcements on the HMAT Star of England on 8th April, 1915

Arthur died of wounds at the Somme in France on 25th February, 1917 and is buried in the Bazentin le Petit Military Cemetery

His name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial and on a headstone in St Johns Church in Railton, Tasmania along with his brothers name who also died during WW1 (see attached photo)


His brother Cyril James HOODLESS (SN 1837) died of wounds on 31st May, 1917 at Bullecourt


Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

LCpl 1872 Arthur Stanley Hoodless
9th Australian Infantry Battalion, B Company,
3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division
More than a hundred years ago, when the thunder of artillery was heard on the battlefields of the Somme, from the other side of the world thousands of young men answered the call of duty for their country and fought side by side on the sacred soils of northern France where together, young and brave,they gave their today under bullets and shells.They carried with exceptional courage the weight of a war that set the world ablaze and despite the horrors, the pains and the fears they endured, their determination and their conviction in the battle were never broken and side by side, watching over each other they went over the top, they charged forward through barbed wire and shell holes in the face of devastating machine gun fire which poured death at a horrifying pace which mowed down in waves a whole generation of heroes who for their country and for France gave their lives and rest today in peace under the sun of the Somme which puts in its eternal light, the names of these young boys who stand silent and solemn behind the shadows of their white graves and among the poppies of remembrance, symbols of courage and sacrifice which, like the memory of these young boys, will never fade.

Today, it is with the utmost respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who, for our tomorrow, paid the supreme sacrifice.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lance Corporal number 1872 Arthur Stanley Hoodless who fought in the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion, B Company, 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 106 years ago, on February 25, 1917 at the age of 23 on the Somme front.
Arthur Stanley Hoodless was born on August 8, 1893 in Westbury, Tasmania, Australia, and was the son of James Condre Hoodless and Eva Annie Hoodless (née Woods), of Railton, Tasmania. Arthur had three sisters, Beatrice Annie May, Ruby Elvina , Eva Mary Emmeline and three brothers, Cyril James Roy, James and George Francis Oliver. He was educated at the State School of Westbury, Tasmania, and after graduation, worked first as a carpenter then as a labourer in Railton where he lived before the outbreak of the war.

Arthur enlisted on December 31, 1914 in Cairns, Queensland, as a Private in the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion, 4th Reinforcement, a battalion which had the nicknames "The Guards of Queensland" and "The Fighting Ninth" and whose motto was "Pro Aris and Focis " (For God and for our homes). After a training period of three months, Arthur embarked with his unit from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on April 8, 1915 and sailed for the Gallipoli peninsula.

On April 25, 1915, Arthur and the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion arrived at Gallipoli and landed in Anzac at 4:30am as part of the Covering Force, led by Lieutenant Colonel Harry Lee, the officer who had raised the battalion. The 9th Battalion initially defended the line of Second Ridge along with the rest of the 3rd Brigade, instead of their original day one objective because of a fateful higher command decision that was to have a detrimental impact on the entire campaign. It went on to serve throughout the campaign at ANZAC until the evacuation in December.

However, Arthur did not stay in Gallipoli until the evacuation because on August 25, 1915 he fell ill and was evacuated to Mudros, Greece, where he was admitted to the 1st Field Ambulance then to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station suffering from diarrhea and asthma. On August 26, he was admitted to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital in Lemnos. A few days later, on August 31, he was evacuated to the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt and embarked the next day on board "Rewo" for England.

On September 11, 1915, Arthur arrived in England and was admitted to the County Of London War Hospital in Epsom, Surrey, suffering from venereal stoppages and ten months later, after being treated, he proceeded overseas to France on July 25, 1916.

On July 26, 1916, after a quick trip up the English Channel, Arthur arrived in France and was disembarked at Etaples where he joined the 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot and was taken on strength to the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion on July 29 at Berteaucourt, Somme. When Arthur rejoined his comrades, the 9th Battalion was exhausted and was almost totally annihilated at Pozieres a few days earlier.

The 1st Division was committed to the attack on Pozieres village from July 23,1916 involving the reduction of the "Gibraltar" blockhouse among other tasks.The enemy shelling was relentless and casualties mounted at a horrifying rate.Once the "Windmill" was captured by the 2nd Division on 4th August and consolidated by the 4th Division, the direction of the Australian assault switched to Mouquet Farm, with the 1st Division leading once again.The aim was to outflank Thiepval, the main impediment and key objective of the British advance.The AIF Divisions had fought themselves to a standstill over five weeks; 23,000 casualties of whom 5,0000 were killed.When Arthur reached Berteaucourt, the 9th Battalion had lost 272 men killed in action, 278 were missing and 1190 were wounded, in total 1740 men were lost in a few days.

After a period of training and rest at Berteaucourt, Arthur and the 9th Battalion marched through Bonneville on August 9,1916 then Herissart, Vadencourt, Albert, Warloy-Baillon, Beauval and arrived at Poperinghe, Belgium, and entered a known position. as "Connaught Lines" on August 29.

A few days later, on the morning of September 1, 1916, Arthur and the 9th Battalion entered the trenches of the "Devonshire Lines", five kilometers from Ypres then relieved the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion at Ypres on September 12 in positions known as "Vandermoken Road" and "Knoll Road" under German sniper and artillery fire and eight days later,on September 20, were relieved and marched to "Halifax Camp", located at Chateau Belge where they remained until the end of the month.

On October 1, 1916, the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion was sent to Ypres, in the Hill 60 sector from where they were relieved by the 7th Australian Infantry Battalion on October 8, then marched for Steenvorde and were sent back to the Somme on October 23,at Buire.

After their arrival at Buire, in the Somme on October 23, Arthur and the 9th Battalion marched for Fricourt the next day and joined the front line of Bernafay Wood on October 30 then Pommières Camp on November 1 between Montauban and Mametz where they remained until on November 6 and the following day, joined the Bernafay Camp and entered the trenches of Flers on November 9, in appalling conditions and biting cold but the battalion fought with courage in this sector before being relieved on November 13 and moved back to Bernafay Camp and Fricourt on November 15. Two weeks later, on November 29, Arthur was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in Cardonnette and the next day marched alongside his comrades for Franvillers and Dernancourt then returned to Fricourt on December 3 then Bazentin the next day where they bivouacked until December 11.

On December 12, 1916, Arthur and the 9th Battalion returned to the trenches of Flers, more precisely the "Switch Trench" and the "Gap Trench" then ten days later, on December 22, Company B, Arthur's unit occupied the "Smoke Trench" and faced the 173rd Bavarian Regiment which heavily pounded the Australian lines. On December 31, the 9th Battalion moved back to Bazentin then marched to Dernancourt on January 7, 1917, reached Bresle on January 14, Fricourt on January 24, Bazentin -Le-Petit on January 28, Albert on February 2 where Arthur was admitted to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance then to the 1st Australian Scaby Hospital suffering from scabies, was discharged to duty on February 5 and joined his battalion on February 6.

More than two weeks later, on February 24, 1917, the 9th Battalion was sent to the front line at Bazentin-Le-Petit and occupied the "Bank Trench" and the "Wheat Trench" where unfortunately the next day, Arthur met his fate while his company was in a position known as "The Maze" and had both of his legs blown off by a shell. He was immediately evacuated to 1st Australian Field Ambulance but died of his wounds later the same day, aged 23.

Today, Lance Corporal Arthur Stanley Hoodless rests in peace alongside his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription: "He has fought a good fight and has gained eternal life.Mother."

After Arthur's death, several articles were published in the North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times as follows:
On Monday last the Rev. R. Weld Thomas, rector of Latrobe, had the painful duty of conveying the news of the death from wounds, of Lance Corporal Arthur Stanley Hoodless, who had joined the 9th Battalion from Queensland. It was learned that the soldier's mother was in Launceston. A wire was forwarded to the Rev. C. C. H. Corvan to break the sad news. The rector then proceeded on to Stoodley to inform the deceased's sister, Mrs. George Sheehan."

(The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times-16 March 1917)
At the local Methodist Chapel on Sunday evening an impressive memorial service was held in memory of Lance-Corporal Arthur Hoodless. There was a large congregation, and a powerful address was delivered by the minister of the circuit, Rev. B. L. Semmens. At the close of the service the congregation stood while the Dead March was rendered by the organist."

(The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times-18 April 1917)
"Railton Soldier's Death
Chaplain's Fine Tribute
Mrs. J. C. Hoodless, Railton, has received the following letter from an army chaplan relative to the death of her elder son in action in France, together, with another from her younger son, Private Cyril Hoodless, who reported, himself as well, and stated that he was beside his brother when he fell, and saw him laid in the general cemetery at a place the name of which he will communicate later.|

With the Australian Imperial forces in the Field, 28/2/1917 - Mrs. Hoodless, You have doubtless heard by cable through the Defence Department of the lamented death of your elder son, Lance-Corporal Arthur S. Hoodless. The deceased soldier was in B. Company of this battalion, and went into action last Saturday, February 24. He had been in the trenches then only two days. The action in which his death was cause; was the one which led to the discovery that the German troops were. retiring and our lads pushed on to the attack and pursuit with the utmost gallantry and coolness. The movenment of the men was like a drill parade, so regular, so steady, and this was in the teeth of the enemy's barrage of high explosive shells. Your noble son shared to the full, the courage and cool daring of the whole battalion. I have questioned his own officers and two of another company; altogether, and they all tell me the same thing, that Lance-Corporal Hoodless was one of the steadiest and most reliable of the men of the battalion. He was popular with his mates, and trusted by his officers. Were I able (as I cannot just now), to tell you of the training and testing of the junior N.C.O.'s that has been going on here lately, you would know how worthy your son was thought to be. He was hit in the legs by a passing shell, which exploded after it had hit him. He was not further hurt by the explosion, and was removed to casualty clearing station. He suffered practically no pain, and was seen on a stretcher smoking a cigarette as if all were well. After a day or so however, the shock and the effects of the loss of blood began to be felt, and your son passed peacefully away in the clearing station. The Church of England chaplain conducted the funeral service, and your other son will later on be able to give you particulars as to where the cemetery is. I have some confidence that your son had his faith fixed in Christ, and are happy to be able to tell you the news, which I am sure you will find a source of comfort in your hour of sorrow. His mates and officers express their sincerest sympathy with you in the loss of so fine a soldier and so brave a man. For myself I beg to join in their sympathy, and to assure you that I pray God to grant you that comfort which he alone can give. Whatever i can do to help your other son and to care for his comfort and well-being, I shall strive to do while I am with the battalion. Yours most respectfully, R. Wilson Macaulay, Presbyterian Chaplain, attached to the 9th Battalion, A.I.F., France."
(The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times-15 May 1917)

Unfortunately, Arthur's brother, Private number 1816 Cyril James Roy Hoodless who also fought in the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion, died three months after his brother on May 31, 1917 in Bullecourt at the age of 19. He now rests in peace alongside his brothers in arms at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, and his grave bears the following inscription: "He has fought the good fight and has entered into eternal rest. Father."

Arthur, Cyril, brothers in life, young and proud, it is with conviction and determination that together, in the prime of life, you answered the call of duty under the rising sun of Australia to serve your country on the fields of honor of the great war. Full of will and united in fraternal love, they embarked together for the front, laying their eyes one last time on their loved ones, on their homes, they sailed towards the on the other side of the world without knowing what awaited them but in Gallipoli, they knew that war would not be the greatest adventure of any man and in the water, on the red sand, they discovered death and the howls of the wounded that the bullets stopped from the hills that they attacked in fury and bravery and saw the first friends who fell in the dust and the stifling heat but in these distant lands of Turkey was born, in suffering and courage, in the first sacrifices and valour, the spirit of ANZAC, a spirit that guided the steps of young men and women who fought and suffered together in the finest spirit of camaraderie and unity that defined the Australian Imperial Force. Brave among the bravest, these young men showed the determination of the entire Australian nation and after Gallipoli, after months of endless suffering and pain, their ranks decimated by machine guns and dysentery they received orders to join their brothers in arms in the north of france and the trenches, the mud of the battlefields of the Somme and on July 23, 1916, these young boys who were already veterans were thrown into the hell of Pozières where they charged the enemy lines under tons of howling metal, under an artillery shelling which never ceased then, in this darkness came the turn of the sadly famous Mouquet Farm, symbol of the courage and the sacrifice of the Australians in the Somme who, in seven weeks of hell, lost 23,000 of their comrades many of whom have no known graves.Once again, the battalions were annihilated in this nightmare that were the putrid quagmires and the slaughterhouses of the Somme on which was shed the blood of a whole generation of heroes who gave their youth and their lives for our country but, always ahead, always in the front line, the courage and valor of the young Diggers was never broken and once again they charged with exceptional bravery through the poppies of Dernancourt, Flers, Gueudecourt, Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux where since 1918, for more than a hundred years, is engraved on the walls of schools, for eternity and for future generations "Do not forget Australia".More than a hundred years ago, when the Australians arrived in France, a country they did not know, they did not know how much they would be loved and admired by their French brothers in arms and the people of the Somme for which they have done so much and since then, this love and admiration that we have for them has never stopped growing and I feel deeply proud and honored to watch over them, over their memory and over their graves to perpetuate their history, to be the guardian of their memory and their names that I wish to bring to life so that their courage, their commitment and their sacrifices for the peace and freedom in which we live thanks to them will never be forgotten. I will always be present for them by carrying in my heart, the friendship and respect that unites our two countries, a friendship that was born in the trenches and that nothing will ever break.Thank you so much Arthur, for everything,know that your name will live forever. At the going down of the Sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.