HALES, Colin

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 18 March 1915, Mitcham South Australia Australia
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Lillimur, Victoria, Australia, 11 July 1892
Home Town: Goodwood, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Goodwood Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Compositor/ Printer (Adelaide Register)
Died: Killed In Action, Becordel-Becourt, France, 20 December 1916, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery
(I. F. 19.)
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Goodwood Public School WW1 Roll of Honor, Goodwood St George Anglican Church Memorial Tower, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

18 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Mitcham South Australia Australia
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 27th Infantry Battalion
9 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
Date unknown: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Help us honour Colin Hales's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Aberfoyle Park High School

Address before the War: 38 Dartmouth Street, Goodwood.

Enlisted at Adelaide on 18 March, 1915.

Applied for Commission on 7 April, 1915 and was granted the rank of 2nd Lieutenant on the 16 April, 1915.  

First Embarkation: 2nd Lt. with 'A' Company 27th Battalion, 31 May, 1915 at Adelaide on HMAT Geelong (A2)

The 27th Battalion travelled to Egypt where it stayed for several months training before landing at ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli in September. However, whilst in Egypt on the 25 July, 1915 Colin Hales suffered a Hernia which was operated on, however, at a board of inquiry the board recommended that Colin be discharged as permanently unfit. He was invalided back to Australia. 

Whilst back in Australia he married Mabel May Hales who was living in Mount Gambier at the time. He then, on the 9 March, 1916, re-enlisted in the AIF and was accepted and placed in the 10th Reinforcements, 27th Battalion.      

Second Embarkation: 2nd Lt. with 10th Reinforcements 27th Battalion, 9 March, 1916 at Adelaide on RMS Mongolia

The Reinforcements reached Egypt where they were taken of strength before the AIF underwent its 'doubling' expansion - splitting 2 divisions into 4 divisions along with fresh reinforcements. On 30 April, 1916 at Serapeum Colin Hales was transferred to the 4th Division Cyclist Company. At that point in time the AIF allocated a single Company of Cyclists (around 100 - 250 men) to each of Australia's 5 Divisions. This decision was later changed and allocated a single Battalion of Cyclists (around 550 - 1000 men) to each ANZAC Corps - ANZAC 1 and ANZAC 2. However, with this decision still yet to come Hales proceeded to join the BEF in Europe on the Western Front with the 4th Cyclist Company. He embarked at Alexandrina on 2 June and disembarked at Marseilles on 8 June, 1916. He had been promoted to Lieutenant on 1 May, 1916.

Then when the decision was made to consolidate the Cyclist Companies into Cyclist Battalions Colin Hales was still with the 4th Cyclist Company at that time. On 9 July, 1916 Hales was attached to the 5th Division Cyclist Company, later the same day, however, he was transferred to the newly created 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion.

He continued serving with the Cyclist Battalion until 20 December, 1916 when he was killed in Action. The 1st ANZAC Cyclist Battalion Diary records that the Battalion was stationed at Lahoussove which was several kilometres in front of the town of Albert in the Somme region. It also records that, "Lieut. C. Hales killed by shell fire. 1 O Rank [other rank] wounded. 12 O Ranks reported from Base Details." Therefore it mostly likely appears that Colin Hales was killed by a random shell, most probably instantly as there are no records of him entering a field hospital or Casualty Clearing Station. He was buried at Dartmoor Cemetery nearby and was 24 years old.     

1914/15 Star: 2545

British War Medal: 13169

Victory Medal: 13109 - received by wife 13/12/22

Memorial Plaque: 356049 - received by wife 13/12/22

Memorial Scroll: 356049 - received by wife 2/9/21

Personal effects: received by wife 2/7/17

Personal Documents/service papers: 1 Commission form received by wife 20/12/19


Nathan Rohrlach, April 2014.           


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

The Advertiser Wednesday 10 January 1917 page 8
Mr. and Mrs. Hales, of Lock street, St.Peters, have received the news that their eldest son, Lieutenant Colin Hales, has been killed in action in France. Lieutenant Hales left South Australia in May,1915, and was invalided home the following October. He returned to the front in March, 1916. From letters received last mail it was learned that he was on the Somme front, engaged in wireless communication. He was 24 years of age, and prior to enlisting was employed at the"Register" office.