Allen Gordon Holmes IVY

IVY, Allen Gordon Holmes

Service Number: 2348
Enlisted: 8 April 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, 1883
Home Town: Solomontown, Port Pirie, South Australia
Schooling: Central Public School, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Miner
Died: Killed in Action, France, 6 February 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Broken Hill South Mine Roll of Honour, Healesville WW1 Honor Roll, Port Pirie Fathers of Sailors and Soldiers Association Port Pirie District Roll of Honor WW1, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

8 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1
24 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2348, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '12' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Kanowna embarkation_ship_number: A61 public_note: ''
24 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2348, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), HMAT Kanowna, Adelaide
Date unknown: Involvement 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Battle for Pozières

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte Allen Gordon Holmes IVY, 16th Battalion
Today, under the old battlefields of the Somme under which stand, in serene silence, millions of poppies that grow under the sun, rest in peace thousands of young men who answered the call of duty and who, with valor and exceptional bravery, served and fought with courage and determination until their last breath, in the hell of the battle, many of them were lost, without graves or flowers but as their brothers in arms who rest in peace in the cemeteries of the Somme, we will never forget them and we will honor their memory with the highest respect, with love and gratitude, we remember them as if they were our sons, our boys, our fathers and will always have a very big place in our hearts and today,it is the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme whom I want to honor with gratitude and who will forever have his place in my heart, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2348 Allen Gordon Holmes Ivy who fought in the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action 104 years ago, on February 6, 1917 at the age of 33 on the Somme front.

Allen Gordon Holmes Ivy was born on December 23, 1884 in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, and was the son of Thomas Jesse Holmes and Agnes Gordon Payton, of 30, Wilkins Street, Solomontown, South Australia. Allen was educated at Central Public School , Broken Hill, New South Wales.Before the outbreak of the war, he was single and lived in George Street, Solomontown, Port Pirie, South Australia, where he worked as a miner.

Enlisted on April 8, 1915 at Keswick, South Australia, in the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion, 7th Reinforcement, Allen received his training in Victoria and embarked with his unit from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A61 Kanowna on June 24, 1915 and sailed for the Gallipoli Peninsula where he fought with great courage until September 17, 1915, when he embarked with his battalion for Egypt and arrived in Alexandria on December 30.Three months later, on March 3, 1916, Allen was admitted to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance and then admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital in Tel-El-Kebir with dental troubles.Three months later, on June 1, 1916, he joined the British Expeditionary Force and embarked with his unit from Alexandria on board HMT Canada and sailed for France.

Allen arrived in France and was disembarked in Marseilles on June 9, 1916 and was sent to the Somme where he faced the Australian army's first major engagement at Pozieres between July 23 and September 3, 1916,a battle that was among the worst and one of the deadliest for the Australian army, which lost 23,000 men.On August 26, 1916, Allen was admitted to the 1st Anzac Rest Station then on August 28 to the 3rd casualty Clearing Station suffering from synovitis on his left leg and was sent, on August 30, to the 1st Convalescent depot in Boulogne suffering from sore feet.After recovering, Allen was discharged to base on November 3, 1916 and was sent the next day, November 4, to the 3rd Large Rest Camp in Etaples before being sent back to the Somme where he joined his battalion in Flers on December 4.

Unfortunately, it was in the Somme, in Flers, that two months later, on February 6, 1917, Allen was killed in action by a shell, he was 33 years old. One of his friends and comrades, Private number 294 Louis Ricci wrote a letter to Allen's superior officer in which he noted:
"he was a signaller for D Company and came from South Australia, I was alongside of him when he was hit by a shell on February 6 in a trench on a ridge looking down Le Transloy,and found that he was hit in the body.He did not say anything ,and died in a quarter of an hour.The same shell killed a man nommed Mackenzie,and wounded a corporal.There where a lot of dead bodies lying about the trench that day,and as it was necessary to clear it all the bodies,they were put over the parapet.I do not know whether they were afterwards buried".

Unfortunately, Allen's body was never found and he is today commemorated and remembered at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, Somme, alongside the names of 11,000 Australian soldiers who fell in the Somme and in France and who have no known graves.

Allen had a brother who also fought in the first world war, Private number 3937 Ernest John Theodore Ivy who fought in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion and who survived the war.Ernest died on December 5, 1967 at the age of 67 of a Myocardial Infarction, Arteriosclerosis and now rests in peace in Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia.
Allen, you who served with courage and loyalty and who gave your life on the lands of France on which you shed your blood alongside your comrades, I would like today, from the bottom of my heart and with great respect , say thank you for everything you have done for us.Young and determined, it is with a brave heart and a high head that you answered the call of duty to fight under the Australian flag with your friends and brothers in arms united under the banner of humanity and freedom , gathered around just and noble causes under the same uniform, with the same deep desire to serve for your country, it is with smiling faces and confident hearts that you have, with conviction, walked all together towards the battlefields of northern France, through the mud and smoke of chaotic roads and ruined villages to the trenches of the Somme to face your fate.Side by side in the cold and deep mud, in icy water and blood, they fought day and night under the ominous rumble of shells which relentlessly transformed peaceful fields into fields of death and desolation on which were lost and mowed down a whole generation of men.United by very strong bonds of comradeship, they showed the courage of an entire nation in a spirit of unity, determination, perseverance, courage and were brave among the bravest on the battlefield, always in the front line under constant fire, the Australians, like their brothers in arms, were in all the fights some of which were the most difficult and the deadliest of the whole war like Pozieres which was, for many veterans, worse than Gallipoli and which today, like Villers-Bretonneux, Amiens, Flers, resonate in our hearts as the symbol of the courage and the sacrifices of the Australian army in the Somme and of their remembrance on these lands which are and will always be theirs. They were young and brave and in the hell of the trenches, they always kept the sense of humor and an exceptional courage which was admired by their French brothers in arms with whom, more than a hundred years ago, forged a sincere and mutual friendship, a friendship and a respect which never ceased to grow and which, like the flame of Remembrance, shine and live in my heart.Our flags fly side by side in the wind above the fields of poppies, under the light of the sun which illuminates their graves and their names which will never disappear. 11,000 of these young men have no known graves but we have in our hearts, in our thoughts, their faces, their smiles, the glow of their youth and courage in their eyes and they will never be is with deep love, with respect, with gratitude that I would always watch over them and this year, despite the virus, I would be there for them at the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux to celebrate with them in my heart, the ANZAC Day and as long as I live, I will always be there for them, as their guardian, a messenger of history and time who wants to protect and bring to life the history and memory of all those heroes who did so much for us and for which I feel a deep admiration. Forever young, they are and will always be, each of them, my heroes, my boys of the Somme.Thank you so much Allen, for everything, we will never forget you.

Anzac is not merely about loss. It is about courage,and endurance,and duty,and love of country,and mateship,and good humour and the survival of a sense of self-worth and decency in the face of dreadful odds.

They shall grow not old,as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them,nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember them. 



Son of Thomas Jesse Holmes IVY & Agnes Gordon PAYTON / PEYTON