Alexander Edward LEVINGS


LEVINGS, Alexander Edward

Service Number: 2736
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 21st Infantry Battalion
Born: Cobram, Victoria, Australia, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Cobram, Moira, Victoria
Schooling: Cobram State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres France, 18 August 1916, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
(Plot IV, Row R, Grave No. 19), Ovillers-La-Boisselle, France, Pozieres British Cemetery Ovillers-La Boisselle, Pozieres, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Cobram Barooga RSL War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

5 Oct 1915: Involvement Private, SN 2736, 21st Infantry Battalion
5 Oct 1915: Embarked Private, SN 2736, 21st Infantry Battalion, RMS Moldavia, Melbourne

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

2736 Private Alexander Edward Levings, 7th Battalion AIF, killed in action 18th August 1916. He was the son of Henry and Rosina Levings, of Cobram.

Alexander Levings had just celebrated his 18th birthday on the 19th June 1915 when he enlisted in Cobram 3 weeks later. He had attended Cobram State School and was learning carpentry from his father.

Norman was just under 21 and also working as a carpenter with his father. In his file is a letter from his father Harry which discusses Harry’s carpentry business in Cobram, and having to knock back a job in Yarroweyah, and quoting on another at the Bearii School. The last part of the letter talks of Norman enlisting “well boy, my opinion about joining is that every able bodied male should join or hereafter hang his head in shame. It is hard to have to give up your prospects and I can assure you it cuts me to see you going, but I will be better able to stand your departure, than to have it said you were a coward when your country called. So you have my permission to try and if they accept you, I am sure you will not disgrace our name in word or action.” As Norman was under 21 and had to have parental consent to enlist, he produced this letter to the recruiting office.

Both boys were only given a couple of months training before leaving Melbourne together, arriving in Egypt at the end of 1915. They were both attached to the 7th Battalion in Egypt during February 1916, and they were soon after sent to France, during March 1916.

Alexander Levings went missing on the night of 18th August 1916, during the battle of Pozieres. He reportedly went out with another soldier into No Mans Land, during a very foggy night, and they arranged to follow one another back, but Levings never returned to the Australian lines. His body was found over two months later by a group of Canadian soldiers who gave him a military funeral and buried the remains. He now lies buried in the Pozieres British Cemetery at Ovillers-La Boisselle, in France. (Plot IV, Row R, Grave No. 19).

Alexander was described in the Cobram Courier as a “bright witty young man who had first class abilities as an entertainer and would have risen high in the theatrical profession, but he heard the call of Empire instead and chose to adopt it. And nobly he did it.”

His father, Harry Levings of Cobram, a widower, was awarded a pension of 30 shillings a fortnight in January 1917.