Eric (Bim) BERTHON



Service Number: 36866
Enlisted: 21 February 1917
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 10th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Melbourne, Vic., 1898
Home Town: Brighton, Bayside, Victoria
Schooling: Haileybury College, Melbourne University
Occupation: Student
Died: Died of wounds, France, 13 October 1918
Cemetery: Serain Communal Cemetery Extension
A 40, S
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Haileybury College HB
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World War 1 Service

21 Feb 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 36866, Field Artillery Brigades
9 Nov 1917: Involvement Gunner, SN 36866, Field Artillery Brigades
9 Nov 1917: Embarked Gunner, SN 36866, Field Artillery Brigades, HMAT Port Sydney, Melbourne
13 Oct 1918: Involvement Gunner, SN 36866, 10th Field Artillery Brigade

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Louis de Crillon and Mebel Florence BERTHON, Haileybury College, Brighton Beach, Victoria

Eric entered the Haileybury School in 1907, where he remained until 1915, when he left to persue higher studies at the Melbourne University. As well as bing a diligent scholar, he took an energetic part in school atheltics.  He entered the eleven in 1911, and obtained captaincy in 1914, which office he retained till he left the school.  From the time when he was first made a member of the eleven he made rapid progress; he was a very reliable bat and an excellent field, and while he was a the College he played with the Brighton School Eleven.  In 1914 and 1915 he was captain of the Eighteen, and was responsible for the system and co-operation of the team.  One of our best ruckmen, he played very presistent football, and proved a very formidable opponent.  As a scholar he commenced in the Prepartory, and worked his way to the Head of the School.  After passing his Junior Public he devoted his time to the pursuit of Latin and Greek, in which subjects he obtained honours in the Senior Public examinations in 1914 and 1915, during which period he was head of the school; during this same time he was head prefect.  In classics he won a Resident Scholarship to Ormond College for the year 1916, obtainign second place on the list.  He completed his first year in Arts for Law, gaining honours in classics, and he again won a Resident Scholarship.

A higher and nobler duty calling him to fight for King and Country, he abandoned the pursuit of his studies.  At the age of nineteen he enlisted in February 1917, with the Artillery at Maribyrnong, and remained in camp until 9th November of the same year.  He then sailed from Australia, and arrived in England at the end of January.  His unit went into camp at Heytesbury, where he remained for about two months, and then proceeded to France, where he took up his duties in the firing line.  First of all he was attached to the Aus. Div. Amn. Col. with which he served for about two months, and was then transferred to the 387th Battery, 10th Field Artillery Brigade.  From the time that he joined this battery he was continuously in the firing line, and participated in the great Allied offensive.  During the last stages of this gigantic effort, which resulted in the signing of the Armistice, he was fatally wounded and died soon after.  He was buried at Serain, near Peronne.

He was known amont his friends as 'Bim" and he was liked by all who knew him.  Although only a boy, eh went away to do the duty of a man, and he nobly laid down his life for his friends.  'Greater love hath no man tha this,' and may it be some consolation to his sorrowing people that he was faithful even unto death.