Adrian FALK

FALK, Adrian

Service Number: 12
Enlisted: 20 April 1915, Croydon, New South Wales
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 1st Battalion Imperial Camel Corps
Born: Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia, 9 February 1892
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Camden Grammer School, N.S.W. & St Peter's College, S.A.
Occupation: Stockman
Died: Killed in Action, Gaza, Palestine, 19 April 1917, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Jerusalem Memorial
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World War 1 Service

20 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 12, Croydon, New South Wales
29 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 12, 7th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '7' embarkation_place: '' embarkation_ship: SS Melbourne embarkation_ship_number: A36 public_note: ''
29 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 12, 7th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, HMAT Aeneas, Melbourne
4 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 12, 7th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, ANZAC / Gallipoli
19 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, 12, 1st Battalion Imperial Camel Corps, Battles of Gaza , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 12 awm_unit: 1 Battalion Imperial Camel Corps awm_rank: Trooper awm_died_date: 1917-04-19

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From the book Fallen Saints;

Adrian Falk was born at Strathfield New South Wales and although he gained the majority of his education in New South Wales, he and his brother Alfred attended the Collegiate School of St Peter in Adelaide for a short time.

Adrian Falk’s date for having attended the Collegiate School of Saint Peter is given as 1901-1902, but his card index says 1899-? He is listed in the School list for 1901. [i]

He attended the Camden Grammar School and Sydney Grammar School in NSW and after leaving school found employment as a Warehouse Salesman before subsequently working in the bush as a stockman.

Adrian enlisted at Croydon, Queensland on 20 April 1915 and although initially placed on the unallotted list for the Australian Light Horse, was posted to 7th Brigade Headquarters on 1 May while undergoing training at Greenhill Camp; he sailed from Brisbane aboard SS Melbourne in June 1915.

Private Falk embarked for Gallipoli on 4 September 1915, and remained with the 7th Brigade Headquarters until transferred to the HQ of the 2nd Australian Division in early December.

He transferred to the ICC while at Ismailia and after being taken on the unit’s strength at Abbassia in February was appointed lance corporal. 

He was made temporary Corporal in late September and while at El Arish in November was taken on the strength of the 1st ANZAC Battalion, Imperial Camel Brigade where he was promoted to substantive Corporal.  

Corporal Falk was made temporary Sergeant on 1 December and on 1 February 1917 was admitted to the ICC Field Ambulance treated for a fractured hand (metacarpal) but returned to duty the following day.  

One wonders how Sergeant Falk, (185.4 cms) an ex stockman, who at the time of enlistment bore scars under both eyes and another near his left ear, may have fractured his hand; he reverted to his substantive rank of corporal on 19 March and the same day at his own request reverted to Trooper.  Trooper Adrian Falk, No 3 Section, 3 Company, 1st ANZAC Battalion, Imperial Camel Brigade, AIF, was killed in action on 19 April 1917; he was 25 years of age.

Witness Statements [ii]

When interviewed in London on 6 January 1919, Trooper Thomas Halliday said that during the attack on Gaza, Falk was hit in the abdomen just before reaching the Turkish trenches and died a few minutes later. ‘I was alongside him at the time. I was taken prisoner later, after we had run out of ammunition. His body would be left on the field.’

When interviewed by Major Frank Lamb in March 1919, Trooper John McGrath said Adrian Falk of Queensland came with the 26th Battalion Headquarters. ‘He was an N.C.O. in No. 3 Company. He was tall and slim. During our attack at Gaza, he and two others were killed outright by shell fire, witness being about 10 yards distant. This was about 11. a.m., and about 2. p.m., we had to fall back.’ Major Lamb wrote; Witness knew Falk well and is perfectly sure of his identity.

Trooper Falk’s OC when completing the Field Return A.F. B213 dated April 26 1917 wrote he was killed in action during the advance on 19 April.

... while in temporary occupation of a Turkish Redoubt, and owing to the position being vacated and not subsequently re-occupied the dead were not able to be buried.  [iii]


[i] Fisher, R W, - History Master and Archivist St Peter’s College
[ii] Australian War Memorial, Australian Red Cross wounded and missing enquiry bureau files – Falk, Adrian  / 1030906, viewed 29 June 2006
[iii] National Archives of Australia: B 2455, Falk Adrian / 3547344, viewed 29 June 2006