Julius August William KAYSER

KAYSER, Julius August William

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 28 August 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 12th Infantry Battalion
Born: Lyndoch, South Australia, 4 October 1879
Home Town: Alberton, Port Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Prince Alfred College & Adelaide University, South Australia
Occupation: Teacher
Died: Killed In Action , Glencourt Abbey, France, 16 February 1917, aged 37 years
Cemetery: Warlencourt British Cemetery
Memorial 6. His name located panel 66 in the Commemorative Area AWM and also commemorated in North Road Church of England Cemetery, Adelaide.
Memorials: Adelaide Gilles Street Primary School WW1 Honour Board (Original), Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kent Town Prince Alfred College 'Nobly Striving, Nobly Fell' Roll of Honour, Lindisfarne Officers of the 12th Battalion Pictorial Honour Roll, Lyndoch and District Roll of Honour, Rose Park Public School WW1 Honour Board, South Australian Education Department Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

28 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 12th Infantry Battalion, Adelaide, South Australia
17 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 12th Infantry Battalion,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''

18 Oct 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, 12th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
20 Nov 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, Wounded and evacuated to Australia on the HMAT Suevic
29 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, 12th Infantry Battalion,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: RMS Orontes embarkation_ship_number: '' public_note: ''

23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, 12th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
24 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , GSW
3 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Major, 12th Infantry Battalion
16 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 12th Infantry Battalion, The Outpost Villages - German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line, Warlancourt. " Among the very first to enlist at the outbreak of the War. He was invalided home once. Then returned and severely wounded at Pozieres. He returned again for the third time when he was killed. He enlisted as a Lieutenant and was promoted twice." Details from Wife.

Account of Service from the AWM Last Post Ceremony

Julius Kayser was born in Lyndoch, South Australia, in 1877. He was the third youngest of ten children to Johan and Cacille Kayser, who had emigrated from Hannover in Germany in the 1850s. The family lived in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, with many other German migrant families. Like his father, Julius Kayser became a school teacher at the Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, and was the commanding officer of the C Company, 76th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces in the years before the First World War. He married Helen Hopewell in 1904, and the couple had three children: Edward, Ella, and Gordon.

Julius Kayser was among the first Australians to enlist in the AIF in August 1914. As an experienced soldier with the 76th Regiment, he was appointed lieutenant and left Australia for Egypt with the 12th Battalion in September. He was among the first wave of troops to land on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, and was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front-line positions at Anzac in the region of Russell’s Top, during which time he was promoted to captain.

The fighting took its toll, however, and after a costly, if unsuccessful, Turkish counter-attack in May, Captain Kayser was evacuated to Malta with a bout of dysentery and suffering a nervous breakdown. He was sent to hospital in London; where he was found to be unfit for general service. He returned home and spent the next six months with his family in Australia.

By mid-1916 Kayser had evidently sufficiently recovered, because in June he returned to the 12th Battalion, then fighting in France. The battalion attacked the village of Pozières, and on 23 July Captain Kayser was severely wounded in the leg, resulting in his evacuation to England. Kayser spent the remainder of the year in England, returning to the front in January 1917. Now promoted to major, he again reunited with the 12th Battalion in the relatively quiet sector at Glencourt Abbey, near Gueudecourt.

On 16 February 1917 German troops bombarded the Australian positions occupied by the 12th Battalion with trench mortar fire. One of the mortars landed on a dug-out and ignited a stack of star shells. Five men were killed in the blast, including Major Kayser, who was buried with full military honours in a makeshift cemetery behind the 12th
Battalion headquarters. Aged 37 at the time of his death, today he rests in the Warlencourt British Cemetery on the road to Bapaume.

Major Kayser was affectionately known by his men as “Monk”, and according to his Quartermaster Sergeant was “worshipped by the men of his battalion, both as a soldier and for his sterling qualities as a man”.


Account of Service from 'The Fighting Tenth'

Julius August William Kayser:
Julius August William Kayser was born at Lyndoch, South Australia, on October 4th, 1877. He was educated at Prince Alfred College, and was a schoolmaster by profession. On December 24, 1904, at Maitland, he married Helen Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Prosser Henry Hopewell, and at the outbreak of the Great War was residing at James Street, Franklin, Alberton, and was teaching at the Alberton Public School. He was appointed a 2nd lieutenant in the 76th (Hindmarsh) Infantry on March 16, 1913, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the same regiment on March 1, 1914, and held this commission at the time of joining the A.I.F. He was one of the first South Australian Officers desirous of proceeding overseas, and on August 27, 1914, was appointed a lieutenant in the 10th Battalion at Morphettville, where he was posted to original "D" Company, but when it was decided to raise two companies of the 12th Battalion in South Australia he was immediately transferred to original "F" Company of that unit. He was actually with the 10th for such a short period that many of the original men did not know he had served amongst them for a few weeks. On September 21, 1914, after the first A.I.F. march through the city of Adelaide, he entrained for Melbourne with "E" and "F" Companies of the 12th Battalion, and proceeded to Tasmania, where he subsequently joined the main body of the 12th Battalion. He embarked with his battalion on September 20, 1914, and accompanied the First Australian Contingent to Egypt. On October 18, 1914, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and during the company reorganization at Mena, Egypt, in January, 1915, was transferred to "C" Company of the 12th Battalion and appointed 2nd in Command of that company. He accompanied the 12th Battalion to the Dardanelles, and landed with half of his company from one of the destroyers at the historic landing on April 25, 1915. He remained on the Peninsula until October 20, 1915, when he was wounded and subsequently returned to Australia. On March 3, 1916, he re-embarked for overseas and proceeded to France, where he was wounded at Pozieres in August, 1916. He proceeded to England, and was admitted to the Palace Green Hospital at Kensington West, London and later was transferred to Moray Lodge, Camden Hill. He subsequently, returned to France, where he was promoted to the rank of temporary major, and killed in action at Le Barque on February 16, 1917.

From Lock “The Fighting Tenth”

Showing 2 of 2 stories


Born  August Juilus Wilhelm KAYSER on 4 October 1877, Lyndoch, South Australia.
(SA Birth Record 1842 - 1906 Book: 190 Page: 57 District: Bar.)

Father Johann August Ludwig KAYSER (b. 1835 - d. 22/2/1910 Adelaide SA) and
m. 13/12/1862 in Adelaide
Mother Cacilie Catharine Amalie Beecken (b. 1838 - d. 26/4/1918 in Adelaide)
last lived at Aldgate, South Australia.

10 Siblings:
Sister        Amalia Lousia KAYSER                   (b. 18/2/1864 Lyndoch SA - d.
Sister        Johanna Ida Friedericke KAYSER    (b. 26/3/1866 Lyndoch SA - d.
Sister        Amalia Auguste Franziska KAYSER  (b. 27/1/1868 Lyndoch SA - d.
Brother      Franz August Cecil KAYSER            (b. 15/12/1869 Lyndoch SA - d.
Brother      Johann August Siegfried KAYSER    (b. 2/7/1871 Lyndoch SA - d.
Brother      August Christof Max KAYSER          (b. 2/2/1873 Lyndoch SA - d.
Sister         Louise Ida Friedericke KAYSER       (b. 15/3/1875 Lyndoch SA - d.
himself     August Julius Wilhelm KAYSER
                 (b. 4/10/1877 Lyndoch SA - d. 16/2/1917 France)
Sister         Dora Auguste WIlhelmine KAYSER  (b. 3/5/1879 Lyndoch SA - d.
Sister         Ella Auguste Amalie KAYSER          (b. 9/4/1881 Lyndoch SA - d.

Wife:          Helen Elizabeth Kayser, living at Percy Street, Alberton, South Australia

He was a Teacher with the Education Department of SA.

Previous service:
Officer Commanding C Company, 78th Infantry

28/8/1914   Enlisted in Adelaide, South Australia

17/9/1914   Embarked from Port Melbourne on board HMAT Geelong A2
                  as a Lieutenant with 12th Infantry Battalion, F Company

18/10/1914  Promoted to Captain

20/10/1914  Re-Embarked from Hobart, Tasmania on board HMAT A2 Geelong
                   as a Major with the 12th Battalion

Described on last enlisting as 38 years 5 months old; married; 
Church of England.

29/3/1916   Re-embarked from Port Melbourne on board RMS Orontes
                  as a Captain with 12th Infantry, 16th reinforcements 

3/2/1917     Promoted to Major

16/2/1917   He was in the front line trenches at Glencourt Abbey, near Guedecourt,
                  when a 'pineapple bomb' was thrown into the trenches, mortally wounding
                  Kayser.  He was so badly wounded that he did not have the strength to move,
                  when more 'pineapple bombs' landed in the trenches, setting fire to some
                  Star Shells that were lying near by.
                  As he was so badly wounded, he could not get away and was burnt so severely,
                  that he died.  (Stated by Private 3002 J Allen).

buried in:    Hexham Road Cemetery
                  (in front of Battalion Headquarters at the Sunken Road, with Private Davidson
                  at Glencourt Abbey), with Full Military Honours.
                  The Pioneers erected a cross with details and placed it on his grave.
buried by:   Chaplain Major Douglas

later reburied in:    Warlencourt British Cemetery
                            Hexham Road, Memorial 6
                            Warlencourt-Eaucourt, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France

Epitaph reads:       "He willingly sacrificed his life for God, King and Country."

1914/15 Star (5435); British War Medal (215); Victory Medal (215);
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (356147)

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  24/3/2015.  Lest we forget.