Henry Charles BANFIELD

Poppy

BANFIELD, Henry Charles

Service Number: 1046
Enlisted: 16 March 1915, Ulverstone, Tas.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 26th Infantry Battalion
Born: North Motton. Tasmania, Australia, 1895
Home Town: Ulverstone, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed In Action, France , 29 July 1916
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ulverstone Baptist Church Honour Roll, Ulverstone Shrine of Remembrance, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

16 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1046, 26th Infantry Battalion, Ulverstone, Tas.
29 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1046, 26th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Brisbane

Help us honour Henry Charles Banfield's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Darren J Thomas and Darryl Smith (great grandfather)

Pte Henry Charles BANFIELD
Regimental number 1046
School State School, Tasmania
Religion Church of England
Occupation Labourer
Address Oldforth Road, Ulverstone, Tasmania
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 20
Next of kin Father, H Banfield, Oldforth Road, Ulverstone, Tasmania
Previous military service Nil
Enlistment date 18 March 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll 18 March 1915
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 26th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/43/1
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 29 June 1915
Rank from Nominal Roll Private
Unit from Nominal Roll 26th Battalion
Fate Killed in Action 29 July 1916
Place of death or wounding France
Date of death 29 July 1916
Age at death 21
Place of burial No known grave
Commemoration details Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
Miscellaneous information from
cemetery records Parents: Henry and Ann Banfield, Ulverstone, Tasmania. Born at North Motton, Tasmania

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Darryl Smith

Pte Henry Charles Banfield SERN 1026
26th Infantry Battalion
 
A forefather stolen by war restored 100 years later
On 28 October 2018, after many hours of searching, I finally unearthed a 100 year family mystery -- who my great grandfather is and what my true paternal line is.

Was my grandfather the biological son of his father?? Was the story about my great grandmother having a young boyfriend soldier who died at France true??

These were the questions I sought answers to.
The following truth was revealed:
Young Henry Charles Banfield of Ulverstone was only 20 when he went off to war on 29 June 1915, leaving behind his newly pregnant 18 year old girlfriend in Sassafras, Tasmania.

Sadly, young Henry didn't return and was killed in action in France on 29 July 1916. Henry's son, my grandfather, was born the first week of February 1916. The following year my widowed great grandmother married a recently widowed man who lived near Mt Roland in Tasmania. My grandfather was raised as his son taking on his name, which was passed on to my father.

My father, for reasons still unknown, disappeared from my life when I was 5. He was a kind hearted good man who people spoke highly of - so his disappearance is a mystery. In 2015 thirty years had passed since I had seen my dad and I decided to look for him. At the time I was working in South Melbourne and each afternoon would ride my bicycle home. I would ride through Albert Park and down to St Kilda along the bay until I reached my home in Brighton. When I was close to home I'd stop for a drink and a stretch whilst looking out across the bay. I would see the Spirit of Tasmania ship in the distance and it reminded me of my father. My father had taken my brother and I to Tasmania on the ship when I was 4 and my brother was 6. It made me wonder where my father was and what had happened with him, and this led to my decision to find him. After a few months searching for my father I managed to get in contact with his eldest sister in Tasmania. Sadly, I was too late - my father had already passed away a few years earlier. I was reconnected with family in Tasmania I hadn't seen since I was 4. Some months later I moved from Melbourne to Launceston to be close to family. A new chapter had opened in my life and I was keen to learn about my father and family, my ancestors and their land. I spent countless hours on genealogy research. I was thinking about changing my surname to my dad's name in honour of him. A relative from my grandfather's hometown near Mt Roland told me that my late grandfather wasn't the biological son of his father. She told me the story about a soldier going to war and not returning - leaving behind his young sweetheart who was pregnant. Nobody knew if this story was true and who the soldier may have been if it was. Others believed that the father who raised my grandfather was his biological father. I decided to explore both possibilities. I wanted to know the truth of who my great grandfather is and what my true paternal line is.

After many hours searching for answers I finally found the truth - Henry Charles Banfield is my great grandfather and the soldier story was true. My prayers had been answered.

Henry, who was stolen by the war 100 years ago is now rightfully restored to his family. A brave heroic forefather who gave his all. A forefather to be proud of. A forefather to be remembered and honoured. A forefather who lives on through over two hundred of his descendants over 5 generations spread out across Australia.

Armistice a hundred years ago marked the beginning of peace, restoration, and remembrance on the home front.

The Centenary of Armistice marks for me the restoration of a forefather, peace to my soul, and the remembrance of my Great Grandfather Henry Charles Banfield.

Thank You Great-Grandfather Henry - - I will remember you and the sacrifice you made.
Lest We Forget

Love from your great grandson
Darryl Smith

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