Herbert Bock, KIA 5 Sept 1916

Lance Corporal Bock - 9th & 49 Battalions


Lance Corporal Bock - 
9th & 49 Battalions

Herbert Bock enlisted in Bundaberg, 4 January 1915. He was assigned to the reinforcements for the 9th Infantry Battalion and by May 1915 was fighting with the unit on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

When the troops were withdrawn from the Peninsula, they regrouped in Egypt. Parts of the 9th and 25th Battalions were merged and Bock was transferred to the newly formed 49th Infantry Battalion. They spent several months training and regaining strength before embarking for France with the 50th Battalion on the troopship Ardadia.

Field service postcards, 1915 & 1916

Field service postcards, 1915 & 1916

Patriotic badge, 1915


Patriotic badge, 1915

August 1916 saw the 49th in the Albert area, moving between front lines alongside other Battalions. Bock was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 25th of this month, after attending a school of instruction in the field.

Early in September the Battalion's commander Lieut. Col. Lorenzo, gave orders for their inclusion in a major attack on the enemy's trenches near Mouquet Farm. Together with the Australian 52nd and the Canadian 16th Battalions, trenches were fiercely attacked, companies moved in waves covering each other, deepening communication trenches and carrying up bombs to the front line.

On the 5th September there were many casualties, including Lance Corporal Bock. Initially listed as missing, enquiries were made by the Red Cross Bureau, which confirmed that Bock had undoubtedly been killed. Witnesses reported seeing him blown to pieces by a shell, his death was instantaneous, with no possibility of him being buried.

His mother Emily, so distraught at the news when informed, fell ill and died two months later, age 45.

Courcelette, France. 1916

His remains were exhumed and re-interred at the Serre Road Cemetery No. 2 near Beaumont Hamel, where he has a permanent headstone engraved with this full regimental description, date of death and epitaph.

Serre Road Cemetery No. 2

Serre Road Cemetery No. 2

"This memento though now somewhat impaired through long exposure will doubtless be valued on account of its former intimate association with your son, and I trust same comes safely to hand."

Further Reading:

Marg Powell  |  QANZAC 100 Content Technician  State Library of Queensland

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