Friday, 14 September 2018

W H Bonney 4681

The following entry is from They Answered The CallClick here for the contents page.

Walter Herbert BONNEY

Service number: 4681.  Age: 19 years 6 months.  Enlisted: 18 Oct 1915.

Occupation: Carpenter.  Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Mary Ann Bonney.
Address on enlistment: Toorbul.

Service Summary:
18 Oct 1915: 12 reinforcement 26 Battalion.
12 Apr 1916: Embarked from Sydney on HMAT Mooltan to England.
19 Dec 1916: Taken on strength 26 Battalion in France.

A page from the Service Record of Walter Herbert Bonney.
(Typical of all Army enlistees.)
< Taken on strength from 12th reinf. France 19.12.16
< Pte proceeding O/seas to France per S.S. Victoria 12.12.16
< Pte T.O.S. of 2nd Div Sig Coy from 26th Bn A.I.F. as Sapper. 17.6.18

“In early 1917, 26 Battalion joined the follow-up of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and attacked at Warlencourt (1-2 Mar) and Lagincourt (26 Mar). For his valorous actions at Lagincourt, Captain Percy Cherry was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. On 3 May, the Battalion was also involved in the second attempt to breach the Hindenburg Line defences around Bullecourt. Later that year the focus of the AIF’s operations switched to Belgium. There, 26 Battalion fought in the battle of Menin Road on 20 Sep and participated in the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 Oct 1917.”

Like most AIF battalions, the 26th fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April 1918, and in the lull that followed mounted "peaceful penetration" operations to snatch portions of the German front line. In one such operation in Monument Wood on 14 July the 26th Battalion captured the first German tank to fall into Allied hands - No. 506 "Mephisto". In another, on 17 July, Lieutenant Albert Borrella was awarded the Victoria Cross. Later in the year the 26th participated in the great offensive that began on 8 August, its most notable engagement being an attack east of Mont St Quentin on 2 September. The Battalion's last action of the war was the capture of Lormisset, part of the operation to breach the Beaurevoir Line, on 3 October 1918. The 26th Battalion was disbanded in May 1919.” [1]

17 Jun 1918: Taken on strength 2 Div Sig Coy.
29 May 1919: Returned to Australia from England on HT Rio Negro to Sydney.

Life Summary:
Walter Bonney (1896-1976) was the second youngest son of Walter Herbert Bonney (1860-1924) and Mary Ann Wallwood (1859-1933) and was born at Caboolture on 28 Feb 1896. The Bonney family had resided at Toorbul since the 1880s.

Bonney family home at Toorbul, 1902. [2]

Walter Bonney married Josephine Olive Fyfe in 1924 and the couple moved to Ingham the following year where Walter Bonney worked as a builder. By the late 1940s the couple had moved to Brisbane. Walter Bonney, aged 80, died 30 Jun 1976 at Brisbane and shares a memorial with his wife Josephine Bonney at the Albany Creek Memorial Park.

[1] History of 26 Battalion A.I.F., AWM 224: MSS 156-157. AWM4/23/43/1-23/43/46.
[2] Source: Sunshine Coast Libraries Image P87452

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