Name: Albert John Gould

 

Birth Date: 1895 Where: Geraldtton,W.A.
Died: 7June, 1916 Where: la Chapelle-d'Armentieres, France
Place of Enlistment: Blackboy Hill, WA Age: 20
Serial Number: 2388 Battalion: 28th
Rank on Enlistment: Private Rank on Discharge/Death: Private

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal

 

Photograph Gould
Service Details:

 

 

30 July

1915                      Geraldton, WA

13 October

1915                      Embarked from Fremantle

22 January

1916                     Taken on strength

16 March

1916                      Embarked Alexandria

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

7 June

1916                      Killed during raid

 

 

 

 

Biographical Details:

Albert John Gould was one of five boys and three girls born to Mary and Robert Gould near Geraldton.
With the written permission of both his parents Albert enlisted in the 5th Reinforcement of the 28th Battalion in mid-1915. After some training in Perth and Egypt he joined the Battalion, at Tel-el-Kebir, in January 1916.
Bert was one of only a few raiders who had not seen action in Gallipoli. The Trench Raid was his first experience of offensive action. He was part of the covering party which was required to cover the withdrawal of the raiders and as such would be among the last to reach the relative safety of the Australian Trenches.  Unfortunately he was one of the two Australians who were killed returning.
An article printed in the Geraldton Guardian 0n 10th August 1916 is a fitting obituary:
Mr and Mrs Gould of Nabahwah have received several letters of sympathy from the comrades of their son, Private Bert Gould, who was killed in France. Private D. Criddle , who volunteered with him and served with him, all the time, writing on June 8 says: “You can rest assured Bert did his duty as well and as bravely as any soldier in our army. We had been shelled for the last week, so a request was made for a voluntary raiding party, and Bert made one. The German trenches were some hundreds of yards away. They advanced whilst our artillery covered them. Naturally the Germans opened fire on our trenches thinking we were all coming over. However our boys raided their trench, and killed and took as many as they could, and made back to our trenches. All this happened within about half an hour (time, mid-night) but before all our boys could get back poor Bert and another were caught by the enemy's shrapnel fire and killed almost instantly. Our boys were at the burial, which took place by some of his comrades, who had previously fallen. You may miss and never forget poor Bert, but only think how bravely he has given his life for his country, home, and loved ones.”
Lieutenant L. Browne , acting Adjutant of the 28th, in sending a loving message to his people which was found in the dead soldier's pocket book, says his other belongings are being forwarded through the official channel. He continues: 'In your bereavement you will have the one comforting thought that your son died as a soldier would wish to die, doing his duty on a perilous occasion. He was one of a small band of picked men who volunteered for the enterprise, which owing to the pluck of the men engaged in it, was very successful. You will be comforted, I feel sure, to know he suffered not at all, and he lies buried in a little cemetery which is carefully tended.”
Captain C. T Gibbings , in sending his sympathy, says: 'Every man  who went out in the raid had volunteered for it, so you, as we all are, must be proud of your son, as he, together with other members of this and a sister Battalion, were the first Australians to set foot in a German trench in France. Although we all mourn his death, it is no mean honour to have died at the conclusion of a successful fight, knowing, as he undoubtedly did, that we had won the day.



Gould's headstone at Ration Farm Cemetery, La Chapelle d’Armentieres, France


The handwritten list of B Company (28th Battalion) volunteers for the raid. Some are identified as bayonet men (BM) who would be useful in a clash with German soldiers in the trenches. Sgt Brown was made the leader of the Right Blocking Party. Corp Sullivan and Privates Powell, Roxburgh and Smith were also chosen.


David Criddle was taken prisoner on July 29th 2 weeks before this letter was published.  He survived the war.

Probably Roland Browne, who was wounded in 1917 and subsequently discharged

Ration Farm Military Cemetery not far from where Bert died.

Cecil Gibbings was killed at Pozieres in July 1916