Clive William Tilbury (1885-1915)

Clive William Tilbury (1885-1915) in 19151

1885. Clive William was born 9 Mar in Balmain, Sydney. The family may been living in Sydney as a result of the 1883-85 drought in Queensland.

1886. The family moved to Rockhampton.

1901. Clive entered the Rockhampton Grammar School (RGS) at the age of 16. The RGS erroneously lists Clive as William Clive, who began at the school February 1901 at the age of 16 and left in December 1902.

Clive was further educated as a grazing selector and in 1914 was a grazier in Rockhampton.

1915. On 14 Jan Clive enlisted for World War I as a Private in the 15th Battalion (4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division) of the AIF, Service No. 2005. He was 29 years of age, 5' 6¾", weighed 12st 7lbs, measured 34/36½" around the chest, was of brown complexion with blue eyes and brown hair and followed the Church of England religion. At the time of joining, Clive was a grazier living at 'Radcliffe', Wondal Rd, Rockhampton. He registered his father's address as Denham St, Rockhampton.

The Embarkation Roll for the "15 Infantry Battalion - 1 to 23 Reinforcements (December 1914 - November 1916)" shows that Clive embarked for WWI 16 Apr 1915 from Brisbane on the HMAT Kyarra A55. In June he spent five days in hospital in Mudros, suffering from influenza, before joining the battalion at Gallipoli Peninsula on 21 Jun.

Following the report in September that Clive was "wounded and missing", Clive's father James sent a telegram to the Base Records Office in Melbourne requesting further information. The telegram is not written in his normal script and shows the anguish he was obviously feeling.

Red Cross records show that a cable was sent from London 24 Oct 1915 to say that H.Q. List had certified on 26 Aug that Clive had been KIA 8 Aug 1915. There was no burial. This was followed by a cable from Cairo 27 Mar 1916 stating that the previous cable should have referred to 2003 Pte C.M.Tidbury, 9 AIF, and that 2005 Pte C.W.Tilbury, 15 AIF, was still Wounded & Missing on 8 Aug 1915. The inquiry was re-opened by Brisbane and it was then confirmed that he'd been KIA 8 Aug 1915.

1916. It was not until May that James received official advice that Clive (30) had been killed in action at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli Peninsula on 8 Aug 1915. In June his brother George requested, as executor of Clive's will, an official certificate of death and in August his personal effects - a gunmetal watch and a purse containing one penny and a telegram - were forwarded to his father at Rockhampton.

1921. The Base Records Office wrote to James requesting any correspondence that may assist them in locating the grave of Clive. James responded:

He was last seen alive at Suvla Bay on 7/8th August 1915 and (I am informed) his company, I presume with others, was sent out to draw the enemy's fire, pending relief which, owing to some blunder, never arrived, and there were no survivors.

1922. Clive's death was registered in Queensland.

1926. Clive's death was registered at Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli (panel Reference 50).

Clive was awarded the 1914/1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Memorial Plaque and King's Message, and Memorial Scroll and King's Message. He is listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial, Plate 78. The Roll of Honour provides the following:

Service Number: 2005
Rank: Private
Unit: 15th Australian Infantry Battalion
Service: Australian Army
Conflict / Operation: First World War, 1914-1918
Conflict eligibility date:  First World War, 1914-1921
Date of death: 8 August 1915
Place of death: Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey
Cause of death: Killed in action
Age at death: 30
Place of association: Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
Cemetery or memorial details: Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

8,533 men died at Gallipoli, 19,441 were wounded.

[1] Photo: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, printed in The Queenslander Pictorial, 2 Oct 1915

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