Septimus Douglas Glanville
Serial No. 5102
9th Battalion & 49th Battalion
Septimus Douglas Glanville - Information
Septimus departed Sydney on the 31st of March 1916 onboard the HMAT Star of Victoria. At the time, he was living in Cooyar in Queensland and working as a farmer. He was born in Nowra to John and Elizabeth Glanville. Growing up, he resided in the Camden area, where he attended Camden Grammar School with his siblings. In 1914, Septimus’ brother, Charles Henry, joined the war effort. Septimus followed suit, signing up in Brisbane on the 21st of July 1915, aged 24. During training, he was posted to the 16th Reinforcements, 9th Battalion as a Private.
Septimus landed in England, and was quickly transported to the Western Front in France. Mustered at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot, he was transferred to the 49th Battalion in late May. In August and September, the Battalion launched attacks at Pozières and Mouquet Farm during the Somme Campaign. Here, Septimus was wounded on the 1st of September hit in the right shoulder. He was shipped from Boulogne to England, admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital in Oxford. In the new year, Septiums was fit for duty once again. He returned to France in February, reuniting with his unit in late March. At the time, the Germans had withdrawn to a series of defence fortifications known as the Hindenburg Line. The 49th Battalion was ordered to attack this defence line at Noreuil in early April. The Hindenburg Line contained cement bunkers built into the ground and was well protected by barbed wire and machine gun stations. The attack was devastating for the Allies. Later in the year, the unit was positioned for operations in the Flanders region in Belgium. They participated in the successful assault known the Battle of Messines, in early June. It began with a series of large mine explosions. Both sides suffered heavy fire, as the Germans counter-attacked. During the assault, Septimus went missing in action on the 7th of June.
The Glanville family, residing on East St in Nowra, were informed that he was missing. His mother was so anxious for any information, that she asked the local Member for Parliament for help. He wrote to the army on her behalf for any details. In late 1917 and early 1918, officials conducted inquiries to ascertain what happened to Septimus. Witnesses explained that as the 49th Battalion launched attacks at about 3pm, Septimus was hit in the head by a machine gun bullet. Having to carry on with the battle, he was unfortunately left in No Man’s Land and later buried by troops from a different unit. However, due to further fighting in the area, his gravesite was lost. His name is now recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium.