Private Arthur Clarence TAGUER was nineteen ( 19 ) years of age, living at Bedford House, BUNBURY, WA , and working as an Assistant with the Postmaster General’s Department, until he enlisted for War Service at Fremantle on 8th December 1916. Following training at Blackboy Hill Camp, WA, with the 24th Reinforcements of the 11th Battalion, he embarked from Fremantle on 29 January 1917, aboard the transport ship ” Miltiades “,bound for Devonport, England. On disembarkation, Pte. TAGUER was transferred immediately to Training Battalions based at Durrington. Further training saw him classified as a 1st Class Signaller, by passing the Signal Examination at Sutton Veny, England.
On 23 October, 1917, he embarked from Southampton, England for transfer to the 1st Australian Division Base Depot at Havre, France. Pte. TAGUER was posted to the 11th Infantry Battalion, completing more than 5 months service in the field . He then suffered a severe bout of Pneumonia, which caused evacuation to an English Hospital for treatment. Pte. TAGUER endured 6 months hospitalization, recuperation and re-training with the Overseas Training Battalion at Longbridge Deverill. On 24 October 1918, he embarked from Folkestone for transfer to the Australian Infantry Base Depot at Havre, France. He subsequently rejoined the 11th Battalion in the field in France, on 29 October, 1918.
Pte. Arthur Clarence TAGUER had rejoiced at the signing of the Armistice and was assisting the French in re-building their infrastructure, during peace time, after the hostilities were done. Tragically, he was to lose his life, in a Railways accident in France, on 19th April, 1919. An empty French stock train, ploughed into the rear of the stationary Soldiers Reinforcements train, which was standing at Marceuil Station.
Transcript of a letter from the Army Records Office and statement given to the Court of Enqiry into the accident, were both sent to the Soldiers Mother, and read as follows:-
16/08/1919– Letter from Major. Officer i/c Base Records- ” Dear Madam, With reference to the report of the regrettable loss of your son, the late No. 7321. Private A.C. Taguer, 11th Battalion , I am now in receipt of advice from A.I.F. Headquarters , London, to the effect that he died on the 19th April, 1919, at 7th Casualty Clearing Station, from injuries accidentally received , and was buried in Duisans Communal Cemetery situated just off the Arras St Pal Road about 7 miles from Arras.
The Ceremony was very impressive , three clergymen officiated . The full band of the Royal Munster Fusiliers played from the Casualty Clearing Station ( No. 7 ) to the Cemetery and there, eight buglars played the ” Last Post ” while the Munster firing party gave the last salute. Besides a number of members of the Australian Imperial Forces there were about 200 English Troops present.
The utmost care and attention is being devoted to the Graves of our fallen Soldiers, and photographs are being taken as soon as possible for transmission to next-of-kin.
These additional details are furnished by direction, it being the Policy of the Department to forward all information received in connection with deaths of members of the Australian Imperial Force “.
Extract from a Court of Enquiry Proceeding held at Moroeuil France on 23rd April 1919, in Connection with the late No. 7321. Private. A.C. TAGUER 11th Battalion-
” I am clerk and chequer at Marceuil railhead.
On the morning of the 19th instant……whilst dressing in my hut on Marceuil station platform, I heard a loud crash, and rushed to the door. I saw a train No. 8269 ( empty French stock ) had run into R.N. 110 ( Reinforcement Train ) which was standing in the Station. The R.N. 110 is the daily reinforcement train from RAISMES to ETAPLES. I immediately went to the scene of the collision , and found there had been casualties. I returned to the office and tried to phone to No.7 C.C.S. but the line was out of order. I then despatched a man on a bicycle to the C.C.S. with a message to send a Doctor and an Ambulance . I then assisted in getting out the killed and injured. A Doctor and an Ambulance arrived and took away the casualties……. There were two dead ( your son and another member of the A.I.F. ) and seven severely injured……”.
Service Medals Awarded
British War Medal – No. 56035
Victory Medal – No. 55155
Commemorative Plaque/Scroll – 342811
Australian War Memorial Canberra – Panel No. 64
Postmaster General’s Department, Commonwealth of Australia Building, Perth , WA
Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun, France – Plot VII, Row C, Grave No. 28.