19th Battalion & 5th Machine Gun Company, AIF
Service Number: 2445
Born: 1896, Queanbeyan, NSW
Died: 20 September 1917, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cecil Mallard was born in 1896 at Queanbeyan to Sarah Mallard, the unmarried daughter of John and Lucy (Booth) Mallard. He was raised as the son of John and Lucy. Mallard completed his schooling at Lake Bathurst (near Queanbeyan) and Kingswood. After leaving school, Mallard worked as a clerk with the postal department. On enlistment, he gave his profession as motor driver.
Mallard enlisted on 26 July 1915 after having previously been rejected for service because of an insufficient chest measurement. He was allocated to the 5th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion and left Sydney on 5 October 1915 aboard HMAT Themistocles bound for Egypt. On 18 March 1916, the 19th Battalion embarked for the Western Front, arriving in Marseilles on 25 March. Mallard was a member of a Lewis machine gun section with the 19th Battalion, which took part in its first offensive around Pozieres between late July and the end of August 1916. After a spell in a quieter sector of the Belgium frontline, the battalion moved south in October 1916. Mallard suffered gunshot wounds to the right shoulder on 14 November during the Battalion’s attack on Flers. He was admitted to the 1st Stationary Hospital at Rouen on 16 November 1916 before transferring to England for further treatment.
On 11 May 1917 Mallard returned to the Western Front and was taken on the strength of the 5th Machine Gun Company. On 20 September 1917 he was killed when struck by a shell during the Battle for Menin Road near Ypres. He was originally interred at the Garter Point Cemetery, Zonnebeke. This cemetery (which contained 32 soldiers, including one German soldier) was used between September 1917 and April 1918. It was later destroyed by enemy gun fire, and all traces of the site were obliterated. A poignant postscript in Mallard’s service documents states that Mallard was the ex-nuptial child of Sarah Mallard, daughter of John and Lucy. Mallard’s birth mother Sarah stated that he was unaware of his ex-nuptial status and that all medals should be given to her mother Lucy who had raised him as her own son. In 1919, a son was born to Sarah’s brother Henry and his wife Lorrie. They named him Cecil Anzac Mallard. He served in the Second World War, returned and lived most of his life in Penrith.
- Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Zillebeke, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Victoria Park, St Marys
National Archives Australia: B2455, MALLARD C 2445