Frank Barton Bongers
Serial No. 48
Frank Barton Bongers - Information
Frank was one of seven children of John and Julia Bongers. John was a Minister, and was granted a position as Minister of Religion at the Congregational Church in Campbelltown from 1890 to 1896. While in Campbelltown, John and Julia had two more children, before John's appointment was changed. The Bongers family followed John to his new assignments. As a result, Frank was born in Fitzroy, Victoria in 1897. The Bongers family eventually moved to Queensland. There, Frank attended the State School at Rockhampton, before moving to Toowoomba to work as a clerk for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. During his young life, Frank had served in the Senior Cadets and 4 years with the Commonwealth Military Force. When Frank was just 18 years old, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on the 9th of October 1915 in Toowoomba. Frank's older brother, Arthur, soon followed him, also enlisting at Toowoomba 21 days later.
Both Frank and Arthur were housed at the same depot, with the 36th Battalion, before being transferred to A Company, 42nd Battalion on the 16th of February 1916. They then departed Sydney Harbour together on the 5th of June 1916 aboard the HMAT Borda, and arrived in Southampton on the 23rd of July. While training in England, Frank was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 1st of November. Later that month, Frank and Arthur were shipped over to the Western Front, joining their unit during the bitter winter. On the 14th of February 1917, Frank was out on patrol when he was shot by enemy snipers and died instantly. He was just 19 years old. His comrades, including his brother buried him, sending his effects to his father in Queensland. Today his grave is located at Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, in Armentières, Lille, France.