5187 H. L. Sorensen A.I.F.

British War Medal to 5187 Private Holger Ludvig Sørensen, 3rd Battalion A.I.F.
Died of wounds November 7th 1916 

Holger Ludvig Sorensen was born in a little house at Peder Barkes Gade 28, Aalborg, Denmark on 5th January 1888. He was born very close to the church "Vor Frue Kirke", where he was babtized 13th January 1889.


His father was Labourer Simon Chirstian Sorensen, born Broenderslev approximately 1860. His mother was Johanne Christine Chirstensen, born Sulsted approximately 1858.


It is noted that Holger's parent were rather poor, receiving poverty help.


In 1890 the family had moved to Kattesundet 38 in Aalborg - again a small and poor house. At that time Holger had two elder brothers, a elder sister and a younger brother. Holger was confirmed in the the same church he was babtized, on 6th April 1902.


Unfortunately there is no trace of Holger and his family from 1902 to 1914, where Holger arrived in Australia. Holger was working as a miner, when he signed a application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force 28th August 1915 at Newcastle, New South Wales.


His address at the time was in Branxton, New South Wales. There is a note on his service record, stating that he was recommended by the Royal Danish Vice Consul. I guess it's because Holger wasen't a naturalized subject yet. He was still a Danish citizen!


He was 27 years old, 5 feet and 8 1/2 inches, brown eyes and reddish hair. Both his arms were tattooed.


Holger was a part of B Company, 16th Reinforcement, 3rd Battalion A.I.F, when he embarked from Sydney, on board HMAT SS Makarini on 1st April 1916.


He disembarked at Suez 2nd May 1916 and proceeded to France, arriving on 10th August 1916. He was taken on strenght the following day at Etables.


At midnight on 4th November 1916, three bombing parties from 3rd Battalion, took part in a attack on the German trenches just north of Guedecourt. The 1st Battalion lead the main assault, and attacked Bayonet Trench. The three 3rd Battalion bombing parties attacked Lard Trench from the opposite position.

About noon the failure of the 1st Battalion was definitely ascertained and all parties of the 3rd were necessarily ordered back. No ground was gained.


One of the bombing parties was lead by Lieutenant Bishop, who was killed the next day by the short shooting of the supporting heavy batteries, which, without sufficient notice, were called on to fire in a gale of wind. In the same occurrence nine of his men were killed and seventeen wounded.


I believe that Holger Ludvig Sorensen was a part of Lt. Bishop's bombing party from the previous day, and one of those wounded by "Friendly Fire" on 6th November 1916.


He received multible wounds, right leg, left arm (fractured), abdomen and head. Holger died of his wounds the following day, at 1st ANZAC Medical Dressing Station.


On 26th March 1917, a letter was sent from Australia to Holger's mother i Denmark, to let her know of his sons fate. The envelope was returned, as her address was unknown to the post office in Aalborg. Exactly when Holger's family learned about his death will probably never be known. His two medals and the death plaque was sent in 1921 to, what I believe is, his elder brother Soren Christian Sorensen, living in England 

5187 Private Holger Ludvig Sorensen is burried at Dartmoor Cemetery (Plot II, Row E, Grave No. 51), Becordel-Becourt, France.