019 – Private Joseph Alfred Trezise

Private Joseph Alfred Trezise Killed in Action
4 September 1916

Among the rows of graves in the Pozieres British Cemetery is a headstone for Private Joseph Trezise who was killed in action at Mouquet Farm on 4 September 1917.

Joseph Jnr volunteered for service on 18 January 1916 and after being accepted into the Australian Imperial Force he was allotted to the 16th reinforcements for the 12th Battalion. By the time he reached the Middle East the 12th Battalion had been split to form the 52nd Battalion. On reaching Etaples in June 1916, he was transferred and taken on strength with the 52nd Battalion.

The first major action for the newly formed 52nd Battalion was the German stronghold at Mouquet Farm. In order to capture Pozieres Ridge, the Allies needed to capture the farm whose cellars had been reinforced with concrete. According to reports received by the Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files, Private Trezise, known as ‘Trussey’ was killed when hit by a piece of shrapnel. Many hundreds of lives would be shed over several weeks as repeated attacks were launched. Finally, the Canadians managed to not only capture the farm but to hold it. On 5 September the 52nd Battalion was relieved, and the men paraded at La Boiselle, just a few miles away. At the roll call, the name of Private Joseph Trezise was not answered and as a result was listed as missing in action. A Court of Inquiry held in April 1917 found that he had been killed in action. An entry dated 15 May 1919 states that he was buried ¾ mile north of Pozieres. His remains were later moved to the British Cemetery on the outskirts of Pozieres.