HOPKINS, Clive Boyer

NAME: Clive Boyer HOPKINS               

YEAR OF BIRTH: 4 February 1896

PLACE OF BIRTH: Mordialloc

DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 3 November 1914


UNIT: 14th Brigade Light Trench Mortar Battery (late 13th Battalion)

EMBARKED:  22 December 1914


FATE: Killed in Action – 20 July 1916 – Fleurbaix, France

RANK: Captain

Clive Hopkins was born in 1896 at Mordialloc to Charles William Hopkins and Julia Mahoney. Clive was a very bright student attending Warracknabeal College where at the age of twelve, his teacher recognised his academic abilities. Clive then went to the Warrnambool Agriculture High School and was a sergeant in the school’s cadet forces.  With a military background on both sides of his family, Clive applied to attend Duntroon, receiving the highest score of any Victorian in the entrance exam.

With the outbreak of war, eighteen-year-old Clive was one of very few chosen from Duntroon to serve overseas without already finishing training. He was given the rank of Lieutenant and left for Egypt on 22 December 1914.


OFFICERS OF THE 13TH BATTALION, JANUARY 1915. CLIVE HOPKINS BACK ROW FAR LEFT. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01150.004


OFFICERS OF THE 13th BATTALION INCLUDING CLIVE HOPKINS, POSSIBLY 2nd FROM RIGHT, EGYPT FEBRUARY 1915. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C00553/

April 1915 arrived and Clive was off to Gallipoli, where he was in charge of a 13th Battalion’s machine-gun section. He was promoted to Captain because of gallantry displayed while leading his men and was one of the youngest men on active service to reach that rank at just nineteen. While at Gallipoli, Clive was wounded when a bullet hit his revolver and transported from Gallipoli back to Egypt. After his discharge from hospital he fell ill and it was found he was suffering Typhoid fever. After his second stint in hospital, Clive joined the 45th Battalion.

Around June 1916, Clive left for France as a Staff Captain with the 14th Brigade.


FROM THE SERVICE RECORD OF CLIVE BOYER HOPKINS. Image courtesy of the National Archives of Australia. http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/206885/89

Based at headquarters, Clive was seeking a more active role and was transferred to the 14th Light Trench Mortar Battery. As a result, he was there at the front line at the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916. At around 5.50 am on 20 July 1916, Clive was killed.

While Clive was overseas, Charles Hopkins, stationmaster at the St Arnaud railway station, was given the role of station master at Hamilton. The Hopkins family moved to the town, living in Brown Street close to the station.  When word came through in mid-August 1916 of Clive’s death, Hamilton’s Archdeacon Harris delivered the sad news to the Hopkins family.

As well as a tree planted for Clive along Hamilton’s Anzac Avenue, he is also remembered with a tree along the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour and the Woodend Avenue of Honour, the ACT Memorial, the Warrnambool War Memorial and with a stained glass window at the Bacchus Marsh Holy Trinity Church.


Australian War Memorial – 14th Brigade Light Trench Mortar Battery Unit Diary

Australian War Memorial – Roll of Honour – Clive Boyer Hopkins

Australian War Memorial- WW1 Embarkation Roll – Clive Boyer Hopkins

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Rue-Du-Bois Military Cemetery Fleurbaix France – Clive Boyer Hopkins

Discovering Anzacs – WW1 Service Record – Clive Boyer Hopkins

Newspaper Articles from Trove – Clive Boyer Hopkins

The AIF Project – Clive Boyer Hopkins

The War Graves Photographic Project – Clive Boyer Hopkins

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