Clarence Victor Rietschel
- Born: Mar 1892, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
- Marriage (1): Agnes Jean Lawrence on 28 Apr 1917 in Christ Church, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
- Died: 28 Sep 1918, Ronssoy, Picardie, France at age 26
- Buried: Sep 1918, Templeux-le-Guerard Communal Cemetery Extension, Templeux-le-Guerard, Somme, France
Cause of his death was Killed in Action, WW1.
Another name for Clarence was Snowy.
Clarence enlisted in AIF on 16 November 1916. He was aged 24 years and 8 months and working as a clerk at the time. At the time of his enlistment he was single and living with his parents at 2 George St, Brunswick. He named his father, Henry, as his next of kin. He was assigned the service number 14445 with the rank of Private and attached to the Australian Army Service Corps Reinforcements at Broadmeadows for training. Clarence was 5 feet 81/2 inches tall, weighed 139 lbs and had a chest measurement of 32-36 inches. His complexion was fair, and he had fair hair and blue eyes. His religion was recorded as Church of England.
While he was stationed at Broadmeadows undertaking training he married Agnes in Brunswick and designated her his next of kin. Her address was recorded as 20 Staley St in Brunswick.
Just a couple of weeks later, on the 11 May 1917, he boarded the HMAT A11 Ascanius in Melbourne bound for Devonport, England where he disembarked on 20 July 1917. His unit was stationed at the Parkhouse Training depot in Larkhill. By this time Clarence had been trained as a Driver and on the 10 October he was transferred to the Artillery section. By the 3 February 1918 he was on his way to France and on the 7 March he was assigned to the 4th Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC) as a Driver. The DAC units were largely responsible for managing the supply of and delivering ammunition to Artillery units.
When he joined the 4th DAC they were located in the small village of Loker in West Flanders, Belgium (the French spelling of Locre is used in the unit war diaries). By the end of the month they had been rushed southwards into France on the outskirts of Amiens where the 4th Division joined their Australian and British comrades to respond to a major German Spring offensive in the Somme region, in many respects their "last gasp" effort to wrest control of the war from the Allies. Over the following few months the men of the 4th Division distinguished themselves as the German army retreated to their last major defensive position - the Hindenburg Line in northern France. At the beginning of September the 4th DAC had been located at the village of Longueau, near Amiens. By the 18 September they had advanced eastwards to the village of Soyécourt, just to the east of Villers-Bretonneux, and then on the 25 September to the village of Bois de Buire.
On the 27 and 28 September the 4th Division Artillery were providing support to American and Australian units as they attacked German defensive positions on the Hindenburg Line. At about 11:00p.m on the night of the 28 September, Driver Clarence Rietschel was leading a team of mules delivering ammunition to front-line artillery positions about 1000 yards from the village of Ronssoy when he was hit by an enemy shell. He was killed instantly. He was buried in the Templeux-le-Guerard Communal Cemetery Extension, Templeux-le-Guerard, Somme, France. The war ended just six weeks later.
Driver Clarence Rietschel was the recipient of the British War Medal No. 58265, and the Victory Medal No. 57266.
Clarence married Agnes Jean Lawrence, daughter of Henry Lawrence and Mary Jones, on 28 Apr 1917 in Christ Church, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. (Agnes Jean Lawrence was born on 20 May 1897 in Harrietville, Victoria, Australia, died on 4 Jan 1972 in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia and was buried on 7 Jan 1972 in Cremated, Springvale Crematorium, Springvale, Victoria, Australia.). The cause of her death was Ruptured heart.