Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

Horace LANG


Born: 27 April, 1893

Birth registration: Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration No. 14347

Birthplace: Spring Hill, Kyneton, Victoria

Parents: Thomas Lang
Mary Coates

Died: 3 May, 1917

Cause: Killed In Action

Place of death: Bullecourt, France

Burial place: Unknown

Awards and Honours

  • Military Medal
  • Mention in Dispatches
  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


24th Battalion



Regimental Service Number: 903

Enlistment date: 23 March, 1915 Melbourne

Age at enlistment: 22 years

Address at enlistment: 56 North Street, Ascot Vale

Religion: Methodist

Marital Status: Single

Next of kin: Father: Thomas Lang

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Weight: 9 stones 4 pounds
Complexion: Fair
Eyes: Grey
Hair: Black
Distinctive marks:

Embarkation ship: H.M.A.T A14 Euripides.

Rank: Corporal

War Service Summary

23/03/1915 - To Broadmeadows depot
10/05/1915 - Embarked from Melbourne
30/08/1915 - Sent to Gallipoli
10/01/1916 - Returned to Alexandria
26/03/1916 - Disembarked Marseilles
15/09/1916 - Mention in Despatches: "These N.C.O.s have distinguished themselves by gallantry in action, and untiring energy throughout the operations at FLEURBAIX, ARMENTIERES, and POZIERES, setting an excellent example of soldierly spirit to the men of their companies."
24/11/1916 - Dispatch mention and recommended for Military Medal: "For conspicuous gallantry in constructing and holding an advanced bombing post near FLERS on 18/19 November within close range of the enemy. The garrison had to remain motionless throughout the day but Corpl. Lang refused to be relieved until his Company left the trenches, setting a most encouraging example of endurance." As reported in the Commonwealth Gazette No. 103 of 29 June1917.
21/12/1916 - Awarded Military Medal
10/04/1917 - Admitted 7th Australian Field Ambulance ill with asthma
22/04/1917 - Rejoined battalion
03/05/1917 - Wounded in action during an attack at Bullecourt; Reported as wounded and missing.
13/06/1917 - Posted wounded and missing
14/12/1917 - Court of Inquiry; reported Lang as Killed In Action

Miss S.L. Best requests postal address for Horace

Red Cross records
28/09/1917 London: Sgt. Dempster - the Argus July or August reported A prisoner of War incorrect or printers error.

S/Sgt H Lang requests information regarding his nephew Horace Lang as does Pte. K. Lang, a friend - L/Cpl. E. H. Clark, and his cousin Pte. J.T. Coates (who refers to Mrs Lang) , Cpl J. Pitts

War Service Commemerated

Killed in action.

Date: 3 May, 1917

03/05/1917 - Wounded in action during an attack at Bullecourt; possibly trying to return to original line, somewhere between 1st and 2nd objective. Reported as wounded and missing.
R.S.M. Williams 3332 says, "He was sitting in the second German Lines at Bullecourt. He was about 25 yards from the sunken road. He was wounded in the upper arm and shoulder, and was holding a Lewis Gun in his arm. I advised him to wend his way to the railway embankment where the dressing station was. He started away and that is the last I saw of him. I have known him for the last 2 years. He was in my platoon as a L. Cpl."
Lt. Arthur Whitar: "He was very badly wounded by shell and bullets, and died on the way to the dressing station."
03/05/1917 - Reported wounded and missing 13/06/1917 - Posted wounded and missing
14/12/1917 - Court of Inquiry; reported Lang as Killed In Action

Remembered at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (see War Graves certificate). His body was never found.

Horace Lang's name is located at panel 102 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial

15/05/1918 - 1 package of effects sent to his father contains: curios, pair scissors, pipe, 3 devotional books, balaclava, scarf

Additional Information

Parents: Thomas Lang and Mary Coates
30/12/1878 - Marriage Reg. # 4191
1914-1918 - Mangalore, 56 North Street, Ascot Vale
10 Mascoma St., Ascot Vale.

Thomas Lang:
22/10/1852 - Born St. Ives, Cornwall, England
1857 - Arrived Australia aboard Grand Trianon
Head teacher of Melton State School
Mary Coates:
06/06/1853 - Born Port Fairy
1944 - Died
Melton Express
Saturday 3 March 1917, P 2

The friends of Mr. Thomas Lang, Head Teacher of Melton State School, will be pleased to hear that his son, Private Horace Lang, has been awarded the Military Cross.

Melton Express
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 3 March 1917, P 3

Extracts from letter received by Mr. T. Lang, Melton, from his son, Private Horace Lang :-In the Field, France, 22.12.16. I'm still alive and well, and hope all at home are- the same. We are having very miserable weather at present, very cold, with snow and rain, and mud up to one's knees. It' is impossible to keep dry, and it makes one very miserable with wet and muddy feet all the time. I have a fair supply of socks, which are what a fellow wants as much as anything, and you can always send two or three pairs every parcel you send over. I have good news to tell you, and I suppose you will all be very pleased. I told you in my last letter I held a very precarious position last time in the trenches, and that I had a very trying time. Well, our Captain recommended me for a decoration, and it came in our Battalion orders of 19.12.16, that I had got the Military Medal. So it is very nice for you all at home. I was in charge of the team that held the post. I enclose a piece of the ribbon-only a small piece, as at present I have only enough to wear, with this piece over. I didn't deserve it any more than the other chaps' but it was my luck to get it. We are having a morning off this morning, so I thought I had better write a few lines to you all. We were having a very different time this time last year, and were at Lemnos Island. Didn't it seem funny, not to have to keep ducking our heads. I don't know what this Xmas Day is going to bring, as I have no idea where we will be, except close to the firing line. We are doing well lately as regards tucker and gifts, plenty to eat, &c. We had plum pudding yesterday, that was sent over from Australia, and a Xmas cake. My mate and I have had our Xmas dinner in London. Don't laugh, this is what we had, and I tell you we did justice to it-Soup, fish, roast beef, turkey, pheasant, plum pudding, sweets, fruit and nuts. When you tell me - has enlisted, please give me their address; so that I can look them up. 26-12-16. Just a line to let you know we had a very quiet Xmas, plenty of tucker, and received our gifts alright.

Melton Express
Saturday 9 June 1917, P 2

Much regret is felt at the news that Private Horace Lang, who recently won the Military medal, has been wounded in France. Private Lang is the youngest son of Mr. T. Lang, Head Teacher, Melton State School, who has another son, Sergeant Thomas Lang, operating with the New Zealand Forces in Egypt, and from whom no news has been received since Xmas.

The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 17 June 1916, P 3

Notes from Private Horace Lang, of Melton:--France. We have been here six days now, and only wish we were staying longer. This life in billets would do me for a few months longer, but all good things have to come to an end. We had a good trip from Alexandria to Marseilles, calm weather all the way. On arrival, at Marseilles we disembarked, and entrained straight away, so didn't get a chance to see the city, though sailing up, the harbor it looks very pretty. We travelled right through France; all the country looked lovely and green, quite different to Egypt. We were in the train 59 hours, snow fell during the latter part of the journey, and it got very cold. On getting out of the train we had to march 12 miles to our billets, and were not sorry when we got there. I can tell you it was just the thing to get into a good shed, with about 2 feet of clean hay, and a good roof over one. This is the first time I have slept, in a house of any description since leaving Australia. We have a grand time, and I think I am putting on weight. We buy eggs and cook them for nearly every meal. The other day my mate and I bought a chicken, and got the woman in the house to cook it, and that night, we had a "some" tea. We get on well with the people, good, oh, and manage to make them understand. Most of us are picking up French hand over fist. will never regret having enlisted, as what we are seeing is worth a few hardships. We marched into the town the other day, and had a glorious bath in a tub of hot water, and then had new under-clothing issued to us. There are three kiddies here, we think the world of them, their father is away fighting with the French. It was very noticeable coming along in the train that there were very few young men about; they are nearly all away fighting; old men and women are carrying on the work while they are away. This is where one can see the effects of the war right through. We will be in the trenches a few days from now and one can't tell what might happen. I might get knocked right over, or only wounded, or not get touched, so if I am lucky enough to dodge the gas, shells, and bullets I will write often, but if otherwise -well, I have only done my duty, and it will be my bad luck. Don't worry and fret, it won't do any good, there are thousands of others who have gone under, as it is all in the game, and some of us have got to die. You can always send some cigarettes, and other little luxuries, as if I am not there, there are plenty of boys in the trenches who will be very glad of them. I can't tell you exactly where we are.

Melton Express
Saturday 11 August 1917 p 2

Sergeant T. J. Lang, who is serving with the New Zealand Forces, has received his Commission as Lieutenant. His brother Horace, who received the Military Medal for bravery in France, is reported missing since May. Both are sons of Mr. T. Lang, Head Teacher at Melton State School.

Melton Express
Saturday 26 January 1918, P 2

Sincere sorrow was felt in Melton on receipt of the news that Private Horace Lang, who has been reported missing since April last, was killed in Action. Great sympathy is felt for Mr. and Mrs. Lang and family. Mr. Lang was Head Teacher for many years at the Melton State School; but retired prior to the Xmas vacation. Another son, Lieut. Thos. J. Lang, is serving, with the New Zealand Forces. The late Private H. Lang was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in Action, early last year.

The Australasian
23 February 1918

LANG – Killed in action on 3rd May, 1917 (previously reported wounded and missing), Corporal Horace (Military Medal), beloved youngest son of Thomas and Mary Lang, Ascot Vale, and brother of Lieut. T. J. Lang Palestine, Mrs. Barrie, late Mrs. Measor, Mrs. March, Walter and Eva, and uncle of Lionel, aged 24 years.
Left behind in the field of action.
Our Anzac hero.

The Argus,
3 May 1919
LANG.-In loving memory of Corporal Horace, No. 903 (M.M.), killed in action at Bullecourt, on 3rd May,1917, loving son of Thomas and Mary Lang, 56 North street, Ascotvale, and loving brother of late Lieutenant T. J. (died of illness, Cairo). Mrs. C. E, Barrie, late Mrs. B. G. Measor, Mrs. March, Walter, and Eva, and loving uncle of Lionel.
Oh, for the touch of vanished hands, And the sounds of voices still.
-(Inserted by their loving family.)

The Argus
4 May 1918
LANG. - In loving memory of Corporal Horace (M.M.), 24th Batt, killed in action at Bullecourt on 3rd May, 1917. (Inserted by his loving family, Ascotvale.)

The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter
August 8 1918, p. 2
LANG.-On the 18th July, at Nasrich Hospital, Cairo, from malaria and pneumonia, after 5 years and 10 months' active service, Lieut. Thomas John Lang, N.Z.M.S., the dearly beloved eldest son of Thomas and Mary Lang, of 56 North st, Ascot Vale, and loved brother of Jessie (Mrs. Barrie), late Maud (Mrs. Measor), Effie (Mrs. March).
Walter, the late Corporal Horace, M.M., and Eva. Brothers united after weary warfare, and duty bravely done. So sadly missed.
-(Father, mother, sisters and brother.)

The Argus
19 July 1920
LANG - In loving memory of our dear son Lieut. Thomas John Lang, who died on 18th July, 1918, at Cairo, Egypt and his brother, Corporal Horace Lang, MM, who was killed in action at Bullecourt on 3rd May, 1917, and our beloved daughter, Maud Mary, who died on 28th June, 1913.


Australian War Memorial
Service Record
Embarkation Roll
Newspaper accounts / letters

http://empirecall.pbworks.com/w/page/11620592/Volunteers surnames L