Next of Kin Plaque : Second Lieutenant Henry Miller Lanser, 1st Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Flers
Accession Number REL23702
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'HENRY MILLER LANCER'.

History / Summary

Born in 1890, Henry Miller 'Miller' Lanser was employed as a motor mechanic when he enlisted in the AIF on 2 September 1914. Posted as a lance corporal to F Company, 1st Battalion, service number 712, he left Sydney for Egypt aboard HMAT A19 Afric on 18 October.

After training in Egypt Lanser landed at Gallipoli with his battalion on 25 April 1915. Four days later he was wounded in the knee and evacuated to Egypt. Lanser returned to Gallipoli at the end of July but was wounded in the arm and chest at Lone Pine ten days later and was again evacuated, this time to Mudros. He returned to his battalion in Egypt in January 1916.

Lanser was promoted to corporal, and then sergeant in February, shortly before his battalion left for France for service on the Western Front. In April he attended an instruction course before being appointed a second lieutenant at the beginning of August. Apart from brief periods with his battalion Lanser attended courses in Stokes Mortars and Lewis Guns. He rejoined his battalion as the officer in command of X [10th] Platoon, D Company, on 4 November. Lanser was killed by machine gun fire in No Man's Land in front of Bayonet Trench, to the left of Gueudecourt, the following day. Although the bodies of 28 men could be observed there they could not be recovered, and lay in shell holes where they had fallen. In early March 1917 a party of men from the battalion, together with a chaplain, were able to return to the site and bury the men in the shell holes. The bodies were exhumed in 1920 and are buried in the Grevillers British Cemetery.

This memorial plaque was sent to Lanser's father, Edward, in February 1923.