Biography

Birth date: 23 September 1887
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Albert Park
Death date: 28 July 1916
Death place: France: Picardie, Somme, Pozieres
Final rank: Lieutenant
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Irving Russell Flett was born at Albert Park, Victoria on 23 September 1887. A salesman, Flett lived in Brighton, Victoria with his parents and a brother, Walter. Flett was appointed as second lieutenant in the newly raised 23rd Battalion on 24 March 1915. Flett departed Melbourne aboard HMAT Euripides on 10 May 1915. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 26 August 1915, just before the 23rd Battalion landed at Gallipoli on 4 September 1915. The battalion were soon manning the difficult and dangerous trenches at Lone Pine which they occupied alternately with the 24th Battalion, until the evacuation in December 1915.

Following the evacuation, Flett was sent, via Egypt, to France with the 23rd Battalion. The battalion experienced a relatively gentle introduction to the Western Front via the Armentières sector in northern France in April 1916. However, the battalion was to experience substantial casualties during the horrific battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm in July. Flett was amongst these casualties and was killed in action on 28 July 1916 at Pozières, France, aged 29. Irving Flett was buried on the battlefield near the ruins of Pozières and is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 28 July 1916
  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 10 May 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Unit: 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Photograph

DAOF022

Outdoor portrait of Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) Irving Russell Flett, 23rd Battalion. A salesman from Brighton, Vic prior to enlistment, 2nd Lt Flett embarked with A Company from Melbourne aboard HMAT Euripides on 10 May 1915. Later promoted to Lieutenant, he was one of the last soldiers to leave...

DAOF022

Private Record

Flett, Irving Russell (Lieutenant)

Collection relating to service of Lieutenant Irving Russell Flett, 23 Battalion, Egypt, Gallipoli and France, 1915-1916. Collection includes photostat copies of Flett's letters to his family in Brighton, Victoria, written between May 1915 and July 1916 describing the journey to Egypt, camp life,... Maker: Flett, Irving Russell

1DRL/0295 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letters from Irving Russell Flett to his Family, 1915-1916

Letters relating to service of Lieutenant Irving Russell Flett, 23rd Battalion. The original letters were written by Irving Flett to his family in Brighton, Victoria, between 8 May 1915 and 12 July 1916. These letters describe in detail the journey to Egypt, Flett's experiences of camp life...

RCDIG0000187

Timeline

Date of birth 1887-09-23
Date of embarkation 1915-05-10
Date of death 1916-07-28