Quintal, Byron George 


No.2406       Lance Corporal

1st Australian Infantry Battalion

53rd Australian Infantry Battalion


Military Record

Byron George Quintal departed Norfolk Island on 9.5.1915 for Sydney where he enlisted in the AIF on 26.5.1915. Following basic training Quintal embarked for Egypt on 14.7.1915, as an infantry reinforcement. Training continued in Egypt until he was sent to Gallipoli where he joined the 1st Infantry Battalion in Leanes Trench on 4.11.1915. Reported ill and he was evacuated from Gallipoli on 9.11.1915 to Egypt where, following treatment, he rejoined the 1st Battalion on 29.12.1915 at Tel el Kebir.

Due to restructuring of the AIF in Egypt, Quintal was transferred to the newly formed 53rd Infantry Battalion at Tel el Kebir on 14.2.1916. Training with the Battalion followed before it embarked for France on 19.6.1916 where it moved straight to the Front Line south of Armentieres. The Battalion was involved in the Battle of Fromelles and served at the front in the area until it departed Flanders for the Somme on 13.10.1916. On arrival it moved into the Front near Guedecourt. He served in the Somme until the Battalion moved north arriving in Belgium on 18.9.1917.

Quintal was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on 23.9.1917 near Polygon Wood and he was Wounded in Action six days later during the Battle of Polygon Wood. Following treatment he rejoined the Battalion at Connaught Camp. The Battalion remained generally north of Armentieres for the winter. It was near Messines in February 1918 when it was ordered to the Somme to counter a major German advance. The Battalion was involved in fierce fighting and was in the action when Villers-Bretonnneux was taken on 24.4.1918.

Quintal was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal as notified in the London Gazette dated 1.5.1918 - "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty".

Quintal was wounded in action on 30.5.1918 and was evacuated to England. Following treatment he rejoined the Battalion on 4.11.1918 in France, just prior to the Armistice.

Quintal departed France for England on 17.1.1919. He then embarked for Australia on 21.3.1919 where he was discharged on 2.7.1919.

Medals – DCM, 1914/15 Star, British War, Victory.


No -AIF   2406

Rank - Private  26.5.1915,  Lance Corporal  23.9.1917

Enlistment Date -  26.5.1915

Place - Sydney, NSW

Other Details – Described as age 20 years, height 5 feet 9.25 inches (1.73m), weight 159 lbs (72.3kgs), chest  33-35 inches (0.83 to 0.88m), complexion dark, eyes brown and hair black. Stated his religion as Methodist, occupation as a farmer and he was not married. He nominated his Next of Kin as Belle Quintal of Norfolk Island and he signed as Byron Quintal.

Units Served

Recruit Depot from 26.5.1915 to 26.6.1915

7th Reinforcement, 1st Australian Infantry Battalion  26.6.1915  to  4.11.1915

1st Australian Infantry Battalion 4.11.1915  to  14.2.1916

1st Battalion was part of 1st Australian Infantry Brigade, 1st Australian Division

1st Australian Infantry Brigade comprised 1st to 4th Battalion all raised in NSW

1st Australian Division comprised 1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades

1st Australian Division was in 1st Aust & NZ Army Corps (I ANZAC)

53rd Australian Infantry Battalion 14.2.1916   to  9.5.1919

53rd Battalion part of 14th Australian Infantry Brigade, 5th Australian Division

14th Infantry Brigade comprised 53rd to 56th Battalion all raised in NSW

5th Australian Division comprised 8th, 14th and 15th Brigades

5th Australian Division was in 2nd Aust & NZ Army Corps (II ANZAC)

Locations Served

1915 - Norfolk Island

Embarked from Norfolk Island on ship SS “Makambo” for Sydney  09.5

1915 - Australia

Enlisted at Sydney  26.5

Posted to Recruit Depot   26.5

To 7th Reinforcement, 1st Australian Infantry Battalion at Liverpool, NSW  26.6

Embarked from Australia    14.7

1915 - Egypt

Following arrival in Egypt 7th Reinforcements continued training

Quintal embarked at Alexandria on ship "Borda" for Gallipoli    18.10


Joined 1st Australian Infantry Battalion Gallipoli   04.11

1st Battalion part of 1st Australian Infantry Brigade, 1st Australian Division

1st Australian Infantry Battalion was at time in Leane’s Trench at ANZAC

Admitted to Hospital Ship "Neuralia" at ANZAC Cove  09.11

1915 - Egypt

Disembarked from “Neuralia” at Alexandria      13.11

Admitted D B I Hospital Abbassia      13.11

Discharged from Hospital at Abbassia      12.12

Reported to Overseas Base, Ghezireh   17.12

Rejoined 1st Australian Infantry Battalion at Tel el Kebir      29.12

1916 - Egypt

1st Division ordered to proceed to the Suez Canal   14.2

Reorganisation of Battalions in 1st Infantry Brigade on 14.2 :-

    1, 2, 3 and 4th Battalions were split in two

    Half of each Battalion remained with the original unit

    The other half formed basis of new Battalions numbered 53, 54, 55 & 56.

    Half of 2nd Battalion form half of 54th Battalion

    Added to each of the eight Battalions were reinforcements

1st Battalion split, half retained, remainder to new 53rd Infantry Battalion 14.2

Quintal transferred to 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion at Tel el Kebir    14.2    

53rd Australian Infantry Battalion part 14th Infantry Brigade, 5th Aust Division

1st Australian Infantry Battalion entrained for Serapeum  29.2

Quintal to School of Instruction, Zietoun    01.4

Rejoined 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion (II ANZAC), Ismaillia  12.4

II ANZAC ordered to leave Egypt for France

Embarked at Alexandria for France on ship "Royal George"     19.6

Norfolk Islanders on “Royal George” were :-

        G W F Adams

        J B Metcalfe

        B G Quintal

        R G H Quintal

“Royal George” cleared Alexandria Harbour in morning  22.6

1916 - France / Belgium

Disembarked from “Royal George” at Marseilles    28.6

53rd Australian Infantry Battalion from ship to train for North

53rd Battalion at 4.30pm detrain at Thiennes and march to Billets  30.6

5th Division move to relieve at Front to south of Armentiers

53rd Battalion march through Merville to billets at Estaires  09.7

14th Brigade move to Front between Cordonnerie and La Boutillerie  10.7

53rd Battalion 8.30am from Estaires through Sailly to front at Fleurbaix 11.7

14th Brigade relieved by British and proceed to Bac St Maur   14.7

53rd Battalion move from Fleurbaix to billets at Bac St Maur  15.7

53rd Australian Infantry Battalion move back to Front Line trenches  16.7

14th Brigade with 53 and 54 as attacking Battalions in position  16.7

14th Brigade at 5.30am attacks at Sugarloaf, Battle of Fromelles  19.7

Islanders involved in attack were :-

        G W F Adams

        C S Christian

        J B Metcalfe

        B G Quintal

        R G H Quintal

53rd Battalion had borne brunt of attack retired at 3.45 am to Billets  20.7

Sugarloaf unsuccessful and in action 5th Division lost 5,533 men     20.7

5th Division was considered to have been crippled by the Battle of Fromelles

53rd Battalion moved forward to Fleurbaix   22.7

Battalion spent until 07.9 rotating two weeks at Front and two weeks billets

5th Division located 15 mile South of Ypres near Fleurbaix  August/September

5th Division commenced trench raids on what had become a quiet front   16.8

53rd Battalion marched to La Motte for specialised Woods training   07.9

53rd Battalion march from La Motte to Fleurbaix  18.9

53rd Battalion move to Front Line  21.9

Battalion remains until 08.10 at Front

5th Division at Armentiers ordered to join I ANZAC     09.10

5th Division commences to leave Flanders for Somme  13.10

53rd Battalion commence move to Somme by lorry to Outterstene billets 13.10

53rd Battalion marched out of Outterstene to entrain near Bailleul   16.10

Battalion departed Bailleul by train at 5.30am arriving at 4pm Port Remy 17.10

53rd march from Port Remy to Billets at Vauchelles (near Abbeyville)  17.10

5th Division reach Ailly - le - Haut - Clocher   18.10

Battalion - Vauchelles by lorry, disembark at Meaulte march toward Front 20.10

53rd Battalion join 14th Brigade at Pommuers Camp near Montauban

14th Brigade could be moved within 12 hours to Front Line   20.10

14th Brigade march out to front and in position before midnight  21.10

55th and 56th Battalions in Front whilst 53rd Battalion in support 2 miles back

53rd Battalion commence to move into Front Line  21.10

53rd Battalion relieved 55th and 56th Battalions to left of Guedecourt  22.10

53rd Battalion move out of front line  28.10

53rd Battalion move back to Front Line  31.10

5th Division relieved by 2nd Division   04.11

53rd Battalion move back from Front to billets at Ribmont  05.11

53rd Battalion move further back from Ribmont to Coisy Village   08.11

Coisy Village was 6 miles from Amiens

53rd Battalion moved from Coisy to Buire by lorry  19.11

Battalion fatigue work at Viviers Mill, Meaulte and MM Dump at Albert

53rd Battalion march from Buire to Mametz Camp  21.11

5th Division move to relieve Guards at Front  21.11

53rd Battalion march from Mametz Camp to Montauban 25.11

Battalion undertakes fatigues at railhead

53rd Battalion marched from Montauban to Delville Wood Camp  13.12

53rd Battalion moved from Delville Wood Camp into Front Line  16.12

53rd Battalion move from Front Line to Trones Wood Camp  20.12

Battalion moved from Trones Wood Camp to Adelaide Camp Montauban  21.12

Battalion entrained from Quarry Siding to Meaulte and marched to Beure  22.12

Battalion remained until 4 January in billets at Beure

1917 - France / Belgium

53rd Battalion marched from Buire to Franvilliers  04.1

53rd Battalion marched from Franvilliers to Flesselles  05.1

53rd Battalion marched from Flesselles to Buire  14.1

53rd Battalion march from Buire to Fricourt Camp  16.1

53rd Battalion march from Fricourt Camp to Trones Wood  26.01

Quintal to Lewis Gun School, Bois de Gardonn Deuse     26.1

Quintal rejoined 53rd Battalion at Somme     12.2

53rd Battalion at Font where it would remain until end of February

5th Division seize Sunray Trench on southern end of Australian line  02.3

Advance guards 5th Division attack Vaulx and Vraucourt   18.3

53rd Battalion moved forward and took over Outpost Line  28.3

53rd Battalion relieved in Outpost Line and move to Velu Wood  01.4

53rd Battalion move back to Front Line  02.4

14th Brigade take Doignies and Louverval   02.4

Battalion relieved in front Line and return to Velu Wood and Lebucquiere  04.4

1st Division relieves 5th Division   03.4

53rd Battalion marched from Lebecquiere to Thilloy  05.4

53rd Battalion marched from Thilloy to Bazentin Camp  20.4

53rd Battalion march from Bazentin Camp to Becourt Camp  21.4

53rd Battalion held Battalion Sports ANZAC Day  25.4

53rd Battalion commence period of rest until 7th May  01.5

5th Division move back to front   07.5

53rd Battalion march Becourt to Albert and entrain for Bapaume  07.5

Battalion arrive at Bapaume at 1pm and march to trenches at Beugnatre  07.5

53rd Battalion strength on day was 21 officers and 660 other ranks

53rd Battalion moved forward to Front Line at Bullecourt   08.5

53rd Battalion relieved at Front after dark  13.5

53rd Battalion into Support line near Noreuil  14.5

53rd Battalion move back to Front Line  18.5

53rd Battalion relieved in Front Line  22.5

53rd Battalion moved back into Support Line 23.5

53rd Battalion relieved in Supports and move to Faireul  25.5

53rd Battalion move Faireul to Bealencourt for reorganisation and sport 26.5

Quintal sent to 5th Division Rest Camp, France    10.6

Rejoined 53rd Battalion, France    15.6

53rd Battalion from Bealencourt to Bapaume and entrained for Varennes 15.6

53rd Battalion detrained at Varennes and marched to Baizincourt 15.6

5 Australian Division quartered close together around Baizincourt until 15 July

53rd Battalion from Baizincourt to Mailly Camp and special training  06.7

53rd Battalion march from Mailly to Rubempre Village  16.7

53rd Battalion entrained for north, travelling all night  29.7

53rd Battalion at 9am detrained at Arques and marched to Lynde  30.7

Battalion remained at Lynde in billets until 17 September

53rd Battalion march from Lynde to Steenvorde  17.9

53rd Battalion march from Steenvorde through Poperinge into Belgium 18.9

Battalion camped near Renninghest

53rd Battalion march past Dickiebusch, Ypres, Zillebeke to Halfway House 21.9

Halfway House described as rat infested, foul stinking tunnels

4th and 5th Division relieve 1st and 2nd Divisions at Polygon Wood   21.9

Quintal promoted to rank of Lance Corporal    23.9

53rd Battalion move into Supports under “huge barrage”  24.9

53rd Battalion just before midnight move to Front Line  25.9

Battle of Polygon Wood from September 26 to October 3

53rd Battalion attack German Lines at 5.50am   26.9

14th Australian Brigade seize Butte (mound of old shooting range)   26.9

R G Quintal in 53rd Battalion wounded in action  27.9

53rd Battalion move out of Front line  30.9

Battalion remained in either the front Line or Front Area until 21 October

Quintal to 5th Australian Division Rest Wing, France    08.10

Quintal rejoined 53rd Battalion in field at Connaught Camp 26.10

Battalion remained at Connaught Camp until 4 November

53rd Battalion march from Connaught camp to Outterstene  04.11

53rd Battalion march forward again to camp near Locre  10.11

53rd Battalion march from Locre to Kemel  11.11

53rd Battalion move from Kemmel into Support Lines  12.11

53rd Battalion move into Front Line  13.11

53rd Battalion move from Front Line to Kemmel for re-organisation  28.11

5th Australian Division was responsible for Front line north of Armentieres

5th Division take on role until 31 January 1918 as Reserve Division  17.12

1918 - France / Belgium

5th Australian Division relieve 1st Division in front Line near Messines 01.2

Quintal posted to Escort Duty, Boulogne     09.2

Quintal rejoined 53rd Battalion, in field near Messines    13.2

5th Division attack and take Villers-Bretonneux   24.4

Quintal was awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal  (D C M)

Award notified in London Gazette Supplement No30664, dated 01.5

Australian Infantry in line between Villers-Bretonneux and Ancre River  03.5

Wounded in Action (Shrapnel wound right cheek)   30.5

Admitted to 14rh Australian Field Ambulance  30.5

From Field Ambulance to 47th Casualty Clearing Station     30.5

Moved from Clearing Station to Ambulance Train    31.5

From Ambulance Train to No.1 General Hospital at Etretat    02.6

Transferred to England on "Gloucester Castle"     16.6

1918 - England

From ship admitted to Beaufort War Hospital at Bristol    17.6

Transferred to No.3 Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford      24.6

From Hospital to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott     26.6

To No 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny   10.9

Joined Overseas Training Battalion, Sutton Veny  07.10

From Sutton Veny embarked at Southampton for France      30.10

1918 - France / Belgium

Arrived at Australian Infantry Base Depot, Le Havre     31.10

Rejoined 53rd Battalion at rest in field    04.11

Armistice 11.11

1919 - France / Belgium

Embarked at Le Havre for England   17.1

1919 - England

From ship to No.1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny     18.1

To No.2 Training Brigade, Codford      19.1

Embarked at Devonport on ship "Kildonian Castle" for Australia   21.3

1919 - Australia

Disembarked 2 Military District, Sydney   09.5

Discharged 2 Military District    02.7


        1914/15 Star   (No.2123)

        British War Medal 1914/18   (13624)

        Victory Medal     (13429)

        Distinguished Conduct Medal 

Extract from Supplement to London Gazette 1.5.1918:-

“2406 Pte (L/C) B Quintal Infy - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was in charge of a Lewis gun in a strong position which the enemy attempted to raid under cover of an intense bombardment. He at once opened Lewis gun fire and when the gun jammed he attacked the enemy with bombs and assisted in driving them off with considerable losses. His coolness and initiative were an inspiration to his comrades.”

Involvement with other Islanders

A F Buffett (3rd Battalion) served in 1st Brigade but Quintal was on the ship from Australia to Egypt when Buffett was Killed in Action at Gallipoli

C P Chapman (2nd Battalion) served in 1st Brigade but Quintal was on the ship from Australia to Egypt when Chapman was wounded at Gallipoli. When Quintal landed at Gallipoli Chapman was in hospital in England. Chapman then joined Imperial Army.

J A Evans (2nd Battalion) also wounded at Gallipoli when Quintal was on ship from Sydney to Egypt. Evans sent as invalid to England but rejoined 2nd Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir on 16.1.1916, where Quintal was located just prior to his transfer to 53rd Battalion and thus II ANZAC.

E J Quintal (2nd Battalion) was wounded at or a few days after the Gallipoli landing, sent to England and did not rejoin 2nd Battalion until August 1916 in France by which time B G Quintal was with 53rd Battalion

E Y Quintal (2nd Battalion) travelled from Sydney to England then underwent a period of training in England, thus did not join 2nd Battalion until 7.5.1916 in France by which time B G Quintal was with 53rd Battalion.

H W Taylor (1st Battalion) was wounded at Gallipoli on 26.5.1915. Taylor was sent as an invalid to England where on recovery he joined the Imperial Army, all before Quintal joined 1st Battalion.

H R Waterhouse (1st Brigade Transport) together in period Quintal was in Egypt prior to and post Quintal's service at Gallipoli. Both recorded at Tel-el-Kebir on 29.12.1915 before Quintal moved to 53rd Battalion.

G W F Adams (53rd Battalion) joined 53rd Battalion on 16.2.1916 from 11th Reinforcement 2nd Battalion, (2 days after Quintal). He served with Quintal until Adams became ill on 24.11.1916. Served again together from 21.9.1917 to 28.1.1918 (Adams became ill again, following which Quintal was wounded). Both travelled together England to France on 30.10.1918 joining 53rd Battalion on 4.11.1918. Adams became ill on 29.12.1918 leading to his being sent as invalid to Australia.

E L M Edwards (14th Machine Gun Company) joined Company on 5.10.1917 Served with Quintal from 5.10.1917 to 30.12.1917 when Edwards was admitted to Hospital. They did not serve together again

J B Metcalfe in same Brigade as Quintal. Metcalfe was with 54th Battalion as regimental Medical Officer for a limited period and also was in 14th Australian Field Ambulance.

R G H Quintal (53rd Battalion) had transferred to 53rd Battalion from 1st Battalion  just 2 days after B G Quintal joined 53rd Battalion. They served together in Egypt and France from 16.2.1916 to 20.7.1916 (R G H Quintal wounded), from 6.1.1917 to 3.5.1917 (R G H Quintal ill) and from 29.7.17 to 27.9.17 when R G H Quintal was seriously wounded and subsequently did not rejoin unit.

C S Christian (54th Battalion) in same Brigade as Quintal. They served together from 12.4.1916 to 20.7.1916, from 17.5.1917 to 22.9.1917 and from 9.1.1918 to 18.4.1918.

H P Cullwick (56th Battalion) in same Brigade as Quintal. Joined 56th Battalion on 7.2.1917 and served with Quintal in Brigade until Cullwick was wounded on 6.3.1917. After treatment Cullwick was sent as invalid to Australia where he died on 5.8.1918.

Discharge Details

Discharged in Sydney on 2 July 1919


As Quintal was under 21 years of age on his enlistment a letter approving his entry into the AIF was signed by Gilbert Alworth Quintal who claimed to be his Next of Kin in Australia

Quintal was presented with his Distinguished Conduct Medal on Norfolk Island at a ceremony in the front paddock of Government House. The ceremony was believed to be part of the second ANZAC Day ceremony held on Norfolk Island. (see image below)

He received a gratuity of 20 pounds ($40) for being awarded the DCM.

Personal Details

Birth Date - 25 March 1895

Location - Norfolk Island

Parentage - Joseph Atkins 'Att' Quintal and Amy Arabella (nee Adams) who were married at Norfolk Island on 4 May 1892

Marital Status – Married on 5 August 1920 at Norfolk Island

Partner -  Elizabeth Laverty McCoy

Children -

Life Post Discharge -

Death Date -  1929 in Sydney

Miscellaneous –

B G Quintal lodged an application for a 28 year lease of Portion 100a Norfolk Island on 4.5.1921. Cost would include a survey charge of 10 Shillings ($1) and 1 pound ($2) deed fee.

Portion 100a of 22 acres was approved for lease to B G Quintal by the Minister for Territories on 28.9.1921. On the same day it was approved by the Executive Council.

It is unclear if he actually took up the lease offer.

Quintal died in Sydney having travelled there from Norfolk Island for medical treatment.

Quintal's illness was said to be as a result of war service.

Described on enlisting as height 5feet 9.5inches (1.73m) weight 159lbs (72.3kgs), complexion dark, eyes brown and hair black. Stated his occupation as farmer.

Returned to Norfolk. He died whilst seeking medical treatment in Sydney in 1929.

Distinguished Conduct Medal

British War



Bronze star

Victory Medal