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Albert Victor Chan was 19 years old, single and employed as a labourer. He nominated his mother, Elizabeth Chan, as his next-of-kin. She lived in York Street, Ballarat East. He was born in Ballarat. He enlisted on 17th August 1914. He enlisted at Surrey Hills Depot, which was a special recruiting centre for the 8th Infantry Battalion. The 8th Battalion was among the first Infantry units raised for the AIF in the First World War. Like the 5th, 6th and 7th Battalions it was recruited in Victoria, and together with those battalions, formed the 2nd Brigade.
On 13th March 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal, just 4 days before the battalion sailed for France and the Western Front. During the last weeks of June when the battalion was in the front line the Germans shelled the trenches every night, and the battalion suffered 5 deaths and 24 wounded. Victor Chan was among the wounded, and was evacuated to the Northern General Hospital at Leicester with a shrapnel wound to his left thigh. On 20th July 1917 he was posted as an Instructor to the No. 2 Training Battalion, and did not return to the 8th Battalion until 9th January 1918. On the 2nd of April 1918 while the battalion was in the front line Victor Chan was again wounded by shrapnel. This time his left shoulder was injured. On 17th August he was promoted Sergeant, and attached to 135th Brigade of the American Expeditionary Force as a guide. He returned to the 8th Battalion on 20th August 1918. On 31st August he was sent on detachment to 1st Training Battalion in UK. Whilst there he received a temporary promotion to Warrant Officer Cl 2, as Company Sergeant Major ,on 9th September 1918.
When he disembarked on the 25th December 1918 the war was over. It was officially announced on 16th January 1919 that he had been awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Tree No. 24, an elm, was planted by Miss Le Kee, a 'Lucas Girl', in the Ballarat Avenue of Honour, on 4th June 1917.