William Carl MEYER

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MEYER, William Carl

Service Number: 5798
Enlisted: 28 March 1916, Kadina, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bright, South Australia, 7 March 1894
Home Town: Hilltown, South Australia
Schooling: Bright Lutheran School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 21 September 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial
Plot XLI (41); Row A, Grave No.21. His name is located at panel 60 in the Commemorative Area at the AWM, Canberra, ACT.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Burra HB1 District WW 1*, Burra M*, Clare Memorial Arch WW I*, HilltownM*, National War Memorial (South Australia)
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World War 1 Service

28 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Kadina, South Australia
12 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5798, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
12 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 5798, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ballarat, Adelaide
29 Dec 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5798, 10th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 5798, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
Date unknown: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

Photos in a 44 gallon drum

PHOTO’s & post card writings – supplied by Debb Schiller - great-great niece (provided 12 January 2014).

The photos survived for many years in a sealed 44 gallon drum in my great grandmother’s back garden ! (William’s sister).

Hello,
I have a keen interest in my family history and am currently researching the family of my great grandmother Anna Bertha Auguste Hentschke (nee Meyer) who was born at Bright in 1879.

My interest began when I acquired a bag of old photos from my great uncle, via my parents. Many of the photos were unidentified and remain so, however, there were three that I have been able to identify as pertaining to a WW1 soldier Wilhelm Carl Meyer who was a farmer at Hilltown at the time of enlistment in 1916 and made the supreme sacrifice at the battle for Menin Road, Ypres, Belgium on 20 September 1917.

What makes these photos so special is that they each have a letter written to my great grandmother on the reverse side. The photos survived for many years in a sealed 44 gallon drum in the back garden!

Our family had no idea that granny had a brother who was killed in the Great War. Through my research on Trove and the AIF, AWM websites and by obtaining his service records I have been able to piece together a little of Will's story.

I live in Loxton, SA and hope to visit the Clare District sometime soon as I would like to establish where the Meyer family farm was. My husband and I hope to make a pilgrimage to Will Meyer's grave in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium in 2015.

I have attached files of the photo's and letters for your interest. The third photo is of Will's grave, the letter on the back was written by his sister-in-law Edie Meyer, the first wife of Carl Otto Meyer, Will's brother.

Regards,
Debb
Jeff and Debb Schiller (schillerjnda@gmail.com)

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Biography

Father  Johann Heinrich Friedrich Meyer and
Mother  Louise Christiana Meyer (nee Ahrns),  Hilltown, near Clare SA.

Brother - Carl Otto Meyer;  Sister - Anna Bertha Auguste Hentschke (nee Meyer) – b. 1879

Next of kin:
Great-great niece Debb Schiller (Loxton, South Australia - 2014).

Described on enlisting as  22 years 1 month old; single; 6’ tall; 164 lbs; fair complexion;
blue eyes; light brown hair; Methodist.

28/3/1916            Enlisted  in  Kadina  as a Private

18/4/1916            Commanding Officer appointed William to A Company 2nd Depot.
                           Mitcham Camp

1/5 - 15/6/1916    19th reinforcement / 10th battalion
16-18/6/1916       18th reinforcement / 10th battalion
19/6/1916            19th reinforcement / 10th battalion

12/8/1916            Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide on board HMAT A70 Ballarat
                           as a Private in 10th Infantry Battalion, 19th Reinforcements

30/9/1916            Disembarked at Plymouth

17/12/1916          Proceeded overseas to France – on board SS Golden Eagle, ex Folkestone

18/12/1916          Marched in from England

22/12/1916          Marched out to join unit – Etaples, France

29/12/1916          Taken on strength – 10th Infantry Battalion AIF - France

BY the time Car joined the Battalion it had returned to the Somme from Belgium and went into winter quarters near Guedecourt - the coldest winter in living memory.

In 1917, the battalion took part in the follow up of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and then returned to Belgium to take part in the major British offensive of that year - the Third Battle of Ypres.

27/4 -11/5/1917   Sick to hospital – Hernia
                           45th Clearing Casualty Station, France, 10th General Hospital - Rouen

11/5/1917            March out to Unit

18/5/1917            Rejoined battalion from hospital - France

21 - 25/7/1917     Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance hospital  -  trench fever - France

25/7/1917            Rejoined Commanding Officer with 10th Infantry Battalion - France

22/9/1917            Wounded in action – Belgium

3/11/1917            Previously reported ‘wounded in action – now reported missing in action

**16/5/1918**     Acknowledged – Private ‘killed in action’ – 21/9/1917

21/9/1917            Killed in action - Belgium (24yrs 3 mths)
                           The Battle of Menin Road near Polygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium

26/4/1921            Re-interred to     Tyne Cot Cemetery
                                                       5 ¼ miles, E.N.E of Ypres
                                                       Plot XLI (41); Row A’ Grave No. 21
                                                       West-Vlaanderen, Flanders, Passchendaele, Belgium

MEDALS:
British War medal (44947);  Victory medal (44435);
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (345716).

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.   4 September 2014.  Lest we forget.

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