William Leonard Carlton (Bill) BEER


BEER, William Leonard Carlton

Service Number: 4142
Enlisted: 14 June 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Pioneer Battalion
Born: Carlton, Kilkenny, South Australia, 23 March 1893
Home Town: Rosewater (Greytown), Port Adelaide Enfield, South Australia
Schooling: Port Adelaide Model School
Occupation: Horse Driver/Naval Reservist
Died: Killed in Action, Messines, Belgium, 13 June 1917, aged 24 years
Cemetery: St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery
Plot 11, Row R, Grave 1
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Ottoway Congregational Church Heroes of the Great War Honour Roll , Rosewater War Memorial, Rosewater Womens Memorial Roll of Honour WW1
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World War 1 Service

14 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4142, Adelaide, South Australia
24 Sep 1915: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 2nd Depot Battalion, 'C' Company
1 Nov 1915: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, 13th Reinforcements
11 Jan 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4142, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
11 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4142, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Adelaide
26 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 50th Infantry Battalion
16 Mar 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 4th Pioneer Battalion
4 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4142, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Embarked 'Scotian' from Alexandria 4 JUN 1916, Disembarked at Marseilles 11 JUN 1916
20 May 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Detached for duty with 2nd ANZAC School Water Supply Works (16 day course)
5 Jun 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Returns to Unit on completion of water supply course
13 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4142, 4th Pioneer Battalion, Messines

The Life of William Leonard Carlton Beer (by Faye Larsen 1997)

William (Bill) was the second son (of Andrew John & Elizabeth Ann Beer) born on the 28/3/1895 at Muldoona Street, Carlton, Kilkenny. His Father had just left prior to his birth for New Residence (in the Riverland of SA). His Mother and brother George lived at Carlton, Kilkenny at this time.

Some confusion reigns within the family as to Bill's correct third name, Carlton or Colton.

Bill must have considered it to be Colten, as he signed all his enlistment papers for the army as such, but his birth certificate sighted at the Hindmarsh Library shows it as Carlton. In correspondence to the War Department form his Father, he refers to it as Carlton also. One thought is that the name was given as the place that they lived at the time of his birth.

After his birth, at about end of April, his mother took George and he up to live at New Residence with their father, where they stayed till 1899.

The family was living in College Street, Port Adelaide when Bill started school which was on the 2/4/1900 at the Port Adelaide Primary School. He left school on the 5/9/1907 to go out to work.

Little is known of Bills working life, but on his Attestation paper on entering the army he wrote that was a horse driver by trade.

At the age of 16 1/2 he joined the Navy Reserve at Port Adelaide and was still serving at the time of his enlistment into the army.

On the 14/6/1915 (on the same day as his brother George), Bill enlisted into the A.I.F. at Keswick, aged 20 and 3/4 years, his service number being 4142.

On the 11/1/1916 Bill embarked from Adelaide aboard H.M.A.T. A30 BORDA and arrived at Tel el Kebir on 29/2/1916. He served in that location until 4/6/1916 when he left Alexandria bound Marseille, arriving there one week later on the 11/6/1916.

Just one year and two days later, on 13/06/1917, he was killed in Belgium, just across the France/Belgium border, by a high energy shell.

An account of Bill's death which came from Arthur Simpson's, great-uncle, (wild) Harry Parsons. He says that a load of ammunition was needed to be pushed further up to the front lines and the soldier assigned to the job refused to go, so Bill volunteered. It was then that he and his cargo took a direct hit from a high energy shell.

Bill was buried in St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, which is at Ploegsteert in Belgium, about two miles west of Messines.

Bill's plot there is No. 11, Row R, Grave 1


(Text copied from 'The Beer Family of Yatala Plains, South Australia, 1883-1997', Pages 42-43, Published by Faye Larsen, 1998, ISBN 0 646 35245 8)


Description of William Leonard Carlton Beer on Enlistment

Age: 20 years 9 months

Height: 5 feet 10 1/2 inches

Weight: 182 lbs.

Chest Measurement: 36.5~38.5 in.

Complexion: Fresh

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Brown

Religious Denomination: Church of England

Distinctive Marks: Vision R 6/6 L 6/6
Vaccinations NIL
Tattoo Left Forearm
Car on Right Calf

Showing 2 of 2 stories


Embarkation Roll (www.awm.gov.au) has incorrectly spelled his third Christian name COLTON instead of CARLTON

Son of Andrew John BEER and Elizabeth Ann nee MOGG