William George CHAMBERLAIN


CHAMBERLAIN, William George

Service Number: 1362
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 17th Infantry Battalion
Born: King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, 1887
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in action, France, 3 October 1918
Cemetery: Bellicourt British Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

12 May 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1362, 17th Infantry Battalion
12 May 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1362, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Themistocles, Sydney
3 Oct 1918: Involvement SN 1362, 17th Infantry Battalion

Just one more day

William joined the 17th Battalion AIF which was assigned to the 2nd Division and departed May 1915 for Gallipoli.

He had survived Gallipoli, fought in the Battle of Pozieres, Second Battle of Bullecourt, Battle of Menin Road where he was wounded in both knees and sent to England for two months.
He rejoined his battalion on the 24th November 1917.
On the 3rd October 1918 he was killed on the Beaurevoir line.

Included amongst the killed were Acting Company Sergeant Major W. G. Chamberlain and Sergeant E. G. Cowcher two original members, and Private E. Frost a lad of 17, who was entering his first action.
The following day on the 4th October the 17th Battalion was relieved from active fighting and spent the next few weeks in safety. On 11th November Armistice Day was declared.

He had been fighting for over three years.
If only he could have survived one more day.
(thanks to Jenny McDonald for sharing this story with me)

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

Company Sergeant Major Chamberlain was 31 and the son of John and Ellen E. Chamberlain, of 9, Queen's Avenue, King's Lynn, England.

Births Mar 1887   CHAMBERLAIN William George King's L. 4b36_
Emigrated to Australia 1911. Enlisted at Marrickville, NSW. Overseas 29 March 1915. Had been employed in the building trade. Served in Gallipoli, Egypt and France. Twice wounded. Also named on the following Norfolk War Memorials.


The West Lynn memorial is to be found within the churchyard of St. Peters Church. It takes the form of a plain cross mounted on a plinth with a three-stepped base. 


The memorial comprises wooden panels with the names of the fallen painted on them. The memorial was erected in 1921. The church has since become St. Michael’s Primary School and the memorial was restored and rededicated in 1999. The memorial has now be removed from the school as it was deemed unsuitable for a primary school. At present the memorial is looking for a new home possibly the new community centre being built in South Lynn.


The memorial is located in Tower Gardens, St James Street, adjacent to King's Lynn Public Library in an area originally occupied from the early thirteenth century by the friary of the Greyfriars. There are 569 men listed for World War 1 and 19 for World War 2. The memorial takes the form of a small plain Latin Cross on tall slender pillar, massive square plinth bearing the name panels and mounted on a three stepped base. The Borough coat of arms, in blue and gold, is on the front face above the inscription. There are Battle honours listed between the name panels and wreaths on each face of the plinth. The memorial was designed by Mr Oswald Partidge-Milne and was dedicated by the Bishop Suffragan of Thetford and unveiled by Her Royal Highness Princess Mary 26 January 1921. It was rededicated on 15 October 2010. The site originally cost £2,250. Details appeared in the The Lynn News and County Press 8 and 29 January 1921.