Frederick William HUNTLEY


HUNTLEY, Frederick William

Service Number: 3811
Enlisted: 9 November 1915
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: 6th Field Company Engineers
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, July 1891
Home Town: Collingwood, Yarra, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Hit By Shell, Pozières, France, 25 August 1916
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Pozieres British Cemetery (Plot I, Row A, Grave No. I), Ovillers-La-Boisselle, France. Headstone inscription "So young, so bright, so loving, why called away so soon.", Pozieres British Cemetery Ovillers-La Boisselle, Pozieres, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

9 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 3811, 6th Field Company Engineers
23 Nov 1915: Involvement Sapper, SN 3811, 6th Field Company Engineers
23 Nov 1915: Embarked Sapper, SN 3811, 6th Field Company Engineers, HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne

Help us honour Frederick William Huntley's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of Thomas and Sarah HUNTLEY

The Collingwood Cricket Club has sustained a severe loss, in the death of Sapper Huntly who has recently fallen in the fight for the world's freedom. He was a fine young fellow, and quite a 'promising cricketer.' After playing part of his first season with the seconds he was promoted to the first eleven, and in his first match against the M.C.C, he scored 36, not out, and got two wickets for 14 runs.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

On this day, I would like to commemorate the memory of one of my boys of the Somme, a young Australian man who fought and who fell on the battlefields of France and who today rests in peace near his comrades, on these sacred soils which saw so many young lives lost.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Sapper number 3811 William Huntley who fought in the 6th Field Company Engineers of the Australian Engineers and who was killed in action 104 years ago,on August 25, 1916 at the age of 21 on the Somme front.

William Huntley was born in 1892 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and was the son of Thomas and Sarah Huntley, of 136, Mcllwraith Street, Carlton, North Victoria, native of Fitzroy.Before the outbreak of the war, William lived at 1 Mason Street, Collingwood, Victoria and worked as a carpenter. He was also a very good cricketer and played in the Collingwood Cricket Club and was described as being a promising cricketer, After playing part of his first season with the seconds he was promoted to the first eleven, and in his first match against the MCC, he scored 36, not out, and got two wickets for 14 runs.

Enlisted in Melbourne, Victoria, on July 22, 1915 in the 6th Field Company Engineers, 1st Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on November 23, 1915,and sailed for Egypt where he arrived at the beginning of February 1916 at Serapeum and joined the British Expeditionary Force then he embarked with his unit from Alexandria, on board "City Of Edinburgh" on March 19, 1916 for France and was disembarked in Marseilles on March 27, 1916 and was sent with his battalion shortly after to the Somme front.
William fought with admirable bravery on the battlefield but unfortunately, five months later he had to face the Battle of Pozieres which was described by many Australian soldiers as a real butchery. Pozieres was one of the deadliest battles for the Australian army for which it was the first major engagement during the Battle of the Somme and more than 20,000 Australians were killed, wounded and missing between July 23 and September 3, 1916.Sadly, on August 25, 1916 at 1:30 am near Pozieres, while he was working in a new communication trench, William was hit and blown up by a shell and killed through concussion.He was 21 years old.

Today, William Huntley rests in peace with his comrades and brothers in arms, united in their last home at Pozieres British Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "So young, so bright, so loving, why called away so soon ".

William, it is with deep gratitude with which I want to thank you, so young and already so brave, you were promised a great future and to have the chance to have a life but at the dawn of your life, in the strength and courage of youth, you answered the call of duty to serve your country, what a pain it must have been for you to say goodbye to your parents one last time and to see your house, your life moved away on the ocean leading you to the shores of a world at war, to dark and uncertain days, in trenches filled with rats, blood and mud and facing fear, cold , the death that was all around you on these battlefields, visions of apocalypse through the eyes of a young man who did his duty with bravery and honor with your friends and comrades who fought and who fell together on these fields that keep the traces of your courage and the sacrifice of so many young men who paid the greatest of sacrifices by giving all they had.Today peace reigns in the Somme, on those fields that were hell on earth more than a hundred years ago, I imagine today the pain and sadness of your mother, of your father through the words that are inscribed on your grave, how to live with the loss of all that they had of precious in their life?, the only answer that I could give to your parents is to see that today, you are not forgotten and that you are remembered with deep respect but also with the love they had for you and with which we come to your grave and for say thank you, the love of your parents will always shine with kindness through the rays of the sun which make beautiful roses bloom near you, an eternal symbol of life and hope that we will always maintain with love and devotion for you and for your family.your name, William, will live on forever and you will never be forgotten,I will always watch over you. Thank you William, with all my heart.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.