William Ezra CROCKETT

Poppy

CROCKETT, William Ezra

Service Number: 3725
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Infantry Battalion
Born: Zeehan. Tasmania, Australia, 26 June 1898
Home Town: Newtown, Inner West, New South Wales
Schooling: Newtown Superior Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Apprentice engineer
Died: Killed in action, France, 24 July 1916, aged 18 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Rozelle Sydney Harbour Trust Officers and Employees Pictorial Honour Board, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

30 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, SN 3725, 4th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
30 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, SN 3725, 4th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Medic, Sydney

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

Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Father 2617 William James Crockett 55th Battalion AIF died of wounds 4 August 1916. They had both worked at the Sydney Harbour Trust prior to enlisting.

3725 Private William Ezra Crockett, 4th Battalion, AIF was killed in action during the 1st Division’s attack at Pozieres, 24th July 1916. Born at Zeehan, Tasmania, he had attended the Superior Pubic School, at Newtown, in Sydney. He enlisted 12 months previous on 26 August 1915, declaring his age as 18 years and 1 month. His mother stated on his roll of honour form “He was a dear lad of 18 years and 1 month” at the time of his death, so he was only 17 years and 2 months when he enlisted. Young William was an apprentice engineer at the Sydney Harbour Trust when he enlisted.

Nothing is known of the circumstances of his death, apart from the fact that he was part of C Company at the time, which was entrenched on the southern outskirts of Pozieres on the date of his death. Like thousands of other Australians killed at Pozieres he has no known grave.

His father 2617 Sergeant William James Crockett had enlisted only three weeks before his son. He was a 40 year old engine driver and miner, and he left Australia as part of the 17th Battalion before transferring to the 55th Battalion in Egypt. He was mortally wounded in action at Fromelles on the 20th July 1916, with shrapnel which caused a compound fracture to his right knee. The wounds became infected and his right leg was amputated at the thigh, and he succumbed to his wounds in the 3rd Canadian General Hospital on the 4th August, 1916. While he was in hospital dying, his 18 year old son was killed at Pozieres. William was buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.

The mother, Ada Bell Crockett was left with 5 children, a 15 year old daughter, 14 year old son, and three younger girls, aged 12, 5 and a baby almost 2 years old.

The mother and widow, Ada, having received 3 handkerchiefs, a scarf and pair of gloves,  wrote to the AIF regarding her son’s effects, “Dear sir, what about his watch and bible and diary and wallett(sic) surely this is not all his effects, not that I want his things but oh my poor boy. P.S. His father Sergeant W.J. Crockett died of wounds received the same time. "Oh the sorrow in our home", Ada Bell Crockett.”

She also wrote on another occasion, “Just a few lines to ask if you give me any information of my boy, or if they have they have the place marked where he was killed. As far as I know he was blown to pieces but there seems to be no record of him. He was killed the same week as his dear father was wounded, and if he cannot be found could I have something inscribed on his fathers’ headstone in memory of him. He belonged to the 4th Battalion, and at the time of death belonged to the Lewis Machine Gun Section and was in charge of one. Lt. Hart wrote me saying “he was, not withstanding his youth, a guide and help to the men of section, and his men thought highly of him, and he deserved promotion.” Hoping you will try and find out and let me know, yours Ada Bell Crockett.”

It is also poignant to note that the family home had by 1923, been named "Pozieres", in Tramway Street, Tempe, NSW.

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