Walter HOWARD

HOWARD, Walter

Service Number: 3654
Enlisted: 16 July 1917, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 56th Infantry Battalion
Born: Newtown, New South Wales, 16 May 1873
Home Town: Petersham, Marrickville, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Fitter and Turner
Died: Natural causes, Marrickville, New South Wales, 12 July 1948, aged 75 years
Cemetery: Rookwood Cemetery & Crematorium
Methodist section
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World War 1 Service

16 Jul 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3654, Sydney, New South Wales
31 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3654, 56th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
31 Oct 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3654, 56th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
2 Sep 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 3654, 56th Infantry Battalion, Mont St Quentin / Peronne, GSW (right hand and abdomen)
9 Apr 1921: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 3654, 56th Infantry Battalion

Background

Enlisted 16 July 1917 at the age of 44 after being refused the first time because he was too short. Disembarked 20/12/17. Was wounded on 2/9/18 and later discharged. The 56th was part of the battle of Mont St Quentin and Péronne and was attacking Péronne on 2/9/18 probably this is where the injury occurred.

Injuries were recorded as a gunshot wound to the right hand and abdomen.

Was discharged 9/4/18 after returning to Australia.

Is the father of Lyall Howard, 3rd Pioneer Battalion and grandfather of Australian Prime Minister John Howard.

In the book, The Great War, author Les Carlyon details the experiences of Lyall Howard on the front line, captured by the handwritten notes in Lyall's war diary. The entries were always brief: "Shoved in old barn", "Inoculated again", "First day in trenches".One laconic entry underscored the horrors the soldiers faced: "Will wounded and dies". Will was Lyall's best friend.[

In an extraordinary situation of chance during the mass movement of troops near Cléry, the father and son's paths crossed. Against the odds, Lyall and Walter met on the eve of the Battle of Mont St. Quentin in what has been described as a one-in-a-million handshake in the battle zone.

An entry in Lyall Howard's diary, dated 30 August 1918, simply reads: "Met dad at Cléry."

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

Grand-father of former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard