William George Lewis PERRIMAN

PERRIMAN, William George Lewis

Service Number: 2431
Enlisted: 12 July 1915, Melbourne
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 23rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, 1886
Home Town: Newport, Hobsons Bay, Victoria
Schooling: State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 15 February 1917
Cemetery: Ovillers Military Cemetery
Plot I, Row E, Grave 12,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Williamstown Pictorial Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

12 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2431, 23rd Infantry Battalion, Melbourne
29 Sep 1915: Involvement Private, 2431, 23rd Infantry Battalion
29 Sep 1915: Embarked Private, 2431, 23rd Infantry Battalion, RMS Osterley, Melbourne

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

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

William George Lewis PERRIMAN was born in Collingwood, Victoria in 1886

His parents were Elijah PERRIMAN & Susan MOSS

He enlisted in Melbourne on 12th July, 1915 and embarked with the 23rd Infantry Battalion, 5th reinforcements on 29th September, 1915 on the HMAT Osterley

William died of wounds at the 6th Australian Field Ambulance station and is buried in the Ovillers Military Cemetery in France - his name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial

The inscription on his headstone reads



His brother Robert PERRIMAN (SN 2489) also served in WW1 and returned to Australia in 1917


Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Pte William George Lewis PERRIMAN 
Today, under the sun of the Somme, rest in peace, in silence and light, a whole generation of men who, coming from far away, walked through the poppy fields and fought with bravery and determination in the trenches and the battlefields of northern France, for a country they knew little about but for which they did and gave so much while they were in the prime of their lives. With devotion, with courage, they faced their destinies through bullets and rains of shells.Side by side, they served with exceptional courage and wrote history in letters of gold and shed their blood for their country and for France which will be eternally and deeply grateful to them. Together they fought and fell, for freedom and peace and rest today, always together, under the shade of the poppies and their white graves on which, for eternity are engraved and remembered the names of these young heroes whom we will always honor with the highest respect, with love and devotion so that through the years, in our hearts and in our thoughts, they never cease to live and today, it is the memory of one of these soldiers, the memory of a young man who came from Australia that I would like to honor with gratitude, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2431 William George Lewis Perriman who fought in the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion and who died of his wounds 104 years ago, on February 15, 1917 at the age of 30 on the Somme front.

William George Lewis Perriman was born in 1886 in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, and was the son of Elijah Perriman and Susan Perriman (née Moss), of 72, Market Street, Newport, Victoria.William was educated at Collingwood State School and before the outbreak of the war, he was single and lived in Milford Road, Newport, Victoria, where he worked as a labourer.
Enlisted in Melbourne, Victoria, on June 12, 1915 in the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion, 5th Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, on board HMAT RMS Osterley on September 29, 1915 and sailed for Tel-El-Kébir, Egypt where he arrived on January 11, 1916.Two months later, on March 19, 1916, William joined the British Expeditionary Force in Alexandria and embarked for France on board HMT Lake Michigan and was disembarked a few days later, on March 26, 1916 in Marseilles.

in France, William and the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion was next "in the line" on 10 April 1916, when it occupied forward trenches of the Armentieres sector in northern France,followed in July by the horrific battles of Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, after which it was estimated that the Battalion lost almost 90 per cent of its original members.The men of the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion held the front line at Pozieres with great courage in appalling conditions during the winter of 1916-1917 which was one of the hardest that the Somme has known in 40 years.
Unfortunately, after having fought with bravery, it is in the Somme, near Ovillers, that William met his fate.On the morning of February 15, 1917, in the sector of Ovillers, he was hit by a shell and was seriously injured in the back and to the left leg and was evacuated to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance, where, despite great care, he died later that day, he was 30 years old.

Today William George Lewis Perriman rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers-in-arms at Ovillers Military Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Dearly loved and sadly missed".

William had a brother who fought by his side in the 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion, Private number 2489 Robert Perriman (who is pictured to the left of William).Robert survived the war and returned to Australia on August 25, 1917.He died in October 1949 in Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.Today,he is commemorated at the Victorian Garden Of Remembrance.

William, Robert, you who were brothers in life, brothers of blood and heart, it is together, as brothers in arms that you fought side by side on the battlefields of the Somme,and it is from the bottom of my heart that I would like to say thank you, for all that you have done and endured for us.Together you answered with courage to the call of duty and joined the ranks of your brothers in arms who, united, embarked and walked with confidence and determination through the roads of France and the fields of poppies and entered with bravery into the trenches and the darkness of war.in the mud, in the biting cold, in the frozen water, in the rain and the snow they fought together in appalling conditions under the fire of the bullets which whistled above their heads which mowed down a whole generation of men.They faced storms of steel and fire that raged around them in mournful and endless rumblings that rained down death and destruction and who in the flames caused so much blood and tears to flow.in the trenches they lost their innocence and gave their youth but never lost their courage or their hopes, united in very strong bonds of comradeship and fraternity, they faced difficulties and moved forward in united ranks, they fought as comrades and far from their loved ones, they found in the comfort of their brothers in arms, a united family who, under the fire of cannons and machine guns, moved forward with conviction, with bravery and fought like lions with the pride of serving their country with devotion and it is together, arms in hand that they fought and fell in the barbed wire, a few meters from their trenches, in the poppies on which so much blood flowed which today contain the souls of these boys, of those men who did so much for France for whom they fought and gave their lives.more than a hundred years have passed and thanks to their courage and their sacrifices I was born and today I have the happiness of living in a world in peace for which so many of these young men gave their all and in the fields of poppies , on the old battlefields and through the rows of their graves, I walk in silence, with deep gratitude in my heart, I walk in their footsteps to learn from them, often with tears in my eyes because even if I did not know these men, I feel very close to them and I feel proud and privileged to tell and share their stories, to bring them to life with the deep feeling of seeing them, of feeling their presence.they did their duty with courage and were exceptional men, today it is my turn to give my life for them by telling who they were and what they did for us, with the same devotion with which they served, I will always be present for them and for their families for whom I will always give all my heart and my energy so that these men, these heroes, my boys of the Somme are never forgotten and so that their names and their faces, smiling and young forever, may live forever through the years and in our hearts. Thank you for everything William, Robert, you will never be forgotten and in our most respectful thoughts you will live forever.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember them.