William Truman ALTREE

ALTREE, William Truman

Service Number: 1452
Enlisted: 9 December 1914, Oaklands, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wigan, England, 31 July 1896
Home Town: Coromandel Valley, Onkaparinga, South Australia
Schooling: Bolton, England
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, Gallipoli, 29 May 1915, aged 18 years
Cemetery: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
Plot 3, Row D, Grave 24 (officiated by Chaplain J. C. McPhee),
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Coromandel Valley WW1 Memorial and Gardens, Yorketown Bublacowie Coromandel Valley Baptist Church Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

9 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1452, 10th Infantry Battalion, Oaklands, South Australia
9 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1452, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1452, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Runic, Melbourne
7 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1452, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

 Chronicle (Adelaide, SA Sat 21 Aug 1915 Page 38 

Private W. Altree, who was killed in action in the Dardanelles on May 29, was tho son of Mrs. Clara Altree, of  1 Murray Street, West Thebarton. He enlisted in November last in the 10th Infantry Regiment, and left for Egypt in February with the 3rd Reinforcements. He Private W. Altree (Killed) was a native of Bolton, Lancashire, and in his 18th year. He came to South Australia in November, 1913, and up to the time of enlisting had worked for his cousin, Mr. Percy Doley, of Happy Valley.  He worshipped at Coromandel Valley Baptist Chapel and the Hindmarsh Congregational Church.





Service number: 1452 Rank: Private Unit: 10th Battalion (Infantry) Service: Australian Army Conflict: 1914-1918 Date of death: 29 May 1915 Place of death: Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey Cause of death: Killed in action Cemetery or memorial details: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli, Turkey Source: AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

Born in Wigan in Lancashire as the son of Albert Henry Altree and Clarissa Jopson, William Altree emigrated to Australia, aged 17,  from the UK with his sister Beatrice (she was listed as a 23 years old 'domestic'), on the ship "Irishman" which departed Liverpool on the 25th September 1913.  This process was extended with a number of family members coming out on different ships, according to family anecdote.

Their UK address had been 10 Northern Grove, Chorley Old Road, Bolton, Lancashire, and prior to that in the 1911 Census, 36 Stanley Rd Bolton.

By the time of his enlistment his mother Mrs Clarissa Altree, was listed as a 'widowed mother of a single son'.

The family home in Australia was at 1 Murray Street, Thebarton at the time of his enlistment, although William was working in the Coromandel Valley at the time and is commemorated on the memorial there.

He was 18 1/2 years old when he enlisted into the 10th Battalion at Oaklands to the south of  Adelaide  on 11th December 1914.  Oaklands at the time was the site of an Army remount depot.  Most recently it is the site of the Warradale Barracks.

William was assigned to the 3rd  Reinforcements, undertook initial training at Morphettville and  embarked with his reinforcement draft on 9th February 1915  aboard the HMAT 'Runic' from Port Melbourne.

They joined the Battalion at Gallipoli, and the record shows William having been taken on strength on the 7th of May 1915.  By then the Battalion had sustained nearly 50% casualties among those present at the landing.

William's stay at Gallipoli was tragically short.  On the 19th May the 10th Battalion repelled a major attack by the Turks along the entire front.  After that the front stayed relatively quiet for some time.   William survived the Turkish attack but was killed in action on the 29th May.  The Battalion history does not even have an entry for the 29th May, so in all likelihood William was killed by either intermittent shell fire or perhaps by a sniper during an otherwise quiet period.

He was initially interred with a group of 12 other 10th Battalion men killed between 19-29 May.  Chaplain J.C. McPhee officiated.

Williams remains were relocated to the Shrapnel Gully cemetery along with those of his colleagues when the Commonwealth War Graves Commission assumed control of the site at the end of the War.


Medals: William Altree's medals and the iussue schedule details were

1914/15 Star 4604

British War Medal 9475 

Victory Medal 9427 

Commemorative Medallion 305933