Walter Edward (Wally) JOY

JOY, Walter Edward

Service Number: 845
Enlisted: 21 August 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Infantry Battalion
Born: Eaglehawk, Victoria, Australia, December 1893
Home Town: Eaglehawk, Greater Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Undertaker
Died: Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, 13 March 1959, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Brighton General Cemetery, Victoria
Roman Catholic T 282
Memorials: Eaglehawk Mechanics Institute Roll of Honour, Eaglehawk Uniting Church Honour Board and Memorial Windows
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World War 1 Service

21 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion
19 Oct 1914: Embarked Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
19 Oct 1914: Involvement Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '9' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Hororata embarkation_ship_number: A20 public_note: ''
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
8 May 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, 2nd Krithia. SW (slight) to left shoulder. Remained at duty.
12 Jul 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli, Partially buried when a sap exploded. Dug out alive however right arm was broken and right thumb permanently dislocated.
14 May 1916: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 845, 7th Infantry Battalion, Medically unfit

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Biography contributed by Robert Wight

In an interview published on 29th October 1915, Pte. Walter Edward Joy, 7th Battalion Australian Infantry, A.I.F., who had been wounded on 12th July 1915, described his service up to then from the day of the landings.


“Relating some of his experiences in Gallipoli to a Bendigo 'Advertiser' representative recently, Private Walter Joy, of Eaglehawk (well known in Dunolly, where relatives reside), who has just returned from the front, said “I gave up all hope of ever returning to Eaglehawk again.”

“Private Joy was attached to the 7th battalion, and took part in the memorable landing on the morning of 25th April, which he describes in the following manner:—

“As the boats were nearing the shore we jumped out and waded through the water, which was up to our necks. Some of the boys never got ashore. The bullets were whistling round us, and some were killed or wounded before they got away from the boats. We were hurriedly lined up on the beach and rushed over the hills amidst a terrific fire of shot and shell. I was a stretcher-bearer, and my work took me right into the thick of the fight, where we had to attend to the wounded and dying. The 7th battalion bore the brunt of the attack in three engagements, and suffered severely. They went into the fight with 32 officers and 1100 men, but after having been in the trenches for five days they had only 15 officers and 383 men. On the 6th May we were taken to Cape Helles and took part in the attack which commenced on the 8th May. Again we lost heavily, and after being a few days in the trenches our strength was reduced to two officers and 173 men. I was not hit until the 8th May, when a piece of shrapnel struck me on the left shoulder. Fortunately I was not badly injured, and after having my wounds dressed I was able to remain and do what little I could.

“On the 18th May the Turks attacked us about 10 o'clock in the night. They were driven back, but came on again at 3 o'clock the following morning. Again they were unsuccessful, and a further attack was commenced three hours later. The enemy lost heavily, and asked for an armistice to bury their dead. Their losses included 3000 killed and 7000 wounded. It took them from 7 o'clock in the morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon to take away the dead bodies.

“We were taken back to Anzac and reinforcements brought our strength to 500. We renewed our attacking on [ineligible] and in about a fortnight lost over 200 men. On the 12th July a shell came through a sap in which I was located, and I was partly buried with the earth which came down. My right arm was broken and my back injured. I was consequently, taken back to the hospital. To add to my misfortune I contracted pleurisy and fever.

“The Turks are good and very fair fighters. They had plenty of opportunities to fire on our hospital ships, but never attempted to do so. I saw very [few?] officers. They kept well in the background. A Turkish prisoner told us that the German officers issue orders to the Turks to make an attack and they stand back. If the Turks fail to obey the order the machine guns drive them forward. If it were not for the German officers many of the Turks would surrender. When they are taken prisoners they appear most relieved. The Turkish prisoners are very well treated.”

“Speaking generally on the work of the Australians in Gallipoli, Private Joy said:— “If we had had a few thousand more reinforcements on the first couple of days we could have driven the Turks much further inland. Once the lads get going there is no stopping them. It is going to take a long time to get through the Dardanelles, but they will eventually get through. It would seem very hard, after losing so many lives and after working so strongly, to have to abandon the campaign in endeavoring to force the Dardanelles. The country is very hilly and rough, and the roads are very difficult for traffic. The Australians are up about 900 feet above the sea level, and the stores and provisions have to be taken to them. The food in the trenches is plentiful, and is far better than I expected; in fact, some of it is even better then we got in Egypt before we went to the front. Some of the boys are having a pretty rough time of it. They have been in the trenches practically since they landed. They do about 24 hours in the trenches and are then relieved for about 24 hours, but during that time they must act so as a support to the men who relieve them. The boys were very much downhearted when the Triumph was sunk, for they regarded it as their best friend.”

“Private Joy had orders to report himself at the base hospital in Melbourne on Wednesday, 20th inst.” [1]

He was discharged as medically unfit on 14th May 1916.

[1] 'Dunolly and Betbetshire Express and County of Gladstone Advertiser', (Victoria) 29th October 1915