CASTLES, William

Service Number: 2507
Enlisted: 15 May 1916, Liverpool, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 54th Infantry Battalion
Born: Rooty Hill, New South Wales, 1894
Home Town: Parramatta, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carter
Died: Died of Illness (Nephritis), At sea (HMAT Suevic), 23 October 1917
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
At sea - HMAT Suevic
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Blacktown, NSW (RSL) World War 1 Soldiers Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

15 May 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2507, Liverpool, New South Wales
30 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2507, 54th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
30 Nov 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2507, 54th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
23 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2507, 54th Infantry Battalion

William Castles

Private William Castles was an Aboriginal soldier born in Rooty Hill in 1894. His brother was E.G. Castles and their father was Thomas Castles. William and E.G.'s aunt was Darcy Webb. William lived with his aunt prior to refusing to be inoculated after enlisting in 1916.

William's job before his 1st enlistment in 1914 was a labourer. His 2nd job before his 2nd enlistment was a coal carter.
William Castles' 1st enlistment was at Liverpool on the 22nd December 1914 when he was 20, his embarkation details are not available since he was discharged after one month, since he refused to be inoculated. William Castles' 2nd enlistment was at Bathurst on the 15th May 1916, he claimed to be 19 years of age. He embarked from Sydney on the HMAT 'Aeneas' A60 on the 30th November 1916.

William Castles served in World War 1 in the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion on the Western Front after his 2nd enlistment.

Soon, William received gunshot wounds to his arms and legs in the Battle of Bullecourt , France on the 15th May 1917. After being wounded in France in 1917, he was admitted in the 1st Australian General Hospital and was soon evacuated to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital, England.

William Castles died on the 23rd October 1917 while at sea due to Nephritis and his gunshot wounds. He is remembered on the Blacktown Soldiers' Memorial, he is also remembered with honour on the Villers-Brettoneux Memorial, Somme, France.

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...2507 Private William Castles 54th Battalion, of Parramatta, NSW. A carter prior to enlisting, he embarked from Sydney aboard the HMAT Aeneas (A60) on 30 November 1916. He was wounded in action on 15 May 1917, near Riencourt on the Hindenberg Line. Pte Castles died of nephritis on 23 October 1917 aboard the HMAT Suevic (A29) while returning to Australia, aged 21. He was buried at sea and is remembered with honour on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)