William Irving BOON


BOON, William Irving

Service Number: 19955
Enlisted: 11 November 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Bombardier
Last Unit: 8th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Queenstown, South Australia, 22 July 1891
Home Town: Woodville, Charles Sturt, South Australia
Schooling: Alberton Public School & Muirdon College
Occupation: Port Adelaide Football Player & Clerk at Savings Bank of SA
Died: Killed In Action, Merincourt, France, 24 April 1918, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Bonnay Communal Cemetery Extension
Row B; Grave 6. His name is located at panel 15 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT., Bonnay Communal Cemetery Extension, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Savings Bank of South Australia Honour Roll WW1, Adelaide Savings Bank of South Australia Honour Roll WW1, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

11 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
20 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Medic, Melbourne
20 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
7 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Battle of Messines
5 Aug 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Bombardier, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Broodseinde Ridge
20 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Bombardier, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Battle of Poelcapelle
24 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Bombardier, SN 19955, 8th Field Artillery Brigade , Villers-Bretonneux

"The Brilliant Ports" - The Register, 4 December 1914

Although the football season is over the brilliant performance of the Port Adelaide team in going through the whole of the contests without a defeat is still fresh in the memory of the club’s supporters and football followers generally. Apart from the honor accruing from the annexation of the State and Australian championships the individual members of the team have received or are about to receive the following list of trophies. Silver Cup to J. Ashley as the Fairest and most Brilliant player; silver rose bowl presented by Mr. W. H. Job, to W. H. Oliver, for consistently good play, Gold Medal presented by Ezywalkin Ltd, to J. C. Watson, as the most improved player (by several supporters) to J. W. Robertson, A. Congear, H. V. Pope, and S. Hosking, for valuable services rendered; trophies by Mr. H. Lewis, to J. W. Robertson, S. Hosking for training; £20 and £5 (Ozone Picture Company), to J. Ashley and R. W. Drummond respectively, best two players during the season, as adjudged by the audiences weekly; trophy (PAFC), to Mr. J. Londrigan as a memento for leading the team to 31 out of 33 first class victories including two Australian Championships; framed enlarged photo of the team and offices of PAFC; to each player, trainer, and officer, as souvenirs of the record performances; special framed photographs (a supporter), to J. Ashley and J. W. Robertson, for winning respectively the Magarey medal and the Referee Medals, 20 Gold Medals (Eight Hours Celebration Union), to 20 players for defeating the combined South Australian team on Eight Hours Day. Ashley won the Magarey Medal for being a Fairest and most Brilliant player in the state, and Robertson gained the Referee Medal for being the best South Australian player at the Sydney Carnival. Most of the prizes mentioned will be presented at a dinner early in the New Year given to the club by Mr. J. W. Anderson, for having been one of the first four teams in last season’s final matches. P. Crowley, of Port II won the Magarey medal for being the Fairest and most Brilliant player in the B Grade Association. D. Adams of Port II won the W. B. Carr Medal, for the best all round player in the B Grade Association. Semaphore Central won the South Australian Amateur League premiership losing only one game for the entire year and H. G. McEwen of Semaphore Central Club won a medal for the Fairest and most Brilliant player in the South Australian Amateur League. Each of the three players trained with the Ports and have represented that club in senior matches.

Collectively the three teams had won all three premierships, accumulated all available association medals – Magarey Medal – J. Ashley, Referee Medal – J. W. Robertson, P. Crowley won the Reserves Magarey Medal, D. Adams the Reserves W. B. Carr Medal (Umpires Votes) and H. G. “Harry” McEwen won the Amateur League Association Medal for the Semaphore Club. The three teams had scooped the trifecta as far as team and individual awards were concerned.


"BOON - Best on Ground" - 1914 Port Adelaide Football Club PREMIERS - The Register 12 October 1914

It was a happy idea that suggested the meeting of the premiers of the Senior League (Port Adelaide and those of the Amateur League – Semaphore Central) in a game the proceeds of which will be devoted to the Port Adelaide Patriotic Fund. The match was played at the Alberton Oval on Saturday afternoon. Although the ground was hard, the weather conditions were fairly favorable for the contest. The Semaphore team with the advantage of a strong wind quickly piled on five goals, while there more experienced rivals succeeded in scoring only one major. In the next term, however, Port with a magnificent series of passes added 3. 10. To their total and kept the foe on the defensive. After the long interval Semaphore again took control and added 3 more goals against the Magpies 2. The quarter ended: Semaphore Central 8 goals 3 behinds to Port Adelaide 6 goals 4 behinds. In the last term Port took command, and the game finished with the score showing 9 goals 17 behinds to 8 goals 4 behinds in their favor. Best players for the winners: Boon (Best on Ground), Middleton, Adams, Wisdom, Bailey, Robertson. Losers: Donnell, Duthie, Bauer, Robertson, P. O’ Grady. Goalkickers: Port Adelaide: Drummond (4), Bailey (2), Woolman, Anderson and Congear (1). Centrals: C. Channon, Forbes and Linklater (2), Donnell and Duthie. Mr. J. Curtin gave a satisfactory exhibition of umpiring.

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Born 22 July 1891 in Queenstown, South Australia
(SA Birth Record  1842 - 1906 Book: 484 Page: 61 District: PtA.)

Father Isaac Flitcroft BOON and Mother Mary (nee ROSCOE),
lived with his parents at Albert Street, Woodville, South Australia.

He was a chorister at St Margaret's Church in Woodville.

He completed a Commercial course a the AS & BJ Academy.

After leaving school he was employed as a clerk with the Australian Implement Company and then the Savings Bank of South Australia.

He became a well-known sportsman in South Australia.
During the summer months, he played cricket for the Port Adelaide Cricket Club and
in the winter played football for the Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club.

In 1914 William was a member of the Magpies' Premiership-winning team, which went through the season undefeated. They went on to defeat Victorian Football League Premiers Carlton to become Australian champions.

The 1914 season is widely regarded as the club's best season with Port Adelaide achieving the distinction of going through the entire year without losing a single match. It is won its fourteen SAFL games by an average margin of 49 points. The 1914 SAFL Grand Final is notable as Port Adelaide held North Adelaide to a single goal for the match 13.15 (93) to 1.8 (14), a feat that would be repeated in 1989.

The 1914 team would later become known as "the Immortals".

The SAFL competition was suspended from 1916 to 1918 because of World War I in which the club lost three players due to the conflict. Those players were William Boon, Joseph Watson and Albert Chaplin.

Previous service:
1 month in Banks Rifle Club, still serving on enlistment

Described on enlisting as 24 years 3 months old; single; 5' 9 1/2" tall; 172 lbs;
medium complexion; brown eyes; dark haiir; Church of England

17/9/1915    Enlisted in Adelaide, South Australia

Boon was initially allotted to the 10th Battalion, but in September was transferred
to the reinforcement pool for artillery units at Morphettville Camp.

He was soon sent to Melbourne to join the newly raised 31st Battery of the
8th Field Artillery Brigade, in the Maribyong Camp.

20/5/1916      Embarked from Port Melbourne on board HMAT Medic A7
                     as a Gunner with 8th Field Artillery Brigade, 31st Battery

18/7/1916      disembarked into Plymouth, England
                     and went into camp at Perham Downs.

30/12/1916    proceeded overseas to France, ex Southampton

By the end of January 1917 the 31st Battery was in the Armentières sector.

Boon's battery saw its first major action in May 1917, when as part of the
3rd Division's artillery it supported the infantry attack on Messines.

5/8/1917       Promoted to Temporary Bombadier

Later, Boon and his unit took part in the Third Battle of Ypres, and the battery
moved to Zonnebeke in October to support the Australian attacks on Broodseinde
Ridge and Poelcapelle.

20/10/1917    Promoted to Corporal

Later that year the battery moved to a quieter sector and spent time out of the
line to rest.

In early February 1918 Boon was given a two-week leave pass to Paris.
During this time he wrote what would be his final letter to his parents.

When the German Spring Offensive began in late March 1918, the 31st Battery
moved to the Somme and went into action near Radmines, later moving to new
positions near Bonnay.

On the morning of the 24th of April 1918 the Germans launched an attack, preceded by a
fierce artillery barrage, on Villers-Bretonneux.

24/4/1918     stated by Sergeant 19977 F E McMillan
                    Killed instantly by a direct hit on his shelter at Merincourt at 8.00am

buried in:      Bonnay Communal Cemetery Extension, Picardie, France
                    Row B, Grave 6

British War medal (40147); Victory medal (39754); Memorial Plaque and
Memorial Scroll (344086)

 Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  9/4/2015.  Lest we forget.