William Horace COWLAND

COWLAND, William Horace

Service Number: 2010
Enlisted: 10 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Towitta, South Australia, 27 September 1897
Home Town: Towitta, Mid Murray, South Australia
Schooling: Towitta Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Killed in Action, France, 24 June 1918, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery
Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide Cambrai WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Sedan Institute Honour Roll, Truro War Memorial, Truro and District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

10 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2010, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2010, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
7 Feb 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2010, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Miltiades, Adelaide
24 Jun 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 2010, 32nd Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

William Cowland enlisted during August 1915, at the age of 17, along with his older brother John Cowland. They both served in the 32nd Battalion, with consecutive regimental numbers. John was killed in action during the Battle of Fromelles. William also fought at Fromelles, but survived and was promoted to Lance Corporal later in 1916.

William was killed on the 24 June 1918, still only 20 years of age, when a German plane dropped a bomb near a group of 32nd Battalion soldiers behind the lines. The Battalion diary states that 16 men were killed and 11 wounded during this incident. It seems the dead were all buried in a cemetery near Vaux-sur-Somme and later removed to the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.

A third brother Edward Allan Cowland was died after being thrown from a horse at Baldon Station, South Australia, Australia 19 December 1917, age 22.

The parents who sustained the loss of three sons in as many years were Richard and Elizabeth Cowland, of Morgan, South Australia.