William George BOEHM


BOEHM, William George

Service Number: 2620
Enlisted: 15 June 1916, Geelong, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Natimuk, Victoria, Australia, 5 May 1899
Home Town: Rainbow, Hindmarsh, Victoria
Schooling: State School, Rainbow, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 3 October 1918, aged 19 years
Cemetery: Bellicourt British Cemetery
Bellicourt, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Rainbow War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

15 Jun 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2620, Geelong, Victoria
20 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2620, 46th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2620, 46th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Lincoln, Melbourne
15 Aug 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 2620, 46th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
3 Oct 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 2620, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, Breaching the Hindenburg Line - Cambrai / St Quentin Canal, 2nd occasion - Shell wound (neck and right arm)

Just 16 on enlistment

The probable reason for the misleading choice of the name Beams could be William was barely 16 when he enlisted and he wanted to distance himself from his brother John Boehm who had also enlisted underage, been discharged and then re-enlisted. Another possibility is that Boehm is supposedly pronounced “Beams” in Prussian.
Whatever, it was probably no coincidence they both embarked For France on the same troopship, the “Port Lincoln” for France.
The sea voyage was a minor epic in itself with false UBoat scares and the ship itself Permanently run aground at Sierra Leone In Africa (see J.C. Boehm’s story)


Brothers in Arms

Initially signing up as William Beams, he and his brother “Jack“ Johann Christian Boehm sailed for France on the same troop ship.
A member of 50 Machine Gun Co he was KIA near the end of the war. Jack survived, met and married Grace Puttman in a England and she accompanied him as a war bride to Australia.

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Enlisted and served under alias William George BEAMS