William Reginald Trafford (Reg) BATTY


BATTY, William Reginald Trafford

Service Number: 383
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, G Company, Morphetville, S.A.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Clapham, London, England , 1894
Home Town: Norwood, South Australia
Schooling: England
Occupation: Tea Taster, Warehouseman
Died: Gastric Ulcer, Bedford Park Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia, 26 November 1917
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Gen 5 9 48E
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, G Company, Morphetville, S.A.
28 Aug 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion, Confirmed 1-9-1914
20 Oct 1914: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Lance Corporal, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
24 Nov 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
6 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 10th Infantry Battalion, Gallipoli
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli
19 Aug 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, Reverts to ranks at own request (ill), Gallipoli
30 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, England, admitted 5th Southampton Hospital 8-10-1915 (dysentery, gastric ulcer)
29 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, HS Egypt, disembarked Alexandria 28-4-1916, transferred 3rd A.G.H. Abbassia (gastric ulcer)
11 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, RTA per HS Kanowna from Suez, disembarked Melbourne 15-6-1916, admitted No 11 A.G.H., Caulfield, transferred to No 7 A.G.H., Keswick SA 1-9-1916
25 Jul 1917: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion, Medically Unfit
26 Nov 1917: Involvement Private, SN 383, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Son of Charlotte BATTY

Of 765 Wandsworth Road, Clapham, England

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

William Reginald Batty the son of Mrs. Charlotte Batty, was born in 1894 in London, England. Growing up William and his mother moved to Australia and began a new life in this country. When William was 24 he was drafted into the Australian Army on the 19th of August 1914 and was ranked as Lance Corporal with his service number being 383. William’s embarkation roll number was 23/27/1 which embarked from Adelaide on transport of A11 Ascanius on the 20th of October 1914.

His unit was the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion which fought in battles such as the Landing at Anzac Cove which started with more than 1000 men and had been reduced in nine days to only 309 men. According to unit dairies early in the morning they were traveling on boats when shells were fired off into the water causing soldiers to get shot. When arriving at shore the rocks were to slippery causing soldiers to fall. The soldiers got little to no sleep because on several occasions they were threatened from the opposite side that were going to make a bayonet charge and steal their land. This kept the soldiers up for more than 96 hours creating a little damage.

Sari Bair located in Gallipoli was where another battle was fought by the 10th infantry battalion from the 6th of August to the 11th. The allies fought at enormous cost for very little gain. This battle only lasted for 5 days which then lead him to the Suvla battle. This was the final attempt for the British which lasted 16 days. The battle commenced at night with intention to breakout from the Anzac sector that was five miles to the south. On the final day after a week of inactivity the British commander was finally dismissed.      

Attack on Hill 60 was a battle which started on the 22nd of August. It was two British divisions and a force of Anzacs troops that attacked inland towards the Turkish villages. Many of the soldiers where shot by the Turkish machine guns causing them to die. Towards the end of the attack the Light Horse bombing attack was the last action.

William returned to Australia on the 8th of May 1916. A few months after arriving in Australia he suffered from Gastric Ulcer and died on the 26th of November 1917 at the age of 27 (he is now buried at West Terrace Cemetery). His name is now on the Hall of Memory and is remembered for the work he did for our country.


Biography contributed by Karen Standen

William Reginald Trafford Batty was the eldest son of Arthur Reginald and Charlotte Batty. Born in the London suburb of Clapham, Reginald (Reg), as he preferred to be known, was baptised on the 9th January 1895, at the local Clapham church, St. Paul’s. He grew up in the adjacent suburb, Battersea, on Ingelow Road. At sixteen, Reg was already an assistant tea taster. The 1911 census, records him at both his parents' home in Battersea, and in Whitstable, Kent, with his aunt. 

On the 13th October 1913, a nineteen year old Reginald Batty (Tea Taster), was among the 700 passengers aboard the T.S.S. Geelong, which arrived in Adelaide. He was greeted by extended family. His aunt, Mrs Mary Jane Buckett, lived in Montrose Avenue in Norwood and this is where Reg resided. He gained work as a warehouseman and joined the local Norwood militia, B Company, 79th Infantry.

At the outbreak of WW1, Reg was among the first to enlist in the hastily assembled 10th Battalion. His brief militia training, saw him promoted to Lance Corporal of G Company. Once embarked, Reg was promoted to Corporal and retained this rank when the battalion was reorganised in early 1915, at Mena Camp in Egypt. Reg was transferred to D Company. 

On the morning of the 25th April 1915, Reg and the 10th were among the first to storm the beaches at Gallipoli. Unlike many of his comrades, Reg managed to survive these early days on the Peninsula. On the 6th of May, he was promoted in the field to Sergeant. Towards the end of the same month, Reg was struck down with influenza. It would be eight weeks before he was well enough to rejoin the Battalion, reporting for duty on the 25 July.

During the August Offensive, the 10th played a support role. Plagued by health issues, Reg gave up his stripes, requesting to be reverted back to the ranks on the 19th of August. Twelve days later he was evacuated suffering from dysentery, which quickly escalated to include a gastric ulcer. Something he never recovered from.

For the next eight months, Reg was transferred from army hospital to army hospital — Imbros, Malta, Portsmouth, Egypt and eventually Melbourne, where he finally underwent surgery. Returned to South Australia in September 1916, Reg continued to suffer a long and painful illness before succumbing on the 26th November 1917, at Bedford Park Hospital, Adelaide.

Red Cross records indicate Reg had also contracted tuberculosis. In the September prior to his death, a message was sent to his people in England, “...no assurance patient will survive until arrival of mother...”

The following letter, written by Reg’s mother, from her home in Clapham and dated 12-12-1917, confirms Charlotte never saw her son again.

“We are deeply indebted to you for your great kindness on behalf of my dear son, the blow a dreadful one, I always had such hope for his recovery especially after such a dreadful long time of suffering. We are trying to say ‘Thy will be done.’ We have that great consolation of knowing his was a pure life and that he had such good friends in Australia and wanted for nothing. We shall always love the Australians for their kindness and devotion to our dear boy...”