William AHEARN

AHEARN, William

Service Numbers: 254, 254A
Enlisted: 10 November 1915, Rockhampton, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 30th Infantry Battalion
Born: Emerald, Queensland, 10 October 1887
Home Town: Emu Park, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Natural causes, Sarina, Queensland, 24 August 1965, aged 77 years
Cemetery: Sarina Cemetery, Qld
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World War 1 Service

10 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 254, Rockhampton, Queensland
5 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 254, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
5 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 254, 42nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Sydney
26 Oct 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 30th Infantry Battalion
29 Sep 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 254, 30th Infantry Battalion, Polygon Wood, Shell wound (neck)
24 Jul 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 254, 30th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front", Gassed
6 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, SN 254A, 30th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour William Ahearn's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

The two enlisted children of Michael Ahern and Caroline (née Retchler) Ahern of Emu Park, Queensland:-

6701 Pte. Thomas Ahern (/explore/people/61727) - returned to Australia;

254A Pte William Ahern - returned to Australia.

'AHERN, William. Private, No. 254, 30th Battn. Born at Emerald and educated at Emu Park. The son of Michael and Caroline Ahern, of Phillips Street, Emu Park, Rookhampton. Enlisted at Rockhampton in 1915, and went into camp at Enoggera attached to 52nd Battn., but transferred to 30th Battn. in England. Left for England June, 1916, and arrived August, 1916. Sailed for France November, 1916, and went through the battles of Bullecourt, Messines, Amiens, and Villiers Brettoneaux, being twice wounded and once gassed. Was in action when the Armistice was signed. He then went with the Army of Occupation to Belgium.' from Queenslanders Who Fought in the Great War. (nla.gov.au)

'William was born on 10 October 1887 at Emerald, the 6th child of Michael Ahern who was working in the railway services and his wife Caroline (née Retchless). Michael accepted a railway job in Emu Park, hence the family moved to Phillip Street where William was raised, educated and worked as a labourer before enlisting in the AIF on 10th November 1915 at the age of 27 in Rockhampton.
Private Ahern joined ‘B’ Company, 42nd Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Australian Division that was encamped at Enoggera in Brisbane, Queensland.

He sailed for England on HMAT A30 Borda on 5th June 1916, then four months later to Armentiers in France near the Belgium boarder where he was transferred to the 30th Infantry Battalion, 8th Infantry Brigade, 5th Australian Division. While his battalion was defending Pozieres in 1916, William developed a severe case of “trench feet” and was hospitalised in England for close on six months.' READ MORE (www.emuparkrsl.org.au)

William would not talk about his experiences in the war, simply saying “you could never understand”.