William Robert BEAR MM, MM*


BEAR, William Robert

Service Number: 5466
Enlisted: 1 March 1916
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 23rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, September 1891
Home Town: Sandringham, Victoria
Schooling: Coburg State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Leather worker
Died: Killed in action, France, 1 September 1918
Cemetery: Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu
Hem Farm military Cemetery (Plot I, Row K, Grave No. 11), Hem-Monacu, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Moreland State School No 2837 HR
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World War 1 Service

1 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 5466, 23rd Infantry Battalion
1 Aug 1916: Involvement Private, SN 5466, 23rd Infantry Battalion
1 Aug 1916: Embarked Private, SN 5466, 23rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Miltiades, Melbourne
5 Jan 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 23rd Infantry Battalion
23 May 1918: Honoured Military Medal, 1st Passchendaele, For conspicuous gallantry on Broodseinde Ridge on 9th October 1917
1 Sep 1918: Involvement Lance Corporal, SN 5466, 23rd Infantry Battalion
15 Sep 1918: Honoured Military Medal and bar, Mont St Quentin / Peronne, During operations at HERLEVILLE, East of AMIENS, on 18th August, 1918, this man carried out the duty of linesman during the advance in the face of heavy machine gun fire, and laid telephone wires to the Companies in their advanced positions. For some hours he repeatedly passed through a heavy barrage repairing the line. By his continued coolness he maintained telephone communication so that his commanding officer was able to keep in close touch with the situation.

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From AWM

5466 Lance Corporal (L Cpl) William Robert Bear MM and Bar, 23rd Battalion, of Sandringham, Victoria. A leather worker prior to enlistment, he embarked with the 14th Reinforcements from Melbourne aboard HMAT Miltiades on 1 August 1916. While serving in Belgium in October 1917, Private (Pte) Bear was awarded the Military Medal (MM) for conspicuous gallantry at Broodseinde (9th October, 1917) for his work maintaining communication lines under heavy fire. Promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in December 1917, Pte Bear was again recognised for his courage and coolness under fire as a linesman at Herleville on the 18th of August 1918, and was awarded the Bar to MM. During the battle for Mont St Quentin, L Cpl Bear was killed in action on 1 September 1918, aged 27, and was buried at Hem Farm Military Cemetery, France.