William Reginald RAWLINGS MM

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RAWLINGS, William Reginald

Service Number: 3603
Enlisted: 14 March 1916, Geelong, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 29th Infantry Battalion
Born: Purnim, Victoria, 1 December 1890
Home Town: Purnim, Moyne, Victoria
Schooling: Purnim Public School
Occupation: Horse breaker
Died: Killed in Action, Vauvillers, France, 9 August 1918, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Heath Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

14 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3603, Geelong, Victoria
1 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3603, 29th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
1 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3603, 29th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3603, 29th Infantry Battalion, "The Last Hundred Days"

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"William Reginald Rawlings was one of many Aboriginal men from the Framlingham Aboriginal Station in the Western Districts of Victoria who enlisted in WW1. Rawlings enlisted on 20 March 1916 and embarked on 1 August from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Orsova and joined the 29th Battalion on the Western Front. Rawlings was awarded the Military Medal for bravery during the heavy fighting along the Morlancourt Ridge on the night 28 – 29 July 1918.

 ‘At MORLANCOURT on night 28/29th July 1918. During the attack on enemy system this soldier had the responsible position of first bayonet man in a bombing team which worked down the enemy C.T., routed the enemy established a block in the trenches. Private Rawlings displayed rare bravery in the performance of his duty killing many of the enemy, rushing aside all opposition and cleared the way effectively for the bombers of his team. His irresistible dash and courage set a wonderful example to the remainder of the team.’ Source: ‘Commonwealth Gazette’ No. 36

Pte Rawlings was killed in action, aged 27 on 9 August 1918, during the capture of Vauvillers, France and is buried in the Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres." - SOURCE (blogs.slq.qld.gov.au)

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