William Inns EVERARD

EVERARD, William Inns

Service Number: 2355
Enlisted: 21 June 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Marshfield, South Australia, 5 December 1890
Home Town: Malvern, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Saint Peter's College and Roseworthy Agricultural College
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in Action, Le Hamel, France, 4 July 1918, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Crucifix Corner Cemetery
Plot 9 Row E. Grave 3, Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Roseworthy Agricultural College Roll of Honour, Unley St. Augustine's Church Roll of Honour, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board, Yankalilla District Roll of Honour WW1, Yankalilla War Memorial Wall
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World War 1 Service

21 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2355, Keswick, South Australia
13 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2355, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

embarkation_roll: roll_number: 15 embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Themistocles embarkation_ship_number: A32 public_note:

13 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2355, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Thermistocles, Adelaide
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 2355, 7th Machine Gun Company, Battle for Pozières
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 2355, 7th Machine Gun Company, Third Ypres
4 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 2355, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, Le Hamel - Blueprint for Victory

From the book Fallen Saints

William Inns Everard of Malvern South Australia was born at Keswick in December 1890. After leaving Saint Peter’s he studied at Roseworthy Agricultural College and when he enlisted at Keswick Barracks on 23 June 1915 was a grazier.
Acting Corporal Everard sailed from Adelaide aboard HMAT Themistocles with the 5th quota of reinforcements for the 27th Battalion in October 1915 and joined the battalion at Tel el Kebir on 12 January 1916; in March, he was transferred to 7th Brigade Machine Gun Company at Moascar. He proceeded to France shortly thereafter and disembarked at Marseilles on 21 March. Five days later, he was admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance with Influenza and when his condition deteriorated, he was hospitalised until discharged for full duty on 9 April.
On 7 August, he sustained shrapnel wounds to his head and left knee, and was evacuated via Ambulance Train and transported to 3rd Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne; a week later, he was relocated to the 7th Convalescent Depot at Boulogne.
On 13 August, he took the opportunity to see the sights but as he had left camp without a pass was later charged and deprived of 10 days of pay.
On 28 August 1916, he was mentioned in 2nd Division’s Routine Orders for ‘good & gallant conduct in connection with the recent hard fighting around Pozieres France.’
On 3 March 1917, he was wounded for a second time but chose to remain on duty. Throughout most of May he was admitted to a number of hospitals and convalescent areas suffering with a fever of unknown origin and placed on light duties until he returned to the 7th MG Company on 7 July; he was appointed lance corporal three weeks later. In August he was granted two weeks leave in England and after rejoining the battalion was wounded on a third occasion on 20 September. He was evacuated with shrapnel wounds to his hand, head, chest, eye and thigh and as the wound to his thigh was severe, he was admitted to the 2nd Southern General Hospital England for treatment. In spite of being medically downgraded, he was determined to return to the front and after he had sufficiently recovered, he returned to France and rejoined his unit in the field on 29 November 1917.
On 4 February, he was promoted to substantive Corporal but on 4 July 1918 during the fighting east of Villers-Bretonneux, 2355 Corporal William Inns Everard was killed in action; he was 27 years of age.
His sister Ruby Clarice Everard, AANS, served just over 2 years in France and England as a staff nurse with 3rd Australian General Hospital and was recommended for the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class.
Recommendation: ‘Devotion to duty, skill, energy and cheerfulness in her work’
Outcome: Mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches 8 Nov 1918 ‘names deserving special mention.’
Reports and witness statements

When interviewed in September 1918 Cyril Bainbridge said Everard came from the Adelaide district and described him as ‘tall dark and rather quiet’. He said he didn’t know how he was killed but saw his grave on about 12 August at Villers Bretonneux. ‘A cross had been put up with his name and particulars on it.’
On 20 September Private Robert Hodson also described William as a ‘tall, dark, clean shaven man, said he ‘was killed going over the top in an attack.’
Private Robert Berwick when interviewed in October said he had been hit by the same shell as that which killed William. Berwick said William was the Corporal in his gun team and that knew him well. ‘I did not see his grave.’
Two days after Berwick’s interview Private Raymond Wilson said that at the beginning of July they were in the advance to the right of the Villers-Bretonneux sector and that Corporal Everard was with one of our two machine guns when he got killed. ‘His grave is near the railway on the Villers-Bretonneux sector with a cross on it ….’
In late October Private William Moore, said they attacked at 4 a.m., on 4 July and held the ground they had taken. ‘He is buried quite close to our trench at Villers Bretonneux. I did not bury him but knew all about the burial and held in my hand the cross to be placed on his grave.’
During an interview conducted in 9 November 1918, Corporal Daniel O’Connor said he knew Everard well. ‘We called him Innis. He was a man of about 23 years, an old hand, and had come from Egypt. He stated William had been killed by a bomb on 4 July whilst ‘going over the top’ at Villers Bretonneux. ‘I saw his body lying in No Man’s Land where he was buried later in the day. We put up a small cross with particulars.’
In a letter to William Everard’s family dated 8 July 1918, Lieutenant Edgar Thomas Towner MC, 2nd Machine Gun Battalion said William was in charge of a Gun Team that ‘went over the top’ and when they got to their final objective William went ahead to reconnoitre, and while doing so was ‘hit in the head by a piece of shell; he said ‘death must have been instantaneous.’ …
In the letter Lieutenant Towner who knew Corporal Everard well, described him as a good NCO, soldier and man. He said William had ‘showed great courage during the operation and set a fine example to his men and had had just been recommended for the Officer Training Corps.’
Before the end of the war, Edgar Thomas Towner was awarded the VC, MC, Croix de Guerre and was twice mentioned in Dispatches; his Victoria Cross was awarded for valour, resourcefulness, initiative and devotion to duty during the attack on Mont St. Quentin on 1 September 1918.

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Surname: EVERARD; Given Names: William Inns; Date of Birth: 5 December 1890; Date of Enlistment: 20 June 1915; Trade or Calling: Farmer; Birth Location: Marshfield Bay Road; Address prior to enlistment: 40 Winchester St Malvern; Photograph sent by: Mrs M A Everard
Source: State Records SA


William Everard had been a farmer on enlistment having studied at the famous Roseworthy Agricultural College north of Adelaide.  He had a sister, Ruby Clarice Everard, who enlisted as a Staff Nurse in the AIF.  William was assigned to the 5th Reinforcements of the 27th Battalion and after completing initial training he and his colleagues embarked for the Middle East in October 1915.  They did not make the Gallipoli campaign.  On arrival in Egypt, they completed training as the ANZAC force was being withdrawn.  He was taken on strength of 27th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 12 January 1916 during the great re-organisation of the AIF.

Shortly afterwards, along with many 27th Battalion soldiers he was transferred to 7th Machine Gun Company being taken on strength at Moascar, 3 March 1916.

The AIF began the redeployment to France and the British Expeditionary Force, and William and his colleagues embarked on 14 March 1916; disembarked in Marseilles, France, 21 March 1916 for the extended rail journey to the Armentieres sector.

William had the first of a number of admissions to hospital as a result of illness - he was admitted to No 7 Australian Field Ambulance, 26 March 1916; transferred to Mortiecque Hospital, 29 March 1916 (bronchial catarrh) then to No 2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, 29 March 1916.  He was discharged to duty, 9 April 1916.

On 7 August 1916 during the fighting around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, he ‘stopped one’;  he was wounded.  He was initially admitted to No 44 Casualty Clearing Station, with shrapnel wounds, head and left knee).  He then went through the medical evacuation chain - transferred to No 15 Ambulance Train, 8 August 1916, to No 3 Canadian General Hospital, 8 August 1916 before arriving at the No 7 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, on 12 August 1916.

He must have been feeling better because he slipped camp Absent Without Leave.  He was charged and found guilty on 14 August 1916: award, deprived of 10 days' pay.  This was worse than it sounds because the equivalent of ten days pay was stopped after any deductions allotments or the like made in the favour of family etc.  SO the soldier could be without pay for much longer than the sentence infers.

After all of this he was back in the reinforcement chain passing through the massive depot at 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 15 August 1916.

He was Mentioned in 2nd Australian Divisional Routine Order for good conduct and gallant conduct in connection with the recent hard fighting around Pozieres (during the course of which he had been wounded).

He was wounded in action (2nd occasion), 3 March 1917, but remained on duty.

Just three days later he was back in hospital, admitted to No 5 Australian Field Ambulance on 6 May 1917 with 'pyrexia of unknown origin'.  He was transferred to 4th Divisional Rest Station, and then through a string of links in the medical chain finishing at No 22 General Hospital, Dannes, 24 May 1917 (still with 'pyrexia'; transferred to No 6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples, 30 May 1917.

Again back in the reinforcement chain in early June 1917 he marched out of Australian General Base Depot, 15 June 1917 into the Machine Gun Corps Depot, Camiers, 17 June 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 7 July 1917, and rejoined 7th Machine Gun Company, the same day.

Later that month he was promoted Lance Corporal on 24 July 1917, followed shortly thereafter by the much coveted "On leave to England" from 5 August 1917, rejoining his unit on the 18 August 1917.

By this time Third Ypres had commenced and it wasn't to be long before once again William Everard was back in the Medical evacuation chain.

He was Wounded in Action (WIA) for the 3rd time on, 20 September 1917, in fighting around Polygon Wood.  Evacuated to No 32 Casualty Clearing Station the same day with severe gunshot wounds (GSW), head, chest, eye, and left thigh); then to No 36 Ambulance Train, 21 September 1917; to No 4 General Hospital, 2 October 1917; to No 2 General Hospital, Le Havre, 3 October 1917 on the coast and this time evacuation to England, 6 October 1917 to No 2 Southern General Hospital, 7 October 1917.

He was discharged to furlough, 15 October 1917, and then to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 29 October 1917 awaiting re-classification.

He then Marched into Overseas Training Bde, Longbridge Deverill, 10 November 1917 and after just a week proceeded overseas to France, 24 November 1917; marched into Machine Gun Corps Base Depot, Camiers, 25 November 1917.

He rejoined his unit  the 7th Machine Gun Company, 29 November 1917, just as Passchendaele ground itself out to its miserable and muddy conclusion..

William was promoted to Corporal, 4 February 1918.  AT about this time the Machine Gun Companies were merged into Battalions;  the 7th was absorbed into the 2nd Division Machine Gun Battalion.  This coincided with the German spring offensive which began in early March eventually running out of momentum in late April.

This began a period of 'stand off' as the Germans consolidated their gains and the Allies began preparation for their own offensive, with the Americans beginning to arrive in numbers.  This period is known as "Peaceful Penetration" as the AIF began a process of aggressive patrolling to erode small gains from their enemy

On the 4th July 1918, the Australian Corps, employing Combined Arms tactics under the direction of General Monash, captured the town of Le Hamel in a precise set-piece attack that took just 93 minutes to secure its objectives.

William Everard Inns became one of a relatively low number of Australian casualties in the context of the time, and is recorded as Killed in action, 4 July 1918. 

1914/15 Star

British War medal

Victory Medal

Commemorative Plaque


Note the photograph of the cross has 7th Machine Gun Company, but an accompanying letter to his mother, dated 8th March 1920, states 2nd Machine Gun Company