William WILLIAMS

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WILLIAMS, William

Service Number: 4931
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 51st Infantry Battalion
Born: Aberystwyth, North Wales, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Killed in action, Belgium, 29 September 1917, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Panel 7 - 17 - 23 - 25 - 27 - 29 - 31.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Fremantle Fallen Sailors & Soldiers Memorial, Menin Gate Memorial (Commonwealth Memorial to the Missing of the Ypres Salient)
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World War 1 Service

1 Apr 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4931, 11th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
1 Apr 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4931, 11th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ulysses, Fremantle
29 Sep 1917: Involvement Private, SN 4931, 51st Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

William was the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Williams of 1, Williams Street, Aberystwyth. William was a sailor, and had emigrated to Australia at the age of fourteen, along with his brother, and prior to the war had married, residing with his wife, Sarah Anne Williams, at Freemantle, Western Australia. William enlisted at Blackboy Hill on 28 February 1916 into the 11th Battalion, Australian Infantry, and on 1 April 1916 left Fremantle aboard HMAT Ulysses, bound for Egypt. At Tel-El-Kabir William's group of reinforcements joined with veterans from Gallipoli to form the 51st Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, which became attached to the 13th Brigade, 4th Australian Division. Arriving in France on 12 June 1916, the 51st Battalion moved into the front line, and fought in its first major battle at Mouquet Farm in August and September 1916, suffering almost 30 percent casualties. The battalion saw out the rest of the year, alternating between front-line duty, and training and labouring behind the line near Flers during the bleak winter of 1916-17. Early in 1917, the battalion followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and on 2 April 1917 it attacked at Noreuil. Later in the year, the AIF moved to Ypres, and the 4th Division fought in the battle of Messines between 7 and 12 June, and the battle of Polygon Wood between 26 and 27 September. William was killed in action at Polygon Wood on 29 September 1917. His grave was never located, so William is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

He was 32 and the husband of Mrs. Sarah Anne Drake (formerly Williams), of Jameson St., South Perth, Western Australia.

He is one of two Australian casualties of the Great War who are commemorated on the Aberystywth  War Memorial; the other being Private James Rowlands  Service Number 4660, Australian Infantry. 

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