William Howard PERRY MC

Badge Number: S12229, Sub Branch: Blackwood

PERRY, William Howard

Service Number: S115203
Enlisted: 19 August 1914
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Broken Hill New South Wales Australia, 22 March 1895
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Broken Hill High School
Occupation: Moulder
Died: Adelaide, South Australia, 10 January 1971, aged 75 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Broken Hill Barrier District Roll of Honour, Broken Hill Oxide Street Church Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, 10th Infantry Battalion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 10th Infantry Battalion
25 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1

World War 2 Service

3 Apr 1944: Involvement SN S115203
3 Apr 1944: Enlisted Wayville, SA
3 Apr 1944: Enlisted SN S115203

World War 1 Service

Date unknown: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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


Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; kindly supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015. 

Born on 22 March 1895 in Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Son of William Francis Perry of 168 Chappel Street, Broken Hill.

Brother: No. 2006  Frank Perry enlisted with the 5th reinforcements of the 10th Battalion died of wounds on 2 October 1917.

He was educated at the Broken Hill State school, and was a foundation scholar of the Broken Hill High School.

At the outbreak of the Great War he resided with his parents, and was apprenticed as an Ironmoulder at the Central Mine.

He was a compulsory trainee, and received his first commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 81st (Wakefield) Infantry on 16 December 1913, and was transferred with the same rank to the 82nd (Barrier) Infantry on 1 July 1914, and held this commission at the time of joining the AIF.

At the outbreak of the Great War he was undergoing a map-reading course at a military school of instruction being conducted at Gawler, but within a few hours of the declaration of war being made known in South Australia the same was abandoned, when he returned to Broken Hill, and was one of the first Barrier officers to offer his services for overseas. 

He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion at Morphettville on 19 August 1914, and arrived at Morphettville with 2nd Lieutenant C P Farrier and a large quota of Broken Hill recruits for the 10th on 28 August 1914.

At all stations en route from Broken Hill he and his party received a great ovation, and the 10th men in camp at Morphettville turned out to a man and gave them a rousing reception as they marched into the lines.

He was posted to original G Company, and embarked with the original Battalion on HMAT A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914.

At Mena, Egypt, in January 1915, when his company merged with original D Company and became the new D Company, he was appointed a Platoon Commander in same, and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 1 February 1915.

He accompanied the Battalion to the Dardanelles on the Ionian, and landed with his company from the destroyer Scourge at the historic landing at Anzac on 25 April 1915.

At Lemnos, before the landing, he was officer-in-charge of a 10th Battalion Guard mounted on shore for forty-eight hours for Sir Ian Hamilton.  It was then that he first met this great soldier, and in a letter to his mother described the leader of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force as follows:

“A tall, thin man, bushy eyebrows, piercing eyes, and very alert, and on the whole looks a soldier.”

At the Battalion bivouac at Shell Green, with Lieutenant H R Heming, he was one of the last posts to be relieved.  He was then transferred to B Company.

On the night of 18 May 1915 he was on duty in the line, and upon discovering that the Turks were massing in large numbers preparatory to an attack, roused his Company Headquarters as well as the Machine Gun Officer.  The Turkish attach was precipitated before dawn, and in all aspects completely failed.

On 4 June 1915 he evacuated with dysentry, and proceeded to Egypt, where he was admitted to hospital at Heliopolis. 

Within a month he was on his way back to Gallipoli, and rejoined the Battalion on 5 July 1915.

He was appointed Battalion Intelligence Officer on 20 August 1915, but on 31 August 1915, he was forced to evacuate a second time with dysentry and enteric fever.  He proceeded to Malta, where he was admitted to the Blue Sisters' Hospital, and later transferred to the Imtarfa Barracks.  He subsequently re-embarked for England, where he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.

On 6 May 1916, he proceeded to France with the first AIF draft from England, and was appointed Adjutant at the 3rd Brigade Details Camp at the Etaples Base. 

He rejoined the Battalion on the 18 August 1916, the day preceding the Mouquet Farm Operation.

He served on with the Battalion, and on 30 March 1917 was promoted to the rank of Captain.

During his service in France he was wounded twice, but only forced to evacuate once, when at Merris, on 8 May 1918, he was forced to leave, passing through the 15th Casualty Clearing Station at Ebblinghem, where he proceeded to No.8 British Red Cross Hospital at Boulogne, and finally to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth. 

He rejoined the Battalion on 5 July 1918, and for his distinguished work at Jeancourt on 18 September 1918, was awarded the Military Cross (MC), which was promulgated in the London Gazette on 11 February 1919, and the details on 30 July 1919.

He was appointed Adjutant of the Battalion on 12 October 1918, and in this capacity succeeded Temporary Major G C Campbell.

He retained this appointed until 4 December 1918, when at Chatelet, in Belgium, he finally left the Battalion and proceeded on 75 days' 1914 Anzac leave.

Lieutenant A P Chittleborough succeeding him as Adjutant.

On 29 August 1918, whilst on furlough, at St Matthew's Church, Chelston, Torquay, he married Louisa Ivy Vera, daughter of W H Sampson, there being two sons and two daughters of the union.

He subsequently embarked for Australia on the Konigen Louise, arriving back in Adelaide on 11 August 1919.

His service in the AIF terminating on 25 August 1919.

During his absence from Australia he was appointed an Honorary Captain in the Australian Military Forces on 30 March 1917, and was promoted to rank of Lieutenant in the 82nd (Barrier) Infantry on 1 July 1918.  On 1 October 1918, he was transferred to the 2nd/5th Pioneers, and on 1 August 1920, was promoted to rank of Captain, in the same unit, and on 1 December 1920, was placed on the Reserve of Officers with rank of Captain, and is still listed thereon. 

He was employed for several years by Metters Ltd, and in 1935 was residing at No.47 Broadway, Glenelg.


He was one of the three youngest subalterns of the original Battalion, and was affectionately known to his men as “Bill”.