Thomas Alfred ATWILL


ATWILL, Thomas Alfred

Service Number: 299
Enlisted: 22 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Dover, England, United Kingdom, 5 April 1875
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Cardiff Higher Educatioin
Occupation: Miner - Labourer
Died: Killed In Action, Gaba Tepe, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 19 May 1915, aged 40 years
Cemetery: Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
His name is located at panel 58 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT. Grave III D. 25. INSCRIPTION ETERNAL REST GRANT UNTO HIM O LORD MOTHER , Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Broken Hill Barrier District Roll of Honour, Broken Hill War Memorial, Broken Hill Zinc Corporation Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 299, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 299, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
Date unknown: Involvement 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

Help us honour Thomas Alfred Atwill's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


ACTUAL name (provided by mother) - THOMAS ALFRED ATWILL

On enlisting he stated his father as:
Thomas Atwell, living at Dousland, Yelverton, South Lennon, England

Mother Sarah H Attwill, living at 7 Richmond Crescent, Cardiff, Wales, England

Previous Service:
8 years - Served as a Territorial Soldier in RGA, England  (Glenmorgan Volunteers Artillery)

Prior to enlisting he lived in Gosson & Blend Streets, Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Described on enlisting as 36 years old; single; 5' 9" tall; 142 lbs; dark complexion;
blue eyes; dark brown hair; Roman Catholic

22/8/1914      Enlisted in Morphettville
                     completed medical - fit for service
                     Commanding Officer appointed Thomas to H Company,
                     Morphettville Camp

20/10/1914    Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide on board HMAT Ascanius A11
                    as a Private in H Company, 10th Battalion

2/3/1915       Embarked on board Ionian to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
                    in Gallipoli


19/5/1915     Killed in action, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
buried by:     Chaplain J C McPhee
buried in:      Divisional Cemetery, Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli

later buried in:  Shrapnel Valley Cemetery
                        Plot _____

1914-15 Star (4036); British War medal (4543); Victory medal (4542)
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (30575)

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  23/2/2015.  Lest we forget.



Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

Thomas Hyde Atwill, his father, was a gunnery Sergeant born in Meavy, Devon. Thomas and Sarah Helen Atwill [nee Garrard]were married in Canada  (she was American but had been given British citizenship). They had a total of nine children including the three soldier sons on the Walkhampton War Memorial.  Another son, William emigrated from the UK to Australia prior to the outbreak of World War 1 to try his hand at gold-mining. He took two of his brothers with him – Percy and Thomas. All three joined the Commonwealth Expeditionary Force at the beginning of war in 1914 and were shipped out to the Dardanelles.

Private Percy Gerard Atwill service number 1508A , was  with the 13th Battalion, Australian Infantry .  Brother  Private Leslie Hyde Atwill, Service Number 57203 was only eight when his brothers decided to go to Australia to search for gold. He joined the 1/7 Army Cycle Corps attached to the Welsh Regiment. Apparently he suffered from asthma and should never have been drafted into the army. He was wounded and died of pneumonia in hospital on 30 January 1917, aged 24. He is buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium.


All three Atwill casualties are honoured together on the Walkhampton War Memorial.

William service number 1507, served with the Light Trench Mortar Battery and 3rd Reinforcements, 13th Battalion, won the Military Medal, and survived the war and was shipped back to England. The family were living at Upland Cottage, Dousland, back in Devon in 1911, but later at 7, Richmond Crescent, Cardiff, South Wales by which time Sarah was a widow.