William Henry (Harry) LOMMAN

Badge Number: 6083 Returned
6083 Returned

LOMMAN, William Henry

Service Number: 14
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Balaklava, Gilbert, South Australia, Australia, 11 December 1885
Home Town: Kadina, Copper Coast, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Died: Heart Attack, Kadina, 7 September 1962, aged 76 years
Cemetery: Kadina Cemetery
Memorials:
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

9 Jun 1916: Involvement Driver, SN 14, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Driver, SN 14, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Corporal, SN 14, 43rd Infantry Battalion

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

Biography contributed by Le Fevre High School

William Henry Lomman was born on the 11th of December 1885 in Balaklava, South Australia, to Harry Lomman and Jane Semmens. He was one of eight children. He was 25 when he married his spouse Amy Lodwick Wilkinson; they were married on the 22nd of March 1911, in Semaphore.  Soon after their marriage, William and Amy moved to West Croydon. They had five kids from the marriage Mary, Harry, James, Philip and Will. Before the war, he worked on farms in the Cunliffe (Moonta) region, whilst working in this region his two eldest kids were born, Mary and Harry in 1912 and 1913 respectively.

William applied to join the war effort in 1916 as news started to filter back of the atrocities being committed. He was accepted and applied for a month’s grace to settle his affairs. During this period, his wife and two children moved to live with her sister at Prospect. After this period, he was sent to the Exhibition Camp (the current Adelaide Show Grounds) the point of this camp was to break the soldiers in by learning basic skills, he also underwent all his medical examinations here including his medical inspection, dental inspections and inoculations. After a fortnight at the Exhibition Camp he was then moved to the Morphettville Camp at the Morphettville racecourse, here his battalion underwent severe training until their embarkment.He was promoted to the driver of his section and as a result had to break away from the main body of his battalion a couple of days early, this was necessary to transport vehicles and supplies to Outer Harbour in preparation of the embarkment. William Henry embarked with almost 2,000 other men on the 9th of June on the HMAT Afric A19. He was part of the 43rd Infantry Battalion. His Battalion were part of the larger third division as South Australia’s contribution.

His battalion first went to King George Sound, near Albany, Western Australia, to collect extra coal supplies for the journey to Colombo. After leaving Colombo they travelled to Suez where they entered the Suez Canal, they then went further onto Port Said in Egypt where they had a two month stay training. Their final boat trip was from this port to the port of Malta and finally on to Marseilles in France. Here they were transported to Paris by Train where they crossed the English Channel to Southampton. Whilst in England he spent his time at the Lark Hill training camp where his Battalion along with approximately 27,000 other Australian troops spent a further two months training before they received orders to move to the front line in France.Whilst on the front line his Battalion spent much of 1917 bogged down in trench warfare in Flanders, but also fought in the Battle of Messines and the Third Battle of Ypres. Then, in 1918 they spent time fighting in the Somme Valley, but were later called on to help stop the German Spring offensive at Villers-Bretonneux, they also had a part in the attack of Hamel and helped drive the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line.

His initial rank in the war was Driver; but was later promoted to Lance Corporal Driver. Whilst in war he received the British service medal, the Allied Victory medal and the Military star, he received his Military Star for fighting in Germany. He escaped the bulk of the war without any illness or injury, but was later struck down with Jaundice and Catarrhal in 1919 whilst still on active service awaiting transport back home, he had two three day stays in the King George Hospital.

William returned on the HMAT Nestor, he arrived home on the 29th of June 1919 after more than three years away from home. Once he returned, William and Amy had three more children James who was born in 1922, Philip who was born in 1923 and Will who was born in 1929. He moved to Two Wells and largely returned to his pre-war life, having returned to being a farm labourer near Moonta. However, his wages were later cut due to the great depression and had to try and find another job to make up the difference, one of his jobs was a door to door salesperson selling Telson’ products, he also picked up odd jobs when he could find them.

These lines of work proved unsuccessful and at one point, he went in search of employment in Western Australia, however with no success. Due to his lack of money and limited support from the government, he decided to move back to Semaphore Park where he would be close to his sister Amy. Whilst living here he opened a boot repairing business at Peterhead, however this proved unsuccessful. He tried again with the same business at Grange but once again, the business was unsuccessful. Because of this, he once again moved back to the country, where he was offered a farm management position.

He continued this line of work until 1939 when World War Two broke out, due to this his wage was cut once again. Therefore, he quit his job as a farm manager and applied for Garrison Battalion of the reserve army force, due to his experience he was accepted and granted the rank of Corporal, later promoted to Sargeant Major. Due to his age, he never saw any frontline action, but was put in charge of protecting the bridge at Murray Bridge and the Bird-in-Hand mine at Woodside. However, he spent a majority of his time protecting the railway tunnel at Sleep’s Hill. This location was important as the Art Gallery, Museum and Government stored important documents and artefacts here.

After the war finished in 1945 when he was demobilised, he moved to Gawler, where he gained a job as a grain storeman for the Wheat Board. He held this job for several years, until the government of the day agreed as a tribute to those who had served for a period of five years or more, and were over the age of sixty, were eligible for the old age pension, instead of having to wait until sixty-five. With this pension he no longer had a need to work and moved to Exeter, then later to Prospect, then to Wynarka and finally to his last residence in Wallaroo Mines where he finally settled down.

He died in September 1962, followed by his wife, Amy Wilkinson, in January of 1963. They are buried next to each other in the Kadina cemetery.

Read more...