William Doyle (Tom) HOBSON MID


HOBSON, William Doyle

Service Number: 1855
Enlisted: 8 January 1915, Cairns, Queensland.
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 49th Infantry Battalion
Born: Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, 10 January 1889
Home Town: Cairns, Cairns, Queensland
Schooling: Toowoomba Grammar School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed In Action, France, 16 August 1916, aged 27 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Cairns Cenotaph, Kuranda State School, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 Honour Board, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 In Memoriam Honour Board, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial), Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

8 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1855, 49th Infantry Battalion, Cairns, Queensland.
8 Apr 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1855, 9th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
8 Apr 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1855, 9th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
1 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 49th Infantry Battalion
16 Aug 1916: Involvement Sergeant, SN 1855, 49th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

William Doyle Hobson.

William Doyle Hobson was born in Toowoomba on the 10 January 1890 to William Doyle Hobson and Emith (Emily) Edith Symes and had one sister Mary Emma Lucille born 1886. Mary Emma married Arthur Walker in 1912.

Williams father, a long established general merchant in Cairns, died in 1900 and is buried in McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery, and his mother Emily Edith died in Southport, Queensland, 1920.

In the 1912 Electoral Roll, William Doyle was a farmer in Hambledon and his mother and sister were living in Lake Street, Cairns. He was also a member of the Hambledon Rifle Club.

On his enlistment in Cairns in 1915 he was 25 years 11 months, occupation farmer and next of kin Mrs. E.E.Hobson, Lake Street, Cairns. This was later changed to “parents dec’d, no brothers, only sister Mrs. L. Walker Hambledon, Cairns”. His height was 6 feet 1 ½ inches, weighed 164 pounds with dark complexion, grey eyes and black hair. His religion was Church of England.

Prior to his service in the 49th Battalion, William Doyle served in the Far North Queensland Kennedy Regiment, known as the Dirty 500. Members of the Dirty 500, including William, landed on Thursday Island on 16 August 1914 from the troopship “Kanowna”, to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. An incident on board the “Kanowna” involving the firemen forced the immediate return of the troops to Townsville on 18 August 1914; William was discharged the same day.

William embarked on the HMAT Star of England and arrived Alexandria 11 September 1915. He joined the 1st Training Battalion in Zeitoun 21 October 1915, was promoted to Sergeant in March 1916 and rejoined his unit the 49th Battalion in Habeita 20 June 1916.

William Doyle Hobson was killed in the field on the 16 August 1916. He was recommended for an award on the 15 August 1916. He is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Courtesy of The Cairns District Family History Society.

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of William Doyle Hobson, and Edith Emily Hobson

Death of Tom Hobson.
The sad intelligence has been received of the death in France, whilst on active service, of Tom Hobson, son of Mrs. Hobson, of Cairns. Deceased was well known throughout the far north, being a very popular young man with ali who knew him. Years ago he was a student at the Brisbane Grammar school, and afterwards he followed metallurgy in Chillagoe.  Subsequently he devoted himself to farming pursuits in Hambledon and Fishery Creek. He was an ardent and enthusiastic follower of all kinds of genuine sport, and was particularly fond of tennis, in which game he invariably displayed much brilliance, and was a worthy exponent. When the call came for King and country, Tom Hobson, true patriot  that he was, forsook a civil life and donned khaki, and left here with a contingent of many well-known Cairnsites. Now he has given the greatest sacrifice possible for the great  cause in which he was fighting. The deepest sympathy is extended to the bereaved relatives.

Death of Tom Hobson.
Further Details Received.
It will be remembered some time ago the announcement was made in the "Post" of the death on active service of Tom Hobson. The latter was a native of Cairns and the only son  of his mother. Tom was a fine example of the tropics-born, for not many who went from this centre were really born in Cairns. The following correspondence which has been received by Mrs. Hobson, conveys further information regarding the death of her son.
France, 23/8/,16.
Dear Mrs. Hobson,- I must write expressing my deepest sympathies in the loss of your dear son Tom. Tom, as you know, was in my gun section, and a braver and better soldier  was impossible to get, and in him I have lost a true friend. You will, I know, like to have a few particulars concerning his fate; these I am very pleased to be able to give you. On  the morning of the 16th August about 12.5 a.m. during a heavy bombardment, your son, fearing a counter attack, posted himself at an observation post, whilst at this post four  shells came over, three of which went over the trench, but alas the fourth landed in the trench right alongside his post. His death was instantaneous. We buried him at dawn. His personal belongings are being forwarded to you by the military authorities. I am sending you under registration, Tom's ring, which I very much regret I had to cut to enable me to get off. Again expressing my deepest sympathies in your sad loss, I am, Yours faithfully, (Signed) Thos. N. W. B. Steele, Lieut 49th Batralion, 13th Inf. Brigade.

Australian Imperial Force, 49th Battalion. 13th Inf. Brigade, 25th August, 1916. Dear Madam,- I regret to state that your son, Sergeant W. D. Hobson, was killed on the night of  5th August, 1916, in action near Pozieres, France. This is the first occasion in which the 49th Battalion went into action and the conduct of your son under heavy fire was very  gallant. He was in charge of a strong post which was heavily shelled, and he sent all men possible away from the post and remained there with two other men to work the gun. At the time we were under heavy enemy shell fire and the position was extremely dangerous. Your son continued to observe and did excellent work until a high, explosive shell burst in the gun emplacement. I regret very much his loss, and my machine gun officer feels the loss of his senior sergeant very much indeed. By his splendid example and  devotion to duty he undoubtedly set the men of his section a very fine example, and I had much pleasure in bringing to the notice of the General Sir H.V. Cox, K.C.M.G., C.B., C.S.T., the  gallant conduct of your son in the night of August 15th/ 16. Though nothing will ever bring your son back, it is some consolation to know that he died as a gallant soldier should  wish to die. Enclosed please find card forwarded by General Sir H. V. Cox. - Believe me, my dear madam, to be, Yours sympathetically, (Signed) Francis Lorenzo, Lt. CO. 49th  Battalion.

Major General Sir H. V. Cox, K.C. M.G., C.B., C.S.T., commanding 4th Australian Division, congratulates 1885 Sgt. Hobson, W. D., 49th Battalion. 13th A.I. Brigade, on his gallant conduct as observer, night August 15th, near Pozieres, under heavy fire. Place B.E.F., France. Date 23rd August, 1916.- H.V Cox, Major General.