William Henry CAMERON

CAMERON, William Henry

Service Numbers: 1140, S978
Enlisted: 27 July 1940
Last Rank: Lance Sergeant
Last Unit: 11th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Adelaide, SA, 19 May 1894
Home Town: Mypolonga, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Laborer
Died: 6 September 1971, aged 77 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
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World War 1 Service

14 Sep 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1140, 11th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Ballarat, Adelaide
14 Sep 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1140, 11th Light Horse Regiment

World War 2 Service

27 Jul 1940: Involvement Lance Sergeant, SN S978
27 Jul 1940: Enlisted Wayville, SA
27 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lance Sergeant, SN S978
16 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Lance Sergeant, SN S978
16 Oct 1945: Discharged

World War 1 Service

Date unknown: Wounded SN 1140, 11th Light Horse Regiment

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Biography contributed by Sophie Lambert


Cameron, William Henry service number: 1140  regiment : 11th Lighthorse

William Henry Cameron was born on the 15th may 1894. He was one of six sons of Mrs Mary Cameron. He was born in Adelaide South Australia and grow up in Kingston-Meningie but later moved to Mypolonga, Murray Bridge. His occupation before the war as a labourer. He was then enlisted in the 11th lighthorse regiment ‘C’ Squadron in 1915 and became a private. He embarked in Adelaide on the ship HMAT Ballarat A70 to Egypt. For some time he was the official photographer for the 11th and produced some spectacular images considering the quality of the cameras at that time. After that, he became full-time lighthorsemen. William was also known for his excellent skills with guns.

The lighthorsemen were mounted horseback troops. In 1917 the lighthorse squadrons decided to do something unheard of in modern warfare. An army of 58,500 men and 100,000 animals charged in an entrenched enemy base in Beersheba which was armed with artillery, machine guns and aircraft. They charged at nightfall given the enemy an unexpected surprise. The lighthorsemen won the battle and set off to Jerusalem. Only 31 men died, and 36 got injured; at least 70 horses died.

William suffered from malaria and was sick for quite a while. This because he was travelling on horse and foot with mosquitos that carried the disease. It also established that he was wounded but how, where and when is unknown. William also was awarded a medal from the department of defence for his service with the Australian Imperial Force.

When William left Egypt in 1920 he returned to Adelaide two years later in 1922 William married Bridget Monica Mc Cathay. Together they had three children. Margaret, James and George. They ran a general store/post office in Meningie until the great depression. During the depression when so many men were out of work the William trapped rabbits on the Coorong rabbit for the sale of skin and meat. This was the family’s only source of income. During this time Bridget was living with the children in Adelaide where she took in lodgers to make ends meet. He enlisted in the Second World War and served in Darwin as an instructor. Their son James also enlisted in the Second World War at the age of 17 in the Merchant Navy. Unfortunately, he died of typhoid fever in Alexandria, Egypt during the War. He is buried in the cemetery in Alexandria, Egypt. As a past student of Rostrevor College, his name is commemorated on the memorial plaque in the entrance to the Rostrevor College Chapel. William died on the 6th September 1971. His family has largely grown all knowing the significant story of his past.