William Henry SUNNERS

SUNNERS, William Henry

Service Number: SX2728
Enlisted: 14 May 1940, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Last Unit: 2/5th Company Australian Army Service Corps
Born: Sheffield, England, 19 December 1913
Home Town: Dulwich, Burnside, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Engineer (later Building Maintenance Manager)
Died: Natural causes (heart attack), Henley South, South Australia, 25 March 1972, aged 58 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Derrick Gardens, path 23, site 136B
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World War 2 Service

14 May 1940: Enlisted Sergeant, SX2728, Adelaide, South Australia
14 May 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SX2728
15 May 1940: Involvement Sergeant, SX2728
2 Jul 1943: Promoted Warrant Officer Class 2, 2/5th Company Australian Army Service Corps
6 Oct 1945: Discharged Warrant Officer Class 2, SX2728, 2/5th Company Australian Army Service Corps
6 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Warrant Officer Class 2, SX2728

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Biography contributed by Peter Sunners

William travelled to Australia on the Bendigo, 29 June 1925 with his mother.  They were listed as - Mrs. E., home duties, age 43 and Mr. W., scholar, 11 years.  The departure port was London.  They settled in Adelaide where they lived at 33 Rowland Road, Hilton (1928 directory).  William attended school in this area.  They later moved to 20 Cypress Street in Adelaide where his mother continued to live until her death.  William married Thelma King in 1932.  After their marriage William and Thelma lived at 20 David Street, Adelaide (1934 directory) before moving to 26 Mill Street, Dulwich in 1939/40 and finally purchasing their own house at 12 Yorketown Crescent, Henley South during the mid 1950s.

During the 1930s Wiliam was a member of the Naval Reserve before changing over to the Army where he served with the ASC 4 Military District, initially as a Heavy Transport Driver.  He then served as Section Corporal, Section Sergeant, Company Quarter Master Sergeant and was a Warrant Offiicer II when war broke out in 1939.   He enlisted in the AIF on 14 May 1940 and was given the rank of Acting Sergeant.  His unit, the 7th. Division Petrol Co. left for Palestine in November 1940 and saw service in the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo.  He was discharged on 6 October 1945 at Wayville, South Australia with the rank of WO II.

After World War 2 William returned to his job as a painter in the Shell Building, North Terrace, Adelaide where he was employed by the Shell Company of Australia.  He worked there as a painter with his friend Bill Lewis for many years and eventually became responsible for all of the building maintenance.  During his years at the Shell Co. he was actively involved with the Shell Dramatic Group where he acted in a number of productions, worked at Front of House, Stage Managed and built sets.  He was also actively involved with the Boy Scouts Association as a Leader at 8th. Adelaide and 2nd. Adelaide Groups.  His other interests included the RSL and his 7th. Division, Petrol Co. Association.  He was an Anzac Day Marshall for a number of years.  He was also a practising Catholic and hard worker at his Henley Parish.  He suffered a heart attack at an early age and subsequent attacks led to his early retirement and death at 58 years.

He was always known to his friends as 'Bill' but always called Harry by his mother and his wife.