William Stanley WILLSHIRE MC


WILLSHIRE, William Stanley

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 28 May 1915, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia , 11 May 1895
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Commercial Traveller
Died: Killed in action, France, 29 August 1918, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Fouquescourt British Cemetery
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Broken Hill War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

28 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 27th Infantry Battalion, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
26 Aug 1915: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion
26 Aug 1915: Embarked 27th Infantry Battalion, RMS Morea, Adelaide
29 Aug 1918: Involvement Captain, 27th Infantry Battalion

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Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; kindly supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015. 

Born 11 May 1895.

Being the only son of his parents.

He was a compulsory trainee under the universal training scheme, which became operative on 1 July 1912, and received his first commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 81st (Wakefield) Infantry on 16 December 1913, but was transferred with same rank to the 82nd (Barrier) Infantry on 1 July 1914 and held this commission at the time of joining the AIF. 

At the outbreak of the Great War he was a commercial traveler by occupation.

He resided with his mother at Hebbard Street, South Broken Hill.

He was popularly known in Broken Hill and on account of his slender build was affectionately known as “Splinter”.

He was amongst the first quota of Broken Hill Officers to offer his services for overseas, and was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion on 19 August 1914, but on 19 September 1914, his AIF commission was cancelled, owing to his parents declining to give their necessary consent.

He was on the strength of the 10th Battalion for exactly one month, but did not enter the Morphettville Camp, subsequently proceeding to Fort Largs with Citizen Force trainees from Broken Hill.

On 28 May 1915, he was reappointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the AIF, and was posted to the 3rd reinforcements of the 27th Battalion with which he embarked at the Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide, South Australia, per RMS Morea on 26 August 1915, and subsequently served with his unit in Gallipoli, Egypt and France.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 7 January 1916, and attained his Captaincy on 19 March 1917.

Later in 1917 he was temporarily transferred to the newly-formed 70th Battalion, but upon subsequent disbandment of same returned to the 27th.

In the Villers-Brettoneux fighting early in August 1918, he distinguished himself, and was awarded the Military Cross (MC), which was promulgated in the London Gazette, on 24 September 1918, the official citation being:

“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action with his company.  He led his men to the attack with great dash.  During the consolidation, when other Company Commanders became casualties, he took charge of the front line, and moved about at great risk, supervising the consolidation.  His energy and spirit were great factors in the success of the operations.”

He was subsequently killed in action in France on 28 August 1918, at Biaches in the fighting near Peronne.

After joining the 27th Battalion AIF, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the 82nd (Barrier) Infantry, on 1 July 1915.