Identity disc was all that came home

The identity disc of Private Walter Williams.
The identity disc of Private Walter Williams.

The City of Greater Bendigo has created a website for next year's Anzac Day centenary celebrations. Today we continue a series showcasing the website...

The Stretcher Bearer, Private Walter Williams 

Young Walter, the son of Susan and Owen Williams, went to the Gravel Hill School. His dad, Owen W. Williams, had a stained glass window business at 323 Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo.  

Walter stated his occupation as a lead glazier, and was 24 years old when he enlisted, at Liverpool, NSW, into the AIF.

Walter volunteered early in the war, in November 1915. He then became a private in the 2nd battalion of the AIF, serial number 1442. He was tasked as one of the battalion’s stretcher bearers, in early April 1915. 

He suffered an injury, and when recovered rejoined his battalion at the front in July 1915.   

Private Williams was killed in action on August 29, 1915, and initially buried at the temporary “Browns Dip” cemetery. 

After the war, he was respectfully re-interred at the new cemetery at Lone Pine.

So, dear reader, if any of you plan to go to Gallipoli, spare a minute at the grave of Bendigo’s Private Walter Williams.

I enclose a photo of his identity disc (pictured), which is on display in the Bendigo Military Museum.  

This was taken from his body, probably at some peril to the soldier who removed it, and returned to Australia.

This disc is all of their son and brother that came home to his family in Bendigo. The museum also treasures Private Williams' portrait and medals.

On November 4, 1915, the Bendigo Advertiser published a photograph of the uniformed Private Williams, under the headline "Those who have died in freedom’s cause". Lest we forget.

– Bill Clark, RSL, Bendigo Military Museum

Acting Corporal Richard Henry Bone

Acting Corporal Richard Henry Bone, Service Number: 3461, Unit: 60th Battalion (Infantry).

Killed in action in France, July 19, 1916, aged 21 years. 

He is remembered VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France.

Richard Henry Bone, a grocer's assistant before his enlistment, was born in 1894 at Eaglehawk to Henry Thomas and Emily Bone, nee Bray. He enlisted on August 3, 1915, at Eaglehawk and embarked on December 29, 1915, from Port Melbourne per HMAT Demosthenes A64. 

RICHARD HENRY BONE, missing since July 19, son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Bone, of Webster Street, Eaglehawk.

Mr and Mrs Thomas Bone, of Webster Street, Eaglehawk, have been notified by the Defence department that their son, Corporal Richard Henry Bone, has been officially reported missing in France since July 19. 

Corporal Bone, who will be 22 years of age next month, is well known and highly esteemed by a very large circle of friends throughout the district. 

Prior to enlisting he was employed at Koch's Pioneer battery, Long Gully, for a short period, and for some time previously he was in the employ of Mr M. Collins, grocer, of California Gully. 

He was closely associated with the Eaglehawk Baptist Sunday School, and was very popular with his comrades. 

He left Australia with the 60th Battalion on December 29 last. 

 – The Bendigonian, Thursday, September 21, 1916

Family Notices BONE – In sad and loving memory of Corporal Harry Bone, killed in action at Fleurbaix, France, July 19, 1916,  loved son of Mr and Mrs Thomas Bone, Webster Street, Eaglehawk. 

There is a link death cannot sever. 

Love and remembrance live for ever. 

 – Inserted by his father, mother, sisters and brothers. 

- Bendigo Advertiser, Friday, July 19, 1918

Source: Bev Hanson


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