The AIF Project

William Archibald McKENZIE

Regimental number7018
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationGrazier
AddressBrisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28.11
Height5' 6"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinSister, M. Hand, 134 Alice Street, Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 September 1916
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 25 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
76
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 25 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 29 January 1917; marched into 4th Training Bn, Codford, 30 January 1917.

Admitted to Group Hospital, Sutton Veny, 20 March 1917 (influenza); marched into No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 11 April 1917, and classified as unfit.

Classified 'B1A', 27 April 1917.

Marched into 4th Training Bn, Codford, 30 April 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 29 May 1917; marched into 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, 30 May 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 20 June 1917; taken on strength of 15th Bn, in the field, no date stated.

Admitted to No 4 Australian Field Ambulance, 1 September 1917 (scabies); transferred to No 12 Australian Field Ambulance, 1 September 1917; to No 44 Field Ambulance, 2 September 1917; to No 50 Casualty Clearing Station, 4 September 1917; to No 25 General Hospital, Boulogne, 7 October 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 2 December 1917.

Admitted to No 3 Canadian General Hospital, 3 December 1917 (Inflammation of connective tissues, left leg); transferred to England, 6 December 1917; to Lakenham Military Hospital, Norwich, 7 December 1917; to No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 4 January 1918; discharged to furlough, 9 January 1918, and to report to No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 23 January 1918.

Posted absent without leave, 23 January 1918.

Found guilty, 27 January 1918, of being absent without leave from 1100 hours, 23 January 1918, until 1100 hours, 26 January 1918: award, forfeits 4 days' pay, and total forfeiture of 8 days' pay.

Marched into No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 28 January 1918.

Admitted to Group Hospital, Hurdcott, 21 March 1918 (influenza); marched into No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 27 March 1918.

Marched into Overseas Training Bde, Longbridge Deverill, 16 April 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 8 May 1918; marched into Canadian Base Depot, Etaples, 8 May 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 10 May 1918; rejoined 15th Bn, 19 May 1918.

Wounded in action, 4 July 1918.

Now, 13 July 1918, reported as 'Killed in Action, 4 July 1918'.

Note on B.103, 'buried at P.9.C.3.6 1/40000 Sh 62D Grave No 897/30.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, McKENZIE William Archibald

Print format