The AIF Project

William George Henry PADGETT

Regimental number588
Place of birthMount Cole, Victoria
SchoolMount Cole State School, Victoria
Other trainingNil
ReligionMethodist
OccupationOrchardist
AddressMount Cole PO,via Ararat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 6"
Weight176 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Padgett, Mount Cole PO via Ararat, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the Victorian Rangers.
Enlistment date19 August 1914
Place of enlistmentArarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, E Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 28 July 1916
Place of death or woundingPozieres, Somme Sector, France
Age at death31
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
54
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Martha PADGETT
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 5 April 1915.

Admitted to No 2 Field Ambulance, 15 August 1915 (debility), and transferred to Casualty Clearing Station; to Malta via HS 'Georgian', 17 August 1915 (enteritis); disembarked Malta, 27 August 1915, and admitted to hospital (gastro-enteritis); transferred to England, 4 September 1915, and admitted to City of London Hospital, Clapton, 12 September 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria from England, 17 January 1916; rejoined Bn, Tel el Kebir, 14 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 31 March 1916.

Admitted to 4th Casualty Clearing Station, 12 July 1916 (myalgia); discharged to duty, 13 July 1916.

Killed in action, 28 July 1916.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, PADGETT William George Henry

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