The AIF Project

Thomas Edward WILLIAMS

Regimental number2514
Place of birthMoree, New South Wales
SchoolState School near Texas, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressBrush Creek via Inglewood, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 6"
Weight141 lbs
Next of kinFather, Robert Williams, Perth Street, Toowoomba, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 April 1916
Place of enlistmentWarwick, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name47th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/64/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 19 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll47th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'None of his belongings have been returned. Have had no word from any member of his regiment or any friend.' (details from brother, Walter Williams)
FateKilled in Action 11 April 1917
Age at death25
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
144
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Martha WILLIAMS
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Brisbane, 19 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 2 December 1916, and marched in to No 13 Camp, Codford. Admitted to hospital, Codford, 16 January 1917; marched in to 12th Training Bn, Codford, from hospital, 6 February 1917 (no further details recorded).

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 March 1917; taken on strength, 47th Bn, 23 March 1917.

Reported missing in action, 11 April 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held 7 November 1917, confirmed fate as killed in action, 11 April 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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