The AIF Project

William Atkin DAVIDSON

Regimental number5995
Place of birthNewcastle, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFireman
AddressBundi, Long Bay, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation33
Height5' 2"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinMrs T. Davidson, 9 Milk Street, Surry Hills, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date13 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 March 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 22 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 05-8 May 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Stated to be William Atkinson Davidson on NR
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.

Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: JohnAtkinson and Ellen DAVIDSON, husband of T. DAVIDSON. Born at Broadmeadow, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 22 August 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 13 October 1916.

Admitted to No 1 Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 30 October 1916 (venereal disease); discharged, 7 November 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 9 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 December 1916; marched into 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 14 December 1916.

Proceeded to unit, 4 January 1917; taken on strength of 1st Bn, in the field, 9 January 1917.

Killed in action, 5/8 May 1917.

Buried in vicinity of Bullecourt.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Age at death34
Place of burialNo known grave
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVIDSON William Atkin

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