The AIF Project

William Aloysius ADAMS

Regimental number4651
Place of birthWoolahra, New South Wales
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
SchoolWoollahra Public School, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationShop assistant
AddressLochiel Cottage, 53 Ruthven Street, Waverley, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 8"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Joseph Adams, Lochiel Cottage, 53 Ruthven Street, Waverley, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 January 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 13 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Date of death3 May 1917
Age at death21
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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 31 July 1916; discharged, 5 August 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 6 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 September 1916; taken on strength, 18th Bn, in the field, 2 October 1916.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 14 November 1916 (soft chancre), and transferred to 38th Casualty Clearing Station; to 1st Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 16 November 1916; to 18th General Hospital, 19 November 1916 (not yet diagnosed: venereal disease); to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 21 November 1916; discharged to duty, 25 November 1916, and marched in to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples.

Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 28 November 1916 (disordered action of the heart); transferred to 6th Convalescent Depot, 5 December 1916; to 5th Convalescent Depot, 8 December 1916; discharged to duty,18 December 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 9 January 1917.

Killed in action, 3 May 1917.

Handwritten note on Form B103: 'Buried at 51 B. S.W. U.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ADAMS William Aloysius

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