The AIF Project

William Polding RYAN

Regimental number1520
Place of birthDunbible, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressUpper Crystal Creek, Tweed River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 5"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, P.P. Ryan, Upper Crystal Creek, Tweed River, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the 12th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date21 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll20 July 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentActing Sergeant
Unit name31st Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A41 Bakara on 5 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row A, Grave No 2), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
119
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 5 November 1915; disembarked Suez, ex-'Wandilla', 7 December 1915.

Taken on strength of 31st Bn and reverted to rank of Private, Serapeum, 12 December 1915.

Promoted Lance Corporal, 12 December 1915.

Promoted Corporal, Ferry Post, 30 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing and wounded, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 1 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2390906, 1570 Pte W.G. RALSTON, 31st Bn, 27 February 1917: 'I knew him, we were at Fleurbaix. During the attack he was killed by a shell. I was fairly close at the time and saw the shell burst but I did not know then whom it had killed but the men afterwards told me it had killed him.'

Second statement, 412 Pte T. McBRYDE, 31st Bn, 27 February 1917: 'I knew him very well. We were at Fleurbaix. We held the trenches for 14 hours and were then bombed out. I saw him killed by a shell on the evening of July 19th.'

Third statement, 412 Pte T. McBRYDE, 31st Bn (patient, 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, England), 15 March 1917: 'I saw Cpl Ryan's body lying dead on the ground, during the charge he (sic) made on July 19th.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 3), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, RYAN William Polding
Red Cross file 2390906
Red Cross file 2390903

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