The AIF Project

William Edwin COUSENS

Regimental number2148
Place of birthRutherglen Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressJarrahdale, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation30
Next of kinWife, Mrs Amy Elizabeth Cousens, Forrest Stree, Cottesloe, Western Australia
Enlistment date13 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll4 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name51st Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/68/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 9 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollDriver
Unit from Nominal Roll44th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 20 May 1918

FateReturned to Australia 1 June 1919

Military Medal

'On the night 25th/26th May, 1918, whilst the Battalion was holding the line at VILLERS BRETONNEUX, the enemy put down a very heavy mustard gas shell bombardment on the village and western approaches thereto, firing about 6,000 rounds gas and some H.E. This man, a Transport Driver, drove his limber with rations, through the gas barrage and delivered the rations to the cooker. He then took charge of a cooker with hot food, the C.Q.M.S. being a casualty, and drove through the H.E. and gas shelling, of great intensity on the road, and safely delivered the hot food for the troops in the line, at the Forward Ration point, through the village to the east end. He subsequently returned with the cooker and then took his limber to the transport lines. By his coolness in handling mules under very trying circumstances, including the continuous wearing of the gas mask, and devotion to duty, he showed a magnificient disregard of danger and set a splendid example to all.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23
Date: 12 February 1919

Family/military connectionsBrothers: 5076 Pte Frank Ernest COUSENS, 48th Bn, died of wounds, 7 August 1916; 4995 Pte Herbert Dunbar COUSENS, 28th Bn, returned to Australia, 19 April 1919; 15584 Sapper Martin Nicholas COUSENS, Corps Signal Company, returned to Australia, 18 July 1919; 4996 Pte Reuben Leeuwin COUSENS, 28th Bn, killed in action, 8 January 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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