The AIF Project


Regimental number6773
Date of birth1900
Place of birthUralla, New South Wales
SchoolDeepwater, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSheep farmer
AddressDeepwater, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, James Cowley, Deepwater, New South Wales
Enlistment date1 May 1917
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 16 June 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 April 1918
Place of death or woundingVillers-Bretonneux, France1
Age at death18
Age at death from cemetery records18
Place of burialCrucifix Corner Cemetery (Plot V, Row B, Grave No. 11), Villers-Bretonneux, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Martha COWLEY, Rock Abbey, Deepwater, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 6772 Pte Leslie COWLEY, 35th Bn, returned to Australia, 3 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Embarked from Sydney, 6 June 1917; disembarked Plymouth, 25 August 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 January 1918; taken on strength, 35th Bn, 7 January 1918.

Missing in action, later declared killed in action, 4 April 1918.

6773A Pte F.W. BERGEMANN stated (deposition, Hurcott, 26 September 1918): '6773 W. Cowley "D" Coy., 35th Battalion, was carrying ammunition for the Lewis Gunners of "C" Coy. of the same Battalion, at Villers-Bretonneux on the 4th April, 1918. To reach the trenches we followed the railway line and had to get over a rise. We were nearly there when the above named got wounded. Owing to necessity of getting the ammunition to the gunners we were unable to assist him. We asked him how he was and he replied "alright take care of yourselves." The boys of "C" Coy. said they would try and get him in when things quietened down. This was the last I saw of him, and have heard nothing of him since.' 6821 Pte D. Rix stated in a deposition (Hurdcott, 23 June 1918): 'At 5 p.m. on the 4th April 1918 myself and three "A" Company Stretcher Bearers carried 6773 Private Cowley W. to the dressing station at Villers-Bretonneux. He appeared to be severely wounded and in my opinion was in a dying condition. I never saw him afterwards.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal


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