The AIF Project


Regimental number4400
Place of birthHighblantyne, Scotland
SchoolCrookstown School, Inveresk, Musselborough, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia17
AddressWrexham Road, Thirroul, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 4.75"
Weight114 lbs
Next of kinFather, M. Daisley, Wrexham Road, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets, Bulli, New South Wales.
Enlistment date3 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 December 1915
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 9 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 August 1918
Place of death or woundingMont St Quentin, France
Age at death from cemetery records21
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Matthew and Sarah DAISLEY, "Glenesk", George Street, Thirroul, New South Wales. Born in Lanarkshire, Scotland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 April 1916; disembarked Suez, no date stated.

Embarked Alexandria, 28 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 7 June 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 28 December 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 29 December 1916.

Taken on strength of 17th Bn, in the field, 19 January 1917.

Admitted to 1/1 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station, 9 December 1917; transferred to No 1 Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 10 February 1917; to England, 23 February 1917; to No 3 London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 25 February 1917; discharged to furlough, 22 March 1917, and to report to Training Depot, Wareham, 6 April 1917.

Transferred to 63rd Bn, 27 April 1917; taken on strength of 63rd Bn, Windmill Hill, 28 April 1917.

Admitted to No 1 Australian Dermatological Hospital, 30 April 1917 (scabies); discharged, 5 May 1918.

Promoted Temporary Corporal, 1 July 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 11 August 1917.

Transferred to 17th Bn, 19 September 1917, and marched out to 61st Bn the same day.

Proceeded overseas to France, 9 October 1917; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Le Havre, 10 October 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 13 October 1917; taken on strength of 17th Bn, 14 October 1917.

Admitted to No 5 Casualty Clearing Station, 28 June 1918 (pyrexia of unknown origin); transferred to No 9 Ambulance Train, 30 June 1918; to No 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 1 July 1918; to No 74 General Hospital, Trouville, 3 July 1918; to Australian Convalescent Depot, Le Havre, 10 July 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 25 July 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 28 July 1918; rejoined 17th Bn, 1 August 1918.

Admitted to No 3 Australian General Hospital, 10 August 1918 (defective vision); to No 39 General Hospital, 16 August 1918 (balanitis); marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 20 August 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 25 August 1918, and rejoined 17th Bn the same day.

Killed in action, near Mont St Quentin, 31 August 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAISLEY William

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