The AIF Project

William Henry EAST

Regimental number4761
Place of birthForest Range, South Australia
SchoolForest Range School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGardener
AddressForest Range, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 6"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Charlotte East, Forest Range, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 4 years in the Senior Cadets, Lobethal; 3 months in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date20 October 1915
Place of enlistmentPort Adelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 September 1916
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death17.11
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialLondon Cemetery and Extension (Plot V, Row D, Grave No 25), Longueval, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
150
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Charlotte EAST, Forest Range, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 474 Pte Walter Leonard EAST, 10th Bn, killed in action, 15 May 1915; 4760 Pte Albert Henry EAST, 50th Bn, returned to Australia, 25 September 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 14 June 1916.

Taken on strength, 50th Bn, in the field, 13 August 1916.

Killed in action, 4 September 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 0980812, 4760 Pte A.H. EAST, 70th Bn, Windmill Camp, England, 26 August 1917: 'I am glad to know someone has sympathy for a chap who has lost all. I came from Australia with my two brothers, one was killed in the landing at Gallipoli, the other W.H. was killed at Mucourt [sic] Farm on Sept. 4th 1916, caused by a shell. 10 of us were in a small sap when a shell lobbed in and the consequence was, all of us were buried, after getting out of my stifling position I lost no time in digging for my brother. I dug 10 bodies out altogether including my brother. They were all torn to pieces with the exception of one and I sent word along for stretcher bearers and he was taken away some little time later and I remembered no more. Sad but true, he is dead.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Buried at Mouquet Farm; grave subsequently lost. Originally listed as 'No known grave', and name recorded on the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France. The body was found in an isolated grave north-west of Pozieres in 1937, and reinterred in the London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval.
SourcesNAA: B2455, EAST William Henry
Red Cross File No 0980812

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