Arthur William Symonds

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Arthur William Symonds
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
"unknown" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Clare, South Australia
Death 9 Oct 1917
Place of Death Broodseinde Ridge, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 39 years, 2 months
Description 5'8 ½" (1.74m) tall ; 144 lbs
65.317 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Sleeper hewer
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Bedfordale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Sister , Mrs Katherine Parks
Military Information
Reg Number 3473
Date of Enlistment 6 Aug 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement D Coy / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1915 ‒ 26 Nov 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Fate Died of Wounds received 9 Oct 1917 at Broodseinde Ridge.
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Menin Gate Memorial
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

1916 Electoral Roll gives Arthur's address as Bedfordale, occupation sleeper hewer.

War Service

Entered Blackboy Camp on 6 Aug 1915 and after preliminary training was allocated to the 11th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion. On arrival in Egypt he undertook further training before being taken on strength by the 11th Battalion where he was allocated to 'D' Company on 2 Mar 1916 at Bir el Habieta. Arthur sailed with the battalion to Marseilles from Alexandria on the HMT Corsican, arriving there on 5 Apr 1916.

Between his arrival in France and his death over a year later, Arthur's records are silent. The Initial entry on his records for 9 Oct 1917 was that Arthur was wounded and, later wounded and missing, and finally that he had Died of his Wounds.

In Arthur's Red Cross file held by the Australian War Memorial[1]. 5163 Cpl E.J. Mullins of his platoon (3 Platoon A Coy) said

"...that Symonds was wounded on the night of 8th Oct. Near Anzac Ridge at Westhoek. We had just been relieved from the line and stayed the night at a pill box. Symonds was wounded in the knee and taken away by stretcher bearers...."

Another report, this one by 4652 Pte F. W. Baker says

"I knew him well...On the 9th October we were at Passchendaele holding the line. We made an attack, had been relieved, and gone out of the line when Symonds was hit by a stray shell. He was taken to the Dressing Station and died there."

"...Went to Egypt , and then with the 51st to France, in July, 1916. He and Frank Dowell were great friends."[2]

  • Menin Gate Memorial Ypres 2015 photo
  • 11th Battalion panel

Post War


Memorialised at YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL. Son of James and Catherine Symonds. Native of Clare, South Australia.

Arthur's nephew was Captain E.J. Parks of the 16th Battalion.

A Miss E Trotter write to Military Authorities in December 1916, asking after Arthur as she has not heard from him in 6 months and that she hasn't seen his name on any Casualty List. At this time Arthur was alive and with the 11th Battalion. His sister, and NOK Katherine Parks also wrote to them in Feb 1917 similarly asking after him, so Arthur was no correspondent. Another of his sisters also enquired after him on 23 Apr 1917. Katherine writes again on 28 May 1917 advising the authorities that through Capt Parks she had been advised that the Adjutant of the 11th Battalion had advised "Private Symonds was evacuated after the first Pozieres stint. No further record of him." The officer had made enquiries in England to no avail.

His sister, Maggie again wrote on 14 Jul 1917, seeking information as there has still been no contact, and Katherine again wrote on 20 Nov 1917 repeating the information that she had, and noting that all their letters are returned, stamped "Not with his unit". Miss Trotter wrote again on 19 Nov 1917.

The Red Cross became involved and advised that letters were now being returned marked "In hospital"; "Unable to trace"; and "Killed 28/8/16". As late as March 1918, the family were being told there was no official news.

In Mar 1918 the family was told that Arthur was said to be Wounded and Missing. On 24 Jun 1918 his NOK is finally aware that he has been declared to have died from his wounds. [Court of Enquiry 29 May 1918].


  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Arthur William Symonds". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 9. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia. 

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