William Augustus Povah

From Our Contribution

William Augustus Povah
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown 1881
Place of Birth Maryborough, Queensland
Death 29 Mar 1960, aged 79
Place of Death Hollywood Repatriation Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 34 years old
Description 5' 3" (1.60m) tall ; 124 lbs
56.245 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Sleeper hewer
Religion Church of England
Address School Quarters, West Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Frank Povah (address unknown)
Military Information
Reg Number 4357
Date of Enlistment 10 Jan 1916
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 11th Reinforcements / 7th Brigade, 2nd Division
Date of Embarkation 31 Mar 1916 ‒ 24 Apr 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A9 Shropshire
Date of Return 1 Jun 1919 ‒ 8 Jul 1919
Ship Returned On SS Somali
Fate Wounded in Action 27.29 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm
Wounded in Action 8 Aug 1918 Amiens
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1910 - 1912 a miner at Gwalia; later in 1912 at Bungalow Cafe, Boulder road, Kalgoorlie, miner. 1915 - 1916 Barrabupp, sleeper hewer.

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 10 Jan 1916 and some time subsequent to that was allocated to the 11th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. Bill was given temporary rank of Corporal for the voyage to Egypt. During the journey to Egypt he was admitted to the ship's hospital on 21 Apr 1916 with influenza, and on arrival in Suez was transferred to the Government Hospital on 24 Apr 1916, and then on 26 Apr 1916 to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital suffering with having taken a reaction to inoculations. Released to duty on 12 May 1916 .

Embarked on the HMT Minnetonka in Alexandria on 2 Jun 1916, he disembarked in Plymouth on 12 Jun 1916.

On 1 Aug 1916 he travelled to France, and on arrival at the Étaples Base he reverted to Private. Bill joined the 28th Battalion on 24 Aug 1916 when they were north east of Poziéres, occupying the front line trenches. Between the 27th and 29th Aug 1916 they are under almost continuous artillery bombardment. Suffering with Shell Shock (slight, as it was described in his records) Bill was seen by the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station before embarking on the HMHS St David in Boulogne for England on 31 Aug 1916.

Arriving there, he was admitted to the No.3 Southern General Hospital, Oxford for treatment. Following treatment he returned to his battalion via various base units in England and France to reach them during November 1916.

On 9 Dec 1916 he was again in difficulty, being evacuated yet again to England, this time with Trench Foot, from Calais, entering the County of Middlesex War Hospital for treatment. He returned to France via Perham Downs and Folkestone on 14 Mar 1917, catching up with the 28th Battalion on 26 Apr 1917 where they were in the Support lines near Noreil-Lagnicourt.

In hospital, again ill, from 1 Jun to 9 Jul 1917, and again from 26 - 29 Apr 1918 (Trench Toe). William was wounded in action a second time on 8 Aug 1918 when he participated in the first day of the battle of Amiens. His injuries included a GSW to his left shoulder and minor wound to his left arm. First stop was the 15th Australian Field Ambulance who passed him on to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station, and then the 2nd Canadian Hospital before he was evacuated to England on 13 Aug 1918.

Arriving in England he was admitted to the Bevan Military Hospital Sandgate on 13 Aug 1918. On 6 Sep 1918 he transferred to the No 1 Line Hospital in Canterbury. Short stays at the No 1 Command Depot and the Overseas Training Base eventually equip him to return to his unit in France on 30 Nov 1918, by which time the Armistice was in place.

At the time of the Armistice the battalion was resting and rebuilding in the small village of Berteaucourt, north-west of Amiens. Soon after the Armistice the 28th Battalion and the rest of the Australian 7th Brigade is initially earmarked as part of the British 4th Army to relocate to Coblenz as part of the Army of Occupation. They began their move on 23 Nov 1918, travelling through Amiens and Peronne by train, and then marched via stops at Busigny, Ribeauville, Grand Fayt, Beaufort, and Cousolre into Belgium. At this point it was decided that the Australian troops would not proceed into Germany, but wait in Belgium for their return to Australia, with the 28th Battalion basing itself in Marcinelle, some 2 miles from the large industrial city of Charleroi.[1]

In Mar 1919 he began the trip home via Sutton Veny and Weymouth. Discharged 5th Military District 22 Aug 1919.

Casualty List 260 has Bill as returning to duty previously reported wounded.[2]

Post War

William married Charlotte V.E.Louisa Mary Armstrong in the Murray district in 1922. Louisa died Nov 1933.

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 with Louisa Mary in Yarloop, timber worker. 1931 he is the assistant yard foreman; 1936 at Brunswick Junction a labourer. 1949 30 Catherine street, Subiaco no occ; 1954 30 Museum street, Perth no occupation; 1958 in Sunset Home Nedlands.

Children were Elsie (married Leaney), Leonard (William Augustus Jnr) (24 Dec 1922 in Yarloop - 28 Jun 1973, served in the 2nd AIF with Reg No WX28747), Francis (Frank) Ernest (1924 - 22 Jul 1983), and William Samuel (1926 - 22 Dec 1961).

Listening Post May 1960 reports him as having died while a member of the Yarloop RSL.


  1. The 28th Battalion AIF - A Record of War Service. Henry K. Kahn. Hesperian Press.
  2. "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,604). Western Australia. 3 January 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

External Links