William Edgar Rowe

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William Edgar Rowe
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known 1895
Place of Birth Walthanstow, Essex, England
Death 21 Mar 1918
Place of Death Zillebeke, Belgium
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 4 months
Description 5'5¾ (1.m) tall ; 127 lbs
57.606 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Clerk
Religion Methodist
Address Copley street, Bayswater, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Edgar Rowe
Military Information
Reg Number 3452
Date of Enlistment 3 Aug 1915
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement posted to 5 Platoon B Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1915 ‒ 26 Nov 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Fate Wounded in Action 22 Dec 1916 Flers
Killed in Action 21 Mar 1918
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Entering Blackboy Hill camp on 3 Aug 1915, he was allocated to the 20th Depot Company. After 8 weeks training he was posted to the 11th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion, travelling with them to Egypt. Bill was taken on strength by the 11th Battalion at Habieta, Egypt on 2 Mar 1916 before embarking in Alexandria on 29 Mar 1916 aboard HMT Corsican for Marseilles, France where they arrived on 5 Apr 1916.

On 13 Dec 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal, and on 22 Dec 1916 he was wounded in action at Flers. The battalion's War Diary, mentions enemy shelling activity and casualties, but does not list William amongst them. His injury was probably caused by shrapnel as it was described as a penetrating wound to the bladder and abdomen.

Placed on an Ambulance Train on 28 Dec 1916 and admitted to the 6th General Hospital in Rouen on the 29th. On 12 Jan 1917 he was embarked on HMHS Carisbrook Castle for England where he entered the Ontario Hospital the next day, remaining with them until 7 Mar 1917 when he was discharged to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital for 10 days. Bill regained strength in a number of base units, before he again proceeded to France (15th Jun 1917) through Southampton. He rejoined the 11th Battalion on 7 Jul 1917 at Ribemont.

Bill was promoted temporary corporal on 29 Sep 1917 , and the rank was confirmed on 19 Oct 1917. From 10 to 16 Feb 1918 he attended a Corps Gas School before enjoying some leave in the UK. On 11 Mar 1918 he rejoined the battalion, and on 21 Mar 1918 he was Killed in Action along with two others by enemy shell fire near Neuve Eglise. Buried in the Spoilbank Cemetery Zillebeke, 2.5 km south of Ypres, Belgium.

Bill's Red Cross file held by the Australian War Memorial gives further details: [1]

"Rowe had been on leave, and was killed on the night of his return at Spoil Bank, Ypres; a big minnewerfer shell badly mangling him and he died at once. I saw him taken away to the First Aid Post, and believe he was buried there. Rowe came from Jarrahdale, W.A. where he worked in Millars Timber Co. I fancy his people were in England." 138 Sgt B.J. Holmes.

"I knew a Rowe in B.5, was a Corporal, single, small, about 5 feet 6, thin, light hair. We were holding the line at Hollebeke; a shell dropped in the trench and killed him outright. He was buried at a place they call Railway Dug outs, about a mile from Spoil Bank; four or five graves toghether. A cross is up with the particulars. Ground is in the hands of the Germans." 1306 Pte H. Blake.

"He was a Corporal at the time. We were in B Coy, V Platoon. I saw him killed near me by a whizz-bang which struck his head, at Spoil Bank. Death was instantaneous. He was buried in Spoli Bank Cemetery where I saw his grave afterwards." 126 Pte W.E. Hough.

  • Spoilbank Cemetery Zillebeke Belgium
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - William Edgar Rowe". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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