William Hart

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William Hart
Hart William 1.jpg
BLSL FPHC Hart
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
Place of Birth Leicester, England
Death 24 Nov 1974, 1984
Place of Death Roleystone, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 24 years, 9 months
Description 5'7¼" (1.71m) tall; weight 168 lbs (76.2 kg); fair complexion, fair hair
Occupation miner
Religion Church of England
Address Leonora, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife Mrs Lina Ross Hart (nee Wearn, 1891-1989)
Military Information
Reg Number 656
Date of Enlistment 23 Sep 1914
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, D Company / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1914 - 1 Feb 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Date of Return 11 Jan 1919 - 17 Feb 1919
Ship Returned On SS Osterley
Fate Wounded in Action 3 May 1915 at Gabe Tepe, Gallipoli
Wounded in Action 7 Aug 1915 at Hill 971, Gallipoli
Wounded in Action 30 Aug 1916 at Mouquet Farm
Returned to Australia
Monument unkown
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal


Pre War

William had 12 months previous service with the Leicestershire Yeomanry before emigrating to Australia in 1912 where he worked in various mines in Western Australia prior to his enlistment.

War Service

Enlisted in Leonora and sent to Blackboy Hill camp. As an original member of the 16th Battalion he commenced his training at Blackboy Hill camp, but on 21 Nov 1915 they entrained in Midland for Fremantle where they boarded two small ships for Melbourne in order to complete their Australian training at the Broadmeadows camp, joining up with South Australians who contributed 50% of the combined unit.

On 22 Dec 1914 they boarded HMAT A40 Ceramic in Port Melbourne and sailed for Albany where they joined with 15 other transports to form the second Convoy. Having left Albany on 30 Dec 1914, they arrived off Alexandria on 1 Feb 1915. Once ashore they were transported to the Heliopolis camp on Cairo's outskirts.

The 16th sailed from Alexandria for Lemnos Island on 11 Apr 1915, and at noon on 25 Apr 1915 they set out for Anzac Cove where they landed in the early evening.

William participated in early fighting and on 3 May at Gabe Tepe he received wounds to the upper extremities of his right thigh. Taken offshore to SS Dongala, where it was decided to keep him there rather than sending him on to Lemnos as his wound was healing quickly.

Back ashore he rejoined the 16th until he was again wounded on 7 Aug 1915 as part of an attack on Hill 971, this time with shell wounds to the left thigh and both shoulders. His injury required him to be evacuated to Egypt on HMHS Ascania where he entered the 2nd Australian Convalescent Depot in Heliopolis before a transfer to Zeitoun.

On 18 Oct 1915 he embarked again, this time on HNT Kalyan for Lemnos to rejoin his unit on 23 Oct 1915. ON arrival he found that he had been promoted Corporal in his absence [9 Aug 1915]. On 30 Dec 1915 the 16th Battalion returned to Alexandria aboard HMHS Ascania, now acting as a troop ship.

On 21 Dec 1915 he was admitted to hospital in Ismailia with jaundice and was unable to resume duty until 27 Jan 1916 when he set out to rejoin the 16th Battalion at Zeitoun. He was promoted Sergeant on 22 Mar 1916, and on 1 Jun 1916 he, along with all others in his unit, became members of the British Expeditionary Force to serve on the Western Front.

William was involved in the fight around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm, on 30 Aug 1916. Just as they were about to be relieved, Bill received a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Treated by the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station where he was placed aboard Ambulance Train No 28 the same day for the 2nd Australian General Hospital in Boulogne. Admitted on 1 Sep 1916 before being evacuated to England aboard HS Jan Breydel later the same day.

In England he was admitted to a hospital in Ramsgate on 1 September before transferring to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford where he remained receiving treatment from 20 Oct 1916 until 2 Jan 1917 when he was released for a period of furlough. On his return he entered the No 1 Command Depot, and remained with them until 1 Jul 1917 when he attended the School of Instruction at Aldershot. Following his course, he was retained as an instructor until he returned to France on 1 Jun 1918.

Married in the UK. As an original 1914 participant, he was awarded furlough, and took 75 days in the UK in preference to heading home early. Offered a late December ship home with wife Lina Ross.

Discharged on 10 Mar 1919 at the 5th Military District in Karrakatta.

Post War

Bill Hart holding a Thompson Submachine gun, in Local Defence Volunteer (Home Guard) uniform, 1943 BLSL FPHC Hart

Electoral Roll entries from 1925 - 1972 list William as an orchardist in Roleystone, although he worked briefly post-war at Simpson's Mine at Eastern Creek via Nullagine.

William married Lina Ross Wearn in 1917 in Leicester while he was on leave; they had corresponded during the war. Post-war, Lina came to Australia from Leicester to join William and the couple bought land on Urch Road in 1919, at first 8 acres, but later 38 acres, which they named 'Leicester Orchard'. In the 1950s they moved to a property on Barnes Road.

William served with the Militia during WW2 as Group Leader of the Kelmscott - Roleystone unit (which Ivor Birtwistle also served with). Son William John 'Jack' Hart (b. 1923 d. 3 Nov 2005) and daughters Helen (Nell) and Margaret (Peg) each served in the RAAF during WW2.

His apparent residual injuries from the war were a fine miniature shiny piece of shell splinter in the dead centre pupil of his dominant eye which precluded him from driving, shrapnel scars across his back which caused a period of paralysis, a raspy voice and a characteristic cough, the effects of German mustard gas.

On 2 May 1967 he wrote to the Central Army Records Office requesting issue of a Gallipoli Medallion and lapel badge.

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