William James O'Meagher
From Our Contribution
Bill as a trooper in the 10th Light Horse (CMF) - Ancestry.com
Bill later in the war - Ancestry.com
|Date of Birth||19 Jan 1922|
|Place of Birth||Victoria Park, Western Australia|
|Death||5 Apr 1994, aged 74|
|Place of Death||Gosnells, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||20 years, 5 months|
|Description||5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair ; scar on left thigh|
|Address||Omeo Orchard, Karragullen, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr John Henry Meagher|
|Date of Enlistment||8 Jul 1942|
|Unit/Formation||2/12th Australian Commando Squadron|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||25 Apr 1945 ‒ 9 May 1945|
|Transport Details||SS Charles Xxxxx Cairns to Morotai|
|Journey Dates||31 May 1945 ‒ 12 Jun 1945|
|Transport Details||LCI 1075 Morotai to Labuan, Borneo|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||12 Feb 1946 ‒ 24 Feb 1946|
|Transport Details||SS Kings Point Victory Lubuan to Brisbane|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
Pacific Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Text from the oral history of Dawn (Domini) O'Meagher, Bill's wife, briefly mentions Bill's pre-war life:
"Bill before the army – I think grandfather in the early days used to take them into the train. He started the orchard up [in 1912 though] there was a bit of an orchard there but he sawed wood for a living and they used to take that into the train too and all the meat and everything they had would come back down."
Prior to enlisting in the 2nd AIF Bill was called up for full time duty with the Citizens Military Forces and was a member of the 10th Light Horse Regiment (Militia) from 5 Jan until 7 Jul 1942 when he transferred to the AIF, albeit remaining with the 10th Light Horse.
Granted 6 days leave in March 1943 soon after he transferred to the AIF, he returned a day late for which he was admonished and lost the day's pay. From 27 Sep 1943 until 3 Oct 1943 he was evaluated for selection to join the 1st Australian Parachute Battalion, but appears not to have been chosen. On 22 Oct 1943 he was appointed Lance Corporal, having been granted Efficiency Pay from 1 Jul 1943.
On 12 May 1944 he entrained for Sydney, and on his arrival reverted to Private, before joining the 16th Australian Infantry Training Battalion on 8 Jun 1944. On 11 Sep 1944 he transferred to the 1st Australian Training Centre and on 20 Nov 1944 he joined the 2/12th Australian Commando Squadron. Bill embarked aboard the SS Charles Lummis, a Liberty ship, in Cairns on 25 Apr 1945 for Morotai. They sailed just before midnight on 28 April, and arrived in Morotai a minute after midnight on 9 May 1945, landing the same day. On 31 May 1945 he embarked on LCI 1075 for North West Borneo. There, on 26 Nov 1945 he was transferred to the 2/4th Australian Pioneer Battalion, and on 17 Dec 1945 he was transferred again, this time to the 2/48th Transport Platoon.
On 12 Feb 1946 he embarked at Labuan for Brisbane aboard the SS Kings Point Victory, disembarking on 24 Feb 1946. Bill was posted to a number of holding units until he was discharged on 3 Jul 1946.
After the war, Bill and his brothers returned to the Omeo orchard in Karragullen to continue their case supply business, making fruit cases for growers in the area. Each O'Meagher son was gifted a block of land from the property and built a house there. Bill stayed in the district, and Electoral Roll entries bear this out: 1949 - 1977 at Omeo Orchard, 253 Irymple road, Karragullen, orchardist.
On 10 May 1947 Bill married Domini (Dawn) Read. They had eight children. Bill was active in the orchard until early 1994.
Military records use the spelling Meagher rather than O'Meagher.