William Moffat McLachlan MM
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||not known 1896|
|Place of Birth||Ballarat, Victoria|
|Death||25 Aug 1967, aged 71|
|Place of Death||Perth, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||19 years, 8 months|
5'11" (1.80m) tall ; 139 lbs|
63.049 kg; dark complexion ; grey eyes ; black hair
|Address||Jarrahdale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr James McLachlan|
|Date of Enlistment||12 Jan 1916|
|Unit/Formation||44th Battalion, A Company / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division|
|Date of Embarkation||6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A29 Suevic|
|Date of Return||19 Jun 1919 ‒ 7 Aug 1919|
|Ship Returned On||SS Windhuk|
Wounded in Action 8 Jun 1917 (gassed) at Messines |
Returned to Australia
Jarrahdale Honour Roll |
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Military Medal |
British War Medal
Within a fortnight of entering camp, Bill was allocated to the 44th Battalion (1 Dec 1916) and travelled with them to England.
On 25 Nov 1916 he proceeded overseas from England to France, and soon after required a spell in hospital with bronchitis from 15 - 18 Dec 1916. Also in hospital from 13 - 28 Apr 1917 this time with tonsillitis, before being wounded in action on 8 Jun 1917.
Bill was one of many who were put out of action by the German use of gas shells, and it would appear to have happened as the battalion which had been held in reserve moved forward to secure the enemy trenches between the Douve River and 'Huns Wald' on Messine Ridge. While casualties were light in achieving the target, they later sustained a great many casualties (300+) holding on to their gains, primarily from both enemy and friendly artillery fire.
Treated first by the 9th Australian Field Ambulance, he was passed to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station before entering the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen on 9 Jun 1917. 10 days later he was released to the 2nd Convalescent Depot, and a week later he was shifted to the 11th Convalescent Depot.
Bill was able to rejoin the 44th Battalion on 8 Sep 1917, but along the way ran foul of Military Law. On 4 Sep 1917 he was charged with 'Crime - At Rouelles on 3 Sep 1917, when on active service, conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline in that he insisted on smoking on parade while orders were being read, after being duly warned by the Company Sergeant Major not to do so.' For this he forfeited 2 days pay.
Back with his unit, on 21 Sep 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal, and on 7 Oct 1917 he was made temporary Corporal until 9 Dec 1917 when a permanent Corporal rejoined the unit. In the A.I.F. Routine Orders List 292 published on 28 Jan 1918, Bill was awarded a Military Medal.
Acted as Corporal again from 1 Apr 1918 till 29 May 1918, and again from 16 Jul 1918, but this time his rank was confirmed on 8 Oct 1918, and then 2 days later he was promoted temporary Sergeant.
He was granted leave to England between 1 Jan 1919 and 16 Jan 1919, and in April returned to England to begin the homeward journey.
Discharged 5th Military District 22 Sep 1919
Local press published Casualty Lists , but also individual references; Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Mclachlan, of Jarrahdale and 24 Galwey-street, Leederville, have been notified that their son, Private William Moffat McLachlan, has been wounded .
In 1923 William married Gertrude Ann Kelly, registered in the Blackwood district. Gertrude died 10 Jul 1969, aged 62 in Perth. Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - 1943 State Saw Mill Pemberton, mill hand; 1931 joined by Gertrude Ann; 1949 - 1963 at 175 Lake street, North Perth timber worker;
William also served during WW2 as W27692 from 30 Apr 1941 until 12 Mar 1947. Served with 5th and 10th Garrison Battalions before transferring to the Australia Cinema Unit.
- "AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION". Kalgoorlie Miner. 23, (5770). Western Australia. 11 July 1917. p. 2. Retrieved 12 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,758). Western Australia. 3 July 1917. p. 5. Retrieved 12 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- London gazette 28 Jan 1918 page 1403 position 143
- Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 27 Jun 1918 page 1390 position 162