William Plant

From Our Contribution

William Plant
Plant William.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth Jul 1891
Place of Birth Chorlton, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Death Mar 1933
Place of Death Manchester North, Lancashire, England
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 11 months
Description not recorded tall ; 140 lbs
63.503 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair ; Scar on neck.
Occupation Fitter
Religion Church of England
Address NOK 33 Hineman street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Emma Plant
Military Information
Reg Number 4549
Date of Enlistment 8 Jul 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 14th Reinforcements trans to AA Postal Corps after Armistice / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 12 Feb 1916 ‒ 11 Mar 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Date of Return 9 Aug 1919 ‒ 20 Sep 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Fate Wounded in Action 30 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (South panel)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Early training was with the 3rd Depot Company at the Claremont camp, followed with the 15th Depot Company at Blackboy Hill camp. After 5 months training in WA he joined the 14th Reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, having originally been part of the 10th reinforcement draft. Acted as a Corporal in his reinforcement group. Arriving in Port Suez (11 Mar 1916), he was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir. While there he spent a week in hospital (7 - 13 Apr 1916) with influenza. On 7 Jun he boarded HMT Ionian for Marseilles, reaching that port on 14 Jun 1916.

Eventually taken on strength of the battalion in France on 17 Jul 1916 as a Private. Soon after, on 30 Aug 1916 during the battle for Mouquet Farm he was wounded with a GSW to the head. Seen by the 44th Casualty Clearing Station he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne on 30 Aug 1916. On 10 Sep 1916 he was released to the 7th Convalescent Depot and sent on to the 3rd Rest Camp. On 19 Sep 1916 he was judged to be fit to return to his unit

In Boulogne on 18 Oct 1916 he was charged with being AWOL from the morning Training Parade, and he forfeited two day's wages. Bill rejoined the 16th Battalion on 1 Nov 1916. He was again in need of medical treatment on 6 Dec 1916, visiting the 5th Australian Field Ambulance who sent him on to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station on 9 Dec 1916, and from 9 - 12 Dec 1916 he was in the care of the 6th General Hospital suffering with Influenza having arrived via Ambulance Train No. 5.

Evacuated to England aboard HMHS Carisbrook Castle on 18 Dec 1916 from Le Havre, Bill was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley the next day. On 9 Jan 1917 he was well enough to be transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford. Bill was granted furlough from 29 Jan - 13 Feb 1917.

On 23 Mar 1917 he was transferred to the 70th Battalion for a month before rejoining the 16th Battalion on 6 May 1917 via Folkestone, joining them at Ribemont as they continued the process of reorganising and retraining after their massive losses at 1st Bullecourt.

On 7 Oct 1917 Bill was again receiving treatment, this time for an undiagnosed ailment, and despite receiving care from the 53rd General Hospital at Boulogne between 8 - 13 Oct 1917, he was evacuated to England on 13 Oct 1917 and admitted to the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool with Trench Fever. When recovered he was sent to No.3 Command Depot at Hurdcott. On 24 Jan 1918 he was placed in the Fovant Military Hospital to have internal piles attended to. Released on 28 Feb 1918 he was sent to the Overseas Training Brigade to prepare for a return to France.

In Apr 1918 at Larkhill and in Aug 1918 at Codford he was found guilty of being AWOL (the second occasion for 1 week), and doesn't proceed to France again until 13 Sep 1918. He rejoined the 16th Battalion in the field on 19 Sep 1918, which was described in the unit War Diary as a very quiet day, and the last day in which the 16th saw action. - 3 KIA and 10 WIA.

In Dec 1918 he was again transferred to a hospital in England, this time with Influenza. On recovery he was posted to the Postal Corps on 8 Dec 1918. On 21 Feb 1919 he reported to the 12th Australian Field Ambulance with bursitis in his right foot. Passed on to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station the next day they treated him until 27 Feb when he was placed on Ambulance Train No. 33 for the 14th Australian General Hospital. Admitted on 1 Mar 1919 he was evacuated to the King George Hospital in England on 4 Mar 1919. Released on 11 Mar, he was granted furlough from 11 - 25 Mar 1919.

Before returning to Australia with his wife and child he undertook a three month work placement with a firm of accountants from 4 Apr until 4 Jul 1919.

By 1924 he was back living in England, requesting that his war medals to be sent to 14 Freeman avenue, Ashton-on-Lyne, Lancashire.

Post War

Married 23 year old Mabel Fleming while in the UK - 26 Aug 1917 in the Durham Registry Office. While he returned to take his discharge in Perth, in November 1924 he was living in Lancashire, England.


Only 3 men named Plant enlisted in WA. 140 Frederick Thorneycroft; 2831 Joseph Henry; and 4549 William. This entry on the Kelmscott memorial might simply have the wrong initial, and it should be Frederick Thorneycroft. Alternatively William had some connection to Kelmscott that I have not yet discovered.

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