No. 156 Private William Dukelow
William Dukelow was born at Werribee in February 1884 to Henry and Fanny Dukelow. The family lived in Werribee and then at Mt Cottrell. They had two other sons, John and Charles.
Before joining the A.I.F. at Randwick, New South Wales on the 27 August 1914, William worked as a shearer. He was 30 years of age, and single at the time of his enlistment.
After enlisting, William was appointed to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Brigade.
He embarked from Sydney on the 18 October 1914, on H.M.A.T. Suffolk, bound for Egypt, and arrived there on 8 December 1914.
He was a member of the 2nd Battalion A.I.F.’s, “A” Company, when he was killed at Gallipoli on 12 May 1915. William has no known grave site, and his name is commemorated on a memorial at Lone Pine, at Gallopoli.
His war records have little information on his service, and the newspapers of the day contained a lot more information on him and his cousins.
THE EMPIRE'S CALL. The following have responded from Bacchus Marsh and district:- Balliang, Wm Dukelow.
Bacchus Marsh Express, 22 May 1915, p.3.
The Defence Department on Saturday issued the 47th List of Casualties sustained by the Australian Troops at the Dardanelles. The List contains the following names: KILLED IN ACTION. New South Wales.
Pte. W.H. Dukelow.
The Argus, 5 July 1915, p.6.
Another Werribee volunteer has given his life for his country. News was conveyed by Rev. Cecil to Mr. and Mrs. Dukelow, that their son had been killed in action.
Bacchus Marsh Express, 3 July 1915, p.2.
PRIVATE WILLIAM DUKELOW - (killed in action) was the second son of Mr and Mrs H. Dukelow, of Mount Cotterell (sic). He was 29 years of age. A cousin has just been killed, and another two are now fighting at the front.
The Argus, 9 July 1915, p.4.
BALLIANG. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.) Regret to say that one of our local soldiers (W. Dukelow) was killed at the Dardanelles. Mr. Dukelow was very popular in the district, and everybody is sorry to hear of his death.
Melton Express, 10 July 1915, p.3.
The following are two graphic firsthand accounts from William Dukelow, of fighting, and the death of his cousin, at Gallipoli."Jack and I kept together, so that if one got hit the other would take him hack, and not leave him to the enemy. Three men were shot around me, and Jack was the fourth. I don't know how I escaped, for the bullets were flying in hundreds when I was carrying him back. I could only get along slowly, for he had fainted."
So wrote Private W.H. Dukelow to his aunt, Mrs S. Swanton, Werribee, of her son, Private J. Swanton, who died shortly afterwards from wounds. "I was with him till the last, and he was buried by our boys next morning. The prayers were read over him by a Church of England clergyman. He is buried in a little cleared space at the foot of the hills, near the beach. I think it is an old orchard. There is long barley grass growing there, and a few fruit trees. It is a peaceful spot at the foot of the valley. He was one of the gamest lads, and the best shot in our company, and I can't tell you how I miss him." Not many days later Private Dukelow, the man who stuck to his wounded mate, and carried him out of the firing line, was killed also.
Werribee Shire Banner, 15 July 1915, p.2.
TWO COUSINS KILLED. Mrs S. Swanton of Werribee, has received a letter of condolence upon the death of her son Private J. Swanton, from seven members of his company. An account of how he died has been sent to her by his cousin Private W. H. Dukelow, who was with him when he was hit. Private Dukelow who has himself since been killed, in his letter says - "I know that Jack shot five or six of the enemy at different times. He was one of the best shots in the company. We were fighting together when he got hit. We kept together, so, if one of us got hit the other would take him back, and not leave him to the enemy. Three men were shot around me, and Jack was the fourth. As soon as he got hit he asked me to take him back. I don't know how I escaped. The bullets were flying in hundreds while I was carrying him back to the trenches. I could only get along slowly. He had fainted and was quite helpless. He was shot about 10 o'clock in the morning and died at 4 the same evening. He was unconscious most of the time. He was buried by our boys the next morning in a little cleared space at the foot of the hills near the beach. I think it is an old orchard. There is long barley grass growing there, and a few fruit trees of some kind. It is a peaceful spot, at the foot of the valley."
Medals & Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star - 27 October 1920
- British War Medal - 25 August 1921
- Victory Medal - 18 December, 1922
- King’s Scroll and Message - 2 July 1921
- Memorial Plaque - 29 October 1921
Memorial tree dedicated to Private William Henry Dukelow in the Avenue of Honour in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, 2010.