No. 4057 Corporal William George Arthur
[a.k.a. B. Arthur]
William George Arthur was born to Samuel George Arthur and Margaret Ann Losa in 1895, Footscray, Victoria. William appears to have three sisters:
- Violet Emma - born 1901
- Amelia - born 1892
- Edwin and
- Albert - born 1909.
William enlisted into the Army at Melbourne, Victoria on 11 September 1915. He was aged 20 years and 6 months and he was 5 feet and 3 and a half inches tall. William weighed 9 stone and had a chest measurement of 32 and 34 inches. His complexion was listed as fresh, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. All of this was recorded at his enlistment.
On his Service Records, in the first page, it notes that he served in the Senior Cadets for 2 years and the Citizens 66th Infantry also for 2 years. The next question asking if he had ever been rejected as unfit, and his answer was yes. In the side of the page, there is a note saying that he was re-examined and passed fit on 8 September 1915.
William embarked from Australia on 7 March 1916 and was taken on strength from the 6th Training battalion in Moascar, Egypt. He embarked to join R.E.F 16 June 1916 Alexandria. OC. Troops Disembarked ex Tunisian in Marseilles on 23 June 1916. He joined the 65th (late 29th) Battalion as a Private and was wounded in action in France on 20 July 1916 and admitted to 13th General Hospital with shell shock, in Boulogne on 24 July 1916. He was transferred to England and admitted to 3rd Northern General Hospital on 26 July 1916.
William returned to duty on 19 August 1916. He was wounded in action on 19-20 July 1916, and was admitted to the 13th General Hospital, Boulogne with Shell Shock. He was then moved to England to be admitted to the 3rd North General Hospital. In the list of promotions, reductions etc. it says that on 8 September to 11 September 1916, he committed an offence, absence without leave. For this, he forfeited four days pay. He spent some time in England, until he was again taken on strength of the 66th battalion from the 29th, on 23 March 1917.
William was promoted to Corporal on 1 April 1917 and was then sent to France on 24 October 1917. William was wounded in action on 23 March 1918 in France and was admitted to the Cambridge Hospital in Aldershot with gassed burns on 30 March 1918.
During April to November 1918, William was transferred to the 29th Battalion and then the 58th Battalion. He was then transferred to the Reinforcements 5th Battalion on 22 November 1918. He was granted leave from Service from 30 April 1919 to 30 October 1919 with "...pay and subs. Subs conditional on a letter from employer. Attending J. Crowthers and Sons, Union Mills, Milnsbridge, nr Huddersfield..."
31 October 1919 saw him transferred back to the 5th Reinforcements and on 15 November 1919, he was granted indefinite leave, with subject to recall, staying at a place called Hailington Cottages, Burton Road, Christchurch.
He returned to Australia on the Honoratia and disembarked on 10 June 1920. He was discharged on 6 September 1920.
During William's service, an article regarding his wounding was published in the Advertiser (Footscray), 20 April 1918, p. 2. William's father, Samuel George Arthur was also involved in World War 1, having joined the 8th Infantry Brigade, 29th Infantry Battalion on 10 November 1915.
William Arthur married Alice Lucy Hiscock in Christchurch, Hampshire, England between April and June in 1918. He returned to Australia on 20 October 1918. When William Arthur was discharged in 1920 he returned to Australia with a wife and child and disembarked from the Honoratia on 10 June 1920.
Electoral Rolls for 1928, Maribyrnong, Footscray South finds William George Arthur living at 44 O’Farrell St Yarraville, he is a commercial traveller and appears to be married to Alice Lucy Arthur.
In the 1931 and 1934, 1936, 1942 Electoral Rolls they are still living at 44 O’Farrell St Yarraville and William is a commercial Traveller. In 1942, it appears that his daughters are also living there: Gladys Ethel (Tailoress) and Gwendoline May (Sewer) with a note that says W13 under all four names – William, Lucy, Gladys and Gwendoline. In the 1949 and 1954 - Gellibrand, Footscray South, both he and Lucy are still living at 44 O’Farrell Street. In 1963, Lucy was still living at 44 O’Farrell Street.
William George Arthur died on 3 June 1955, in Victoria,aged 60.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Harvard/Australian citation 1918 'SOLDIER BOYS.', Advertiser (Footscray, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 20 April, p. 2, viewed 28 July, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88796977
AIF project http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/index.html
National Archives of Australia http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameSearch/
Australian War Memorial