No.2858 Driver William John Hansford
Born in Werribee in October 1893, William John Hansford enlisted in the AIF just a few days after war broke out and served until February 1919.
His parents were John Bishop Hansford and Mary Jane Hansford, and when their son joined up in Melbourne in August 1914, they were living at Ascot Vale in Melbourne.
William John Hansford enlisted in Melbourne in August 1914. Following training at the huge Broadmeadows Camp, William embarked from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Shropshire in October, bound for Alexandria in Egypt. His first army assignment was as a driver with the Divisional Ammunition Column….and his first taste of action was at Gallipoli where he and his mates were responsible for unloading ammunition onto barges to serve the troops onshore.
It would appear that he served throughout the Dardanelles campaign until the Allies evacuated in December 1915. His service in this campaign was recognised more than 50 years later in 1967 when he received the Anzac Commemorative Medallion and badge.
After evacuation, Driver William Hansford found himself back in Egypt. He and thousands of other Australians joined the British Expeditionary Force in France in May 1916. A few months later, William transferred to the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade. It appears he spent much of his war service in France, including during those testing months of the Somme offensive that raged between July 1 and mid-November 1916.
He returned to Werribee in December 1918, as reported in the Werribee Shire Banner, 2 January 1919, p.2, and the Werribee Shire Banner, 23 January 1919, p.2.
It would appear that he settled in Newport, Melbourne where he met and married Mary Elizabeth. He worked as an engine driver before retiring to Albury, New South Wales, close to the Victorian border in the late 1950s.
Medals & Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
NAA: B2455 Hansford W J