No.399 Corporal William Henry Crockford
William Henry Crockford was born in Mount Clear, Ballarat in 1888. By 1914, the year war broke out and the year he enlisted in the AIF, he was living and working at St Leonard’s, part of greater Geelong.
His father, also William Henry Crockford, was living at the Camp Hotel in Werribee, while his mother and the person recorded as next of kin on his attestation papers, was living at Mount Clear, Ballarat.
He enlisted aged 25 on 21 September 1914 and joined C Squadron, 9th Light Horse Regiment. The Regiment was formed in Adelaide and trained in Melbourne between October 1914 and February 1915. Around three-quarters of its contingent were South Australians with the balance made up of recruits from Melbourne.
He was promoted to Corporal on 1 January 1915 and, following basic training, sailed to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 11 February, landing first in Egypt and then at Gallipoli.
His unit was deployed as infantry reinforcements in late May 1915. On the day he was wounded, the Regiment suffered almost 50 per cent casualties as they assaulted Hill 60, on 27 August 1915. The attack failed and the battle for Hill 60 will be remembered not just for the sacrifice of Australian troops, but it became the last major assault of the Gallipoli campaign, even though the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force wasn’t evacuated until December 1915.
Corporal William Crockford was evacuated first to Mudros in Greece and then to England for treatment to his wounded arm. He left England in early May 1916 and was discharged from service as a consequence of his wounds in November that year, having returned to Australia on 19 June 1916 per Themistocles.
Medals and Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Service record: NAA: B2455, CROCKFORD WH
http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_10565.asp - 9th Light Horse Regiment history
http://www.awm.gov.au/events/conference/gallipoli_symposium/manera/ - Battle for Hill 60