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Barnett W G  Pte  3245

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 9 years, 10 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Barnett W G  Pte  3245    William Gordon   3 Pioneer Bn    18    Blacksmith    Single    Pres       

Address:    Flemington, Mt Alexander Rd, 122   

Next of Kin:    Barnett, Daniel Mitchell, father, 122 Mt Alexander Rd, Flemington   

Enlisted:    26 May 1917       

Embarked:     A32 Themistocles 4 Aug 1917              


Flemington-Kensington Church News,  September 1918


3245 Pte W Barnett, 3 Pioneer Battalion, is reported as being gassed.  We sympathise with our old friend and trust he will soon recover.  



Flemington-Kensington Church News, January 1920


3245 - Pte W. Gordon Barnett " B " Coy. 3rd Pioneer Batt left for England, via the Panama Canal on 4/8/17 on the "Themistocles", the first Australian troopship to pass  through the Canal. The Canal, its surroundings, and its  engineering were quite a wonderland to the boys. On  reaching the Atlantic side the ship was coaled and a  convoy was formed. The convoy was escorted as far as Bermuda by an American war ship, where a British ship  took over the charge. From Bermuda they went direct to Halifax, in Nova Scotia, and remained four days.


An  American troopship joined up, which caused some excitement, and fifteen ships left the anchorage in charge of two cruisers and twelve torpedo boats. On reaching the British side six boats were detached from the convoy (one being the "Themistocles ") and proceeded to the Clyde.  They disembarked at Princes Dock, Glasgow, on 2nd Oct. 1917, and entrained thence for Fovant Camp, and  afterwards for Sutton Veney. Crossing the Channel to Le Havre on the 19th of the same month, and after four days in the train, our soldier arrived at the front and joined his battalion, which was on the march, near Hazebrouck. The  Australians were on their way to prevent the advance of the Hun on Amiens.


There were some pitiful scenes among the French refugees. Many retreating British were met. The  Battalion dug in in front of Amiens. This was mostly done at night, and often under fire. The battalion also helped to hold the line in periods of 24 hours duration. While at  Villers-Bretonneux our soldier got a taste of gas (26th May) and was sent to an hospital near Abbeville, and later to Le Havre. After a few weeks he joined up again at Bray, on the Somme. Crossing the river the same night they took  Ville-de-Bray. After our barrage ceased they dug in in front of Bray and were leap-frogged by the infantry, who took the town. Much road work was done on the advance to the  Hindenburg line, and American troops were sandwiched in the Battalion, making it up to full strength. Later bodies of American troops, through not clearing up properly, were cut off and had to be relieved.  


After penetrating the Hindenburg line, our soldier was sent to Liercourt, near  Abbeville, to rest. All were ready to move again when the happy 11th Nov, 1918, dawned. After 14 days in England on leave, our soldier did not return to France, but went into non-military employment with the Electric Construction  Coy, at Wolverhampton. He came home via the Cape and arrived here 12th Nov last, in every way fit, and glad to see Australia again and all it holds dear. 




War Service Commemorated

Essendon Town Hall A-F

Ascot Vale Presbyterian Church                                       

Flemington State School        


Essendon Gazette Roll of Honour With the Colours

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