William Wallace Williamson
Company Quartermaster Sergeant
Serial No. 683
William Wallace Williamson - Information
William Wallace Williamson was born in Inverell, and eventually lived in the outer Sydney suburbs with his wife, Sarah Victoria. Here, William and Sarah began their family, before moving to the Campbelltown area in the mid 1890s. The Williamsons lived in Campbelltown for some time, while William worked as a railway guard and had more children. In the 1910s, William moved his family to a property called Kirkcaldy on Lanthall St in South Kensington. Here, William continued to serve in the Militia Reserve and work for the railway. In August 1914, his two sons, Basil and Wallace, enlisted in the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force and AIF respectively. Wallace went to Egypt, while Basil served in New Guinea and then returned to Australia in early 1915. Basil then re-enlisted in the AIF, and within days was followed by William. He had signed up in Liverpool on the 29th of March 1915, at the age of 44. William and Basil trained together at Liverpool Camp, and were both posted as Privates to B Company, 18th Battalion. They were then sent overseas together, leaving Sydney onboard the HMAT Ceramic on the 25th of June 1915.
William and Basil arrived in Egypt and on the 16th of August, were sent over to fight the Turks on Gallipoli. Sadly, less than a week after they arrived, William watched his son Basil, get shot in the head on the 22nd of August. Shortly afterwards, he succumbed to his wound. Burying his son, he had to carry on, and the following day was promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant. However, as the weather turned bitterly cold and began to snow, William started to feel ill, and was rather sickly by November. However, he remained in the lines until he was shipped back to Egypt, after the campaign was called off, and Gallipoli evacuated. He landed at Alexandria on the 9th of January 1916, and was later transported to the 30th Casualty Clearing Station at Rail Head before going to hospital. William was suffering with nephritis brought on by exposure to freezing conditions on Gallipoli, and also had head and back pain. He also had swelling in his face, legs and hands. In early March, William was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbassia. The following month, a medical review board at Heliopolis concluded that William was unfit for active service. Consequently, he was sent back to Australia on the Karoola, which sailed from the Suez Canal on the 12th of April.
When William returned to Australia, he still required treatment, and was admitted to Randwick Hospital in Sydney. Luckily, his wife Sarah, and children Roy, Agnes and Linda were able to visit him. However, his health continued to decline. William then died from nephritis and a cerebral haemorrhage at 3am on the 3rd of July 1916. Sarah was devastated at the news that she had lost her son and now her husband. William was buried at Waverly General Cemetery, Waverly in Sydney. Sadly, William's son, Roy, was then buried next to him when he also passed away from complications due to war service in January 1920. That same year, Sarah moved to Vaucluse, disillusioned at the lost of her sons and husband.