Thomas William Dowell

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Thomas William Dowell
Dowell Thomas William.jpg
"Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire" p.141
Dowell TW death telegram.jpg
Telegram advising of Thomas's death
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1891
Place of Birth Canningdale, Western Australia
Death 5 Sep 1916
Place of Death South Midlands Casualty Clearing Station near Albert, France
Age at Enlistment 24 Years, 5 months
Description 5'10¼" (1.78m) tall ; 150 lbs
68.039 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Timber worker
Religion Congregational
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph Richard Dowell
Military Information
Reg Number 4781
Date of Enlistment 23 Dec 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement; transferred to 51st Battalion / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 1 Apr 1916 ‒ 25 Apr 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Fate Died of Wounds received at Mouquet Farm 5 Sep 1916
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

He is listed as William Thomas on the AIF website.

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 23 Dec 1915 and began his training with the 39th Depot Company before being allocated to the 15th reinforcement draft for the 11th Battalion with whom he travelled to Egypt. Following his arrival at Alexandria Thomas was sent to the 3rd Training Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir, midway between Cairo and the Canal Zone for 6 weeks. His records show him returning to Alexandria on 26 Apr 1916 seemingly from the canal zone in a small boat, still a part of the 3rd Training Battalion. On 29 Apr 1916 Thomas was charged with "1) While on Active Service being in Alexandria without a pass; and 2)Breaking Ship. Awarded 7 days confined to camp. Seemingly he had absconded from a boat to France

Thomas then travelled to France on HMT Huntspill, travelling separately from the main body of the battalion. Thomas embarked in Alexandria on 7 Jun 1916 and disembarked in Marseilles on 14 Jun 1916 and he was then sent to the 4th Division's Base Depot.

A week later on 21 Aug 1916 he was taken on strength along with 108 other reinforcements by the 51st Battalion at Bonneville north east of Amiens. The battalion had just arrived from their unsuccessful attempt to capture Mouquet Farm. Between the 1st and 4th days of September 1916, the 51st Battalion was involved in their second attack on Mouquet Farm. This attack was eventually repulsed by the enemy, with the unfortunate members of the 51st Battalion shelled by both sides. On 4 Sep 1916 Thomas, while working as a stretcher bearer received shell wounds to his side.

  • Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission

"Private W.T. Dowell from No 5 Platoon was fatally lashed about the head and body by shrapnel as he ran into a dug out."[1] Badly injured, he was admitted to the 2/1 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station on 4 September, where he died the next day. His mother later received a letter from the Sister who cared for him.

DOWELL.--Died of wounds in France on September 5, Private T. W. Dowell eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Dowell, of Bedfordale and brother of Mrs. L. W. Pridmore, Hope Dale and Mrs. C. Rowan, Moore street, Perth; also Hettie, Edward, Cyril, Queenie, Oliver, Jack, Kitty, Lily, and Louie. Gone but never will he be forgotten. He hath done what he could for his King and country.[2]

DOWELL.--In loving memory of Private T. W. Dowell died of wounds in France September, 1916. His duty done. Inserted by his loving friend, Lily Withers.[3]

DOWELL.-In loving memory of Private T. W. Dowell, 51st Battalion, who died of wounds in France September 3. 1916, oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Dowell. Bedfordale. One year has passed, our hearts are sore, As time goes on we miss you more. Gone is the face we loved so dear, Silent the voice we long to hear. -Inserted by his loving parents, brothers, and sisters.[4]


Buried at Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France - Plot IV Row A Grave 18. Son of Joseph Richard and Sophy Jane Dowell, of Bedfordale, Western Australia


  1. For King and Cobbers Neville Browning p. 176
  2. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXXII, (4,534). Western Australia. 12 October 1916. p. 1. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXXII, (4,534). Western Australia. 12 October 1916. p. 1. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,813). Western Australia. 5 September 1917. p. 1. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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