Wilfred George Bettenay

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Wilfred George Bettenay
Bettenay Wilfred George BLSL PH627.jpg
Birtwistle Collection BLSL PH627
Bettenay Wilfred CM&L 1.jpg
Card on display in Albany's ANZAC Centre
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1897
Place of Birth Canning Mills, Western Australia
Death 23 Aug 1968
Place of Death Roleystone, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 11 months
Description 5' 6 ½" (1.69m) tall ; 130 lbs
58.967 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Orchardist
Religion Congregational
Address Karragullen, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph Bettenay
Military Information
Reg Number 2055
Date of Enlistment 26 Apr 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th battalion, 3rd reinforcement, C Company
Date of Embarkation 10 Oct 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A23 Suffolk Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 15 Sep 1918 ‒ 10 Nov 1918
Ship Returned On HMNZT Arawa
Fate Wounded in Action 5 Oct 1917 at Broodseinde
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Roleystone Honour Board
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

War Service

After entering Black Boy Hill camp, Wilfred spent a week in the 64th Depot Company before being allocated to the 16th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. This was later changed to the 3rd draft for the 44th Battalion before his departure for England.

Although he only arrived in England on the 2nd December 1916, he was sent to the 11th Training Battalion at Larkhill, but then quickly shipped off to France via Folkestone on 20 Dec 1916 aboard the HMT Princess Victoria. In France he eventually joined the 44th Battalion on 23 Mar 1917 in its billets at Pont de Nieppe. Part of the delay was caused by a stay in the 26th General Hospital during late December 1916 and early January 1917 with first an unknown infection, later diagnosed as German Measles leading to his being transferred from the 26th General Hospital to the 24th General Hospital in Étaples on 14 Jan 1917. Wilfred was released to the 6th Convalescent Depot on 30 Jan 1917 and was able to return to the 3rd Division's Base Depot on 19 Feb 1917.

On 5 Oct 1917 the 44th Battalion was holding the line on Broodseinde Ridge. During the day they were subjected to random enemy shelling , and during this time he received shrapnel wounds to his scalp, hand, and right thigh, the thigh being of greatest concern. Seen initially by the 11th Field Ambulance, he was sent on the same day to the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, and then on 6 Oct 1917 to the 22nd General Hospital in Amiens. On 16 Oct 1917 he was evacuated on HS Pieter de Coninck and transferred to Eastbourne Military Hospital in England. It is not clear from his records as to when his right leg was amputated but he was well enough to be released to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital on 22 Mar 1918. He was then granted furlough from 27 Apr to 11 May 1918, and again from 22 Aug to 30 Aug 1918 with the time in between spent at the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital.

It was not until Sep 1918 that he was repatriated to Australia, and on arrival home he spent time in 8th Australian General Hospital at Fremantle before he was discharged by 5th Military District on 8 Mar 1919.

Wilfred is recorded as having been fit for service and therefore enlisted.[1]

Mr. and Mrs. J. Bettenay, of Irymple, Karragullen, have been notified that their second son, Wilfred, has been wounded.[2]

Post War

Wilfred has a Ford wagon, registered number 12611.[3]

1925 - 1968 electoral rolls list Wilfred as living at "Irymple", Karragullen, an orchardist with wife Sidney Mary [nee Gibbings] who he married in 1923. Son Keith Arthur was born on 22 Jun 1924 and died 17 Apr 1984 at Gosnells; Dorothy M b. 4 Jan 1926; Elanor M b. 1927; and Phillip J b. 1931.


  1. "CALL TO ARMS". The Daily News. XXXV, (12,841). Western Australia. 5 April 1916. p. 6 (THIRD EDITION). Retrieved 18 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,859). Western Australia. 30 October 1917. p. 5. Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "NEW CARS ON THE ROAD". The Daily News. XLVIII, (16,911). Western Australia. 16 July 1929. p. 9 (HOME FINAL EDITION). Retrieved 23 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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