William John Howe

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William John Howe
Personal Information
Date of Birth 6 Aug 1888
Place of Birth Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Death 17 Oct 1917 at 3:00am
Place of Death Langebsalza, Germany
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 1 month
Description 5'10¼" (1.78m) tall ; 150 lbs
68.039 kg
; sallow complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Locomotive fireman
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Thomas Joseph Howe
Military Information
Reg Number 3148
Date of Enlistment 5 Oct 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, D Company (7th Reinforcement)
Date of Embarkation 18 Jan 1916 ‒ 16 Feb 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A7 Medic Fremantle to Alexandria
Fate Wounded in Action 26 Jul 1917
Missing in Action, later Prisoner of War
Died of Wounds in captivity 17 Oct 1917
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1910 a barman at Jarrahdale; 1913 - 1915 a fireman at No.6 Mill, Jarrahdale

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 5 Oct 1915 and on 1 Nov 1915 he was allocated to the 7th reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion. Bill was taken on strength in France by the 28th Battalion on 16 Jun 1916 with the battalion in billets at Rue Dormoire. Thus he was in time to participate in the attacks on Poziéres during July.

On 23 July a 12:30am the 28th Battalion together with the other units in the 1st and 3rd Brigades attacked the enemy front trenches, and pushed on to the ruined village itself. the German response, with this being the only real advance made by on the British Army front, was savage and included three days of heavy shelling of the positions won by the Australians.

Bill's injury was caused by shrapnel from a shell and although he was posted missing on 29 Jul his injury was probably caused by the severe shelling they received from 24 - 27 Jul 1916. In any case the battalion was withdrawn from the line on the 27th, leaving Bill behind for the enemy to tend to. German records show that he was captured on 29 Jul 1916. Bill died in captivity on 17 Oct 1917 from general weakness.

Wounded with shell wounds to the spine, both legs and bladder. Injuries to the back included damage to the 11th and 12th vertebrae. Sgt A.G. Lester of the 14th Hampshire Regiment, not only responded to the Red Cross, but also to Bill's father and sister. He advised that Bill was wounded in the lower spine, leaving him helpless from the waist down, and that he died of a 'consumptive stomach', and was seen several times by a French Priest, who also buried him in the camp cemetery at Langensalza. He felt that the German Doctor had done all that he could with limited resources. [1].

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Buried in Niederzwehren Cemetery, Cassel, Germany (Plot VI, Row D, Grave No 9)

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - William John Howe". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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