William Plant

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William Plant
Plant William.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth Jul 1891
Place of Birth Chorlton, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Death Mar 1933
Place of Death Manchester North, Lancashire, England
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 11 months
Description not recorded tall ; 140 lbs
63.503 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair ; Scar on neck.
Occupation Fitter
Religion Church of England
Address NOK 33 Hineman street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Emma Plant
Military Information
Reg Number 4549
Date of Enlistment 8 Jul 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 14th Reinforcements trans to AA Postal Corps after Armistice / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 12 Feb 1916 ‒ 11 Mar 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A28 Miltiades
Date of Return 9 Aug 1919 ‒ 20 Sep 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Fate Wounded in Action 30 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (South panel)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Early training was with the 3rd Depot Company at the Claremont camp, followed with the 15th Depot Company at Blackboy Hill camp. After 5 months training in Western Australia he joined the 14th Reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, having originally been part of the 10th reinforcement draft. He acted as a Corporal in his reinforcement group. Having sailed from Fremantle on 12 Feb 1916 aboard HMAT A28 Miltiades, he disembarked in Port Suez on 11 Mar 1916 and was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir. While there he spent a week in the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital from 7 - 13 Apr 1916 with influenza. On 7 Jun 1916 he boarded HMT Ionian in Alexandria for Marseilles in France, reaching that port on 14 Jun 1916, and he joined the 4th Australian Division Base Depot while waiting to join his unit.

Bill was eventually taken on strength by the 16th Battalion in France on 17 Jul 1916 as a Private. Soon after, on 30 Aug 1916 during the battle for Mouquet Farm he was wounded with a gunshot wound to the head. Seen by the 44th Casualty Clearing Station he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne on 30 Aug 1916. On 10 Sep 1916 he was released to the 7th Convalescent Depot and sent on to the 3rd Rest Camp. On 19 Sep 1916 he was judged to be fit to return to his battalion. Before doing so, in Boulogne on 18 Oct 1916 at the 4th Australian Division base Depot he was charged with being AWOL from the morning Training Parade, and he forfeited two day's wages. on 28 Oct 1916 he was released to rejoin his battalion.

Bill rejoined the 16th Battalion on 1 Nov 1916. However, he was again in need of medical treatment on 6 Dec 1916, visiting first the 5th Field Ambulance who sent him on to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station on 9 Dec 1916. From 9 - 12 Dec 1916 he was in the care of the 6th General Hospital in Rouen suffering with Influenza having arrived via Ambulance Train No. 5. Evacuated to England aboard HMHS Carisbrook Castle on 18 Dec 1916 from Le Havre, Bill was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley the next day. On 9 Jan 1917 he was well enough to be transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford where Bill was granted furlough from 29 Jan - 13 Feb 1917. From 14 Feb - 22 Mar 1917 he was with the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, and then on 23 Mar 1917 he was transferred to the 70th Battalion for a month before being sent back to France through Folkestone as a 16th Battalion reinforcement on 29 Apr 1917. He re-joined the battalion proper at Ribemont on 6 May 1917 as they continued the process of re-organising and retraining after their massive losses at 1st Bullecourt.

On 7 Oct 1917 Bill was again in need of medical treatment, this time for 'Trench Fever'. Following initial care from the 53rd General Hospital at Boulogne between 8 - 13 Oct 1917, he was evacuated to England on 13 Oct 1917 and admitted to the 1st Western General Hospital in Liverpool with Trench Fever. When recovered he was sent on 18 Nov 1917 to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott for medical reclassification (B1a1). On 24 Jan 1918 he was admitted to the Fovant Military Hospital to have internal piles attended to. Released on 28 Feb 1918 he was sent to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott until 23 Mar 1918 when he was transferred briefly to the Overseas Training Brigade to prepare for a return to France. However, as a result of going AWOL from midnight 2 Apr 1918 until noon 5 Apr 1918, on 12 Apr 1918 he was transferred to the 12th Training Battalion. While with the 12th Training Battalion he was also AWOL, this time from 8:00am 14 Aug 1918 until 8:00am 21 Aug 1918. For this offence he fined 14 day's pay, and forfeited another 7 day's pay.

Bill proceeded to France again on 13 Sep 1918 through Folkestone. He rejoined the 16th Battalion in the field on 19 Sep 1918, which was described in the unit War Diary as a very quiet day, and the last day in which the 16th Battalion saw action - 3 KIA and 10 WIA. On 8 Dec 1918 Bill was transferred to the Australian Army Postal Corps, and attached to the 12th Infantry Brigade's Post Office. On 21 Feb 1919 he reported to the 12th Field Ambulance with bursitis in his right foot. Passed on to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station the next day, they treated him until 27 Feb 1919 when he was placed on Ambulance Train No. 33 for the 14th Australian General Hospital. Admitted on 1 Mar 1919 he was evacuated to the King George Hospital in England on 4 Mar 1919. Released on 11 March, he was granted furlough until 25 Mar 1919. Slow to return he was charged with being AWOL from 10:00am 25 Mar 1919 until 6:00pm the same day - his excuse for being late was accepted.

Before returning to Australia with his wife and child Bill undertook a three month work placement with a firm of accountants from 4 Apr until 4 Jul 1919. Despite the family travelling to Australia, by 1924 they were back living in England, with Bill requesting that his war medals to be sent to 14 Freeman avenue, Ashton-on-Lyne, in Lancashire.

Post War

Married 23 year old Mabel Fleming while in the UK - 26 Aug 1917 in the Durham Registry Office. While he returned to take his discharge in Perth, in November 1924 he was living in Lancashire, England.


Only 3 men named Plant enlisted in WA. 140 Frederick Thorneycroft; 2831 Joseph Henry; and 4549 William. This entry on the Kelmscott memorial might simply have the wrong initial, and it should be Frederick Thorneycroft. Alternatively William had some connection to Kelmscott that I have not yet discovered.

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