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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Hill, William (3029)

Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC

Age: 21 years 11 months

Enlistment Details: Monday, 12 July 1915 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: 3029            view online service record

167 Nott Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
William Hill (father)
167 Nott Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Saturday, 16 October 1915
Ship: HMAT Port Lincoln A17
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 14th Infantry Battalion – 10th Reinforcements

RTA: Monday, 6 October 1919
Discharged: Wednesday, 17 December 1919

Private, 14th Battalion, reported killed in action 31 August, 1916.

One that came back from the dead! The name appeared on Casualty List 228, published on 5 October, 1916, and a Death Notice from the family (names not given) at 198 Nott Street appeared in The Age, 30 September, 1916. The name of “W Hill” was also included on unveiling of the Honour Board at the Town Hall, 9 December, 1917, but there is no trace of a serviceman killed on or around that date.

He was in fact posted as Missing on 31 August, 1916, later amended to Wounded, but records show his family were incorrectly advised of his death at that date. In December, 1916, he faced a Field Court Martial on a charge of having deserted on 23 September until apprehended on 14 November. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment with Hard Labour, the sentence later commuted. He was returned to his unit. Hill served out his time with several other charges recorded and in February, 1919, Hill faced a further Court Martial on charges of threatening violence to a superior officer and assaulting a Military Policeman. He was found guilty on the first charge and sentenced to five years imprisonment, the unexpired portion remitted in October, 1919. He was returned to Australia and discharged, ruled ineligible to receive the standard decorations because of unsatisfactory conduct. It is not totally clear when the incorrect report of his death was rectified, although it may have been in October, 1916 during the period that he was absent without leave.

Additional research by Brian Membrey


  • Brian Membrey
    Posted July 10, 2017 10.46 am 0Likes

    The erroneous Death Notice, The Age, 30 September, 1916

    HILL — In memory of our dear son, Private William Hill of 108 Nott-street, Port Melbourne who died on active service of the 31st August.

    He answered to his country’s call,
    To save the young and the old;
    But his body lies I don’t know where,
    For I have not been told;
    But some day I hope to meet him,
    In a more happy land;
    Where we can share his happiness,
    And clasp his loving hand;
    Immaculate heart of Mary,
    Your prayers for him extol,
    O, sacred heart of Jesus,
    Have mercy on his soul.
    Inserted by his loving father and mother, brothers and sisters

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