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

Howlett, William Thomas (1550)

Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC

Age: 29 years 11 months

Enlistment Details: Monday, 17 August 1914 – Victoria Barracks, VIC

Service Number: 1550            view online service record

36 Princes Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
Alice E Howlett (wife)
36 Princes Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Friday, 20 November 1914
Ship: HMAT Shropshire A9
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 2nd Field Artillery Brigade – Brigade Ammunition Column

RTA: Wednesday, 6 November 1918
Discharged: Thursday, 26 June 1919

Brother: Leslie Arthur Howlett

In November 1919, William applied to Port Melbourne Council for the combined position of Dog Registration Officer, Meter Reader and Assistant Collector for Electric Supply. Over 100 applications were received*.

In his application, William, details how he served in the Boer War and the Great War enlisting in 1914, returning to Australia on Anzac furlough in 1919. He is a native of Port Melbourne and prior to the war worked as a storeman for Mullaly & Byrne. Since being discharged he has worked with the returned soldiers on the beach.

At the time of his application he was living with his wife and three small children at 15 Bridge Street.

Another returned soldier, Sydney Ryan Carns was the successful applicant.

* The file of handwritten applications is part of the Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society Collection


  • Brian Membrey
    Posted July 21, 2016 5.02 pm 0Likes

    He also served during the Boer War, although his service in South Africa is a little hazy – he claimed on his WW1 Attestation to have served 8 months with the Johannesburg Rifles (confirmed) and 9 months with the 3 NSW Bushmen, but that is no record of the latter on the nominal roll (there was 2367, Private James Henry Howlett).

    Howlett returned in November, 1918 as one of the first group to be awarded six months 1914 Special Leave for those men that had served four years. He had a younger brother Leslie Arthur who also enlisted, returning wounded in March, 1916.

    Both brothers were noted as ex-pupils of the Graham Street School, SMR, 6 May 1916. If his Attestation is correct (showing him as just under 30 when he enlisted in August, 1914), he must have been 17 at most when serving in S.A. with the N.S.W. Contingent which was formed in May, 1901. Born Port Melbourne, 1884 as one of 12 children, died Rosedale in 1964, shown as 82 years.

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