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

Libbis, William Thomas (1989)

Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC

Age: 21 years 2 months

Enlistment Details: Friday, 29 January 1915 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: 1989            view online service record

24 Nelson Street
Coburg, VIC

Next of Kin:
W E Libbis (father)
24 Nelson Street
Coburg, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Saturday, 17 April 1915
Ship: HMAT Hororata A20
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 6th Infantry Battalion – 5th Reinforcements

KIA: Saturday, 7 August 1915
Place: Gallipoli Peninsula

William Thomas Libbis. Coburg Historical Society.
William Thomas Libbis. Coburg Historical Society.

Bill and his brother Leslie attended Coburg State School and are included in the school’s soldiers’ book now held in the collection of the Coburg Historical Society.

Bill and Leslie Libbis from the Coburg State School Soldiers' Book. Courtesy Coburg Historical Society.
Bill and Leslie Libbis from the Coburg State School Soldiers’ Book. Courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

As noted in the comments below, your can read more about Bill Libbis in Cheryl Griffin’s blog ‘Fighting the Kaiser: Coburg and the First World War’

Private, 6th Infantry, killed in action 7 August, 1915, Gallipoli, aged 22, commemorated Quinn’s Post Cemetery, Gallipoli.

Parents: W E and Mrs Sarah Ann LIBBIS, born Port Melbourne. Enlisted as a 21-year-old salesman with his father in Nelson Street, Coburg as next of kin. A brother, Leslie Fookes LIBBIS, also born Port Melbourne enlisted from the Coburg address; he and a son of an identical name served during the Second World War. No circular returned. The name “W J LIBBIS” appeared on the Nott Street SS Roll, but appears to have been 43-year-old William John LIBBIS from Thistlethwaite Street in South Melbourne, but born in Port Melbourne.

Additional research by Brian Membrey

The Standard newspaper reported on four cousins serving at the front.

William Thomas Henry Prest, son of W Prest of Fishermen’s Bend,
Thomas Alfred Prest, son of John Prest of Fishermen’s Bend,
Henry Thomas Prest, son of Henry Prest of 155 Nott Street, and
William Thomas Libbis, son of Mr & Mrs Libbis of Coburg.

All four are the grandsons of William Prest, ex-engine driver, of Graham Street.

1915 ‘Well Represented at Front.’, Port Melbourne Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1920), 15 May, p. 2, viewed 29 April, 2015,


  • Cheryl Griffin
    Posted April 16, 2016 10.06 pm 0Likes

    William Thomas (Bill) Libbis and his brother Leslie Fookes Libbis were old boys of Coburg State School and will be featured in a forthcoming book on the war experiences of Coburg seen through a study of 100 old boys of the school.

    Bill Libbis started a football team in the street where he lived (Mayfield Street) before the family moved to nearby Nelson Street and you can read about this on my blog ‘Fighting the Kaiser: Coburg and the First World War’

    The Libbis brothers are featured on page 46 of the Coburg State School Soldiers Book, which is available online through Moreland Libraries Local History Catalogue. Go to and type in Coburg State School. The link to the book is there and you can download it as a pdf.

    Bill Libbis was killed in action on 7 August 1915 and is remembered at the Avenue of Honour at Lake Reserve, Coburg (tree 72) and the long gone Memorial Garden at the Coburg Infant School (tree 11). The Infant School garden is currently being reimagined through an art project at Coburg Primary School and a permanent memorial is to be placed in the school grounds later this year.

    For more information, contact Coburg Historical Society,

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we meet and work, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation and pay respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.