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

Richards, William Joseph (427)

Place of Birth: South Melbourne, VIC

Age: 28 years 2 months

Enlistment Details: Monday, 31 July 1916 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: 427            view online service record

120 Bay Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
Hester Richards (wife)
387 Coventry Street
South Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Friday, 20 October 1916
Ship: HMAT Port Lincoln A17
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 6th Machine Gun Company

KIA: Tuesday, 9 October 1917
Place: France

Private, 6 Infantry, killed in action 9 October, 1917, aged 29, commemorated Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Passchendaele, Flanders, Belgium.

Parents: Joseph and Jane RICHARDS, wife: Ethel RICHARDS, born South Melbourne, educated Dorcas Street SS, family then at 39 Barrett Street, South Melbourne. He enlisted as a 28-year-old horse trainer (Attestation), driver (circular), his address at 120 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, but his wife at 387 Coventry Street, South Melbourne. Circular returned with South Melbourne shown as the late serviceman’s closest place of association, his widow and a 5-year-old daughter Elizabeth Margaret at 20 Draper Street, Albert Park, mother c/o 222 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne. Only son, three sisters.

Additional research by Brian Membrey


  • Brian Membrey
    Posted February 19, 2017 7.32 pm 0Likes

    “He came from Williamstown, Victoria and was married. He was wounded in the stomach by a bullet about 6 a.m. on October 9th, near Passchendaele. He died about a half-hour later. His body was left there with many others as the ground was not held” (Pte. F.L. Fitzpatrick, 4483, 6th. M.G.C. A.I.F)

  • Brian Membrey
    Posted August 28, 2017 11.10 am 0Likes

    The above eyewitness account appears to have identified the wrong man. Others have Richards and three others killed at the same time in a shell hole – unfortunately, there was nothing forthcoming from the Harry Cuthbert mentioned in this and another statement :

    “RICHARDS, W. J. 427; Burns, H. W., 458; Booth, J, 164; Jephcott, H., 2189. I was at Headquarters at the time, but I understand that the above were killed in the one shell hole in the front line at Passchendael. I can’t say anything about their burial. H. Cuthbert, 6th M.G. Coy., now with G. Coy., was in the same shell hole at the time”. (Informant:- Bennett, D. C. 322, 6th M.G. Coy.)

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