The AIF Project

William Donovan JOYNT

Date of birth19 March 1889
SchoolMelbourne Grammar School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSt Elmo, 18 Long Street, Elsternwick, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinBrother, Capt Joynt, Shoobra Road, Elsternwick, Victoria
Enlistment date5 May 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name8th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (altered to Victoria Cross)

Work at Herleville Wood on 23 August 1918.
Recommendation date: 31 August 1918

FateReturned to Australia 22 December 1919

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the attack on Herleville Wood, near Chuignes, Peronne, on 23rd August, 1918. His company commander, having been killed early in the advance, he immediately took charrge of the company, which he led with courage and skill. On approaching Herleville Wood, the troops of the leading battalion which his battalion was supporting, suffered very heavy casualties and were much shaken. Lieutenant Joynt, grasping the situation, rushed forward underr very heavy machine gun and artillery fire, collected and reorganized the remnant of the battalion, and kept them under cover pending the arrival of his own company. He then made a personal rreconnaissance and found that the fire from the wood was checking the whole advance and causing heavy casualties to troops on his flanks. Dashing out in font of his men, he inspired and led a magnificent frontal bayonet attack on the wood. The enemy were staggered by this sudden onslaught, and a very critical situation was saved. Later at Plateau Wood, this very gallant officer again, with a small party of volunteerrs, rendered invaluable service, and after severe hand to hand fighting turned a stubborn defence into an abject surrender. His valour and determination was conspicuous throughout, and he continued to do magnificent work until badly wounded by a shall.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 36
Date: 14 March 1919

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Victoria Cross, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Also served in World War II: enlisted, 26 September 1939; discharged, 10 October 1944, as V80044 Mahor, Administration Headquarters, Puckapunyal, Victoria.
Date of death5 May 1986
Age at death97
Place of burialBrighton Cemetery, Victoria
SourcesNAA: B2455, JOYNT William Donovan

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