The AIF Project

Edward Emerson WILLIS

Regimental number804
Place of birthCabramatta, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGrazier
AddressRoma, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 9"
Weight158 lbs
Next of kinFather, The Hon Henry Willis, Innisfallen, Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets.
Enlistment date16 June 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name30th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner, Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
118
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez 11 December 1915.

Detached from 30th Bn, Ferry Post, to attend the School of Instruction, Zeitoun, 1 April 1916; rejoined 30th Bn, 23 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916.

Now, 28 December 1916, to be reported wounded and missing in action, 20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 23 July 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2970501, 1547 Pte T. EDWARDS, 30th Bn (patient, Mont Dore Hospital, Bournemouth, England), 6 February 1917: 'Willis was our platoon sergt. He was wounded in the advance on July 30th (sic). We took the 3rd line of German trenches but had to retire as the division that was to advance on our left never got the order. I did not see Willis myself, but three days after we retired volunteers were called for to bring in the wounded. They told me that they brought in Sergt. Willis with both his feet shattered ... It was a matter of general knowledge that Willis was broght in ... I heard afterwards that he could not be traced in England. I can only suppose that he died on the way home. He had lain out in No Man's Land for three days and three nights badly wounded so he must have been very far gone.'

Second statement, 1015 Pte C.H. HOSKINS, 30th Bn, 13 March 1917: 'Witness says soldier was badly wounded on July 20th '16. He helped to carry soldier back to our own trenches, but does not know what happened to him afterwards. This happened at Fleurbaix.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsFather's address subsequently Innisfallen, Roseville, New South Wales (27 February 1923)
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILLIS Edward Emerson
Red Cross file 2970501

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