Today 25th April in Australia it is is Anzac Day, set aside to honour the men and women who served in the Australian and New Zealand armies in World War I and II and other conflicts, especially in remembrance of those who were killed and never saw their country again.
My husband’s first cousin twice removed was William Stanley Plowright (1893-1917). He was born in 1893 in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, the seventh of the eleven children of William John Plowright (1859-1914), a policeman, and Harriet Jane Plowright nee Hosking (1861-1946).
William enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1915 and fought at Gallipoli, where he was wounded. He was killed in the Battle of Lagnicourt in March 1917. William’s body was not found and he has no grave. The only local memorial of his death is his name listed on the war memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. This memorial was erected ‘to commemorate all Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium during the First World War, to their dead, and especially to name those of the dead whose graves are not known’. I wrote about him in two previous A to Z series:
I have also written about a friend of his, ‘comrade of the late William Stanley Plowright’, named Johnna Bell, remembered by William’s family.
William is one of many in our family who died serving their country. This short list is of only our closest relatives:
World War 1
- John Percy Young 1896 – 1918
- died 9 November 1918 in England from the effects of a mustard gas attack in France and buried Brookwood Cemetery
- Leslie Leister 1894 – 1916
- died 20 July 1916 at Fromelles, France
- Milo Massey Cudmore 1888 – 1916
- died 27 March 1916 at St Eloi, France and remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
- Philip Champion_de_Crespigny 1879 – 1918
- died 14 July 1918 at Musallabah Hill, Jordan Valley, Palestine and is buried at Jerusalem War cemetery
- Selwyn Goldstein 1873 – 1917
- died 8 June 1917 at Loos, Belgium and buried Poperinghe New Military Cemetery
- Vyvyan Westbury Hughes 1888 – 1916
- died of illness on 28 April 1916 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is remembered on the war memorial at Beaufort.
- Walter Fish 1878 – 1915
- died 13 July 1915 at Gallipoli and buried Shrapnel Valley Cemetery
- William Alfred Fish 1890 – 1917
- died 9 October 1917 at Passchendaele, near the town of Ypres in West Flanders and buried Oxford Road Cemetery
- William Stanley Plowright 1893 – 1917
- (and we remember also his mate Johnna Bell 1893-1918)
World War 2
- Frank Robert Sewell 1905 – 1943
- died 22 February 1943 in Queensland of illness and wounds having served in New Guinea
- James Morphett Henderson 1915 – 1942
- died 11 June 1942 off West Africa killed in a flying battle