Enlistment Address

Mountain View, Biddon via Gilgandra, NSW

Service Number



13th Battalion, 4th Machine Gun Battalion


Gilgandra Coo-ee


RTA 13.4.1919


Lance Corporal William John Luther Howard 4082

William was a 25 year old farmer of ‘Mountain View’, Biddon, NSW when he enlisted and marched to Sydney with the Cooees. The medical examination described him as 5’9 3/4” tall, 11stone 2lb (79kgs), chest expansion of 35” to 40”, dark complexion, light blue eyes and brown hair. His religion was Methodist. Distinctive marks were noted as faint scars under right forearm, left foot, left buttock and right knee. William trained at Liverpool and embarked to Egypt aboard HMAT A15 Star of England on March 8, 1916 with the 13th Battalion. William left Alexandria for Marseilles and Etaples, France and was attached to the 12th Machine Gun Company on August 12 1916. He saw action at Pozieres, Messines, Passchendaele, and Polygon Wood and in most major battles of the Australian AIF in the Western Front. He was in hospital with Influenza for the month of January 1917. An extractfrom his diary states that ‘on the “22nd January I was back with the boys again and straight back in to the line again. We got in and Fritz got out, but we had an awful time, mud up to our necks. We went for a rest after that stunt”. this is an extract from William Howard’s diary.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on October 9, 191 and on April 1, 1918 his unit was redesignated the 4th Machine Gun Battalion.

William returned to Australia via Cape Town, South Africa, on the’ Commonwealth’ on April 13, 1919, arriving in Sydney on May 1919. He was discharged on July 27, 1919 and received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

After returning from the war, William named his property Passchendaele, in a tribute to the many friends he lost there. He married his sweetheart, Minnie Fenton, and they had eight children. He died aged 52 due to the effects of the war and is buried in Gilgandra Cemetery with his wife. The property is still owned by William’s descendants.

© 2024 Gilgandra Diggers. Admin Login

Created by websitemann