To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Australian Military Forces-tn



Eric Arthur Oswald Williams


 Australian Pioneers



Short History

Born 28/03/1891 in Crudine, Sofala, NSW.

Son to Henry and Emma Williams.

Enlisted 28.9.1916 in Wondai, QLD to 9th Reinforcements/4th Pioneer Battalion.

Nov 1916 Eric applied for 6 days leave, reason given “Have to finally
adjust matters connected with lease of farms, also see relatives and do
other business, that I had to leave when I entered camp”.

22 Jan 1917 Eric embarked at Brisbane per A 33 “Ayshire”



9th February 1917

10 February 1917
To The Secretary Dept of Defence
Subject Casualty – Death at Sea.

It is with very much regret that I have to report the death of No: 3716, Private Williams, Eric Arthur Oswald, of 9th/4th Pioneers, which occurred at sea on the 9th instant. He reported sick on the morning of the 7th instant complaining of headache, the Sick Report being endorsed “Duty & Treatment” by Medical Officer. He paraded again later in the day and was admitted to hospital (7/2/1917). On the 9/2/1917 a consultation was held as stated in Senior Medical Officer’s Report attached, and the case was reported as Cerebro Spinal Meningitis.
He was operated on at 3pm and collapsed about twenty minutes afterwards. Death took place about 4.15pm on the same date. He was buried at 7pm on 9/2/1917; being accorded full military honours.

I have the honour to be
Your Obedient Servant

E. E. Righetto. Major.
O. C. Troopship “Ayshire” A 33
*28 Feb 1817

Telegram to Secretary of Defence Melbourne.
South African Military Command
No. 7790

Died at sea No. 3716, 9/4th Pioneers Private Williams, E.A.O., 9th Feb., meningitis; advise Compagnonie, Wondai, Queensland, tell Jack break news to mother. No 3554, Private Taylor A.H., 9th 49th Battalion of Infantry 15th February, meningitis, No. 3444, Private Keane Patrick, 9th 47th 23rd February, broncho pneumonia.

Your Obedient Servant
Commanding South African Military

Affects forwarded to Mother:-

1Watch (damaged).
1 Identity Disc.
1 Leather Wallet containing 7 Photographs
1 Ring
1/1 in money
Leather Pocket Book


Belongings Thrown Overboard :-

L.A.1 Razor, 1Looking Glass, 1Great Coat, 1 pr Socks, pr Puttees, 1 Flannel Shirt, 1Housewife, 1Hairbrush, 1Service Coat, 1 pr Underdraws, 1 pr D.S. Trousers, 1 Money Belt, 1 Holdall, 1 White Hat, 1pr Braces, 1 Tooth Brush,1pr Leather Boots, 1Cardigan Jacket,1pr White Shoes, 1Dungaree Shirt,1Clasp Knife, 1Looking Glass, 1Lanyard, 1Great Coat, 1 Leather covering for Wristlet Watch, 1Housewife, 1 full Military Web Equipment, 1Service Coat.

It is some comfort to know that Eric’s brother, Reginald Thomas Oscar Williams b.11 July 1888 Dubbo NSW enlisted 27th Sept 1916 at Wondai, he was in 9th Reinforcements also and Embarked at Sydney 24 Jan 1917 on the “Ayshire”, it is to be hoped that he was allowed to be by his brothers side when he died. (Reginald would, come WW2 return to War and return home safely once again.)



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Panel 174

Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.


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