CLEAVER, William

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Enlistment Address

Wongarbon NSW

Service Number

1634

Unit

54th Battalion

Fate

RTA 19.9.19

Information

Private William Charles Cleaver was a 22 year old labourer of Wongarbon, NSW when he enlisted at Dubbo, NSW on January 8, 1916.

His medical examination described him as 5’ 8” tall, 133lbs, chest expansion of 33 ½” – 36”, dark complexion, grey eyes, mid brown hair and religion, Church of England. William embarked from Sydney on the HMAT Ceramic on April 14, 1916 bound for Egypt, and arrived on May 17, 1916. After training in Egypt he joined the 54th Battalion in France, shortly after the Battalion had lost 65% of their men at Fromelles. He faced a bleak winter manning the trenches in the Somme Valley and saw action at Bullecourt and Polygon Wood.

In 1917 and 1918, William had several admissions to hospital with illness and three times was wounded in action. In April 1919 he commenced his journey home. He returned to Australia on the ‘Orita’, arriving in Sydney on September 19, 1919 and was discharged on December 18, 1919.

William was issued the British War Medal and the Victory Medal