William Henry Twist

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Forbes, New South Wales, Australia

General information


Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Moore Park, Sydney, South Wales, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 20th Bn. (New South Wales)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Anzac, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXX
Row: C
Grave: 4

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private William Henry Twist served in the Australian Infantry 20th Battalion, part of the 5th Australian Brigade, of the 2nd Australian Division. The 2nd Australian Division participated in the Battle of the Menin Road (20-25 September 1917), a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. The 5th Australian Brigade attacked with the 20th Battalion and the 18th Battalion in support; the 17th and 26th Battalions were in reserve.
Moments before the allied artillery barrage opened, the German artillery started shelling the jump-off lines of the 20th Australian Battalion. At 5.40 a.m. the allied artillery barrage came down, followed by the advancing Battalions. When the 20th Battalion crossed the Westhoek Ridge the German barrage came down heavily on them, causing several casualties. Nevertheless the attack went on and the Battalion only encountered slight resistance, from a line of old concrete artillery shelters, causing a slight hold up. By 7.24 a.m. the allied barrage crept over the ridge above Hanebeek Wood, and the men went on to the first objective and captured it around 7.30 a.m. Thusly the 20th Battalion had gained its objective and started to consolidate the line. For several hours their positions on the ridge were heavily shelled.
Enemy shelling was intermittent throughout the day and the next one, but the men held the line. The night was quit and the 20th Battalion was relieved from the frontline by the 19th Battalion on the following day.
Private William Henry Twist was killed in action on the 20th of September 1917, during the Battle of Menin Road. He was buried in the field, just south of Anzac House. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 2

Sources 7

"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 72-75.
Sources used
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Australian War Memorial
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National Archives of Australia
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The Long, Long Trail
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War Diary A.I.F. 20th Bn.
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