William Wheldon

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
West Auckland, Durham, England, United Kingdom

General information

Church of England

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 31st Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

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


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXIV
Row: B
Grave: 13

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private William Wheldon served in the Australian Infantry 31st Battalion, part of the 8th Australian Brigade, of the 5th Australian Division. In January 1916 William enlisted in Brisbane, QLD wit the Australian Imperial Forces.
Abord S.S. Waimana, (White Star Line), with his older brother, Albert (age 27), William Wheldon (age 22) emigrated to Australia. They departed Liverpool on 16 July 1912, arriving in Sydney on 29 August 1912. Both were listed as farmers. Born and brought up on the family farm, the brothers had decided to seek a better life and worked on a farm north of Sydney.
On the 21st of October 1917 the 31st Battalion occupied a part of the frontline, east of Zonnebeke on the Broodseinde Ridge. In anticipation of the Second Battle of Passchendaele, from the 26th of October 1917 till the 10th of November 1917, the Battalion started sending out patrols to reconnoiter the German positions at night. German artillery was active throughout the daylight on the 23rd of October 1917, shelling the frontline and support line.
During the night of the 23rd and 24th of October the Battalion sent out patrols trying to locate occupied posts, but no Germans could be found. The German artillery was active throughout the day and the following day. Especially the front line and support lines on the left sector were heavily shelled. Around 5.30 p.m. the German artillery reopened fire on the 31st Battalion’s front- and support lines on the Broodseinde Ridge, in reply to an allied barrage. The shelling was incessant for over two hours, when the fire gradually eased down to occasional shells during the night.
Private William Wheldon was killed in action on the 24th of October 1917. He was initially buried near Romulus Wood. His remains were exhumed after the war and interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 1

Sources 6

Sources used
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 Australian Infantry 31st Bn.
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