Pte Campion Willie Edmund

  • Year of birth: 1892
  • Place of birth: Minlaton, South Australia, Australia
  • Date of death: 08/10/1917
  • Place of death: Molenaarelsthoek - Celtic Wood, Belgium
  • Cause of death: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Age: 25
  • Profession: Stonemason
  • Country: Australia
  • Rank: Private
  • Service number: 2051
  • Enlistment date: 31/12/1914
  • Enlistment place: Oaklands, South Australia, Australia
  • Last known unit: Australian Infantry, 10th Bn.
  • Force: Australian Imperial Force

Memorial

Additional information

Private Willie Edmund Campion was 22 years old when he enlisted in the Australian Army on the last day of 1914.
The former mason lived at home in Curramulka, South Australia and was still single.

He was assigned to the 10th Battalion AIF part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division.

On 20th April 1915 he left Australia together with his older brother Gerald Gordon who was in the same company.

He was invalided to England from Gallipoli, rejoining the reinforcements in Egypt before arriving in France. Willie was wounded at Pozieres (gunshot wound to the side and left shoulder) during July 1916, and sent to England, where he remained for 11 months before rejoining his company in France.

On 9th October 1917 in the Battle of Poelcapelle, part of the Battle of Passchendaele, the 10th Battalion raided Celtic Wood at Zero Hour: 05.20.

The original party was intended to be 109 all told, but the weakness of the Battalion and casualties during the day and night preceding the attack caused the numbers to be reduced.

Private Willie Campion, 25, was said among those who vanished after the Australian force, originally 85-strong, attacked a bristling section of the German line at dawn on the 9 October 1917. Strangely his death is recorded as being on the 8 October.

No one knows the fate of the raiding party that disappeared without trace into the mud and mist of Passchendaele in 1917. Recent new research concludes that their bodies were probably destroyed in heavy bombardments from both the British and German artillery towards the end of the attack.

As he has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, in Bay 17, stone F.