Pte Thomson William Lily

  • Année de naissance: 1883
  • Lieu de naissance: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Date de décès: 12/10/1917
  • Lieu de décès: Keerselaarhoek, Belgique
  • Cause du décès: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Âge: 34
  • Profession: Miner
  • Pays: Australia
  • Rang: Private
  • Numéro de service: 207
  • Incorporation date: 12/01/1916
  • Incorporation nom de lieu: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • Dernière unité connue: Australian Infantry, 34th Bn.
  • Force armée: Australian Imperial Force


Complément d'informations

Private William Lily Thomson served in the 34th Battalion (part of the 3rd Division, 9th Brigade) of the AIF.

The former miner from Newcastle, New South Wales, was single and at the age of 33 years he enlisted to the Australian Army together with his younger brother James John.
He was a boxer and fought at 8st. 41b., and he proved himself to be such a strong fighter that no one in the West Wallsend district would meet him. He also won two boxing tournaments in Sydney.
In October 1917 the battalion took part of the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the 3rd Battle of Ypres.
In the evening of the 11th October the 34th Battalion proceeded satisfactorily until Zonnebeke Station was reached, followed by the 35th, 36th and 33th Battalion. From this point forward to the jumping off line they were subjected to heavy shell fire. This shelling severly damaged the track and destroyed the direction tape in many places, thereby causing delay.

The Battalion completed its assembly up to time, and was formed up on the jumping off line at 02.45 a.m.. The Battalions following experienced the same difficulties which were increased, as the passage of the men over one track and the constant rain, made the track knee deep in mud.

The Division attacked at 05.45 a.m. on 12th October 1917, about 350 yards behind the general line of attack. The 34th Battalion advanced in total confusion because of heavy shelling on the jumpoff line.
There were many men who were lost altogether in the bog. The pace of the advance was slowed up, owing to the assistance it was necessary to give men who had sunk into shell-holes, and who could
not extricate themselves without assistence.
The battle took the whole day, but it was already early in the morning when the two brothers were seen for last. In the Red Cross Reports we can read that both brothers were hit by the same shell.
Probably was William killed instantly and James badly wounded at the left arm and side. He went back looking for a first aid post but was never seen anymore.

The body of private William Lily Thomson was never found so he is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, panel 25 stone A.