Chapman Valley History

William Simmons Meginess

5746, Private William Simmons MEGINESS
Unit: 16th Battalion, 18th Reinforcements, AIF

Where Born: Geraldton, Western Australia
School: Geraldton, WA
Address: Narra Tarra, via Geraldton
Occupation: Station hand
Religion: Roman Catholic
Marital status: Single
Parents: Michael and Martha Meginess, Narra Tarra
Description: Height 5’ 6¼”; weight 155 lbs; chest 31/39”; dark complexion; brown eyes; brown hair

War Service: William enlisted with his older brother Michael 11 Jan 1916 at Blackboy Hill, WA, aged 22 years 7 months. They embarked on 08 Jul 1916 per HMAT Seang Bee from Fremantle, WA and disembarked at Plymouth 09 Sep 1916. The next day they were marched in to Rollestone, England to the 4th Training Battalion and proceeded to Etaples, France 14 Oct 1916. Ten days later, William and Michael joined the 16th Battalion and by 30 Oct 1916 were taken on strength of the battalion in the field. William was admitted to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance on 13 Dec 1916 with defective vision. He was charged with being absent without leave while on active service from 7 am, 12 Feb 1917 to 10 am 13 Feb 1917, a total of 2 days. William was awarded 21 days No 2 field punishment with total forfeiture of 22 days pay. The battalion went into action in April 1917 at the first Battle of Bullecourt. This action was badly planned and poorly supported, the Australians not receiving the planned tank support. In this battle, Australian losses were 3,500 casualties and 1,170 soldiers taken prisoner. William was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans, while Michael was reported missing in action and later it was found that he had been killed.
Died of Wounds: 13 Apr 1917 at Bugnicourt, France, while a prisoner of war, aged 25 years.
Cemetery: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France
Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal