1198 Lance Corporal Robert Glen (Glyn) Williams KIA
5th Australian Light Horse, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, ANZAC Mounted Division
1st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

KIA - Killed in Action

This file last updated 24 October, 2018 3:05

Introduction

Photograph - if available

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the World War One service record of Robert Glen (Glyn) Williams who was Killed in Action in the Middle East.

There are discrepancies concerning the name although there is no doubt that it is the same individual. A Robert Glyn Williams was married in Queensland in 1938, who may well be a nephew named after the deceased uncle.

  • Birth    Robert Glyn Williams, parents John Rupert Williams & Martha Fanny Thomas
               [Qld BDM Ref 1896/C/1259]

  • Enlist   Robert Glen Williams [No 1198 5th Light Horse with John Rupert Williams as NOK]

  • Grave  Robert Glyn Williams [Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Beersheba War Cemetery
                D 25, as a result of correspondence with siblings after the death of the parents]

  • Death  Robert Glen Williams [Qld BDM Ref 19222/F/9331]

The details of his training and early movement are extremely sparse, with no detail of his initial arrival and disembarkation in the Middle East, and subsequent to his joining the unit at Mudros on the island of Lemnos, the stepping off place for Gallipoli.

Some of the service record pages may be duplicated. This generally occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated on discharge or death in Service.

Service numbers were allocated by the original unit, and are not unique to the individual. Where an individual is transferred into another unit, duplicating an existing number, the transferee is given an alphabetic suffix, eg 1234A. Officers did not have Army numbers, and if commissioned from the ranks, relinquished their number on commissioning.

Prepared for Jack Lester by Clive Mitchell-Taylor, 18 Aug 2018.

Robert Williams was Killed in Action (KIA) on 8 Nov 1917 and buried at Beersheeba as noted above.

View Robert Willams' Service record, his WW1 Nominal Roll entry, or Certificate of Service. A short biography is here and the position of his name on the Roll of Honour in the Australian War Memorial is here.


Enlistment Details

Service Number

1198

Name

Robert Glen Williams

Born at

Parish of Monal,Gladstone, Queensland

Age

19 years 3 months as at 4 March 1915 [Actual DOB 25 Dec 1895]

Trade or Calling

Labourer

Marital Status

Single

Next of Kin

Father - Mr John Rupert Williams
Brisbane Road, Monkland
GYMPIE, QLD

Previous Military Service

No

Attested at

Gympie, Qld

Date of Enlistment

4 Mar 1915

Height

5 foot 5-7/8 inches [167.3cm]

Weight

125 pounds [56.8Kg]

Chest

32½ - 35½inches [82.5 - 90cm]

Complexion

Dark

Eyes

Light Brown

Hair

Black

Religious Denomination

Methodist

Distinguishing Marks

Scar above left wrist anterior

Units

8th Reinforcements to 5th Light Horse Regiment


Chronological Events

Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Private

Enlisted, allocated to 8th Reinforcements for 5th Light Horse Regiment (5 LH).

4 Mar 1915

Private

Undergoing training at Enoggera

4 Mar - 30 Apr 1915

Private

Embarked from Brisbane on Her Majesty's Army Transport (HMAT) "KYARRA" (A55).

10 Aug 1915

Private

Taken on ration strength in Mudros, the seaport on the island of Lemnos where much of the Australian HQ and immediate hospital treatment for Gallipoli was placed.

11 Dec 1915

There is no intervening detail of disembarkation and training in Egypt. At this time the reinforcements were under tentage on Mudros, as the decision to withdraw had already been made. They were to join the 5th Light Horse troops withdrawn from Gallipoli aboard ship.

Private

Disembarked at Alexandria from HMAT "ANSONIA".

10 Jan 1916

Trooper

Joined 5th Light Horse Regiment at Maadi

10 Jan 1916

Trooper

Marched out to Serepeum, ex Maadi

The unit joined the forces defending the Suez Canal from a Turkish advance across the Sinai desert. It's role was mainly long-range patrolling but it was involved in several small engagements during August as the Turks retreated.

23 Feb 1916

Trooper

The ANZAC Mounted Division advanced into Palestine in late Dec 1916 and the 5th Light Horse regiment participated in all thre battles aimed at capturing the Turkish bastion of Gaza.

Trooper

Left for Imperial School of Instruction, Zeiteun

28 Jul 1917

Trooper

Rejoined unit

8 Aug 1917

Lance Corporal

Appointed Lance Corporal

30 Oct 1917

Lance Corporal

Killed in Action (KIA) and buried 15 yards from the tree in the village of Kirbet-um-Batieh, bearing 30 degrees, by Chaplain MS Mullins

When the Turkish bastion of Gaza fell on 7 Nov 1917, the 5th was involved in the pursuit that followed, and it must have been in this pursuit that Lance Corporal Williams was killed.

8 Nov 1917

Now buried at Beersheba War Cemetery, Plot D, Grave 25

OC Australian Depot Stores despatches the effects of 11998 Tpr [sic] Williams R.G. 5th L.H. Regt.

12 Apr 1918

Mother, Martha Fanny Williams writes an undated letter to Officer in Charge, Base Records, Melbourne, requesting the personal effects of her son.

21 Jun 1918

The letter received on this date, while the effects are in transit.

Base Records Office Melbourne despatches effects to next-of-kin, Mr J.R. Williams.

27 Jun 1918

Father, J.R. Williams signs for effects of the late LCpl R.G. Williams, despatched on "TOFUA", being:

  • 1 Identity Disc
  • 1 Tobacco Pouch
  • 1 Brooch
  • 2 Badges
  • 1 Coin
  • 1 Small Silk Flag
  • Photographs

1 Jul 1918

Unheaded letter to Mr J.R. Williams advises that his son, the late Lance Corporal R.G. Williams, 5th Light Horse Regiment was buried in the Beersheba Military Cemetery, Palestine.

26 Mar 1920

Proforma letter from Officer in Charge, Base Records, Melbourne, to Mr J.R. Williams.

Dear Sir,

May I invite your attention to the fact that a communication from the Defence Department in connexion [sic] with the erection of a permanent headstone on the last resting place of your son, the late No.1198, Lance corporal R.G. Williams, 5th Light Horse, has, as far as I am able to trace, not yet been replied to or returned.

I am anclosing another blank and addressed envelope in case the original has been lost or mislaid, and shall e much obliged if you will have this filled in and returned to me in the course of the next few daays. The information is urgently needed to enable the work in connexion with the Beersheeba Cemetery to be completed. At present it is suspended on account of the lack of the above particulars.

26 May 1921

Handwritten letter from sister, Gladys A. Williams, unaddressed, which may have led to the confusion which follows.

Dear Sir,

Please accept my apology for neglecting to foward the particulars you needed. My father died at the time the papers came & and they were laid aside & and forgotten.

I thank you for so kindly writing again to remind me & I have filled in the papers to the best of my ability.

Trusting that my forgetfullness has not in any way inconvenienced you in your work.

Again I thank you.
Sincerely yours, Gladys A. Williams

7 Jun 1921

Typed copy of a letter from Gladys A. Dunmall, Barter Street, Surface Hill, Gympie.

Dear Sir,

In reply to your letter of the 29/1/22, requesting the name and address of the eldest surviving brother and sister of the late No.1198 L/Cpl R.G. Williams, 5th Light Horse Reg., the following are the addresses you require. My eldest brother is also a returned soldier.

His address is:-
Rupert P.M. Williams, Cooran, North Coast Line
[She also gives her own address as the eldest sister]

8 Feb 1922

Letter from District Finance Officer to the Officer in Charge, Base Records Office, Melbourne advises that the attached communication from Mrs G.A. Dunmall is evidently intended for your office and same is therefore forwarded for favour of necessary action.

17 Feb 1922

Note from Officer in Charge Base Records Melbourne to Headquarters 1st District Base advices that the attached is evidently an answer to an enquiry from your office, as the British War Medal No.17011, of the deceased soldier was forwarded to you on 26.8.21. for disposal.

3 Mar 1922

Brother Rupert Pierce Morral Williams signs receipt for the Memorial Plaque of the late Lcpl R.G. Williams.

2 Nov 1922

Letter from Officer in Charge, Base Records, to Mr R.P.M. Williams (brother of the deceased):

Dear Sir,

At the request of the Imperial War Graves Commission I am forwarding herewith a circular order form relative to the purchase of copies of the register of the BEERSHEBA WAR CEMETERY, wherein the remains of your brother, the late No.1198 L/Cpl R.G. Williams, 5th Light Horse Regiment, are interred.

For your futher information it is desired to add that the site of the late soldier's final resting place is now officially registered as -
Plot D Grave 25

1 Sep 1924


Medals and Dress Embellishments

1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal.

No Wound Stripes.

Two Long Service Stripes and three Overseas Service Chevrons.

Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.



5th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Brigade

[Australian War Memorial Collection]
Unit Shoulder Patch 5th Light Horse Regiment
5<sup>th</sup> Light Horse Shoulder Patch
Entitled to wear ANZAC A on Shoulder Patch
5th Light Horse hat Badge

The 5th Light Horse Regiment was raised in Brisbane in September 1914, entirely from men who had enlisted in Queensland, and became part of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. Sailing from Sydney on 21 December 1914, the regiment disembarked in Egypt on 1 February 1915.

The light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. The 2nd Light Horse Brigade landed in late May attached to the 1st Australian Division. The 5th Light Horse played a defensive role for most of the campaign but was involved in several minor attacks. It left the peninsula on 20 December 1915.

Back in Egypt, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade became part of the ANZAC Mounted Division and in February 1916 joined the forces defending the Suez Canal from a Turkish advance across the Sinai Desert. The 5th Light Horse's main activity in the Sinai was long-range patrolling, but it was involved in several small engagements during August, as the Turks retreated after their defeat at Romani.

The ANZAC Mounted Division advanced into Palestine in late December 1916. The 5th's work predominantly continued to be patrols and raids until the advance stalled before the Turkish bastion of Gaza. The regiment participated in all three battles aimed at capturing the town, most notably the first abortive attempt on 27 March 1917. On this occasion the 5th attacked Gaza from the rear and was fighting its way through streets and gardens when ordered to withdraw.

With the fall of Gaza on 7 November 1917, the Turkish position in southern Palestine collapsed. The 5th was involved in the pursuit that followed, and then spent much of the first half of 1918 holding the west bank of the Jordan River. During this time it was involved in the Amman (24-27 February) and Es Salt (30 April-4 May) raids, both of which were tactical failures but helped to convince the Turks that the next offensive would be launched across the Jordan.

Instead, the offensive was launched along the coast in September 1918, with the 5th taking part in a subsidiary effort east of the Jordan. It attacked at Amman on 25 September, and on 29 September 4,500 Turks surrendered to just two squadrons from the regiment at Ziza. Turkey surrendered on 31 October 1918, but the 5th Light Horse was employed one last time to assist in putting down the Egyptian revolt of early 1919. It sailed for home on 28 June 1919.


Rifle Small Magazine Lee-Enfield, .303in, Mark III with sword bayonet

Battle Honours:

Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Gaza Beersheba, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jersalem, Jordan (Es Salt), Jordan (Amman), Megiddo, Nabllus, Palestine 1917-18


1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.


British War Medal 1940-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 19 19 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.


Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]


The Rising Sun Badge

This version of the Rising Sun Badge was worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces, and the badge has become an integral part of the Digger tradition.

Worn on the the upturned brim of the slouch hat, it is readily identified with thespirit of ANZAC.

There are a number of versions of the genesis of the badge, the most widely acceptedbeing that it derived from a Trophy of Arms - various swords and bayonets mounted ona semi-circular display in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.

The original version worn in South Africa was modified in 1904 and worn by Australian soldiers through two World Wars.

Later changes were made to the style of the crown and the wording on the scroll. The "King's Crown" is the one shown to the left, while arches of the "Queen's Crown" rise at the same angle as the base of the crown, curve at their highest point to a level mid-way on the orb below the cross and then down to below the orb.

In 1949 the scroll was changed to read "Australian Military Forces".

In 1969 the badge was modified to incorporate the 7-pointed Federation Star with a central Queen's crown over the Torse wreath (a twisted roll of fabric) from the original 1902 version, and the scroll wording changed to "Australia".

In the 75th anniversary year of the the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, there was a drive to return to traditional accoutrements worn by Australian soldiers during the World Wars, which clearly identify the Australian Army. The Queen's crown returned to its central position and the scroll now reads "The Australian Army'.


The ANZAC 'A'

ANZAC 'A'

The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.

Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.

Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

Wound Stripes

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :

  • Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches [2.5cm] in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

  • In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve.

  • Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

  • Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.


Long Service Badges

[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]
Long Service Badges
A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917 (slightly amended for layout)

The question of the issue of a badge to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches [7.6cm] above the edge of the cuff.

  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.

  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia.

  • No badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.

  • Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.

  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.

  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.


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Overseas Service Chevrons

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]
[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]

Overseas Service Chevrons

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, January 1918 (Slightly amended for layout)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

  • Chevrons of two colours have been approved.

    • The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red.

    • If earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue.

    • All additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

  • The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch [0.63cm] in width, the arms 4 inches [10.2cm] long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm:

  • In the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch [2.5cm] above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches [10.2cm] above the bottom edge of the sleeve.

  • The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

  • In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.


Some Government Issued Badges

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]
Nearest Female
Relative Badge
War Widows
Guild Brooch
Silver War Badge
 
Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

Government issued badge in enamel
and sterling silver issued to the wife,
mother or nearest female relative of
a serving soldier. Additional bars
were suspended below for further
individuals.

Membership badge of a Kookaburra
in sterling silver, issued by the
Government to the widows of men
who lost their lives due to their
service. Numbered on the reverse.

Awarded to service personnel who
sustained a wound, or contracted
sickness of disability in the course
of the war as a result of which
they were invalided out, or to
soldiers who had retired during
the course of the war.

First issued in 1916. Slight variations are indicative of a number of makers. 267,300 were issued. Numbered on the reverse but the numbers have no link with length of service or Service Number.