William Atkinson

First Name: 
William
Last Name: 
Atkinson
Mother's Name: 
Ann Jane (nee Bailey)
Father's Name: 
Robert Atkinson
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, July 17, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Sergeant
Unit: 
8th Machine Gun Battalion
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Distinguished Conduct Medal
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Saturday, October 20, 1917
Place of Death: 
Etaples France
Cause of Death: 
Died of wounds received
Details: 

William Atkinson (Service No 93a) was born in Lithgow, NSW in 1891. At the time of enlistment he was a single 25 year old well borer from Helensburgh. He embarked from Melbourne on HMAT A62 Wandilla with 31st Battalion Machine Gun Section on 9th November 1915 and arrived in Egypt on 7th December 1915. William was posted to 8th Machine Gun Company on 22nd April 1916 and was sent to France with them on 23rd June 1916. He saw service on the Western Front where he was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1st September 1916 and then to Sergeant on 1st November 1916.

After William sustained a slight shrapnel wound to his shoulder on 24th January 1917 he was evacuated to a casualty clearing station for treatment and returned to his unit on 20th February 1917. On 20th September 1917 while fighting in the Polygon Wood area he was seriously wounded. William was transferred to 26th General Hospital for treatment of shrapnel wounds to his abdomen on 27th September 1917. Unfortunately on 20th October 1917 William died from his injuries. He is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery Plot XXX, Row F, Grave 3.

On 6th March 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The citation reads "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He displayed great courage and initiative when in charge of a small post and succeeded in repelling a very superior party of the enemy. Later, while carrying out a reconnaissance, he captured a prisoner single handed". This was published in Commonwealth Gazette 116 dated 25th July 1917.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, ATKINSON W

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