William Isaac (‘Bill’) Woodbridge

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WOODBRIDGE, William Isaac (‘Bill’)

Service no: 2008 [1]

Place of birth: Grenfell, 1893

Address: Orange

Occupation: Shearer

Next of kin: Benjamin Woodbridge (father), Grenfell, later 118 Lord Street, Orange

Date of enlistment: 15 January 1915

Place of enlistment: Hughenden, QLD

Age at enlistment: 21

Fate: Embarked HMAT Kyarra A55, Brisbane, 16 April 1915. Joined 15th Battalion at Gallipoli 9 July 1915. Wounded in action, suffering a gunshot wound to the right hand 25 August 1915. Admitted to No. 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh, suffering a gunshot wound to the foot, 30 August 1915. Transferred to Mena House Hospital, 8 September 1915. Discharged from hospital 10 October 1915. Rejoined Battalion 3 May 1916. Proceeded to Marseilles 8 June 1916. Wounded in action, suffering multiple gunshot wounds, 6 August 1916. Admitted to No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station, 7 August 1916. Transferred to No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Outreau, France, 7 August 1916. Died of wounds, No. 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Outreau, France.

Date of death: 14 August 1916

Buried: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Boulogne, Nord Pas de Calais, France, Plot VIII, Row B, Grave 139

William Isaac Woodbridge was born in Grenfell in 1893, the third son and eighth child of Benjamin and Mary Ann Woodbridge. By the time World War One was declared the family had relocated to Orange. William – or ‘Bill’ as he became known – was working as a boundary rider in northern Queensland. His older brothers, John and Patrick, were working as shearers in the same area.

The three brothers enlisted in Queensland within a few months of each other and embarked together from Brisbane in April 1915, all privates in the 15th Battalion bound for Gallipoli.

Bill landed at Gallipoli on 9 July. Just six weeks later he was shot in the right hand, and, a week later, in the foot. Bill recovered from his injuries and proceeded to France in June 1916. On 6 August he received multiple gunshot wounds, to the buttocks, arms and thigh. On this occasion Bill did not survive his injuries; he died a week later.

William’s brother, John Michael Paul ('Jack') Woodbridge, was killed in action two days after William was wounded, on 8 August 1916. Patrick Benjamin (‘Paddy’) Woodbridge survived the war, returning to Australia in July 1919.

The name Woodbridge appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte Woodbridge”; it is unclear whether this tree was in honour of William or John. The tree was donated by W Bartlett. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

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