honor role

Calderwood, William

* 419 Lance Corporal 11th Bn.

Born at Belfast, Ireland, CoE. He served with the Royal Navy for 12 years before enlisting in the AIF on 15 August 1914 age 31, labourer. His father, Joseph Calderwood, resided at Belfast but no address was recorded. William named as his contact, Miss J. J. Harrison of 16 Douglas St, South Fremantle and later of Albert St, Cottesloe. In July 1914 he nominated as Nok a sister, Mrs G.W. Byrne of Hawksburn Victoria. He embarked at Fremantle 2 November 1914 with the 11th Battalion per A11 Ascanius. William was reported missing on 25 April 1915 presumed killed in action and he was declared dead at a hearing in France on 25 April 1916. His remains were never found and his name is on the Lone Pine Memorial. Service medals 1914-1915 Star, BWM and VM. The correspondence in his file reveals the confusion over his death and the vain attempts to find the nearest relative to inform them and deliver his effects consisting merely of 3 books, a card and a name stamp. In July 1915 Miss Harrison was informed that William’s case was not serious. His sister wrote on 6 September seeking information regarding her brother and the reply two weeks later was that William ‘was not reported as seriously wounded and the Egyptian authorities had advised that in the absence of further reports in such cases it may be reasonable considered satisfactory progress is being maintained.’ On 27 July 1916 Miss Harrison, then at Douglas St, requested a copy of William’s death certificate. In 1920 a notice in a Victorian newspaper drew a reply from Mrs Byrne of Wagga Wagga confirming her former residence at Hawksburn but denying she had a brother William. However, her sister in Western Australia had a friend of that name. By June 30 1920 Miss Harrison was Mrs Neilson and the final letter, dated 23 June 1921, from the Graves Service Unit to the previous Victorian address, informed ‘his sister’ that no trace of William’s last resting place could be found and, on a copy and return agreement, would she forward any information she may have received about his last sighting.