Bodsworth William Gilbert 1893-1974

William Gilbert Bodsworth

Father Nm: James Alexander Bodsworth

Mother Nm: Sarah Ann Blencowe [8437] born 11.6.1857 Moorabbin died 1930 Sandringham: Oldest known Ancestor- Thomas Blencowe died 1755 Kings Sutton.

Marriage:1940 to Gladys Olive Davis in Victoria.

K comments: Brother Alfred Oswald served with the same 14th Bn. AIF. Brother Reginald briefly joined the AIF in 1918 but was demobilised a few months later

Spouse comments: Gladys Olive Davis 1912-1997



14th Battalion AIF

William Bodsworth,1893, Brighton Vic. Sapper, 20060, 14th Battalion AIF.

  • 25 May. Enlisted at Broadmeadows age 24 and occupation a Machinist at Love, Royle and Thurgood of St Kilda. On his attestation, William declared he had been rejected earlier for the Army because of ‘Nerves’.
  • 11 Jul. Assigned to be a Signaller of the 15th reinforcements to the 3rd Division Signals Company.
  • 30 Oct.-27 Dec.Travelled on the ship ‘Aeneas” from Melbourne to Devonport England.

    HMAT A60 Aeneas embarking from Port Melbourne on 30 October 1917
  • Taken on strength of 3rd Division Signals Company and stationed at the depot in England.
  • 27 Mar. Sent to the Royal Engineers, Biggleswade signalling school for training.

    While these are American Signalling Engineers, William would have been trained at Biggleswade fora very similar role to these men erecting land and radio links for essential communications with the forward troops. Source Missouri State Archives
  • 5 Jul. Departed Folkestone for France. Australian Corps depot, 3rd Division AIF Signals.
  • 24 Jul. Attached to the 2nd Division AIF Signals for a period.
  • 15 Sept. It was on this day that William joined his brother Alfred and the 14th for what was to be the last big push of the battalion in the war.
  • 18-20 Sept. Attack on Hindenburg Line.
    The battle of the Hindenburg Outpost
    • 18 Sept. The 14th Bn. chosen for the most difficult part of the attack. “Scarcely had the battalion passed the red line and topped the ridge opposite Buisson Ridge, then the objective, as well as the copses in front, vomited innumerable machine-guns.” “Buisson Ridge was
      attained only with more casualties, and, on the crest, the terrible machine-gun fire for the second time brought the advance to a halt.”3
    • 19-20 Sept. Eventually all objectives were captured and the enemy fled.”Our casualties were 101 including three officers wounded 21 other ranks killed or died of wounds—certainly a large proportion of the Battalion’s fighting strength, but relatively small considering the difficulties surmounted, casualties inflicted, and wonderful results achieved. The fatal casualties included no less than five sergeants striking tribute to their gallant leadership.”3
  • 15-18 Mar. Embarked for England arriving Southampton.
  • Mar. Sent to No 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny.

    Sutton Veny Australian No 1 Command Depot
  • 3 Apr-3 Sept. On working leave to  Stephen Mears of Longton, Staffs as a machinist.
  • 12 Dec. Discharged from the Army
  1. Service Records for W. Bodsworth
  2. War Diary of the 14th Battalion AIF
  3. The history of the Fourteenth Battalion, A.I.F. Newton Wanliss, State Library Victoria.

Awarded the 1914-15 Star British and Victory medals.

After the War