Topic: William Lewis Illingworth

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Private William Lewis Illingworth (Service no. 24/2010) was a First World War Soldier with links to Heathcote.

William, was born on the 11th of November 1895, in New South Wales, Australia, before immigrating to New Zealand with his parents Sophia and William Illingworth. He was their only son. The Illingworth's settled in Martindales Road in the Heathcote Valley and William attended the local Heathcote Valley School.

William was 20 years old when he enlisted in 1915. His service record describes him as being 5 feet and 2 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds with grey blue eyes, brown hair and a ruddy complexion.

Prior to enlisting he was single and worked as a farm labourer in the Heathcote Valley.

On enlisting he joined the Canterbury Infantry Regiment in the 3rd Battalion, and on the 4th of March 1916 he embarked on board the Vessel Willochra from Wellington arriving in Suez, Egypt, in April.  On the 10th of April he boarded the HMS Kinfauns Castle from Seuz and sailed to France. He spent a short time in the New Zealand camp at Etaples and a month later in May he was transferred to the2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Regiment. On the 16th of September 1916 he was wounded in action and admitted to the Hospital in Etaples France. On the 24th of September he was transferred to an English hospital and departed France from Dieppe for the Military Hospital in Bethnal Green, England.

By the 15th of November  William was ready to begin rehabilitation and was sent to Codford, a convalescing home in England for New Zealand troops, where he recouped.  

On the 29th of March 1917 he was strong enough to begin training with his original Battalion, the 3rd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment. He returned to active duty in France on the 28th of May. Three months later on the 13th of August 1917 while fighting on the Western Front in Belgium he was again wounded in action, this time fatally, and died of his wounds in the Australian No.2 Casualty Clearing Station on the same day.

William Illingworth was buried at the Trois Arbes Cemetery in Steenwerk, Nord, France. He is buried in plot I.W.15.

He is remembered on the Heathcote War Memorial.


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William Lewis Illingworth

First Names:William
Last Name:Illingworth
Place of Birth:New South Wales, Australia