William Augustine TODD (1899-1949)

9th Infantry Brigade AIF

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33rd BATTALION A.I.F.

Private: 3386 William Augustine TODD.


Born: 1899. Raymond Terrace, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:16022/1900

Married: 1921. Refern via Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Marriage Cert:5575/1921.

Wife: Florence Ann E Todd. nee: Daley. (1902-1963)

Died: 1949. Waverly, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:3674/1950.

Buried: 23rd December 1949. Botany Cemetery (Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park) Site: RC2. FM2 Grave 637.


Father: Edgar J Todd.

Mother: Katherine Maria Todd. nee: O'Mara.


INFORMATION

William Augustine Todd enlisted with the AIF on the 9th June 1917 at Darlinghurst N.S.W and war marched to the Showground Camp. William was allocated to 8th Reinforcements 33rd Battalion AIF. The 33rd Battalion boarded HMAT A16 "Port Melbourne" on the 16th July 1917. During the voyage William was Charged OFFENCE at SEA. Disobedience of Orders. Award. Forfeits 1 days pay on the 4th of September 1917. William disembarked at Liverpool and was marched to the Durrington Army Camp at Lark Hill and was admitted to the Parkhouse Military Hospital suffering from Mumps.

William was discharged from hospital on the 12th October to No: 3 Training Camp at Fovant. Less than a week later he was Charged OFFENCE. No: 3 Camp Fovant 16/10/1917 (1) Trespassing on Private Land. (2) Stealing fruit from Orchard. AWARD 7 days Forfeit Pay.

Huts at the No 3 Command Depot, Fovant.

This camp, built by British troops in 1915, was administered from the main camp at Fovant, 5 miles west. In March 1916 it was taken over by the Australian Imperial Forces and became their No 3 Command Depot.

William was admitted to the Hurdcott Hospital on the 27th of December 1917 where he remained until the 13th of January 1918. William was again OFFENCE. Fovent. 9/2/1918 (1) In Fovant without a pass. (2) Not having in possession means of identification. AWARD. 3 Days Forfeit Pay.

On the 4th March 1918 William was marched out to the School of Instruction, Candahar Barracks for duty as (Batman) He commenced his training and was appointed Acting Lance Corporal on the 6th of April just before he completed his Batman Training and was marched back in the 9th Training Battalion at Fovant on the 8th of April. William was preparing to embark for overseas service and proceeded overseas for France on the 29th of April via Southampton and was marched in at Estaples the next day.

He was Taken on in Strength with the 33rd Battalion in the field on the 8th of May 1918. He remained with the Battalion until the 8th of August when the 33rd made an assault on the German lines.

08/08/1918.

The approach was made in two stages. The 33rd Battalion moved from VIEW SECTOR on the night of August 6th/7th to AUBIGNY and rested there for 24 hours. On the night of August 7th/8th the Battalion passed the starting point at C.3.C.70.20 at 10.20pm. "A" track was used. The marking of the route was not sufficient, consequently it was picqueted by 30 men, including the band, under an officer. The march was made without incident or interuptions and we suffered no casualties. the head of the column reached the jumping-off line at 1.10 am. The march discipline throughout was excellent.

"A" track was laid to our left flank, consequently a tape line was laid to the centre of the Battalion front. "A" and "B" Companys weeled in single file to the right, and "C" and "D" Companys to the left. As shown in the attached map, the jumping line was in rear of our outpost line in places. There was plenty of room in the front line (BARRABOOL TRENCH) for the whole Battalion to be under cover. The original plan was to remain in this trench until zero minus 5 minutes. But the situation was so quiet that the Companies were able to take up their dispositions in their ordered formation, and so rest in the open.

This assembly was completed at 2.10 am. We had no casualties before zero hour. Lieutenant: 129 Walter Gilligan MASON. (A Company Scout Officer) had charge of laying the tapes and did this work very well. Six direction tapes each 100 yards long were laid, one on each flank of the Battalion and one in the centre of each platoon front. These proved of the greatest value owing to the fog. The 33rd Battalion Scouts relieved those of the 38th Battalion who were holding the sector at 10.00 pm. At 10.30 they encountered an enemy post at P.21.B.30.20; the enemy threw bombs and wounded five of our men. Ten minutes later the 38th Battalion had an Officers patrol in NO MAN'S LAND but no further trace of the enemy could be found.

The Assault at about 4.00 am, as a dense fog arose, so dense was it that it was impossible to see more than 10 feet ahead. The whole artillery opened fire with great precision, and the barrage was very accurate. The fog made it extremely difficult to keep direction and to maintain formation, consequently the advance resolved itself into small parties moving on their own initiative. Only the first of the special ACCROCHE WOOD Signals could be seen, the smoke accentuated the fog. Even the barrage could not be seen.

ACCROCHE WOOD was strongly garrisoned and contained an abnormally large number of machine guns, but the garrison offered no resistance and readily surrendered. The attack was quite unexpected, and the fog was certainly to our advantage. The enemy remained in his dugouts during the bombardment. He gave us very little occasion to use bombs as he readily came forward with his hands extended above his head, one would almost think this was one of his favorite P.T. exercises.

Most of the guns in LONE VALLEY got away they were aided by the fog and all that we could do was to open fire on them. We captured only three guns in this valley, three 4.2s south of RAT WOOD. HAZEL WOOD was captured without difficulty. The GREEN LINE was reached according to schedule and consolidation immediately commenced. On the left protective barrage at 8.20 am when the 4th Division passed through us to the second phase of the attack, this line was re-sited and ranfrom Q.25.B.40.80; to Q.20.A.40.10; We were in touch with the 35th Battalionon our left and the 18th Battalion who did not occupy their allotted front. The sector was organised into four Company Sub Sectors each with two Platoons in the front line and two in support. Battalion Headquarters were established at P.23.D.50.50; The re-organisation and refitting of the Battalion was carried out without delay.

The barrage was excellent, not a single short being reported. All ranks are most enthusiastic in thier appreciation of the exceedingly fine work of our artillery. The movement forward of our batteries to assist in the second phase was splendidly carried out. Special memtion too must be made to the good work of the 10th and 9th A.L.T.M. Batteries and the 5th and 6th A.M.T.M. Batteries. One expected to see many more enemy dead in the area, not more than 50 were seen. The enemy's resorting to deep dugouts and his good form in athletics accounted for this.

The enemy's artillery was suprisingly feeble. At no time was his fire effective. When he eventually did learn something of the situation he lost no time in beating a hasty retreat. In the early stages the tanks were no assistance, being behind our troops most of the time. When the visibility allowed the tanks to go forward they did excellent work. Only one tank reached the green line with our troops. When they did get in front they were handled to great advantage. Their effect on the enemy's moral greatly delighted our men. The supply tank formed our dump 300 yards in rear of our line. The value of getting such large supplies forward so early and saving of infantry carrying parties cannot be overestimated.

The work of our machine guns could only be heard. Their fire appeared to be well concentrated and undoughtedly must have been accurate. Only one means of communication was possible, namely runners, and they had very great difficulty in finding their way; On the fog lifting visability and telephonic communication was established. The liaison patrols with the 5th Brigade on our right did not function.

Seven officers, 500 other ranks were captured. This is a conservative estimate and much below the totals submitted by the Companies. 457 can be definitely accounted for these having passed through Battalion Headquarters. 4 x 4.2 Howitzers and 6 x 77 MM Guns. These were captured by Lieutenant: 3072 Frank Albert HUTCHINGS M.C. and party and were marked and tagged. This party worked in the Second Division's area and captured these guns just north of LA MOTTE-en-SANTARRE. On returning in the afternoon to ascertain the number they found, that the guns had been taken away. The remaining there were captured at LENA WOOD. 30 machine guns. Of these 16 have been sent to the HAMELET dump. We have not the numbers of the remaining 14, but the total of 30 is a low estimate. a number of our guns were removed by other units which did not take part in the attack. 1 x Anti-Tank gun. 10 light Minenwerfers, 2 medium minenwerfer, 1 horse, 2 typewriters, large quantity of shells, rifles, equiptment, documents and war material.

Casulties 10 Killed in Action, 50 wounded. William was one of the men Wounded in Action durting this action and was treated by the 8th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from a Contused Back He was transfered to 22nd General Hospital the next day and evacuated to England on the 28th of August.

William was admitted to the 1st General Hospital in Cambridge suffering from Appendicitis and a Contused Back He was discharged from Hospital to Furlo on the 31st October and was to report to the No: 4 Command Depot on the 14th November 1918.He embarked from England on the "Demosthenes" on the 16th of January 1919 and disembarked in Melbourne on the 2nd of March where he was transported by train to Sydney where he was discharged as Medically Unfit, Disability Contusion from Shell Wound.

Family Information

William was a single 18 year old Labourer from Marrickville, N.S.W prior to enlistment. His parents Edgar and Katherine Todd were married in 1884 at Paddington, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:2852/1884 and had 9 children. Edgar F Todd born 1884 at Sydny, N.S.W. Birth Cert:D1884402089/1884. Katherine E Todd born 1886 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:21114/1886. Ethel M Todd born 1887 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:21668/1887. Mildred Todd born 1889 at East Maitland, N.S.W. Birth Cert:25710/1889. Mary A Todd born 1892 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:30431/1892. Ellen Todd born 1894 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:28486/1894. John F Todd born 1896 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:6764/1896 and died 1920 at Marrickville, N.S.W. Death Cert:6555/1920. William Augustine todd born 1899 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:16022 and died 1949 at Waverly, N.S.W. Death Cert:3674/1950 Joseph Todd born 1904 at Raymond Terrace, N.S.W. Birth Cert:15855/1904.

William and Florence Todd had a daughter Valerie Katherine Todd

(Family information courtisey, Mark Todd. Great Nephew of Private William TODD) 2013.

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Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia)

Under Construction; 19/04/2013-18/01/2017.


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