William Donald ‘Don’ Campbell

June 16, 2015

CAMPBELL, William Donald -‘Don’- – – – – SPC 1910-1911

DoB:- – 3 September 1894, VIC

Father:- – Colin Campbell

Mother:- – Margaret, nee McLennan

Donald Campbell was a boarder at St Patrick’s from Daylesford. He was in the Junior Public Class, 1911, and played in the Senior Football team which won the premiership in 1911.

Service No:– 303

Rank:– – Private, later Corporal, later Sergeant

Unit:– – 23rd Battalion

Don Campbell enlisted on 17 February, 1915, a farmer aged 21 years old, five feet eight and three quarter inches tall. He was noted as being of medium complexion, with grey eyes and brown hair. He left Australia on 8 May 1915 on the Euripides bound firstly to Alexandria and then to Marseilles. While in France he lost his greatcoat and was charged -£1-10-6 to replace it.

Private Campbell was wounded in action, sustaining a shell wound in his right leg on 5 August 1916. He was sent to hospital in Camiers to convalesce. It is likely that for a while he was considered killed in action, as there was an entry on his casualty card to that effect. This might explain how he was listed on the St Patrick’s College honour board as being killed in action.

Despite such concerning reports, in September 1916 the telegram that was sent to his family informed them of his wounds, not his death, and by 19 September he was fit enough to rejoin his unit in Etaples.

By mid-November 1916, Corporal Campbell was transferred to hospital in Rouen to be treated for trench feet. He rejoined his unit from hospital by the end of 1916, but over the next few months was in and out of hospital -“ on one occasion he was admitted with a lacerated tonsil, on another he was suffering from scabies.

In February 1918 he rejoined his unit again in France where he remained for the next five months. On 6 July he was wounded in action for the second time, but remained at his post. He was granted leave to England in August, and remained in the UK until his return to Australia. He embarked on the Karmala on 2 January 1919, deemed medically unfit for service. Don Campbell was discharged from the AIF on 9 April 1919.

After returning from the war, Don settled in Daylesford where he remained for the rest of his life. He married Elsie Martha, and they lived in Millar Street Daylesford, Don’s occupation being labourer and Elsie’s home duties.

William Donald Campbell died in 1972 aged 78. He was buried at Daylesford Cemetery, Victoria.