William Hamlet Steele

August 19, 2015

STEELE, William Hamlet- – – – SPC 1904

DoB:- – 1891, East Ballarat

Father:- – Hamlet Steele

Mother:- – Clara, nee Ratcliffe

William Steele attended St Patrick’s College for only one year as a Junior, attaining a Fourth in the Annual Examinations of 1904. He was also a keen rower.

Service No:- 4889

Rank:- – Corporal

Unit:- – 8th Battalion

William enlisted on 6 June 1915 at the age of 24 years and nine months. He was employed as a tailor, having served a three-year apprenticeship with Harry Davies, Ballarat. He was five feet, six and one half inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.

William proceeded overseas late in 1915, disembarking in Egypt for further training. He left Alexandria as part of the British Expeditionary Forces on 28 May 1916, arriving at Marseilles on 4 June. He marched in to join his battalion in the field, joining the reinforcements on 29 July 1916.

Corporal Steele’s record shows that he was accidentally wounded in 15 June 1917, when he sustained a machine gun bullet wound in his right arm, while giving instructions to his squad. Because of this injury, he was transferred back to England and admitting to the Tooting Military Hospital where he remained until 13 August 1917.

He returned to France and had rejoined his unit in the field on 27 August. While fighting at Passchendaele, Corporal Steele was killed in action on 4 October 1917. He was 26 years old at the time of his death. He is remembered at the Menin Gate, Ypres.