Friday, April 25, 2014

Pte William (Billy) Lilley AIF 5051 late of 29th Battalion

Reading about Billy Lilley and the amazing cooincidence with Uncle Bert's new penpal (link) made me decide to check into Billy's story. Sadly, he was killed in action a few months after that story was noted by Uncle Bert. I decided to record some of the information I found on the National Archives site here. I would be interested to know if his brother had children or if there are any other family links back to him. He was a young kid, an orphan and only 18 years old, and he died in the fields of France during war, while serving his country.

His name is on the War memorial and on his gravestone, but I wanted to add this little bit more here. As we remember the fallen on ANZAC day I want to remember Billy Lilley this ANZAC Day 2014. RIP Billy... Lest we Forget.

William John Lilley, known as Billy to Uncle Bert enlisted in the AIF on 23/8/1917 and was killed in action on 29/8/1918.
Details of his enlistment show he was born on February 12, 1899, and presented as 5' 2 1/2", 130 lbs, fresh complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair. He was a Gas dept employee when he enlisted.

A copy of the confirmation that he was killed in action:

Correspondence between his friend Mrs D'Altera and the AIF about details of his enlistment and a photograph of his grave. Her enquiries about the date he signed up and the date he departed Australia make me suspect that perhaps he was under age, but I have no evidence of that, just a feeling.

Details about his burial:

The inventory of Billy's effects which were forwarded to his brother, Charles J Lilley

Billy was an orphan with one brother, Charles, who it seems was in the care of their aunt, Mrs Elizabeth Slack.

The following information was also found, which pretty much details much more than I have:
Service Record - William Lilley

This is the cemetary where Billy lies; the Assevillers New British Cemetery, may he RIP.

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