Friday, 14 September 2018

W Gosling 4728

The following entry is from They Answered The Call.  Click here for the contents page.


Service number: 4728.  Age: 18 years 10 months.  Enlisted: 30 Aug 1915.
Occupation: Farmer.  Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Emma Gosling.
Address on enlistment: Bribie Island.

RMS Mooltan [1]

Service Summary:

1 Sep 1915: 12 reinforcement 26 Battalion.

12 Apr 1916: Embarked on RMS Mooltan from Sydney.

30 Sep 1916: Taken on strength 26 Battalion.

“In early 1917, 26 Battalion joined the follow-up of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and attacked at Warlencourt (1-2 Mar) and Lagincourt (26 Mar). For his valorous actions at Lagincourt, Captain Percy Cherry was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. On 3 May, the Battalion was also involved in the second attempt to breach the Hindenburg Line defences around Bullecourt. Later that year the focus of the AIF’s operations switched to Belgium. There, 26 Battalion fought in the battle of Menin Road on 20 Sep and participated in the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 Oct 1917.

Like most AIF battalions, the 26th fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April 1918, and in the lull that followed mounted "peaceful penetration" operations to snatch portions of the German front line. In one such operation in Monument Wood on 14 July the 26th Battalion captured the first German tank to fall into Allied hands - No. 506 "Mephisto". In another, on 17 July, Lieutenant Albert Borrella was awarded the Victoria Cross. Later in the year the 26th participated in the great offensive that began on 8 August, its most notable engagement being an attack east of Mont St Quentin on 2 September. The Battalion's last action of the war was the capture of Lormisset, part of the operation to breach the Beaurevoir Line, on 3 October 1918. The 26th Battalion was disbanded in May 1919.”[2]

20 Sep 1917: Wounded in action, Belgium.

8 Aug 1918: Killed in action, France. Buried Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery.

Roll of Honour: William Gosling's name is located at panel 107 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.[3]

Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery [4]

Life Summary:

William Gosling (1896-1918) was the youngest son of George Gosling (1856-1934) and Emma Gosling and was born 17 Oct 1896 at Brisbane. When William Gosling enlisted in 1915, his father was keeper of the front light on Bribie Island and the Gosling family home was next door to the light tower on the northern end of Bribie Island.

William Gosling, aged 21 years 10 months, was killed in action in France on 8 Aug 1918. He was missed by his family as can be seen in the following poignant poem published in Aug 1919 in remembrance by his sister Ada Traill nee Gosling and her husband Dave Traill.

There's a lonely grave in France, where our brave young hero sleeps,

There's a cottage home in Queensland, where his loved ones sit and weep;

We think of him in silence, and his name we oft recall.

But there's nothing left to answer but his photo on the wall.

GOSLING. In sad but loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. William Gosling, who was killed in action at Villers Bretonneux on Aug 8, 1918, aged 21 years and 10 months. Inserted by his loving sister and brother-in-law. Ada and Dave.[5]

[1] Postcard from National Museum of Australia [public domain image NMA 1986.0117.4684]
[4] Photo from Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
[5] Source:  The Brisbane Courier Mail, Fri 8 Aug 1919, p. 6

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