My Family History

William Claude Whimpey

Featured image is from: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/E00600/ (Copyright expired – public domain)
Description: Four members of the Australian Field Artillery using an 18 pounder gun in action at Noreuil Valley, during the fight for Bullecourt. Note the empty shell cases right background.

Today is Anzac day, and I have therefore decided to write a post about my grandfather’s brother, William Claude Whimpey, who was killed in action on 3 May 1917.

William Claude Whimpey was born 26 January 1895 at Tarnagulla, in the Colony of Victoria. He was the tenth child, and seventh son, of Joseph Whimpey and Sarah Jane Sharp1.

Known as Claude, he enlisted on 18 July 1915. He was 20 6/12 years old, and was a grocer from Tarnagulla.  His next of kin at the time of his enlistment was his father Joseph, mail contractor from Tarnagulla.  After his father died, his eldest brother Mr Whimpey of 10 O’Grady St West Brunswick was listed as his next of kin2.

His service record shows that Claude was a member of the Tarnagulla Rifle Club and was a First Class Rifle Shot2.

From the 26 July 1915 to 24 August 1915 he was at the Depot, and then on 25 August 1915 he joined the 3 Reinforcements 23 Battalion2.

On 5 October 1916, Claude was admitted to the Fargo Hospital with appendicitis, but no operation was performed.  He was discharged from the hospital on 25 October 19162.

He proceeded overseas to France on 4 February 1917, sailing on the S. S. Arundel from Folkestone, and joined his battalion in France on 31 March 19172.

Claude was killed in action on 3 May 1917 in France2.

His effects were sent back to his father, and were listed as: curios, 2 razors, bag handle & lock, copying pad, 2 devotional books, writing wallet, knife, brush, pr. mittens, 4 handkerchiefs, scarf2.

Additional information can also be found about Claude in the First World War Embarkation Rolls, the Red Cross Wounded and Missing, and Roll of Honour collections on the Australian War Memorial website. The Red Cross Wounded and Missing record shows that Claude died at Bullecourt.  Information on the Battles at Bullecourt can be found at http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/bullecourt/what-happened-here.php.

Killed in Action Private W. C. Whimpey
KILLED IN ACTION. (1917, June 7). Bendigonian (Bendigo, Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 7. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90855613

Source of information

  1. Victoria, Australia Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, birth certificate 16383 (1895), William Claude Whimpey; Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Melbourne.
  2. Australia, “First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (Series B2455),” file for William Claude Whimpey, service number 2013; digital images, National Archives of Australia, National Archives of Australia(http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/search/index.aspx : accessed 25 Apr 2017).

 

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