Jul 23, 2014

William Gordon Tucker - [1888 - 1918]

William Gordon Tucker enlisted in the AIF at Melbourne, using the name Sidney William Tucker, on 18 May 1917, but was not accepted until two months later on 18 July 1917 .

He was given the service number 6948A and was marked for 20 re-Enforcements, 22nd Battalion.  

(William was given "A" to his number on 11 Mar 1918, owing to a duplication).  

He stated he was born in Adelaide, SA, and was 26y 9m of age.   Though other records state that he was born in a  small settlement named Whyte Yarcowie, north of Adelaide in South Australia. At the 2006 census it had a population of 119!

 above image: Whyte Yarcowie War Memorial.

Williams parents were William Hill Tucker and Lina Augusta Degenhardt who had married in South Australia in 1880.

William married Rose Mary Diana Norman at East Caulfield, (Victoria, Australia) on 7th May 1915.

Their first child - Gordon Claude Tucker - was born in Richmond on 19th December 1915.

When he enlisted into the AIF on 18th May 1917 - he decided to change his name to Sidney William TUCKER and stated he was married and nominated his wife, Mrs  Rose Mary Tucker, of 13 Bendigo St, Prahran, Victoria as his Next Of Kin.  

This was later amended to Burnley, then to 14 Kimber St, Burnley, Victoria.  

He declared that he had never been convicted by the Civil Power, nor had he ever been rejected as unfit for His Majesty's Service.   He nominated 3/5 of his pay to the support of his wife and 4 children. 

He was 5'8" tall, weighed 148lbs, had chest measurements of 33-37", with fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.   His religion was C of E.   His only distinctive marks were a scar on his right leg.   He was considered fit for Active Service on 18 May 1917.

One week later Rose gave birth to their second child - Stanley William John Tucker - on 25th May 1917 in Richmond.

On 15 Jun 1917 William was at Recruit Depot, Broadmeadows and on 14 Aug 1917 was transferred to M Coy, 2nd Depot Battalion Broadmeadows until 2 Oct 1917.   Prior to embarkation for overseas duty William submitted his Will, nominating his wife as his beneficiary and his father, William Tucker of 14 Kimber St, Burnley as his Executor.

It was about this time that the Camp Commandant, Broadmeadows received a letter dated 10 Jul 1917 requesting that "a William Tucker but I think he is under the name of Allen and he is a German desent (sic) and he said he would not fight...."  The letter was signed " A True Britisher and a soldier in the 9 (th?)"   (A copy of this letter is on file.)

Prior to his embarkation overseas, William had a series of Absent Without Leave Charges against him:  

10 Jul 1917, at Preston, 14 Days AWL, 40 shilling fine. 
21 Jul 1917, at Preston, 5 days AWL, 14 days detention. 
15 Aug 1917, at Northcote, 9 days AWL, 14 days detention.

23 Oct 1917, at Broadmeadows, 3 days AWL, 28 days detention. 
02 Nov 1917, at  Broadmeadows, 16 days AWL, fined One Pound, and one day detention and to be embarked.

On 21 November 1917, Sidney William Tucker (as he was then known) embarked on board the "H.M.A.T. A71 Nestor" with the 20/22nd Battalion bound for Europe and disembarked at Suez on 15 Dec 1917.

Whilst he was at Port Said, William was convicted of being one hour Absent Without Leave and was awarded 14 days Field Punishment No2.

above image: The RMS Kashgar weighed 8,840 tons with an average cruise speed of 15 knots or 27.78 kmph. It was owned by the P & O SN Co, London. 

He then embarked Port Said on board "Kashgar" on 09 Jan 1918, disembarking at Taranto on 20 Jan 1917, then entrained at Taranto 24 Jan 1917.

above image: Monas Queen in 1917

He then embarked on board "Monas Queen" at Cherbourg on 31 Jan 1918, disembarking at Southampton, England on 2 Feb 1918.   On that date he marched in to 6th Trg Bn, Fovant, for training.

At Fovant, England on 18 Mar 1918, William was again Absent Without Leave from 0830 to 1630.   He was convicted and awarded 4 days Field Punishment No 2 and Forfeited 5 days pay. Still at Fovant, William again went AWL from 0800 25 Mar 1918 to 1400 28 Mar 1918 and this time his conviction earned him 168hrs Detention and loss of 11 Days Pay.  He was in Lewes Detention Barracks, London,  from 2 Apr-20 Apr 1918.

William proceeded overseas to France embarking at Folkestone on 29 Apr 1918 and marched into Etaples on 30 Apr 1918.   He left Etaples 4 May 1918 and was taken on strength 22nd Battalion, in the Field, on 7 May 1918.On 23 Jul 1918 William was "Gassed" in France, and was admitted to 49th Casualty Clearing Station on 24 Jul 1918.   William was admitted to No 2 Cas Station, Abbeyville on 6 Aug 1918 and then to  AusConvDepot, Havre on 11 Aug 1918 and remained under treatment until 03 September 1918 when he rejoined 22 Battalion. 

His wife was advised of the gassing by letter dated 10 Aug 1918, but this letter was returned as "Not known" to letter carriers Richmond, and "Gone Away 13 Aug 1918".

above image showing location of battles

William Gordon Tucker  died of wounds received in action, France, on 3 Oct 1918.  

There is no further explanation of his "wounds".
The Battle of Beaurevoir 03 October 1918 - 06 October 1918  Relates to involvement in the Allied offensives on the Western Front in early October 1918 against the final systems of the German defence lines immediately behind the Hindenburg Line. Specifically acknowledges the breaching of the Beaurevoir Line and the fighting for and capture of the Village of Beaurepair on 5 October 1918-6 October 1918.

On 21 Feb 1919 William was buried at Carriere British Cemetery, 6 1/2 miles NNW of St Quentin, France.  

His body was later exhumed and re-buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery, 1/2 mile NNW of Beaurevoir, 4 miles N W of Brancourt.

In Aug 1919, William's wife Rose received his personal effects at her address at 47 Metropolitan St, Richmond, Victoria.   They comprised: One disc, Letters, Photo's, Cards, 3 Badges, 3 German Buttons, 1 Title, 9 Coins, 1 Flag.

On 3 Jan 1921 Rose received three copies of a Photo of William's grave, on 2 Jan 1923 she received William's Memorial Plaque, on 1 May 1924 she received his Victory Medal.

 location of his grave at Bellicourt British Cemetery

On 09 Aug 1945, under her current married name of R N McCarthy, 1 Prideham St Newmarket, Victoria, Rose requested from Base Records a replacement of her lost Next Of Kin Badge.   She was advised that subject to receipt of an appropriate Statutory Declaration the badge would cost 3 shillings, 4 pence.

On 17 Aug 1959 a copy of Certificate of Death (2156) for William was sent to The Public Trustee, Melbourne, concerning the Estate of Edgar Phillip Tucker, (deceased).

Edgar Tucker being his paternal uncle, brother to William Hill Tucker.

William Gordon Tucker

The Last Post has sounded, 
you have laid aside your gun.  

Called Home

with grateful thanks to Robert Matthews for the amazing amount of work in condensing the 80 plus pages of William Tuckers War Records down to a more manageable - and readable - size!

Sydney William Tucker's name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory at the AWM in Canberra on:

  • Mon 11 August, 2014 at 11:29 pm
  • Thu 25 September, 2014 at 2:03 am
  • Sun 16 November, 2014 at 3:53 am
  • Sat 10 January, 2015 at 2:16 am
  • Tue 3 March, 2015 at 11:51 pm
  • Sun 19 April, 2015 at 8:53 pm
  • Sun 31 May, 2015 at 6:38 pm
  • Wed 8 July, 2015 at 2:01 am

These dates and times are estimates. The actual time of projection could change as a result of weather and other factors, so it is advisable to check closer to the date. In the rare event of a temporary loss of electrical power, the names scheduled for display in that period will not appear until the next time listed.



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