Remembrance Day: William Harry Green – Orchardist, Family Man, Soldier

William Harry Green (1878-1915) was born at Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England and emigrated with his parents William and Fanny Green (nee Haycock)  and siblings Frank, Bert and Ida aboard the “Australasian” when he was 6 years old.

The family settled in Gumeracha, a small town in the Adelaide Hills, in South Australia with Will attending the Gumeracha Primary School for a time, before transferring to the Blumberg (now Birdwood) School, and completing his schooling in 1892 age 13.

Will married Anne Duthie in 1904 and at this time his occupation was listed as gardener at Gumeracha. The Green family lived at ”Springvale” at Gumeracha and were orchardists and beekeepers. This property had two houses on it, and Will, Annie and his four young daughters lived in the top house, with his parents William and Fanny living in the bottom one.

Springvale, Gumeracha showing both houses

Springvale, Gumeracha showing both houses

Will enlisted with the Australian Army in October 1914, and was assigned to the 9th Light Horse Regiment. This regiment was formed in Adelaide and trained in Melbourne between October 1914 and February 1915, with about 3/4 of the regiment coming from South Australia and the other quarter from Victoria. As part of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, it sailed from Melbourne on 11 February and arrived in Egypt on 14 March 1915.

The Australian War Memorial states that the “light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade landed in late May 1915 and was attached to the New Zealand and Australian Division. The 9th was fortunate to be the reserve regiment for the Brigade’s disastrous attack on the Nek on 7 August, but subsequently suffered 50 per cent casualties attacking Hill 60 on 27 August. Exhausted and under-strength, the 9th then played a defensive role until it finally left the peninsula on 20 December 1915.”

William Harry Green

William Harry Green, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 1914

More than likely it was the Hill 60 attack where William Green was injured, as he died from wounds received on 3 September 1915, and was buried at sea.

BIOGRAPHICAL PARTICULARS. (1915, October 9). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 42. Retrieved October 28, 2013, from

BIOGRAPHICAL PARTICULARS, 9 October 1915, Chronicle

Sadly as happened to families all around the world, war changed their lives forever. Will went to fight for his country, and never made it home.

I must make mention that I am not related to the Green family in any way, but I do have an interest in them. Firstly as they are a family who settled in Gumeracha, and secondly as they lived in the house I grew up in.

[Thanks must go to Glenis Reid for the photos, and for some of the information which comes from the ‘William and Fanny Green’ book.]

2 Responses to “Remembrance Day: William Harry Green – Orchardist, Family Man, Soldier”

  1. Lisa Martin says:

    This is my great grandfather.

  2. Michelle M says:

    My great great grandfather.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *