By force of Will : A Broodseinde Ridge DCM
My name is Sam Warner and I am a work experience student from St Joseph’s College Echuca. As part of my week at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra I researched the story behind the Distinguished Conduct Medal of Sergeant William Dobson Scorer in the First World War. Here is his story.
William Dobson Scorer was born in Essendon Victoria in November 1893, one of five children to Henry and Mary Scorer. In his early life he attended Essendon State School where his name is now located on the Honour Board. He was working as a clerk when he joined the AIF on 30 July 1915. He enlisted with the 6th Reinforcements of the 24th Battalion and embarked on HMAT Ulysses on 27 October, bound for training in Egypt.
He later transferred to the 8th Infantry Battalion before moving to France in May 1916. Within two months of arriving Scorer had accomplished the rank of Sergeant. He was diagnosed with the mumps on 13 May 1917 but returned to duty 6 days later and regrouped with his Battalion on 26 May.
Sgt Scorer and the 8th Battalion were involved in the Third Battle of Ypres at Broodseinde Ridge east of Ypres on 4 October where he was heavily wounded and admitted to hospital 5 days later. Here he had his leg amputated but unfortunately did not recover from his wounds and died on the 24th. Scorer was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for his noticeable gallantry and dedication to duty during the attack.
From the recommendation that was given it said that, “He assisted the intelligence officer in guiding the Battalion on to the tapes and maintained an efficient manner when held up by gun fire, where he then crept forward alone to bayonet 2 enemy soldiers and put the gun out of action, although he was wounded in this fight he persisted in his task until the objective was reached where again he was very badly wounded”. Sergeant William Dobson Scorer is buried at the Etaples Military Cemetery in France.