Next of kin plaque : Private William Walter Etheredge, 6th Australian Field Ambulance, AIF

Accession Number REL44335
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1921-1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'WILLIAM WALTER ETHEREDGE'. Plaque is contained in original cardboard packaging.

History / Summary

Born in Melbourne, Victoria William Walter 'Bill' Etheredge was employed as a carpenter in Traralgon when he enlisted in the AIF on 19 January 1915, add 19, with the consent of his parents. After basic and specialist training he was posted a private, service number 3182, to A Section, 6th Field Ambulance. His unit sailed from Melbourne on 4 June, aboard HMAT A31 Ajana.

6th Field Ambulance landed at Gallipoli on 5 September. Etheredge was evacuated to Mudros on 12 October, suffering from enteric. From there he was transported to England for further hospital treatment. He returned to service in France in June 1916, when he was posted for duty at 2nd Australian General Hospital. In December he was posted to 5th Field Ambulance, and finally returned to his original unit at the end of February 1917.

During the third battle of Ypres, on 21 September, at Clapham Junction near the Menin Road, Etheredge's stretcher bearer squad was hit by a 9.2 inch high explosive shell. Three of the men, including Etheredge, died instantly; a fourth died at a casualty clearing station the following day. The three who died instantly were buried the next day in the Belgian Battery Corner Cemetery near Ypres.

This commemorative plaque was sent to Etheredge's father, Alfred James Etheredge, in September 1922.