Beattie, Private William no. 1142 20th Battalion D Company.
“Aberdour” Loftus Street, Campsie.
Born 1890 in Newtown, Sydney, son of George & Cecilia Beattie.
Educated at Coogee Public School, lived in Randwick.
Enlisted at Liverpool 28/3/1915, aged 24.
Next of kin, mother, Cecilia Beattie, ’’Aberdour”, Loftus Street, Campsie [She died 1926 at Canterbury].
Embarked from Sydney 26/6/1915 per HMAT A35 Berrima.
Casualty list SMH 6/12/1917.
Killed in Action 9/10/1917.
Died 9/10/1917 Passchendaele Ridge, aged 26 years.
Buried in Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Zonnebeke, grave XIV.C.15.
This cemetery was formed after the Armistice from a concentration of graves from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck. AWM IDRL428 Letters to the British Red Cross re Australian servicemen: Corporal A. Smith no. 173 20th Battalion Headquarters: "He left Australia 18/6/1915, coming out with the second reinforcements. I was close to him at Passchendaele on the ridge on October 9th 1915 at about 7pm. He was coming out when he was hit by a shell, badly wounded, both legs blown off and died within ten minutes. We buried him at once in the open and marked the place with a rifle and a label. I myself put the label on, later we expected the burying party would put up a cross. I cannot remember the name of the ridge. He was about 5ft 7ins, medium build, young, clean shaven, brownish hair."
Billets, Boulogne, 10/6/1918.
Private G.B. Sutherland no. 1395 20th Australians D Company 16th Platoon “Carrisbrooke Castle” Havre 10/3/1918: "He was in D Company, 16th Platoon. A friend of mine named Lance Corporal T.A. Goggin no. 1215, 20th Battalion D Company 15th Platoon, told me the day after October 9th that he saw Beattie shot through the back of the head at Passchendaele when we were retiring (October 9th). Goggin had no time to take his effects or anything. Beattie was a little short, rather fair chap, came from Manly and was a tram-conductor."
H.S. Young no.2863 20th Battalion, London 4/1/1918: "Beattie was in D Company 16th Platoon - called William. I saw him killed by a bullet in front of Zonnebeke Ridge, on October 9th. It happened during a stunt. He was killed instantly - we had to advance on- so I don t know where he was buried. He was a Battalion Mac Gunner."
[Private Beattie was killed in the battle described by C.E.W.Bean as Passchendaele I. "On 9th October 1917, the 17th and 20th Battalions fought together to capture a railway cutting on the Ypres - Roulers railway line, between Tyne Cot and Passchendaele Ridge. The terrain is flat, and criss-crossed by agricultural drains. The heavy shelling had destroyed this drainage system, and the mud was so bad that many men were stuck to the waist and wiped out by machine-gun fire. Wounded men sank and were suffocated. 151 men from the 20th Battalion were killed.]"
Roll of Honour, Canterbury District Tele/Mirror 11/11/1993 Killed in Action 9/10/1917 (of Sydney) Anzac Memorial
The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Each name in the list is linked to an editable biographical file created by copying the biography copied from the book. These editable biographies have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002