William Edward EASTEN #2068

Indigenous Australian, William EASTEN, 42nd & 15th Infantry Battalions

William (Bill) Edward EASTEN was born at Southport, Queensland in 1893 to Edward and Ida Easten (nee Wyborne). He was farming in Cleveland when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF in May 1916. Easten trained at the Artillery camp, Brisbane before embarking on HMAT Clan MacGillivray in September 1916 bound for England. After several months at the Training Battalion, Hurdcott, he sailed for France in February 1917 to join his unit in the front lines.

Easten was wounded in action in July 1917 when his Battalion was operating near Messines, he was evacuated to England for treatment and returned to his unit in France in November. Easten was again admitted to hospital in April 1918 with fever and by the time he returned to France the 42nd had been disbanded and he was transferred to the 15th Infantry Battalion.

Private William Easten returned to Australia in May 1919.

Read more ...
  • Service record: EASTEN, William Edward
  • Embarkation roll
  • 'Many served: AIF Aborigines', Reveille, 30 November 1931, p.22
  • Scarlett, Philippa. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One. Fourth edition, Indigenous Histories, Macquarie, ACT, 2018
  • Image supplied by family
  • One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
  • Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History

The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.


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A lovely photo it turned out to be! Thankyou!Also Bill was gassed while serving over in the war as well!