William Joseph Power, 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance

Police Constable, Saddler, Soldier

He had previously served as a Police Constable in Ipswich between 1909 & 1914 before resigning to start up his own Saddlery. His knowledge of horsemanship and policing would be ideally suited to the rigors of army service, and so he embarked aboard HMAT Borda from Brisbane in December 1914 under the command of Major (later Colonel) David Gifford Croll as Saddler Corporal.

Field Ambulance units not only treated by retrieved the dead and wounded from highly vulnerable areas, where they were also exposed to the same conditions and spread of disease as those on the front lines.

In September 1915 then Lance Sergeant Power was evacuated to Egypt with gastritis, enteritis and then influenza and didn't recover sufficiently to rejoin his unit until January 1916.

From Cairo the Light Horse Regiments served in Palestine and Jordan, but in March 1917 L/Sergeant Power was evacuated to hospital seriously ill, with a Thrombosis in his left leg. After surgery and recuperation, he returned to his Regiment but in 1918 he was evacuated to hospital with Sandfly fever, and Malaria, commonly infecting those who were fighting in the Jordan Valley.

In 1931 William Power applied for medical assistance to the Commonwealth Department of Repatriation. His leg had continued to cause him pain and severely limited his ability to undertake employment.

"When I walk the leg swells from the knee to the ankle. It has now broken out on the shin and I cannot get it to heal. It has been in this condition for last four years."

"He used to give me a hand sometimes in the bar and elsewhere about the hotel premises. His leg has always been a source of worry to him, otherwise his health has been quite satisfactory; latterly his leg has become so hurtful that he could not bear to stand on it and he was incapable of performing any work whatsoever."

William Power reapplied to serve his country during the Second World War, where he served with the 1st Australian Garrison Battalion, from 1939-1945. After his retirement from his position he resided in Tingalpa, Queensland until his death in 1956.

William Power's photographs, along with those of his brother-in-law Hugh Griffith were located in the State Library of Queensland's digitised collection, as part of the library's QANZAC 100 project.

Further reading:

  1. Constable William Joseph Power, ca. 1908
  2. Constable William Joseph Power, with horse
  3. Corporal William Joseph Power, 2nd LHFA
  4. Corporal William Joseph Power, seated

Marg Powell
QANZAC 100 Content Technician
State Library of Queensland


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