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Bacchus Marsh
Avenue of Honour

Private Clifford (Cliff) Davies Williams

Service No.:
23rd Battalion
Tree No.:
Planted by:
W Williams (Father)
Image of plaque on tree S276 for Clifford Williams
Image of Service Medal - British War Medal Image of Service Medal - Victory Medal

Clifford was born at Tarnagulla, VIC in February 1892 to William Williams and Laura Heyward. His father was head teacher at Bacchus Marsh State School(1) No. 28 from 1909 till 1916 - he also wrote a history of Bacchus Marsh(2). His uncle was Major General R.E. Williams CMG VD who was Commandant of 3rd Military District, Victoria, from 1915 to 1919.

Image of Poppy

Clifford was clerk(3) in the correspondence branch of the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Company, Collins Street, Melbourne when he enlisted in the AIF, 3rd Pioneers, on the 4th of February 1916, aged 24.

He briefly attended Signal School before transferring to the 22nd Battalion in late April 1916. He was with the 58th Battalion in August when he applied for a commission at Duntroon.

Showing adaptability for the military calling, he was appointed to a non-commissioned officiers' school, and afterwards proceeded to Duntroon as a Sergeant. He qualified for a Commission but as conscription was not carried, he was one of those Duntroon Sergeants whose stripes were in consequence cancelled. The controversy that was caused at the time is well known.

Source: The Bacchus Marsh Express 8 Dec 1917

He embarked from Melbourne aboard the HMAT A70 Ballarat on the 19th of February 1917 as a voyage only Sergeant with the 7th Battalion, disembarking at Devonport, England, on the 25th of April - the Ballarat was torpedoed(4) by a submarine in the English Channel on the 25th of April 1917 and sank the next day.

The opportunity was extended him at Salisbury to wait for nomination to a military Cadetship at Oxford, but he preferred to go to the Front. He was only some three weeks in France and Belgium when his death occurred.

Source: The Bacchus Marsh Express 8 Dec 1917

Clifford proceeded overseas to France at the end of August 1917 where he joined the 23rd Battalion in the field a week later.

Clifford died of his wounds in Belgium on the 1st of October 1917.

I was told by Pte. Geo. Priest of 8 Pl. B Co. who was still with the Bn. when I left on the 4 July, that he carried Williams out of the line. Williams was in an outpost when a shell buried him and he was also badly injured in the stomach. He was dug out but was unconscious. Priest was one of the men detailed to carry Williams on a stretcher to the D/S. Williams died on the way…

Source: Pte Stuber7368A

Williams was wounded in the front line trenches at Broodseinde Ridge and died at or near the D/S. ….I have seen his grave between Broodseinde and Westhoek Ridges with a cross erected over it with his name on, ….

Source: Pte Bell 719

He is listed on the Shire of Bacchus Marsh Roll of Honour, the Bacchus Marsh & District Roll of Honour and the Holy Trinity Church Roll of Honour. He is also remembered at Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.


  1. Stewart, Walter 1983, The Early History of Bacchus Marsh Schools,
    The Domination Press Hedges & Bell Pty Ltd, Maryborough for BM&DHS,
    pp 150-153
  2. A History of Bacchus Marsh and its Pioneers, 1836-1936
    a list of articles from The Bacchus Marsh Express
  3. The Bacchus Marsh Express 8 Dec 1917
  4. The Bacchus Marsh Express 14 Jul 1917

Location of Tree Number S276

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Last updated by lee, Tue, 18 May 2021 20:18:34