045 – Private William Joseph Bray

Private William Joseph Bray 12th Battalion

The photograph of William Bray and his lady was taken by Barnett in a studio setting. The identity of the lady is unknown but it is quite likely that the lady in question is his mother. William was a 28 year old single farmer from Sheffield when he enlisted in May 1916. He was allotted to the 19th Reinforcements for the 12th Battalion, which departed Australian in August 1916.

On 15th April 1917, a depleted 12th Battalion was in action in front of Lagnicourt and was driven back by a concerted attack. Initially William Bray was reported missing, but later found wounded with gun shot wounds to his right wrist. He re-joined the Battalion in early July. In February 1918 he was granted UK leave. Apart from a period in hospital with influenza he managed to stay in the line unharmed for the remainder of the war. On 5 May 1919 at the Sheriff Court House Edinburgh he married Catherine Beaton. Together they returned to Australia in July 1919.

William returned to farming, working a property at Elliott. He died on 2 July 1938 aged 50 and was buried at Somerset. He was survived by his wife Catherine and son William.