Cpl. Ivor Alexander Williams

Medallion and a matching lapel badge were issued to all Servicemen who survived the action on the Gallipoli Peninsula. 1915.

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His medals consisted of 3 from WW1 and 5 from WW2

No 538
Cpl. Ivor Alexander Williams
21st Battalion
2nd Division 1st AIF

The Rising Sun shown above was obtained by   Cpl. Ivor Williams when he was temporarily attached (while recovering from wounds) on the Military Staff stationed in London 1917. It is made up of two different pieces of metal, the main badge is normal brass with the scroll in a silver metal and clipped on. The 'Sun' is cut away and provision is made to enable a piece of coloured material can be placed in the 'sun' area.
The only other one I have seen is on Lt. Gen. Harry Chauvel's hat on display at the Canberra War Memorial. (Sighted March 1999)

The colour patch of the 21st Battalion click here for more details about the gold 'A'
Read the full History of the 21st Battalion written by Captain A. R. Macneil, M.C. (One who was there)

A proud Grandson represents his ANZAC Grandfather by marching in the year 2000

Ivor Alexander Williams was born in Ballarat Victoria in 1897. He had a difficult childhood and was bought up by the Gadd family in Melbourne until he enlisted in the first A.I.F. (Australian Imperial Forces) at 18 years of age.
More details of his life can be seen at his Autobiography written just before he died in 1975. The second half of which had to be completed by his family after his death.
He served in the 21st Battalion, 2nd Division as a signalman, was torpedoed on the 'Southland' on the 2nd September 1915 and then took part in many of the battles at Gallipoli and France in World War One (1914-1918).
He survived Gallipoli with out a scratch but was wounded several times in France and was sent back to England where they patched him up and sent him back again and again. Have a look as some of the letters he received from England

This went on for four years until he returned home in early 1919 a very sick young man at only 22 years of age.
Suffering from his wounds for a great deal of years, he was to be in and out of hospital for many months, during this time he met and married my mother, Alexandra Jean Melville, she sang in a concert party who spent their time cheering up the wounded and sick soldiers who had returned from the war.

Her father John Melville played a big part in the formation of the AFL football team, Carlton and the formation of the VFL.
During the depression years Ivor Williams managed to look after his wife Jean and his two children, Maynie Melville and myself, Alexander Hugh. We never went short of any thing.

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For most of his working life he worked for the Melbourne City Council and eventually became City Treasurer, retiring January 7th 1962.
During his working years and into retirement he worked hard in many charity organisations in the Moorabbin Area and was instrumental in the founding of the 'Moorabbin Hospital'.
In April 1995 I transcribed notes about his life that he had written in 1975 just before he died into a book called "My Dad, My Hero"
Have a read about what he did with the rest of his life".

Read his day by day Diary of his time overseas in World War One.
1915 ..... 1916 ..... 1917..... 1918.....1919        Click on the Year.
Ivor Williams' diary has been used for reference in at least three major military history books on World War One.:-
1. "
Soldier Boy" by Anthony Hill. The true story of Jim Martin, 'The Youngest ANZAC'
2. "
Gallipoli: Our Last Man Standing" by Jonathan King. The life of 'Alec Campell'.
3. "
Gallipoli Diaries" by Jonathan King.
4. "
Bullecourt 1917, Breaching the Hindenburg Line" by Paul Kendall.

Pictures that were taken by Cpl. Ivor Williams during WW1 that have never been published before.

More pictures of Cpl. Ivor Williams recovering in the Caulfield Repatriation Hospital in the early 1920s

This "Toe Tag" that was attached to my father's toe for identification purposes when he was wounded , they did not have ID tags issued at that stage
of the war.

I still have this in my possession.

See mention of this in the diary on 3 September 1918

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After nearly 100 years this home made (Trench Art) ID Tag made from what appears to be a Turkish Coin came into my possession.
I was very thrilled to get it as it was advertised on EBay.
For further details, CLICK HERE


Lt. (later Capt). Ivor Williams

Alexandra Jean Williams (Melville)

When World War Two broke out Ivor Williams served as an Officer (Number VX 151860). He gained the rank of Captain and served in Queensland and many locations in the Pacific Islands, again he suffered greatly from the rigours of war as he was injured again and developed all sorts of tropical illnesses.
The last position was with the H.Q. 5 Aust. Labour Group and was discharged in late 1946 again a very sick man.  Very little is known of his activities as he did not keep a diary this time.

In April 1995 I transcribed notes about his life that he had written in 1975 just before he died into a book called "My Dad, My Hero"
Have a read about what he did with the rest of his life".

After this was completed his day by day diary of World War One was found and this too has been retyped and is now in book form and now accessible from this page, see above.
In April/May 1999 I went over to Turkey and France to follow in my father's footsteps, it was a great experience, something I will value for the rest of my life. Have a look at My Diary of the trip

Australian War Memorial (Canberra)..................File Number PR 91/113

Jack, (Snow)
Private Jack R. Melville,
killed at ANZAC    25th April 1915

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Ellen Christina Melville. M.I.D

Click above for further details of them both.
My mother's brother, Jack and her Sister, Lenny.

Return to Hugh's page

Revised: January 30, 2013.