Monday, December 11, 2017

William (Billy) Osborne Herne

Milton Methodist FlagSerial Number and Rank: 2345, SGT
Birth:  Lilyvale Termeil 10 September 1889
Parents:  William Herne and Jean Bennie
Enlisted:  7 October 1915. Occupation: Timber worker
Service: 7th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement with his brother Charles Wesley Herne and 2nd Machine Gun Squadron. RTA 28 June 1919
Death:  9 March 1967 Termeil
Burial: Sandridge Cemetery M/A2/15 Mollymook. Never married
Honour Rolls:  RSL Honour Roll
Milton Town Memorial
Milton Methodist
Milton Methodist Flag
Milton School (as W Heard)
In 1922 moved to Lismore with parents however he did move back to Lilyvale Termeil at a later stage.
In 1939 Billy was living at Milton.
Brothers – Charles Wesley Herne, Arthur Herne also served in WW1

Sydney Morning Hearld 9 April 1917 (research has shown this article is referring to the Herne Family)

TERMEIL: This small town is mainly supported by the timber industry. It would be hard to find a better class of men than the sturdy wood- men for the strenuous work of war. So far 20 have thrown the axe aside and shouldered the rifle. One father with two sons at the front has already tried twice, and although so far unsuccessful on account of age, he has hopes of still getting away to do his bit for King and country.

God speed, and a safe return

Many ex pupils of Termeil Public School served in WW1, including brothers William, Charles and Arthur Herne, they were the sons of William Herne and his Jean nee Bennie.

William was born at Lilyvale Termeil in 1889. He was enlisted to the war in November 1915 at the age of 26 years at Lismore where he was working as a farmer. William was assigned to 7th Light Horse Regiment,

On 22 February 1916 a large gathering assembled in Termeil Hall for the occasion being a presentation to the brothers William and Charles Herne from the Australian Light Horse who were both home on final leave from the Liverpool camp. Their parents along also three brothers, a sister, and other members of their family were present. And the Hall was packed with friends assembled to do them honor, from Morton, Kioloa, Bawley Point, Benandarah as well as the Termeil residents. A number of Milton friends were prevented from attending on account of the Milton show opening next morning.

An enlarged photo, soldiers standing in full uniform (A.L H.), from ‘Tesla’ Studios in Sydney, framed in oak and inscribed was presented. We are all very proud of our soldier boys. They are splendid specimens of young Australian manhood, being nearly 6ft. in height, and well proportioned, and as the photo is very life like, we are proud of it too. But more than all we admire the sterling qualities the young men possess.

Mr. Thomas Shoebridge made a splendid speech when presenting the photo and Mr. Vider, who next spoke, said that there was little left for him to say; but after a few remarks he endorsed all Mr. Shoebridge had said. The boys had each shown their appreciation, and had thanked those present.

Mr. John Simpson also spoke well, and hoped that more would go to help them, noting that  four splendid young men from Termeil offered their services for the front a short time ago and were rejected.

The Rev. Mr. Waterhouse also spoke, trying to point to the bright side, now that there is so much sorrow re the war. He also explained that many soldiers would be required before the war could end. All wished the Soldiers ‘God speed, and a safe return, and cheers were heartily given for them, their father and mother, and the family. “May they both return safely to us all, having done their duty and may it be soon”

When the Light Horse Regiments were returning to Australia, due to quarantine regulations, all horses were destroyed. After serving for four years mostly in Egypt William said the killing of his horse was the heart wrenching thing he did during the war. William returned to Australia in June 1919.

William was called Billy by his family moved to Lismore in 1922, but he soon return to the family farm Lilyvale at Termeil. He worked as a farmed and timber worker. His name is on many local honour rolls including the Milton Ulladulla RSL Honour Roll, Milton Town Memorial, Milton Methodist Church, Milton Methodist Flag and the Milton School. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medal.

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