William Hughes Brownlee

First Name: 
William
Middle Name: 
Hughes
Last Name: 
Brownlee
Mother's Name: 
Mary (nee Kenning)
Father's Name: 
Murray Hughes Brownlee
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, April 3, 1916
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Private
Unit: 
13th Battalion, 51st Battalion
Company: 
D
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Thursday, September 27, 1917
Place of Death: 
Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Private William Brownlee (Service No. 6368) was born in 1895 and was a 20 year old single miner when he enlisted in the AIF. Prior to enlisting he had spent 2 years in the Illawarra Infantry.

He embarked with 20th Reinforcements, 13th Battalion on 9th September, 1916 on HMAT Euripides A14. Soon after he disembarked at Fremantle, Western Australia due to catching the mumps. He recovered and re-embarked, catching up with his unit in France. He saw service with his unit on the Western Front until he transferred to the 51st Battalion on 18th August, 1917 in Belgium.

On 27th September, 1917 he was killed in action at Zonnebeke, Passchendaele Ridge. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Panel 29.

The Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau file information states Brownlee was a Lewis Gunner in 13th Platoon D Company, and he was hit by pieces of shell on his body and died instantly. This occurred at approximately 3:30 pm and he was in an outpost in front of the front line. Private Marsh was an eyewitness who described him as a "fine sturdy young chap", who "had dark eyes and used to well comb his hair back".

Battalion diary states D Company was the left support Company and was used to establish a strong point at the given map reference.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, BROWNLEE W H

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