Corporal William Edwin Kell, copy from Parramatta Soldiers, Cumberland Argus, 1920

On 13 December 1915, William (service number 4460) enlisted with his younger brother Leonard (service number 5354). He was 20 years of age, single and living with his family at William Street, Pitt Row, via Granville, New South Wales. Born in Taree, New South Wales in 1895, he was the son of Joseph and Hannah H. Kell. The family followed the Methodists faith. William was employed as a Woodworker at the time and had served time in the Citizen’s Forces before enlisting. He embarked at Sydney on board HMAT Nestor A71 on the 9 April 1916 with the 19 Infantry Battalion, 11 Reinforcements. He arrived in Plymouth, England on 7 June 1916. On 5 September 1916, he was transferred to active service in France. He was wounded in action on 18 November 1916, receiving a severe gunshot wound to the right arm, and was taken to hospital in Rouen and on 22 November was transferred to Worcester Infirmary in England. In May 1917 he left hospital and joined the School of Musketry at Tidworth for training with the Lewis Gun. On 30 July, he was promoted to Temporary Corporal and qualified as Second Class with a fair working knowledge of the Lewis Gun. He returned to active service in France on 30 January 1918. On 3 February, Kell re-joined his unit in Belgium. Once again he was wounded on 13 April when he received a severe gunshot wound to the head and back, penetrating the abdomen. He was taken to the 6 General Hospital in Rouen and on 27 April he was transferred to Beaufort War Hospital in England. On 19 August 1918 he was repatriated to Australia per HT Medic and on 13 November, he was discharged as “medically unfit”.

Noela Vranic, Volunteer Research Assistant, Parramatta Council Heritage Centre, 2016