Gunner William Bridge
Pakenham & District War Memorial
Born: 1875, Newbridge, Victoria
Enlisted: 29 September 1916 aged 41
Unit: Field Artillery Brigade, 28th Reinforcement (SERN: 35904)
Served: Western Front
Died: 2 March 1965 - Heidelberg, Victoria
William was the son of Lancaster Bridge and Ellen Ann Martin, who originally lived at Newbridge and later Caulfield. By 1914, William was dairy farming on Clyde Road in Berwick (1) although he probably later worked on his brother Lancaster’s property in Pakenham. Meanwhile, William’s widowed mother Ellen was living in Beaconsfield (2). After enlisting in September 1916, William was assigned to the Field Artillery Reinforcements at Maribrynong Army Camp. In April 1917, William became engaged to Miss Evelyn (“Fanny”) Carew of “Wallaroy”, Cranbourne Road Dandenong (3), a few months before he embarked for England. After further training in England, William proceeded to France in September 1918 and was attached to the 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column (3 DAC). This supplied ammunition to the artillery on the front line. By this stage, the War was almost over though. In early 1919, William was granted leave for non-military employment on a farm in Ireland, which may have been owned by a relative (4). He was discharged from the Army at Melbourne in November 1919.
In May 1920, William was amongst the last group of soldiers to be officially welcomed home to Pakenham (5). The same year William and his brother Lancaster were assaulted in their home in Pakenham. There had been a quarrel between Lancaster and two men, with William coming to Lancaster’s aid after he had been punched (6). William married his sweetheart Fanny Carew in 1921 (7). The couple later had a son, also named Lancaster. In the late 1930s and 1940s, William was a farmer at Modella, and eventually settled on a property along the Princes Highway at Dandenong (8). William died in March 1965.
(1) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Flinders - Dandenong - 1914 p. 11 and 1917 p. 13
(2) & (4) NAA B2455 BRIDGE W
(3) Punch 12/4/1917, p. 27
(5) Pakenham Gazette 7 May 1920 p. 2
(6) South Bourke & Mornington Journal 1/4/1920, p. 4
(7) Argus 19/3/1921, p. 11
(8) Dandenong Journal 21/7/1954, p. 9