119 William “Billy” George Pitt
19 year old “Billy” as he was best known, was a Carpenter from Paddington and was already serving in the 5th Field engineers prior to enlistment.
119 Spr. William “Billy” Pitt gave his account of the landing at Gallipoli and the work accomplished by the engineers from a Cairo Hospital to his parents in Paddington, NSW which was later published in the Sydney Morning Herald………….
THE SAPPER’S PART
Published in “The Sydney Morning Herald”, Friday 16 July 1915
“The task of removing the wounded was a very formidable one. The engineers where then called out of the firing line, and set to work making a road up the hill to the firing line. We worked for two days and nights without any sleep, but each man knew what the job was for, and worked with all his might.
Besides this work we were engaged in building barbed wire entanglements for six nights and we also started a sap towards the Turkish trenches. I worked all one night in wet clothes, and as a result had to be carried out of the firing line to the hospital ship, thence being taken to the El Hayat Hospital, Egypt. The doctor said I was suffering from rheumatism, but I hope to be back in the firing line again in a few weeks.”
After Gallipoli, Billy would later be engaged in the fiercest battles the Australian Imperial Forces had seen at the Western front, and sadly this is where Billy would spend his final days.
Wounded, then declared missing, then later declared “died from wounds received in action”, his body was never found and no place of burial discovered. His remaining personal effects were also lost at sea.
An undeserving end to the heroic life of Billy Pitt……………his personal page is available to read…..Click this link.
Photo Source: GPO original locations or series – St6231 -Information from NSW Government Printer – Copy of original photograph. On plate 8 1/2 x 6 1/2. Note in Register: Killed at Paschendale, France.