Are you related to William Henry Clarence Banks?
Lifeline Canberra on the 22nd of March, 2011 has launched a search for relatives of Sergeant William Henry Clarence Banks; a First World War soldier and recipient of a 1914-1915 Star. The medal was discovered recently in a box of books donated to Lifeline Canberra for the upcoming Autumn Bookfair.
Sergeant William Henry Clarence BANKS was born on the 16th of January, 1879 in Hobart, Tasmania. He served with 56th Infantry (Yarra Borderers) before the First World War and attained the rank of ‘Colour Sergeant’. His service record as per the National Archives of Australia indicate that he enlisted into the AIF on the 13th of July, 1915. There is a discrepancy with regards to the First World War Embarkation Roll, in that his service number has incorrectly be recorded as 3084 (which appears to be a typigraphical error). William embarked aboard HMAT Ceramic (A40) on the 23rd of November, 1915 and arrived overseas, too late to serve in the Gallipoli campaign. As part of the expansion and restructure of the AIF, William was transferred to the 46th Infantry Battalion and arrived in France in time for the battle for Pozieres. It is clear that his deployment, in and out of the trenches took its toll as William was classified ill, suffering from shell shock in November of 1916. Bouts of illness with tonsillitis and laryngitis resulted in his return to Australia and discharge on the 30th of November, 1917.
IMAGE RIGHT: The media release, calling for any direct descendants of Sergeant William Henry Clarence BANKS to come forward and claim the medal of their ancestor. Will Anzac Day 2011 almost upon us, it is hoped that this war medal can be returned to its rightful home.
In a search for answers, Lifeline Canberra Bookfair volunteers have discovered the following information regarding the medal:
William Henry Clarence BANKS
Regimental number 3684
Marital status Married
Enlistment date 13 July 1915
Unit name 14th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/31/3
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 23 November 1915
Rank from Nominal Roll Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll 46th Battalion
Fate Returned to Australia 22 July 1917
“Lifeline Canberra receives over one million donated books and items per year. Quite often, our Bookfair volunteers will discover hidden treasures, some of which can be very rare and valuable, so we always make an effort to ensure such donations have not been made by accident” said Mike Zissler, Chief Executive Officer of Lifeline Canberra.
“Given the historic and personal value of the medal, we are very keen to locate the relatives of Sergeant Banks and return the medal to them” Mr Zissler said.
Anyone with information pertaining to the medal is encouraged to contact Lifeline Canberra on 6247 0655.
IMAGE LEFT: The 1914-1915 Star of Sergeant William Henry Clarence BANKS, Service Number 3684. William served with the 14th Infantry Battalion, prior to the expansion and restructure of the AIF after the Gallipoli campaign, whereupon he was transferred to the 46th Infantry Battalion. William was serving with this unit when he was thrust into the battle for Pozieres during the 4th Division’s deployment in August, 1916.
Lifeline Canberra is currently gearing up for their annual Autumn Bookfair, being held 25-27 March at the Budawang Building, EPIC. The Bookfair has over 200,000 books and items for sale, with prices starting at just 50c. For more information on the Bookfair, please visit www.act.lifeline.org.au/Bookfair
For emotional crisis telephone support contact Lifeline 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 13 11 14 or visit their website for information and self help resources www.act.lifeline.org.au
For further information or comment contact:
Mike Zissler – Chief Executive Officer – Lifeline Canberra
Telephone: 6204 6409 or Mobile 0401 713 480