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William Leslie Arnold

William Leslie Arnold
Lance Corporal William Leslie Arnold

Year of Birth:    1890
Date of Death:  Died of war wounds on 16/08/1916
Age:                     26
Nationality:      Australian
Regiment:         Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 9th Battlion
Family:               Father-Francis Benjamin
                             Mother- Margaret McDonald Arnold
Occupation: Labourer

Background information

William Leslie Arnold enlisted in the 9th Battalion on the 24 May 1915. He enlisted in Queensland, Australia. His parents lived in Warragul Victoria. He was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal after his arrival in France on the 5 July 1916. He was wounded in action in the trenches at Pozieres during the Somme on the 22 July 1916. He suffered a gunshot wound to the right ankle and thigh.

The next day he was transferred to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen. On the 14th August he was transferred to England but died of his wounds two days later on the 16th August 1916.He was finally buried at the Lodge Hill Cemetery Birmingham, along with 53 other Australians who died in the military hospitals around Birmingham.

The very next day, 17 August 1916, his younger brother Francis Benjamin Arnold was wounded near the same village of Pozieres. Francis was shot in the face and suffered compound fractures to the face and nose. He reached a major hospital in Etaples within a few days, but died from his wounds on the 25 August 1916. He was only 20 years old.

Possible Tasks

Explore Lodge Hill:

Find Where William Leslie Arnold is buried. Also find 3 other soldiers who died between July and November 1916. Complete a table using the information you find.


Where was his brother buried?  What other information can you find out about their regiment?

Creative Writing:

Map showing Australia and Birmingham

Using the background information provided on Lance Corporal William Leslie Arnold, write one of the following:

  • A letter from William in hospital in Birmingham to his family in Australia
  • A letter to his family from his brother Francis, after finding out his has brother died
  • An article from an Australian newspaper describing William and his brother’s story and commemorating their deaths
Things to think about:

  • The conditions in the trenches.
  • The chaos of family life during war
  • How far away the brothers were from their home.
  • The feeling of losing a close family member in this conflict
Peoples Heritage Cooperative

Marcus Belben,
Jan 31, 2017, 10:19 AM