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Person Details
Parents: Joseph and Eliza Meggitt of 16 Layton Avenue, Mansfield. Joseph was an insurance broker. Wife: Jessie, nee Fleming, married 1916. Jessie was from Leatherhead, Surrey.
Emigrated to Australia in 1911 to work has a carman. Attended Queen Elizabeth School from 1896 to April 1902.
21 Feb 1917
1456662 - CWGC Website
45th Bn Australian Infantry (AIF)
Lieutenant William Thomas Meggitt enlisted 21/03/1915 aged 29 and had been an accountant. Embarked 20/08/1915 from Sydney on board HMAT Shropshire, at the time he was an acting sergeant. He was killed in action on 21st February 1917 and his name is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial , France.
Attended Queen Elizabeth School 1896 to April 1902. Mansfield Chronicle Advertiser; 08/03/1917: Son of Mr J B Meggitt of Layton Avenue, Mansfield has been killed. He was living in Australia for 5 years and had enlisted in Australia. Died of a shell burst whilst examining some trenches. Article published 'Mansfield Reporter & Sutton Times,' 9th March 1917. “LIEUT. W. MEGGITT KILLED IN FRANCE. “Some five or six years ago Mr. Wm. Meggitt, son of Mr. Joseph Meggitt, Layton-avenue, Mansfield, went to Australia, and on the outbreak of war volunteered to come back and help the Motherland. He came over with the Australian Contingent and was eventually given his commission. With the Australian Infantry Battalion he went to France, and news has just reached his friends that he was killed by a bursting shell a few days ago whilst acting as observation officer. A particularly sad feature of the occurrence is the fact that he came to England as recently as October last to marry a Colchester lady. His widow has received a letter from Lieut-Colonel Sydney V. E. Herring, the officer commanding the 45th Australian Battalion. It is as follows: — “British Expeditionary Force, France. “24th February, 1917. “Dear Mrs. Meggitt, — On behalf of my battalion I wish to express our deep sympathy with you over the great loss you have sustained through the death of your husband. He met his death practically in the front line trench. I also want to give you a few particulars, as I know how those that are left behind love to get any information they can. At the time of his death he was attached to the brigade as intelligence officer. We, his own battalion, had carried some enemy trenches the night before and were occupying them. He, together with my intelligence officer (Lieut. Russell), were on their way to the trench to get as much information as they could first hand. “Just as they were entering the trench the Germans suddenly started a very heavy bombardment. One high explosive shell practically burst just above their heads, killing Lieut. Meggitt instantaneously, and knocking Mr. Russell over. Lieut. Russell got up, and after satisfying himself that your husband was dead, came up and reported the matter to me. I was in the front line at the time. Directly the hostile shelling died down we buried the poor old chap, and I will see that the location of his grave and also his personal effects are sent to you in due course. “His death is a great loss to this battalion, as he was a very efficient and keen soldier, and most popular with all ranks. “Personally, I feel his loss very much, as I had a great personal liking for him, and greatly appreciated the good work he had done during the 18 months he had been associated with me. — Yours sincerely, “SYDNEY V. E. HERRING, Lt. Col., “C.O. 45th Anst.lnf. Battn. “Mr. Meggitt has two other sons in tie Army, the youngest, Lieut. Eric Meggitt, who is attached to the Machine Gun Corps, and is in training at Clipstone, having come back from France for his commission. He went out originally with the Royal Fusiliers. Mr. Bernard Meggitt, another son, will join the Colours shortly, and the eldest, Mr. J. B. Meggitt, has been acting as paymaster to the Northern Command, at York. Much sympathy is felt for Mr. Meggitt, sen., and his family in their bereavement.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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