Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS



Born: 1894

Birth registration: Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration No. 17351

Birthplace: Greendale, Victoria


William Burton,  b. 22/12/1863 # 4123 Melton d. 17/03/1934 Melton; Farmer Buried Melton Cemetery: 29/03/1934 Grave 11, Compartment 25, Section 03 (parents Thomas Burton & Margaret Knowles Toolern Vale residents from arrival in Australia until their deaths)Hannah Gibson Wilkie b 1869 Reg # 4305 Myrniong 9/03/1945 Werribee (parents Robert Wilkie & Mary Ann Irwin)Married 12/07/1887 Blackwood(Family historians)

Died: October, 1965

Place of death: Dandenong, Victoria

Burial place: Cremated Springvale Cemetery

Awards and Honours

  • Military Medal
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


5th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement; 46th Battalion



Regimental Service Number: 4451

Enlistment date: 27 July, 1915 Melbourne, Victoria

Age at enlistment: 21 years

Religion: Church of England

Marital Status: Single

Next of kin: Father: Mr W Burton

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 8 1/4 inches
Weight: 10 stones 10 pounds
Complexion: Fresh
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Fair
Distinctive marks: Scars on right eyebrow & on fingers;

Embarkation ship: HMAT A32 Themistocles.

Rank: Sergeant

Return Date: 30 January, 1919

Return Vessel: Devantia.

Arrival at Australia: 8 May, 1919.At: 5/08/1919

Discharge Date: 15 August, 1919

War Service Summary

27/07/1915    Enlisted in A.I.F 5th Battalion 14th Reinforcement
18/08/1915    Transfer to 46 Battalion Williamstown
28/01/1916    Embarked Melbourne HMAT A32 Themistocles
28/02/1916    Disembarked Alexandria
6/04/1916 - 11/04/1916    To hospital sick, Serapeum
11/04/1916    Rejoined unit
02/06/1916    Leaves Alexandria to join British Expeditionary Force
08/06/1916    Disembarked Marseilles
01/09/1916    Wounded in Action admitted to hospital
03/09/1916   Rejoined unit  
20/12/1916    Acting Corporal 31/03/1917    Temporary promotion corporal
11/04/1917    Wounded in Action, 2nd time admitted to hospital; Gun Shot Wound left leg/thigh
25/08/1917    Rejoined unit
28/08/1917    Corporal (temp.)
04/09/1917    Appointed Lance Corporal
19/10/1917    Wounded in Action 3rd occasion; Gun Shot Wound right knee
13/11/1917    Rejoined unit
01/09/1918    Sergeant

18/09/1918    Recommended for Military Medal. 25/09/1918    It is recommended for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations east of PERONNE on the 18th Sept. 1918.
Sergt. Burton was in command of a platoon during the advance and by his leadership and initiative he forced his way over ground under terrific machine gun fire, and after very heavy fighting succeeded in reaching Sunken Road where he dug in. By his brilliant work a very valuable position was gained which greatly assisted an operation carried out by the battalion later in the day. {Australian War Memorial record}

For Gallantry and leadership during the operations east of PERONNE on 18th September 1918. During the attack his platoon Commander became a casualty, he took command of the platoon, and, by his dash and leadership led them forward to their objective, which they succeeded in reaching after stiff fighting. The following night, when a new line had to be held, he consolidated the position under extremely heavy machine gun fire. It was owing to his initiative and supervision that many casualties were avoided, and consolidation completed by dawn.
(Sgd) E.G.Sinclair Maclargan. Major General Commanding 4th Australian Division.
Reywood L. Leone, Brigadier-General Commanding 12th Aust. Inf. Brig.
(Service Record P 30)
Recommended Military Medal
 30/01/1919 - In field, Marched out for Australia
08/05/1919 – Arrived at Australia
15/08/1919 - Discharged
20/08/1919    Award Military Medal: London Gazette 20/08/1919; page 10584, position 32
Commonwealth Of Australia Gazette 11/12/1919, page 2373, position 47

War Service Commemerated

Life After the War

Names of wife & children:
Gertrude Alice
On Electoral Rolls from 1931, so married between 1919-1930

Place/s of residence:
1919,1931, 1936, 1942 Electoral Rolls - Melton
1949, 1954, 1963 Electoral rolls 2 George St., Dandenong

1919,1931, 1936, 1942 Electoral Rolls List as late A.I.F.
1949, 1954, 1963 Electoral rolls, produce merchant

Date of death: October, 1965 Dandenong
Reg # 21753
Place of burial: Cremated Springvale Cemetery; Remains scattered

Other relevant information:
Brother 4452 Cpl William Burton
Enlisted together sequential numbers
Children of William & Hannah Burton, Roberts siblings:
Thomas 1888-1969
Mary Ann 1890-1966 (M J Patterson)
William 1892-1961
Robert 1895-1965
James 1896-1927
David 1898-1965
Ernest 1902-1973
Eric 1905-1967
Elsie Lillian 1907 (M Thomas Mann Stephens)
Henry 1910 1973 (death cert. indicates b. 1910)

Additional Information

Melton Express
Saturday 5 May 1917 p 2
The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 5 May 1917 p 2

It is with much regret we record the death of "Bob" Pratt, a Melton native, who lost his life on April 18th, in France, serving King and Country. R. Burton, son of Mr. William Burton, Melton South, has been wounded a second time; and G. Wickham, son of Mrs. Wickham, Melton South has been wounded.

The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 5 January 1907, P 2

The Toolern State school social in connection with the trip 'to the Zoo was held in the hall there on 18th Dec. The hall was nicely decorated with flowers and bowers. The Union Jack, harp of Erin, lion of Scotland, American and other flags, were beautifully draped round a "Merry Christmas." Shortly after 8 p.m. the children started games -bagatells, ludo, bobs, pit, draughts, musical chairs, hunting the fox, jolly miller, and blindman's buff. Things were very merry for a couple of hours, when the children were arranged on the platform and sang Xmas pudding and Xmas boxes. During the latter song, Father Christmas, in costume, came in at the right time with a full basket of gifts, and handed them round. He also distributed the prizes won in the essay competition on the journey to the Zoo, as follows:-Class VI., E. Murnane and A. Charlton. Class V., M. Porter and A. Burton. Class IV., J. Livingston and Dora Grant. Class Ill., J.. Burton and Violet Hunter. Most humorous-Bob. Burton and Nellie Irvine. DMr. Murnane, the head teacher, presented to Miss Scotson a handsome bracelet, subscribed for by the residents in recognition of her efforts on behalf of the children. Mr. T. A. Grant and Mr. J. Robinson spoke in a strain which showed the high esteem in which Miss Scotson is held, and Mr. Murnane ex pressed his great indebtedness to her. After the applause had subsided, Father Christmas said that Miss Scotson wished him to thank them for the many kind things that had been said, and for the beautiful present. He was sure she de served them all, and he knew she would only be too glad to help on any movement for the sake of the children. Light refreshments were then handed round tea, coffee, soft drinks, &e. After "God save the King" had been sung, the hall was cleared for dancing, which was kept up for a few hours. Mr. Murnane tenders his sincere thanks to all who helped to make the affair such a success, and to Mr. Malcolm M'Pherson for donating the humorous prizes.


Aust War Memorial
Service Record
Embarkation Roll
Newspaper accounts
Family sources