William Robert Dugay
Serial No. 119
William Robert Dugay - Information
William was born in Bassingstroke, England c1880. He completed his schooling in England, and began an apprenticeship. He came to the NSW Colony with his family on the 14th of March 1900. Sadly, William lost his father shortly after migrating. William then trained in Sydney at the Dredge Public Works. His mother, Annie, then remarried a Mr Woods and settled on a property called Ely in Douglas Park. William resided with his mother and supported himself working as a boot maker. Shortly after the war began, William decided to help the mother country and enlist in the AIF. He travelled into Sydney to sign up on the 1st of September 1914. He said goodbye to his family, and commenced his training. He was made a Private with the 3rd Battalion leaving on the HMAT Euripides in Sydney on the 20th of October 1914.
William joined the rest of the eager lads in Egypt awaiting further orders. They came in early 1915, as plans for the infantry to attack Turkish forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula were developed. On the 5th of April, William and his unit were taken to Lemnos Island to await the amphibious assault on the Peninsula. The 3rd Battalion landed at Gallipoli in the initial waves on the 25th of April. They rushed up the ridges and gullies finding Turkish troops determined to drive them to the sea. The attack that was supposed to reach Constantinople and crush Turkey had been halted at the outset. Both sides dug in, attempting many suicidal attacks to break the stalemate. The conditions in the trenches in the summer heat were terrible. During these trying months, William proved himself to be an effective soldier, promoted to Sergeant. Allied commanders then planned a large offensive for August. The 3rd Battalion participated in attacks at Lone Pine. Designed to be a diversion, the Anzacs successfully captured the Turkish line here. During these attacks, William was wounded between the 7th and 12th of August, with a shrapnel wound to the head. When he was able to be evacuated, he was taken to No. 1 General Hospital in Cairo. It was remarkable he survived his injury this far, as he had severe bleeding on the brain. With rapid haemorrhaging, William became critical. He then sadly died of his wounds on the 26th of August. He was buried on the 28th, and now rests in peace in what is the Cairo War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt. Tragically, back in Douglas Park, his mother, like many others around the country, received the bemoaned telegram with news of her son's death.