Name: William Edward Lear
Service Number: 928
Unit Served: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Personal Details: William was born at Balaklava, in the Adelaide Plains, in 1889. His parents were Thomas and Matilda, and they were living at Yallunda Flat, near Tumby Bay when William enlisted. His brothers, Richard Clement Foster Lear and Percival Alfred Lear, also enlisted but survived and returned to Australia. Richard enlisted on the 20th June 1916, to the 10th Battalion, and Percival enlisted on the 4th April 1915 to the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. Percival was my Aunty Lois’ father and another brother, Cyril, was my Aunty Jean’s father. William was 5’ 7 ½” tall with a swarthy complexion, blue eyes and dark hair.
Enlistment Details: William enlisted on the 30th November 1914 at the age of 25.
Details of War Service: The 4th Reinforcement of the 9th Light Horse left Adelaide on the 1st April, 1915 aboard the “Pt. Lincoln”. After spending some time in Egypt, William arrived on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 22nd May, 1915. He was taken on strength by the B Squadron of the 9th Light Horse. On the 24th June he was transferred to hospital with influenza, and was sent to Malta. He then returned to the Peninsula via Egypt, returning to service on the 12th August. On the 27th August, men from the 9th Light Horse, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Carew Reynell, were asked to support a New Zealand attack upon Hill 60. During the next 48 hours about 85 men of the 9th LH were killed or missing. Among the missing was William Lear. His remains were never found and on the 26th April 1916, a court of inquiry found that he, along with 17 other men missing from the regiment were killed in action on the 29th August 1915.
Date of Death: 29th August 1915
Age at Death: 26
Memorial Details: Lone Pine.
Image from the "Critic" 31st March 1915 sourced through Trove