Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 - 1919
2017 Private William Lees Poyner - Metung Killed in Action 25 April 1915
….. put his age up three years to enlist
Seventeen year old William Poyner had arrived in Australia from Birmingham, England in April 1914 and came to Metung to work for the Casement family. He invariably described himself as a tinsmith and motor radiator worker though it is thought he was a farm labourer for the family. Being just seventeen he put his age up three years to enlist on 8 September and with many other East Gippsland men embarked on the Hororata from Port Melbourne in October for Alexandria in Egypt. He would have celebrated his 18 th   birthday in Egypt. He was part of the landing on 25 April and while fellow members of 6 th  Battalion saw him leave the ship he was never seen ashore or heard of again. Initially he was reported missing and his official files hold copies of several frantic and pleading letters from his mother seeking information about her son. It was not until twelve months later that a court of enquiry officially listed him as killed in action on the first day of the campaign. William Poyner may have only been a member of the Metung community for six months but he is remembered on both of the Metung honour rolls. We have been unable to locate a photograph of Private William Poyner, if you know of one, please make contact. Our group would appreciate your assistance.
This letter, from William’s mother, was sent to members of the Metung community seeking their assistance in locating information about her son. It is held in his attestation file at the National Archives of Australia B2455.