Archive for September, 2008

Harold Williams and the Gallant Company

5 September, 2008

In writing a history of the 56th Battalion, we feel blessed that at least one its members published his story, providing us with much valuable information and insights not found in the official papers.  Lieutenant Harold Williams is our saviour in this respect, as he produced two books in fact; The Gallant Company (1933) and Comrades of the Great Adventure (1935).  Both are well-written works being very informative and descriptive (particularly of people and landscapes), and not at all dull to read.  Early reviews of the books seemed very good.  5th Division commander, Lt. Gen. Sir John Joseph Talbot Hobbs in writing the foreword called it ‘the best soldier’s story I have yet read in Australia.’

From the two books we have learned quite a bit about Williams himself, but not enough.  We would very much like to find any of his descendants to learn more.  We know basically what he looked like, yet have no photo of him.  We know some of his thoughts through his books, but nothing more; nothing about his life after the war for example.  We know he kept letters and a diary, so what became of them? Surely they must have survived.  At the beginning of The Gallant Company, Williams noted: (more…)