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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Identity Disc: Private William James Dobson, 51 Battalion, AIF

ID Number    PERS006

Title                Identity Disc: Private William James Dobson, 51 Battalion, AIF

Maker             Unknown

Object Type  
Personal Equipment

Place made     Unknown

Date made      c 1918

Physical          Compressed Fibre

Hexagonal shaped pressed fibre ‘Disc, Identity, No 1, green’ with two 4 mm mounting holes on either end. Attached to each hole is a short piece of string, possibly in order to utilize the disc as an identity bracelet. Handwritten on one side of the disc is ‘7421 W. DOBSON 51 BATTN C of E’. The other side has ‘7421 W. DOBSON 51 BATTN C - E’ etched under handwriting.

William James Dobson was a 25 year old farmer from Perth, Western Australia when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 3 October 1917. He was born at Hunslow near London, England and had previously attempted to join the AIF, however, was rejected on the grounds of being unfit. 7421 Private Dobson embarked for overseas on board RMS Ormonde on 13 March 1918 with the 22 Reinforcement of the 28 Battalion.

Dobson disembarked at Southampton, England on 15 May 1918. The next day he was attached to the 5 Training Battalion at Forvant. On 4 June 1918 he was transferred to the 51 Battalion Details (12 Training Battalion) at Codford. Private Dobson proceeded overseas to France on 15 August 1918 and 5 days later was taken on strength of the 51 Battalion in the field.

On 19 March 1919 Dobson was transferred from the 51 Battalion to AIF Headquarters and on that date he undertook 3 months of non-military employment in Middlesex to gain general farming experience. Dobson was discharged from the AIF on 10 July 1919 in London to take up residence in Middlesex.

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