52 Ancestors #15 – A Worried Mother – William Henry Caddy

Keeping in with my April theme of remembering our ANZACs, this week I’m resurrecting another blog from 2014.  William Henry Caddy is the 8th child of James Ryan Caddy and Constance Annie nee Carson and a younger brother to my grandmother Constance Annie Herbert nee Caddy. 

Caddy William Henry in Military Uniform PhotoWilliam’s trade when he enlisted on the 27th March 1916 was that of a saddler. My post on the 28th September 2013 on Northam History has an image of a Saddlery business with the name of the Withnell’s Ironmongers business next door, where James Ryan Caddy worked. I wonder now if one of the people in this image is William Henry Caddy!?

William joined the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, 7th Reinforcements and embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on board HMAT A38 Ulysses 25th October 1916.

The address of the next of kin, James Caddy, father, was first entered as Fitzgerald Street, then later changed to Leake Estate, Hampton Street, Northam. When we visited Northam in 2017, this area of Hampton Street had changed and a new service station was being built there. I didn’t find out though, where Leake Estate was?

William’s address on his application to enlist was given as 180 Carr Street, Leederville and a birthplace of Northam, religion Church of England. As he was under 21, he needed the consent of his parents, which they gave as he was 18 years and 11 months, 5′ 8 1/2″ and weighed 149 pounds. His complexion is fresh, eyes brown and auburn hair. Oh my! That is such a typical Caddy description which has been passed down through the generations.

In October of 1917, William proceeded to Rouelles in France and was transferred to the 8th Field Artillery Brigade as a driver. on the 16th February 1918, he is admitted to hospital with ‘pyrexia’, a raised body temperature but is soon released a few days later to duty. However, in May 1918 he is back in the hospital again with influenza.  That takes him a few weeks to fully recuperate.

Unfortunately, William contracts influenza again in February 1919 and doesn’t rejoin his unit until March. By this time the war has ended and he is sent to England in May. However, it takes until July 1919 before William returns to Australia per Karmala, via Devonport, England and is discharged 8th August 1919.

 Caddy, William Henry Military Records NAA pg1 COPY  Caddy, William Henry Military Records NAA pg7

In the collection of 32 pages of William’s military history were two letters. You can just imagine the anguish of his mother as she was getting worried that there had been no word from William. However, the officer in charge of records assured her that he was indeed on his way home. What a joyous occasion that would have been.

 Caddy, William Henry Military Records NAA pg29  Caddy, William Henry Military Records NAA pg28

The letter reads:

Hampton Street
Leake Estate
July 21st, 1919

Commonwealth Military Forces

Dear Sirs
Will you kindly tell me if my son No 28644 Sadler W H Caddy 8th Field Artillery Brigade 29th Battery (h)as left for home. We have not heard from him for quiet (quite) a long time the last letter dated May 12th he was then in Veny Camp & was embarking for home in 3 weeks time. We cannot get any tidings of him at all. I am very much worried & I thought you would kindly find out for me & let me know at your earliest.
You will greatly oblige
Annie Caddy

Please address
Mrs James Caddy
Hampton Street
Leake Estate

30th July, 1919

Dear Madam,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your communication dated 21st instant concerning your son No. 28644 Driver W.H.Caddy, 8th Field Artillery Brigade, and in reply to state he is reported to be returning per H.T. “Karmala” which vessel is due to arrive at Fremantle about the 9th August.

Notification to this effect was forwarded to next-of-kin recorded as Mr. James Caddy, (father) resident at Fitzgerald Street, Leake Estate, Northam, W.A. on 24th instant, which address has been amended to read as under.

Yours faithfully

Major, Office i/c Base Records.

Mrs. James Caddy Senior,
Hampton Street,
Leake Estate,

Caddy, William Henry SaddlerTwelve months after William returned to Western Australia, he married Marjory Doris Eaton and they went on to have 4 children, Colin, Douglas, Marjorie and Digby. When William died in 1947, aged just 50 years, he was working as a Master Saddler of 51 Stirling Street, Perth and of 333 Stirling Street, Highgate.

About Jenny MacKay

Just a person who is looking forward to retirement and enjoying the golden years!
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6 Responses to 52 Ancestors #15 – A Worried Mother – William Henry Caddy

  1. Damion Kuret says:

    I just came across this and I am very excited and grateful for your contribution. I am the Great Grandson of William Henry Caddy

  2. Like you, I am very time pressed right now, but a re-make for me is such a good idea. I am still learning so much and all these posts teach a little more of life and its times. Thanks Jenny.

  3. tstatton says:

    So nice to hear that relatives served overseas and came home – not always without injury, but they went on to live what appears to be happy lives with families. Thanks for sharing.

  4. raymond says:

    I met Uncle Bill when i was a young boy he had a blurry eye and Mum told me he had a shell splinter in it..Very interesting Jenny

    • Jenny MacKay says:

      Yes, on reading through his service records, he did appear to be wounded. Maybe that was it. I’ll see if I can find out what his injury was.

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