Reg and his brother Percy ran William Brothers Motorcycle Shop at 22 Summer Street in Orange. A keen motorcyclist, Reg competed in many races. In January 1915 he received the highest award in the Melbourne to Sydney Motor Cycle Reliability Trial. Reg was the only competitor to complete the return journey, riding 1350 miles in eight days.
When the School of Aviation at Richmond was established Reg was one of the first cadets to enlist. Such was his aptitude for flying that Reg received his pilot’s certificate after just seven hours of instruction. He remained at Richmond as an instructor until June 1917 when he was posted to England as part of the Australian Flying Corps. 21 year old Reg did not reach the fighting line, but delivered new aircraft from England to France. (more…)
Harold Percy Williams, 1917. Image courtesy Robert Bartlett.
Percy Williams was born in Bobinawarrah in Victoria in 1893, the first child of school teacher Christopher Williams and his wife Susan. A brother – David – was born in 1896, and in 1898 a sister – Gladys. Two boys – Edward and Stuart – followed.
Once the children had grown the family moved to Sydney and Percy and David – known as ‘Reg’ – moved to Orange to open a motor cycle shop – William Brothers at 22 Summer Street. An accomplished violinist, Percy attended a dancing school in Orange, and it was here that he met his future wife, Amy Burton. Amy lived at 14 Lords Place and worked as a dental nurse with dentist Arthur Wallace. She was a proficient pianist and the couple enjoyed musical evenings, as well as tennis parties and picnics. Percy and Amy were engaged in October 1917. (more…)