William Feening’s birth was registered at Murrumburrah near Harden in 1880. He attended school at Narromine before the family relocated to Kingswood, near Penrith.
Upon his enlistment in November 1914 William cited Orange as his place of birth on his attestation papers. He embarked from Sydney in February 1915, a Private in 4th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements. Feening served for 21 weeks at Gallipoli. He took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 and the Battle of Lone Pine in August that year. The following month Feening was severely wounded by a shell and was admitted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. He was transferred to hospital in Greece, then Malta, and eventually to King George Hospital in London, where he spent several months recovering. Early in 1916 he sent a letter home describing his ordeal at Gallipoli – “I got blown up and buried” – as well as a visit to Buckingham Palace.
Private Feening rejoined the 4th Battalion at the Somme in August 1916. In November he sustained a gunshot wound to the left foot, which again saw him hospitalised in England. In April 1918 Feening was hit by a shell near Hazebrouk in France, suffering serious wounds to his head and hands. He was taken to the 9th Field Ambulance and later transferred to the 15th Casualty Clearing Station at Ebblinghem where he died two days later.
William Feening is commemorated on the Honour Roll at Victoria Park in St Marys.
Nepean Times, 12 February 1916, p.4.