William Isaac (‘Bill’) Woodbridge
William Isaac Woodbridge was born in Grenfell in 1893, the third son and eighth child of Benjamin and Mary Ann Woodbridge. By the time World War One was declared the family had relocated to Orange. William – or ‘Bill’ as he became known – was working as a boundary rider in northern Queensland. His older brothers, John and Patrick, were working as shearers in the same area.
The three brothers enlisted in Queensland within a few months of each other and embarked together from Brisbane in April 1915, all privates in the 15th Battalion bound for Gallipoli.
William – or ‘Bill’ as he was known – landed at Gallipoli on 9 July. Just six weeks later he was shot in the right hand, and, a week later, in the foot. Bill recovered from his injuries and proceeded to France in June 1916. On 6 August he received multiple gunshot wounds, to the buttocks, arms and thigh. On this occasion Bill did not survive his injuries; he died a week later.
William’s brother, John, was killed in action two days after William was wounded, on 8 August 1916. Patrick survived the war, returning to Australia in July 1919.
The name Woodbridge appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte Woodbridge”; it is unclear whether this tree was in honour of William or John. The tree was donated by W Bartlett. Very few of the trees are still standing today.