William James Garvey (aka William Isaac Garvey) was born in Warren to William Gothwell Garvey and his wife Alice. In February 1902 he enlisted in the Boer War. He was living in Molong at the time, and nominated his sister Elizabeth, also of Molong, as his next of kin.
In August 1914 William enlisted for WWI. A butcher by trade, he joined the 4th Battalion F Company as a cook and embarked from Sydney in October 1914. William served in Gallipoli, and in October 1915 was promoted to Sergeant.
In March 1916 Sergeant Garvey proceeded to France. He wrote a letter home in July 1916 saying “France is very nice, a lot better than Gallipoli. I think I will be home by Xmas this year”. And in September: “It is just on two years since I left Sydney, and I have seen more in that time than I ever saw all my life … I am writing this in the trenches and I can assure you that it is not too good a place to write from.”
In January 1917 Sergeant Garvey was killed by a shell along with several other men at the mouth of a dugout known as the “Chalk Tunnel”. He is buried in Bull’s Road Military Cemetery at Flers in France.
William Garvey is commemorated on the Ancient Order of Foresters Orange Roll of Honour and 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 WT Garvey”; it was donated by the Ancient Order of Foresters. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Molong Express and Western District Advertiser, 1 July 1916, p. 4.
Molong Express and Western District Advertiser, 18 November 1916, p. 9.
Molong Express and Western District Advertiser, 5 January 1918, p. 8.