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William James Trevan was born in Ballarat, Victoria, was single and a Fitter when he enlisted with the 24th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement on 3 June 1916 at the age of 24. His unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 31 October 1916, disembarking at Davenport on 10 January 1917. On 24 February 1917 he was admitted to hospital for hernia and had an operation on 29 March. After his recovery he proceeded overseas to France, where he received a bayonet wound to the back and thigh on 9 October 1917, resulting in his immediate evacuation to England. He returned to France in December 1917. However, on 8 August 1918, he was wounded in action a second time, suffering a gunshot wound to the left arm. He as invalided to the UK and from there returned to Australia on 14 January 1919.
Tree No. 2736