William Andrew Newland (Service No. 483)
(1880 - 1949)

William Andrew Newland was born in the Geelong area in March 1880 the eldest child of William Anthony Newland and Louisa Jane Newland nee Wall who were early residents of Laverton. Perhaps an adventurer at heart he fought in the Boer War in South Africa with his younger brother James as part of the 2nd Scottish Horse cavalry regiment. The cavalry regiment was made up of volunteers raised in Melbourne by the Marquis of Tullabardine with the aid of the local Caledonian Society. Those wishing to enlist had to pay their own way to attend interviews, the various skill tests and medicals. No payment was received until the troops arrived in South Africa.

In an article that appeared in the Melbourne Argus the Marquis of Tullabardine writing from Middleburg in the Transvaal said of his 250 or so Victorian volunteers: “The Australians are the best set of cavalry I have seen out here yet”. This of course established a tradition followed by the various light horse regiments that served in WWI. Trooper William Andrew Newland 2nd Scottish Horse was discharged from service at Edinburgh Castle Scotland in September 1901. He would have seen action in the Eastern Transvaal in major clashes with the Boers at Roodekrantz and Eland’s Hoek. At war’s end in 1902 William and James Newland were both awarded the South Africa Medal with William receiving three clasps.

Courtesy: Archives of the Shire of Alberton, 1917

It is not known when William returned to Australia but by the time WWI broke out in August 1914 William Newland was working as a mechanical engineer in Yarram, Gippsland. He was 34 years and 5 months old and was married to Elizabeth Grace Newland nee Allin. He enlisted in the AIF barely 11 days after war was declared on 19 August 1914 and just two days after his younger brother James. Clearly his experience as a cavalryman during the Boer War was immediately appreciated. His experience and knowledge was also used within the Yarram district as part of the recruitment committee.

After being assigned to the machine gun section of the 4th Light Horse Regiment he was transferred to the 8th Light Horse Regiment and made a sergeant by the end of October. The 8th Light Horse and Sergeant William Newland embarked from Melbourne on HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 25 February 1915. Their first port of call was Alexandria and from there they proceeded to Gallipoli. Sergeant Newland landed at Gallipoli on 21 May where he and the regiment fought as dismounted infantry. Five days into the battle Sergeant Newland received a gunshot wound to the chest at Walker’s Ridge that was sufficiently severe for him to be repatriated to Australia. He was evacuated from Gallipoli back to Ghezireh Hospital Egypt and then embarked on the HS Ballarat from Suez in 5 July 1915 arriving in Melbourne 6 August and was discharged as medically unfit in December 1915.

Shortly after his return William returned to the town of Yarram and returned to his occupation as an engineer he remained there until about 1924 when the family moved to Wonthaggi where they lived until around 1940. They then moved back to the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. Emphasising the closeness of the two brothers William and James having served together during the Boer War and both enlisting to serve in WWI both died in 1949 William on 9 May and James 19 March. William was 69 years old.


  1. The Argus, 21 May 1901, p.5.
  2. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7994940
  3. https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=222364
  4. https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=685622
  5. Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor, 29 July 1915, p.3.
  6. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1338854
  7. ancestry.com.au
  8. Potrait Images and Background: Courtesy of Rob Newland
  9. Image: Archives Shire of Alberton
  10. Image of Light Horse: Courtesy: awm.gov.au/collection/C954692

Research by: Graeme Reilly (ALHS)