William was born in Camberwell, where his father was an Insurance agent. But sometime after 1901 and before 1911 the whole family moved to Chichester where William worked as an assistant in his father’s refreshment bar.
However William, who had attended the National School, Camberwell, emigrated on his own to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia at the age of 20 and enlisted, on 12 January 1915, as a Private, regimental number 1909, with the 6th Battalion, 5th Regiment in the Australian Army.
They embarked from Melbourne, aboard the HMAT A20 Horaorata, on 17th April 1915 for Gallipoli in Egypt where William, now aged 21, was killed in action on 7th August that same year and is buried in the Shrapnal Valley Cemetery, Anzac, Plot II, Row A, Grave 44. William is listed on Panel 45 of the Australian War Memorial.
Passenger transcript details
Name: Mr W Baggarley
Date of departure: 17 June 1914
Port of departure: London
Passenger destination port: Melbourne, Australia
Passenger destination: Melbourne, Australia
Date of Birth: 1894
Occupation: Farm Student
Passenger recorded on: Page 12 of 25
The following is taken from the Aldingbourne Parish Magazine of October 1915; below the list of Regulars, Reservists and Recruits:-
William Charles Baggarley, the second son of Mr and Mrs J Baggarley of Norton, who was 21 years of age last March, emigrated to Melbourne, Australia, in June 1914. On reaching the Colony he became a member of the Y.M.C.A.
Volunteers being called for, to fight for the mother country, he enrolled with the 6th Batt, of the 5th Reinforcement, Australian Imperial Forces, and with members of the Young Men’s Christian Association, formed a part of H.M. Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Egypt. On leaving Australia he had a good send off, and was presented with a copy of the New Testament.
He did his training at Heliopolis and Cairo in Egypt and was soon promoted to the rank of lance-corporal. On completion of training, his battalion sailed from Alexandria on August 1st, 1915, and landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, when they immediately went into the fighting line, suffering very serverly in killed and wounded. Among those who fell in action on this memorable 7th August, 1915, appeared the name William C. Baggarley.
In a letter to his mother just before his death, William told her not to worry about him, for he was only doing his duty in fighting for the Old Country, as every loyal Englishman should do, and if he should fall, it would be in a just cause, and death would have no terror for him.