William Charles Rayment

 
Birth Date:
22 JAN 1892
Death Date:
11 NOV 1916
Service Branch:
Australian Flying Corps
Service Number:
49
Story:

William Charles Rayment was born at Mount Duneed in Victoria, Australia on 22nd January 1892, the fifth of seven children of 29-year-old James Rayment and his wife Harriett Frances Rayment née Ratten.

His early life was not very easy, his mother having died when he was just five years old, but after leaving school he managed to get an apprenticeship as a heating engineer.

On 29th June 1915, at the age of 23 and after having spent six years as a heating engineer, he enlisted at Melbourne for service abroad in the Australian Flying Unit (a part of the Australian Imperial Force) and on 10th August 1915 he embarked at Melbourne aboard the ship RMS Persia bound for Asia Minor.

It was whilst serving as an Air Mechanic in No. 30 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AIF) at Kut-El-Amara, a town some 160 kilometres (about 100 miles) south of Baghdad in Iraq, that he was badly wounded during the famous siege of the town and was captured by the Ottoman Army and so became a POW (Prisoner of War).

Having been taken to Turkey with other POWs, he died in hospital from chronic nephritis on 11th November 1916 at Tarsus, Icel, Turkey, aged just 24 years, this being just 16 days before the death of his father James in Australia.  Although he was then buried at Tarsus War Cemetery in Turkey, his body (along with others) was exhumed in 1927 and re-buried at the North Gate War Cemetery in Baghdad, Iraq (pictured above left).  It has been claimed that this was done in order to secure the future maintenance and upkeep of the British war graves.

Never having been married he has no descendants but his grave is now very well tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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