William I Jennings
Bairnsdale Rowing Club (VIC)
PTE W. I. Jennings 2932
Killed in Action Belgium 21 October 1917 Aged 27 years
Born and raised in East Bairnsdale, William Irvine Jennings (known as Bill) was the son of William and Mary Ann Jennings and was well known in the town.
William, who enlisted on 18 January 1916, was an engine driver and cleaner. He was a single man. Three months after signing up he left home on the troopship Euripides first landing at Alexandria, then onto England and France in September 1916. Twelve months later on 21 October he was in a shell hole, with four others, near Zonnabeke when a shell fell on them and he was either killed by the explosion or buried alive. His body was not recovered as shelling of the area was too severe to allow a proper burial. It wasn't until September the following year that he was officially recorded as having been killed in action. Two cousins, Peter (Orbost) and William (Bena), were also killed in action.
From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015