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Windsor LANG


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 6826 30y4m 15 Jan 1917 3

Corporal Windsor Lang (1886 - 1955)

Booklet

Family Background and Enlistment

Windsor Lang was born in 1886 in Woodburn NSW of parents Catherine Maria (née Monaghan, formerly Langley) 1843-1889 and John Lang (1848-1947).  John was a pioneer of the area. Windsor had 3 brothers and 3 step sisters.

Windsor, a school teacher just over 30 years of age, enlisted on 15 January 1917 and was allocated to the 11th Depot Battalion and was given the number 6826.  This Battalion trained at Enoggera in Brisbane in the early months of 1917 – which may explain how a soldier from NSW has recognition on one of the Presbyterian Honour Boards in the Merrington Anzac Memorial Peace Chapel at Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Ann Street Brisbane.

While his occupation was given as School Teacher on his attestation paper, the question as to whether he had been an apprentice was answered ‘Yes’.  He had been apprenticed to W.W. Morris for 4 years. W.W. Morris, a dentist, advertised in the Northern Star of Saturday 8 October 1904 as being in Ballina as well as Lismore.

As next-of-kin, Lang named his wife Lillian Grace whom he married in Casino in 1910, and requested that 3/5 of his pay was to go to his ‘wife and children’.  They had two children Lindsay Duncan (1915-1975), and Lionel Gordon (1916 – 1990)  who was a teacher. Lionel married Laura May Young in 1937 and they had 3 children (Jason, Marion and Rodney).

Enlistment

At enlistment he was 5ft 8ins (173cm) tall, 11st 2lbs (71kg) in weight, and had a fair complexion, brown eyes and light brown hair. His religious denomination was Presbyterian. Lang indicated that he had served for two years in 2nd Regiment Scottish Rifles and four years as Lieutenant in Senior Cadets.

According to his service record, he had been granted and taken Home Leave prior to boarding HMAT Hororata A20 in Sydney and leaving on 14 June 1917. 

Training

After spending 2 August to 5 August as a casualty in hospital he disembarked in Liverpool on 25 August 1917.  From here he marched in to the 7th Training battalion at Rollestone.

Early in June 1916, the training units began to arrive from Egypt. Up to that point the Camps had been training the reinforcements arriving from Australia and preparing the Gallipoli veterans for the new operational theatre of the Western Front. Between August 1916 and November 1917, Training Groups were established across Salisbury Plain as reinforcements arrived with just basic training from their time in Australia. Each Division had its own Training Group.

France

On 29 November Lang was appointed acting Lance Corporal but this ended on 27 December when he went overseas to France from Southampton as one of the reinforcements for the 25th Battalion.

1918 was an exhausting year for the 25th Battalion.  It fought to turn back the German spring offensive in April, and then participated in battles at Morlancourt, Hamel, Amiens and along the Somme Valley as the German Army was pushed ever closer to defeat.

These actions sapped the strength of the AIF, already terribly weak due to earlier casualties and lack of reinforcements.  In September, the 25th was one of several battalions ordered to disband to reinforce others. Its troops mutinied, winning the Battalion a temporary reprieve.

Private Windsor Lang was wounded in action on 16 April 1918, and on 24 April 1918 was admitted to Mile End Hospital with gunshot wound to the left elbow.  On recovery he returned to France on 24 November 1918.

Lang was granted leave in 1919 from 15 May to 15 September, with pay, and began a tour of English Schools, attending Board of Education schools in London.  But, he was re-transferred to the 9th Battalion on the cancellation of his leave and promoted to ER Cpl on 4 June 1919 at AIF Depots in the United Kingdom.

Windsor Lang returned to Australia per Ormond on 16 June, disembarking on 4 August 1919 and was discharged a month later.

Post War

Lang returned to teaching, being promoted to Headmaster of the South Lismore Public School from which he retired in 1946.

Prior to his death in July 1955, Lang was patron of the Richmond River Historical Society which had a revival in 1953.  Credit for this revival was given to Lang’s contribution and leadership.  Windsor was noted for the vast number of historical documents which are in the Lismore museum.  He had a great interest in the history of the area and personally interviewed many long-time residents.  He wrote ‘Sagas of the early days’ which was published in the Northern Star in 1946.  He was held in high esteem and the Lismore RSL spoke of his valuable service.

Windsor and his wife Lillian are buried in adjacent graves in the Presbyterian section of the Ballina Cemetery.


Reference List
Northern Star. Saturday 8 October 1904; 26 July 1955; 11 March 1946
• National archives
• Archives.com.
• Centenary Interment Register, Ballina Shire Council
• Lismore South Public School. www.lismoresth-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/ 
• NSW Family History.  https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au/lifelink/familyhistory/search
• Training Camps England. https://anzac-22nd-battalion.com/training-camps-england/
• 25th Australian Infantry Battalion. https://www.awm.gov.au/unit/U51465/
• Ancestry.com

Compiled by Bob Warrick, Brisbane.  April, 2017.

 

 

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