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metadata.territoryanzacs.dc.title: William Johns
Also known as: Johns, William Francis ; "Mulga Bill"
Rank: Sergeant
Service Number: 64886
Place of Birth: Hamley Bridge (S.A.)
Next of Kin: Henriette Eugenie Johns – Wife ; 12 Hector Terrace Glenelg, S. Aust.
Biographical notes: William was born at Hambly Bridge, South Australia on the 23rd March 1885 to Thomas Johns and his wife Agnes Alvira Johns (nee Schwerdt). In 1906 he joined the SA Police as a Foot Constable, finally being promoted in 1944 to South Australian Police Commissioner. During his career with the police force, William was transferred to the NT Police arriving in Darwin on 15 October 1909 and served in the Territory, as did his brother John (Jack), until his five-year secondment to the Northern Territory was completed in 1915. William received a CBE and an Order of Saint John during his police career. He was involved in an incident on the Roper River in 1911 when he was saved from drowning by his prisoner, Neighbour. Neighbour was awarded the Albert Medal in 1912 for his bravery. A further incident in the Victoria River Region in 1914 again nearly ended his life but ended less heroically with the death of prisoners. William married Henriette Eugenie Armstrong in Glenelg, South Australia on 29 September 1915. Lieutenant William Francis Johns also enlisted for the Second World War in Adelaide on 26 May 1942 (S69052) and was discharged 26 November 1945. William died on the 16 April 1972 aged 87 years survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife had died three years previously. An obituary in The Advertiser of Monday 17 April 1972 states that he was a founding member of the Epworth Freemason’s Lodge where he was Master in 1947. He was also an alderman in St. Peter’s Council, Adelaide for more than 17 years.
Occupation: Mounted Constable and Farrier
Date of Enlistment: 18-Feb-1918
Age at Enlistment: 32
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide (S.A.)
Unit: 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment 7th Company SE Egypt
Service: Australian Imperial Force
Date of Death: 1972-04-16
Place of Death: Adelaide (S.A.)
Place of Burial: Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide (S.A.)
Service History: John's unit embarked from Sydney on HMAT 'Malta' on 10 October 1918. He was transferred to the Imperial School of Instruction at Zeitoun, Egypt. William returned to Australia on the HT 'Oxfordshire' on the 10th August 1919 and was discharged on the 26th August 1919.
Related link: Neighbour's Albert Medal
South Australia Police Historical Society
"Biographies of Recipients", The Advertiser, 1 January 1946: p.5.
With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War by Thomas Henry Darley. East Sussex : Naval & Military Press, 2009.
Unit War Diary
Photograph: William Francis Johns NT Police, 1909.
Service Record
NT Police Museum and Historical Society
Neighbour's story.
Nominal Roll
Unit History
"News & Notes", Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 2 April 1914: p.10.
metadata.territoryanzacs.dc.subject.*: ANZAC
World War, 1914-1918 -- Northern Territory
Australia. Army. Australian and New Zealand Army Corps -- History
metadata.territoryanzacs.dc.identifier.uri: http://hdl.handle.net/10070/238804
Appears in Collections:Returned ANZACs

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