The Soldier's Details

First Name:
William Neil
Nick Name:
Bill or Billy
Regimental #:
‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion
Place of Birth:
Carlisle, Western Australia
Father's Name:
John Arthur Poole
Mothers's Name:
Fanny Poole (nee Yewdale)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Coach Painter
Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 136, Age 20.
Cause of Death:
Killed in Action
Place of Death:
South-West Bukit Timah
Date of Death:

General Description

Bill Poole enlisted May 1941 and in Dec 1941 was sent as a reinforcement to Fremantle to join the 2/4th MGB, E Company.



Studio portrait of WX13429 Private (Pte) William Neil (Billy) Poole, 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion. Pte Poole was killed in action on 11 February 1942, aged 20 years.  Prior to enlistment, Bill was apprenticed to Winterbottom Motor Coy’s Paint Shop.


Poole P2



Bill Poole’s name is inscribed on the Gosnells War Memorial, ensuring memory of his life and death is not forgotten.






Note:  G.S.R. is Great Southern Railway.

Bill’s parents John Arthur Poole and Fanny Yewdale married 1914 at Narrogin.    They had a family of three children before John died in 1922, Bill would have been a baby with older son John Arthur, and sister Esther born about 1917.

John Arthur Poole (Snr) was previously married 1884 SA to Annie Sophia Gibson who died about 1892.  There were two daughters from this marriage, Clara May Poole born 1885  S.A. who married Arthur Patrick Carmody.  Clara died 1931.  Victoria Maude known as ‘Cis’ born 1888 S.A. married  Sydney Dalton Ward.  ‘Cis’ died 1967.



Below:  William Neil Poole born 1921.


Bill’s father John Arthur Poole (Snr) died 21 Jul 1922.


We have included just two of Fanny’s recipes she entered in a newspaper cooking contest! Young Bill would have been at school.




Bill enlisted at Claremont the day after his 20th birthday, 23 May 1941.  He was Taken on Strength to Woodside Training Camp, SA and then to Darwin.  He sailed on the ‘Aquitania’ from Sydney via Fremantle to Singapore, but would not have seen his mother and family as there was no leave shore granted.

He fought with ‘E’ Coy, Special Reserve Battalion.

Fanny was unaware her ‘baby’ son Bill had been KIA Singapore 11 Feb 1942.





The Poole family received final confirmation of Bill’s death in April 1946.




In 1950, Bill’s only brother John Arthur (named after their father) was accidently killed in a motor cycle accident.