William Anderson Maxwell was working as an Engine Driver at Worsley, W.A prior to enlisting in the Army at Blackboy Hill, W.A on 7th September, 1914. He was posted to the 11th Battalion as a Private and embarked from Fremantle on the ” Ascanius ” on 2nd November, 1914. Pte. MAXWELL disembarked at Alexandria Egypt on 26th Novemeber 1914 , to continue training.
On 2nd March, 1915 , Pte. MAXWELL embarked from Alexandria Egypt with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, bound for the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Sadly, Pte. MAXWELL was seriously injured by Shell Wounds at Gaba Tepe , Gallipoli on 1st August 1915. He suffered a Compound Fracture of the Right Thigh and was admitted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station at Gallipoli. Pte. MAXWELL was evacuated from Gallipoli by Hospital Ship, then admitted to the 21st General Hospital Ras-el- Tin , Alexandria Egypt on 6th August, 1915, in a dangerously ill condition.
Unfortunately, Pte. MAXWELL died on 8th August, 1915 at the 21st General Hospital Alexandria Egypt, from Wounds Received in Action at Gallipoli. The Medical Report quoted cause of death to be Septic Poison of the Right Leg.
Letter Written on 9th August,1915 by Nurse Nelly Littlewood from Ramleh , Alexandria Egypt to Soldier’s Mother-
” Dear Mrs Maxwell, Your son Private William Maxwell was brought into No. 21 General Hospital , Alexandria, on Friday 6th. He had a severe wound in his thigh, and was unconscious. He did not suffer at all, and everything was done for him that could possibly be done. I was with him all Saturday morning , and again on Sunday morning until he died about 11 o’clock. He did not regain consciousness and died very peacefully. He is buried in the British Cemetery at Sidi Saber , near Alexandria in the Soldier’s Corner, and was buried with all Military Honours. I am sending you his Pay Book, belt, watch, tobacco pouch, letters and one or two other small things that he brought into Hospital with him. As I know, they will be a little comfort to you in your great sorrow.
Sergeant Wilson of the 11th Regiment told me that they went into action at Gabe Tepe the night of the 31st July, charged the Turkish Trenches, took them and held them in spite of heavy shell-fire. Your son must have been wounded then. They all did simply magnificently. It was a grand thing for your son to die fighting so bravely for his Country. Mrs Maxwell, please accept all my sympathy in your great loss. I wish to God we could have saved your son for you. We did our best.
I am Registering the parcel, so I hope it will arrive safely.
Your sincere Friend,
Nelly Littlewood “.