Year of Birth:  1883

Place of Birth:  Mertown, Berwick, Scotland

Date of Enlistment:  29 April 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  7 September 1916, Brisbane

Ship:  HMAT Clan McGillivray A46

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  26th Australian Infantry Battalion – 13 to 18 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  5540

Died:  26 March 1917


Private William Blackadder – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial

William Blackadder was born in 1883 in Mertoun, Berwick, Scotland to John Blackadder and Agnes Best.  He was the eldest of 5 sons, Robert born 1884, George 1887, John 1890, Thomas 1897.  At the time of William’s death his father John’s address is Broomhall, Mertoun, St Boswells, Roxburghshire, Scotland. William emigrated to Cairns, Queensland on the “Roscommon” arriving in 1913 from London. His brother John also served and died in France in 1916.

On his enlistment in Cairns his age was 33 years 8 months, occupation was a Storeman for Burns Philp & Co and his next of kin was his mother Agnes Blackadder, Mertown, Berwick, Scotland. He was 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighed 164 pounds with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.  He was Church of England.

Private Blackadder embarked on the HMAT Clan McGillivray from Brisbane on 7 September 1916 and disembarked Plymouth, England on 2 November 1916.  He proceeded to France, landing at Etaples on 14 December 1916.  He was killed in action 26 March 1917 and is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France.


Pte W Blackadder – Northern Herald (Cairns) 1 June 1917


HMAT Clan McGillivray A 46


Northern Herald (Cairns) 5 May 1916 p16


Roll of Honour Circular. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial


Northern Herald  (Cairns) 6 July 1917 p16


Cairns Post 11 September 1917 p4


William’s mother Agnes Best. Photo courtesy of Ian Norris, Norris Family Tree, Ancestry.com


Online Resources

Photograph Private William Blackadder at sea, Australian War Memorial

Photograph, HMAT Clan McGillvray A46,

Photograph William Blackadder, Northern Herald Cairns 1 June 1917

NAA: B2455, William Blackadder, National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Northern Herald (Cairns) 5 May 1916 p16

Northern Herald (Cairns)  6 July 1917 p6

Cairns Post 11 September 1917 p4


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please contact the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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