William Frank CLOAK

Year of Birth:  1892

Place of Birth:  Charters Towers, Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  5 October 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  24 January 1917, Sydney, New South Wales

Ship:  HMAT Ayrshire A33

Rank:  Private

Unit(s):  49th Australian Infantry Battalion – 2 to 10 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  3375A

Died:  28 March 1918


Private W F Cloak – photo courtesy John Oxley Library SLQ


William Frank Cloak (aka Cloake) was the second eldest child of William Henry Cloake and his wife Flora (West).  They had married in 1886 and had six children – Florence Eliza (1889), William Frances (1892), Charles Henry (1894), Emily May and Ernest Edmund John (1897) and Sarah An (1903).  His mother, Florence Cloake died 1903 and his father, William Henry died 1945

William was residing at Wolfram Camp when he enlisted at Cairns on 21 October 1916 naming his father William Henry Cloak, White Rock Via Cairns as his next of kin.  His occupation was Horse Driver and he was 22 years 5 months of age, 5 feet 8 inches in height, weighed 131 pounds with a dark complexion, dark brown eyes and hair.  He was Roman Catholic.

William left all of his real estate to Miss Madge Gillmore of Wolfram Creek.

He embarked on the HMAT Ayrshire from Sydney on 24 January 1917 arriving in England on 12 April 1917.  Before proceeding to France on 6 August 1917 he reported sick and again after arriving in France was admitted to hospital in Have, sick.  He rejoined his unit on 21 September 1917.

William Frank Cloak was killed in action in France on 28 March 1918 and is buried at Senlis Communal Cemetery Extension, Senlis-le-Sec, Picardie, France.

A communication from the A.I.F. advised that “a package of personal effects of the late No. 3375A Private W.F.Cloak, 49th Battn. was included in a consignment shipped from England per S.S.”Barunga”, which vessel was, lost at sea with all cargo”.


HMAT Ayrshire A33 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


NAA B2455 Effects lost at sea


Online Resources

NAA:  B2455 Cloak, William Frank, National Archives Australia

Photo of late Pte W F Cloak, John Oxley Library, SLQ

Photograph of HMAT Ayrshire, Australian War Memorial


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

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