One of the few available photos of William Daley taken between the wars.

William Hubert Leo Daley was born in Cowra, New South Wales, on 19 September 1887. He was the nephew of the bushranger Patsy Daley who, by this time, was a businessman in the Cobar region.

William joined the AIF on 1 April 1916 in Mackay. He was described as 5 feet 7 1/2 inches tall, 142 lbs, dark complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. His listed his occupation as Blacksmith, appearing to have been apprenticed in Bathurst, New South Wales.

He served with the 4/4 Pioneers. He embarked on the Seang Choon in Brisbane on 19 September 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth on 9 December 1916. He was at the AIF Depot No 3 on 15 March 1917. On 7 April 1917 he reported to the Australian Army Service Corps (AASC). He was sent to France to bolster the AASC on 7 November 1917. He appears to have embarked on Southampton. He was taken ‘on strength’ in France 10 days later. On 23 November he was appointed as a driver. He was promoted to corporal on 18 January 1919 and sergeant on 8 February 1919. He appears to have returned to Australia on the Cape Verde in 1920.

His Division was initially stationed on the Suez Canal. In June 1916 it moved to France, taking over part of the “nursery” sector near Armentieres. Its stay there was brief and soon it was accompanying the First and Second Divisions to the Somme sector. In August 1916 it relieved the Second Division on the Pozieres Heights and repulsed a major German counterattack. It then drove north to the outskirts of Mouquet Farm. A second tour of the Somme at Mouquet Farm followed in September and a third at Flers in October.

On 11 April 1917 the Fourth Division assaulted the Hindenburg Line in the First Battle of Bullecourt. The battle was a disaster and 1170 Australian prisoners were taken by the Germans. In June it participated in the Battle of Messines. In September it participated in the Battle of Polygon Wood. In March 1918 the Fourth Division was rushed to the Somme region to stem the German Offensive. There it repulsed the advancing Germans in hard fought battles at Hebuterne and Dernancourt. In April its 13th Infantry Brigade was involved in the counterattack at Villers-Bretonneux. The Fourth Division went on to fight in the Battles of Hamel, Amiens and the Hindenburg Line, finally reaching the town of Bellenglise.

He enlisted again in Mackay on 2 July 1940. His date of birth is shown as being 1892, although he was born in 1887, which suggests he needed to lower his age to gain entry. At that time, he was still showing his occupation as a blacksmith. He was transferred to the No 1 Garrison Battalion in Townsville for guard duty. He had some problems away with being away without leave, falling asleep whilst on duty and insubordination. He was discharged in Townsville on 23 January 1941.

A number of years earlier William and his brother were caught up in a coronial inquiry.

The Cobar Herald – 14 January 1905

Death of Julius Caesar.

CORONER’S INQUEST.

In connection with the death of Julius Caesar, as reported in our last, an inquest was commenced by Mr. N. Morrison, coroner, on Friday morning of last week, and continued on Saturday. Mr. Hogan appeared for Daley. Constable Elliott said, about 7 p.m. on the 30th December he went to Wrightville, where he saw John Daley, whom he brought to the police station. Daley in answer to Constable Crisp, said he was at Wrightville on the 21st in company with Sheed and Murray, and his brother. Julius Caesar was there also. Murray took a paint-brush from Caesar, and said he was a bit of a sign-writer. Daley said. ‘Come away; he is a bad old man.’ Caesar threw a paint brush at Daley, hitting him on the shoulder. Daley threw a piece of stone (quartz he thought) which hit Caesar in the stomach. He was about five yards away. Caesar placed his hands on his stomach and sang out ‘ Police ! In answer to witness (Elliott), Daley said that was all the quarrel he had with Caesar. From instructions received, on the following morning witness re-charged Daley with ” that he did, on the 30th day of December, maliciously and feloniously murder Julius Caesar.’ Accused made no reply to the charge. To Mr Hogan He not remember Daley saying that the deceased followed up with second brush Constable Crisp (Wrightville) said that on Dec. 30 he saw deceased at Wrightville police station. This witness mainly corroborated the evidence of the previous witness. Accused said he intended to cross-summons Caesar. He saw deceased at Wrightville on the 23rd December. Caesar said he had been hit in the stomach with a stone thrown by young Daley, and that he had been in to see the Cobar police on the matter. Deceased gave witness a stone which he alleged was the one accused threw at him. He lifted his shirt and showed witness a bruise on his right side. He saw Caesar again at his hut on the 25th, and told him he would have to go to the hospital. Next day witness took him to the hospital. Witness said he was being attended by Dr. Paul for several days prior to going to the hospital. To Mr. Hogan : Deceased’s quarters appeared comfortable, and he had his meals at Martin’s Hotel. Saw deceased on the 25th instant, but he could not give a sensible answer, as he was half dazed. On December 27 a man named Cook handed him the stone produced. Some five or six months ago deceased told witness that he fell off a horse. Deceased appeared to be breaking up before the 21st December. Edmund Patrick Sheed, hairdresser, Wrightville, deposed : He knew the ceased ; was at Martin’s Hotel on December 21, in company with Wm. Daley, John Daley, Robert Ashton, Dan Collins, and John Murray. They went into the bar and had a drink. The two Daleys, Murray and witness came out on to the verandah, where they saw deceased painting a window sill. Murray took the brush from Caesar and was about to use it when John Daley took hold of the arm and said: ‘Don’t have anything to do with him ; he’s a bad old beggar.’ Caesar remarked that he did not understand, when Daley said – ‘Get out, you old b — ‘ Caesar said – ‘ You hear that. I make him pay dear for that.’ Caesar threw a paint brush at Daley, whereupon the latter throw a stone at Caesar, who put his hands round his body and cried out ‘ Police.’ To Senior-Sergeant Miller : Could not see whether the stone struck deceased or not ; Daley was 4 or 5 yards off. To Mr. Hogan: It was immediately after Caesar threw the brush that Daley threw the stone.

Robert Murray corroborated the evidence of the previous witness as to what happened at Martin’s Hotel, To Mr. Hogan: The stone produced was not the one that struck Caesar, as it was a lot smoother, being a piece of white quartz, about as big as a small glass ink bottle. Three or four days before the first witness had a conversation with Caesar, who said he was not getting along too well with his painting, as he had hurt his side when he had fallen off his horse. He said he could hardly do his work. Deceased was a feeble man. To the Senior Sergeant : Daley was sober; they had three drinks in town. Dr. G. V. F. Paul gave evidence. On 23rd deceased came to his surgery complaining of an injury to his chest on the right side. On examination , witness found a large bruise on the right side of the chest and the abdomen. One of the ribs was broken, and he was suffering from shock. The rib had been broken within three days. Also saw him at the Hospital on the 26th ultimo; when he was suffering from shock and insomnia. He died on the 30th. In his opinion, death was due to shock and a weak heart, as a result of the injuries described. To Mr. Hogan: He could not say what number of ribs were broken, as there was a good deal of swelling. Had deceased gone at once to the hospital and been properly attended to he did not think he would have died. He advised him to go to the Hospital on the 22nd but he did not go until the 26th, and in the mean time he had not attended him. He should think a blow similar to that described would have caused a man to fall at once. He had attended Caesar 18 months before, when he was not in a very good state of health. The injuries could have been caused in numerous ways. To the Senior Sergeant : There were no additional injuries when he saw deceased on the 26th. Dr. W. C. Robinson (Government Medical Officer) deposed : He held a post mortem examination on deceased’s body on the 31st’ December. On the right side of the chest there was a mark about 2 inches in diameter which appeared to be a bruise. Saw no other signs of injury on the outside of the body. The rib was broken. To the Senior Sergeant : He was of opinion that death was caused by pneumonia, pleurisy and heart failure, induced by the injury to his right side. To Mr. Hogan : Very likely if the patient had received medical treatment in the first place the pneumonia and pleurisy could have bee avoided. The body appeared to be in a healthy condition but there were remains of some old bronchitis in his lungs. Constable Elliott recalled, said he was on duty from the 6th to the 10th August last.

Julius Caesar came to him with a a bad hand, saying he got a fall from a horse. The inquest was then adjourned until Saturday morning. Patrick Kinnane said on December 21st Caesar called him over to the top of Chesney Hill when the (witness) was going home. He started to show witness the stone when it fell out of the handkerchief and rolled down the hill. Deceased then picked up a flat stone from off the hill and said ‘ I’m going to take this in to Mr. Hogan.’ He also said, ‘ I got a fiver off one fellow and I’ll get a fiver off them.’ The stone which rolled out of the handkerchief was only a small one. The one Caesar picked up was a large flat one, something like the one produced. He was certain the stone picked up was not the one he was carrying in his handkerchief. He remembered deceased falling off his horse three months ago. Since then he had frequently complained to witness about his inside being bad, saying he was under the care of Dr. Paul. Three or four months previous to December 21 he noticed deceased was failing in health. He told witness that he could not walk up the hill without taking a rest. He must have fallen away a stone during the last few months. He appeared to witness to be fast breaking up. To the Senior-Sergeant: He always found deceased a quiet old man. To the Coroner: It might have been in August last that deceased fell off a horse. William Daley, laborer, residing at Wrightville, deposed: He was a brother to John Joseph Daley. His brother started to walk away when deceased threw a paint brush at him, hitting him on the shoulder and knocking him against the verandah post. Caesar was following him up with another paint brush. His brother picked up a little stone and threw it. The stone produced was nothing like the stone his brother threw at deceased. The stone was not thrown with great force. To the Senior Sergeant: He knew the previous day that he would be called as a witness, and he was in the court when witnesses were giving evidence the previous day. To Mr. Hogan: He only knew that he would be called after the adjournment on the previous afternoon. John Twist, engine-driver, residing at Wrightville, deposed that he knew Julius Caesar for about 7 or 8 months. Most of that time he was camped at the Chesney, within 150 yards of where witness was working. He remembered him falling off a horse some two months ago, on his right side. The horse was racing when he fell, and the full was very hard. His strength seemed to be growing weaker every day. For two months before his death he was so weak that he could not bring the necessary water to his tent; John Hirst brought it for him. To the Senior Sergeant: Deceased was an old man and quarrelsome when under the influence of drink. John Hirst, night-watchman at the Chesney, said he knew the deceased for about three months. Witness carried two or three buckets of water for deceased every week from October until about a month ago. He appeared to be in a very weak state of health. John Joseph Daley, miner, Wrightville, said he was at Martin’s Hotel on 21st December with his brother William, Murray and Sheed, and after having a drink came out on the verandah where they saw Julius Caesar. Murray asked Caesar for the paint brush and gave a few dabs across the window sill, and he (witness) caught Murray by the arm, saying ‘Come away, Bob, he’s a bad old beggar.’ Caesar then made at witness with a big brush and called him a b___. Witness was going away from deceased when latter threw the paint brush at him, hitting him on the shoulder and partly knocking him down. Deceased was coming at him with another brush, when he (witness) immediately stooped down and picked up a small white quartz stone, which he threw towards deceased, hitting him in the stomach. Deceased put his arms around the bottom of his chest and sang out ‘ Police.’ To Mr. Hogan: He threw the stone in self-defence ; the stone was not thrown with force. The stone produced was nothing like the stone used. He intended to cross-summons Caesar when Crisp handed him the summons. To the Senior-Sergeant : There was nothing to prevent him getting away after Caesar picked up the first brush. He had only had three or four drinks that day. He never said anything else to Caesar. He would take Caesar to be over 80. Witness was 19 last June, about 6 ft high, 12st. 4lbs. in weight. He was in the best of health on December 21st. He had never pulled Caesar’s hair previous to this. Caesar threatened to give him in charge about Easter Monday, and he had a sat on him over since. This was because he got wild at witness beating him at scratch pulling. Mr. Hogan addressed the Coroner at length. Daley said he was not guilty and he had already given his explanation of the occurrence on oath. Ho was committed to stand his trial at the Circuit Court to be held at Dubbo on 5th April next. Bail was allowed, self in £500 and two sureties of £250 each or one in £500.