Remembering Arthur Knights

Arthur Knights was born near Kilmore in 1896 to Henry James and Matilda Knights (nee Ward). Arthur attended Tantaraboo Public School. His name is recorded in his service documents and elsewhere as Knight.
When Arthur completed his AIF attestation form on August 9, 1915 in Melbourne he overstated his age as 21 years 7 months. He was allocated to the 13th Reinforcements, 5th Battalion and posted to camp at Williamstown as private 4228.
Arthur embarked on HMAT Demosthenes on December 29, 1915 bound for Egypt. On March 17 he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Two days later he was transferred to the newly formed 1st Pioneer Battalion.
Pioneer Battalions were formed to support the expansion of the AIF from the Middle East for service in the trenches along the Western Front. As well as being infantry, the men undertook small engineering tasks in the field such as digging trenches, tunneling, building bridges, and undertaking battlefield clearances.
In November 1916 Arthur was acting as Corporal and then promoted to Corporal in March 1917. During the Third Battle of Ypres Arthur was gassed on September 9, 1917. Then during the Battle of the Lys he received gunshot wounds to his left knee on April 24, 1918.
Transferred to England he was admitted to the Guildford War Hospital in Surrey in May then to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, Kent in June. As part of his recovery Arthur undertook a Lewis Gun course at Tidworth, Wiltshire in August – qualified first class.
William rejoined his battalion in France in early November, where he remained carrying out the clearing of battle fields. Transferring to England Arthur embarked on HMAT Port Darwin on July 27, 1919 for Melbourne, where he was discharged on September 18, 1919.
Arthur was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and his name is recorded on the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll, and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll. In January 1941 the Kilmore Free Press reported that Arthur had been elected as president of the Heathcote RSSILA (RSL). He died in 1963 at Northcote, Melbourne.

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