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Williams, William Frederick

Williams, William Frederick

Alias: None

Title: Mr

Dates: 1886-1964

Nationality: Australian

Awards: None

William Frederick Williams was born on 23 December 1866 in Tasmania. He was one of ten children, and the family lived in Port Sorell, near Devonport, with most of the boys drifting into seafaring jobs when they left home.

Williams joined the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod) at the age of 21 as an able-bodied seaman. He signed on in Lyttelton on 24 November 1908 under the name 'W. Williams', and signed off in Poplar on 31 August 1909 having participated in the surveying of the islands in the Sub-Antarctic waters on Nimrod’s voyage back to London under the captaincy of John King Davis. During the expedition he kept a small notebook or diary in which he recorded the weather and noted the principal actions of his watch. The notebook also contains a brief summary of the voyage south.

From Poplar, Williams made his way back to Australia where, in Sydney, he married Elizabeth Grace Smith in 1911. On his return to Tasmania, he tried his hand at a variety of jobs before settling in the Lakes District of Tasmania in the 1920s, working for the Tasmanian Government as the manager of guest houses catering for trout fishermen. He later moved to Victoria where he tried chicken farming in Werribee, with his elder son Claude, before ending up as a cobbler at Williamstown. In the late 1940s Williams retired to Eastern View, Victoria, and died in Melbourne on 25 July 1964, aged 77.


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