SERVICE NO: 162
YEAR OF BIRTH: 1895
PLACE OF BIRTH: Harrow
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 20 August 1914
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Broadmeadows
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 19
UNIT: 4th Light Horse Regiment
EMBARKED: 19 October 1914
TROOP SHIP: Transport A18 Wiltshire
FATE: Died of Wounds – 5 August 1915 – At Sea, off Gallipoli Peninsula
William Niven was born in Harrow in 1895 to William Niven and Mary Jane Shaw. William Niven Sr. was a dairyman and in 1912, the Niven family were living at Glenara a dairy farm, part of the Merino Downs division in 1908 as part of the Closer Settlement Scheme. By 1913, the family were living in Clarke Street, Hamilton.
William Niven Jr. played for North Hamilton football club, attended St. Andrews Presbyterian church and was a member of the local light horse regiment. When WW1 broke, he was one of the first Hamilton men to enlist and on 18 August 1915, William was among the first group of soldiers to leave Hamilton Railway station for training at Broadmeadows before departing overseas. On arrival at Broadmeadows, he was the second man to pass the medical test.
The 4th Light Horse Regiment left Melbourne on 19 October 1914.
After they arrived in Egypt on 10 December 1914, the regiment spent time training and sightseeing, before making the journey to the Dardanelles in May 1915, by then well aware of what waited for them at Gallipoli. In the days before the Battle of Lone Pine, on 5 August, William received shrapnel wounds to his head. He transferred to the hospital ship HMHA Rewa, but died soon after. He was buried at sea off the Gallipoli Peninsula.
By 1919, parents William and Mary Anne Niven had moved to South Yarra.