HE was a war veteran, husband, father, athlete, gentleman and popular member of the local community.
Bill King passed away in May at Strathearn nursing home at the age of 94.
Born in December 1921 at Birchip in country Victoria, Bill soon moved north to Wilga Plains, near Tullibigeal, with his parents and two siblings, Win and Frank.
Despite leaving school at 13 years of age, which was normal for children at the time, he had neat handwriting, never made a spelling mistake, and could handle any mathematical issues that confronted him.
In January 1942, Bill was called up to serve in the army.
After his training at Bathurst, he was transferred to Sydney to carry out coastal guard duty and was present when the Japanese submarines entered Sydney Harbour.
He was later transferred to Collie, south of Perth, for initial jungle training, before sailing from Brisbane with the 42nd Australian Infantry Battalion bound for Bougainville, Papau New Guinea, to replace other units.
Bill was involved with fighting the Japanese in the Torokina area, spending many hours in swamps within sight of the enemy.
Tasked with being a runner to deliver information between the Platoon and Company officers, he often had to make hasty moves to prevent detection by the Japanese.
Many of Bill’s mates were killed by Japanese snipers, who posed a constant threat.
It was when his Battalion was preparing to attack across the Mivo River that word was received to halt the advance, stay quiet, and remain undetected.
It had been rumoured the Japanese were about to sign an unconditional surrender, one which proved to be correct.
Bill was finally discharged from the service on June 26, 1946.
After the war, he returned to the farm and, while on holidays at Parkville near Scone, happened to meet a young lady called Muriel Turner.
They married in 1949 and raised two children. Bill eventually sold the property at West Milby and the couple moved to Scone in 1980.
He joined Scone Bowling Club a year later and continued to play the sport up until his final few years.
He also played AFL, cricket and tennis in his younger days.
Bill became part of the Probus club in 1985, holding the positions of president, vice president and treasurer at various stages. In 1998, he was recognised as a life member of the club.
His other keen interests were wool classing and sheep judging.
He had a tremendous liking of his Merino breeding program, and was also secretary of the local Milby sports and Gymkhana committee for many years.
Bill’s family described him as a true gentleman, who never criticised anyone or uttered a swear word.
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