The ‘Gallipoli Sniper’ gets married in 1917

Private Billy Sing, the ‘Gallipoli Sniper’, married Elizabeth Addison Stewart on this day in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1917. Billy was on leave from hospital in England when he visited Edinburgh and met Elizabeth, who was described on the marriage certificate as a ‘restaurant waitress’.

Billy returned to his unit, the 31st Infantry Battalion, shortly after the wedding and spent much of 1917 and 1918 on the Western Front. He returned to Australia in 1918 and took up land in central Queensland.

Elizabeth Sing remained in Edinburgh and subsequently had two children (a girl in 1919 and a boy in 1923), neither fathered by her husband. Travelling under a different name, she brought her children to Sydney in 1925 and died in Sydney in 1977 having spent her time in Australia living with (but not married to) an Australian merchant seaman who she’d met in Edinburgh in the early 1920s.

Sadly, Billy Sing had died in Brisbane in 1943.

Billy Sing’s story (but excluding material on Elizabeth’s fate after 1918) is told in John Hamilton’s biography Gallipoli Sniper.