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George WILSON


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Lance Cpl 5097 22y 25 Jan 1916 20 Aug 1919 3

Private George Wilson (1894 - 1981)

Wilson Brothers Booklet 

William Alexander and Annie Wilson née Durward lived at Vernor near Lowood when two of their sons, George and John, enlisted to serve in the Australian Imperial Force.

George's enlistment and service

George Wilson was born on 11 July 1894.  A farmer, single, aged 22 years, he enlisted in Brisbane to serve overseas with the AIF on 25 January 1916.

Private George Wilson, service number 5097, left Brisbane with 25th Infantry Battalion on HMAT Seang Choon on 4 May 1916.  His unit sailed to France late in September. At Étaples in France George Wilson was attached to the Divisional Base Depot.

For a short period in early October he was appointed Acting Sergeant then reverted to the rank of Private.  On 15 October Private Wilson was taken on strength in the 31st Battalion which at that time was not engaged in any offensive role on the Western Front, though it still spent periods of time in the muddy trenches of the front line.

In November he was sick in hospital at Étaples and in December he was transported to Hurdcott in England, suffering from Trench Foot2 and Influenza. Here he remained till March 1917 when he was discharged on furlough reporting periodically to Perham Down Depot on the Salisbury Plain. After rehabilitation at a Command Depot in Southern England he joined the 15th Battalion at Divisional Base Depot in France in June 1917.

From September to December 1917 Private George Wilson was ill again in the Boscombe Military Hospital in England with Trench Fever and Diarrhoea.

He had rejoined his battalion in France at the beginning of 1918 but he spent another long period in hospital in April and May.  On 22 October he was appointed Lance Corporal.

Post war 
After the war he was granted extended leave in France and England but it was not till 12 May 1919 that he embarked for Australia on board Port Napier, arriving in Melbourne on 2 July. He was transhipped to HT Nestor for the voyage to Brisbane and was discharged there on 20 August 1919. He had served in three battalions and spent many long months on sick beds in France and England.

Nothing could be found of George’s life after the war. He died in Brisbane on 18 March 1981 aged 86 years and is buried in the Mt Gravatt Cemetery.


Footnotes
1 Bean, Anzac to Amiens, page 257
2  'Trench Foot' was a fungal infection of the feet brought on by prolonged exposure to damp, cold conditions allied to poor environmental hygiene.
Select Bibliography
• Bean C. E. W., Anzac to Amiens, Penguin Books, Melbourne, 2014
• Carlyon Les, The Great War, Pan Macmillan Australia, Sydney, 2006
• Pedersen, ANZACS on the Western Front, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, 2012     
• National Archives of Australia, World War 1 military records, First World War Embarkation Rolls
• Commonwealth War Graves Commission
• Australian War memorial - Roll of Honour
The Courier-Mail, Tuesday 18 August 1942, page 8;  Friday 28 August 1942, page 8
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• State Library of Queensland – images as cited
 

Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane.   May 2015

 

 

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