No.51735 Private William Murdoch Wilson
William Wilson was born at Ballarat in 1899 to Hew John Wilson and Mary Margaret Kilgower/Kilgour. They had married in 1894 *, and had six children:
- Samuel Roy Wilson, born at Nhill, Certificate No.1896/5728
- Jean Walker Wilson, born at Ballarat - Cert. No.1898/396
- William Murdoch Wilson, born at Ballarat - Cert. No.1899/15330 (A.I.F. No.51735)
- Hew Alex Wilson, born at Ballarat - Cert. No.1905/494
- Mary McClelland, born at Ballarat - Cert. No.1908/16345
- George Kilgour Wilson, born at Ballarat - Cert. No.1911/8447
Prior to his enlisting in the A.I.F., William Wilson worked for the Post Office as a Telegraph Messenger, and lived with his parents at Little River.
When the Wilson family left Little River in 1918, an article was published in the local press paying them tribute. Mr Hew Wilson, their esteemed Station Master was the best that they had ever had. As a secretary of the Presbyterian Church, he was missed. Mrs Wilson was one of the best workers in the Little River Red Cross. Miss Wilson had been the organist at the local Presbyterian Church. They were farewelled at special functions in the Little River Hall on 15 November 1918, and also at the local church.
Werribee Shire Banner, 21 November 1918, p.3.
William Murdoch Wilson enlisted in the A.I.F. at Geelong on 10 July 1917, and was sent to the Military Camp at Broadmeadows for Initial Training. This was completed on 13 August 1917, and he was appointed as a Private with the 25/14th Reinforcements with the 2nd Depot Battalion. He then spent time as an invalid at the Macleod camp, until he returned to the 2nd Depot Battalion on 2 October 1917.
He was then appointed to the 8/38th Reinforcements with the 2nd Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows, between 18 November and 10 December 1917.
Between 10 December 1917 and 4 March 1918, he served with the 10/46th Reinforcements with the 2nd Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows, when he was again invalided.
Private Wilson marched in to the 1st Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows on 4 March 1918, where he prepared to embark for overseas service.
At the age of 18 years, Private William Murdoch Wilson embarked from Sydney on 5 June 1918, per R.M.S. Orontes. He was a member of the 3rd Victorian Reinforcements. During the voyage to England, he spent five days in the ship's hospital.
He disembarked from the R.M.S. Orontes at Liverpool on 11 September 1918, and three days later, marched in to the 9th Training Battalion at Fovant. While there he was allocated as a reinforcement for the 39th Battalion.
Two months later the Armistice was signed to end the war, so he didn’t go overseas to France.
On 13 December 1918, Private Wilson was detached to the A. A. Postal Corps at the Sutton Veny Camp.
While at this camp, he went Absent Without Leave over the period of 26 August 1919 until 9 September 1919. For this crime he was awarded 21 days in Detention, and a loss of 35 days pay.
Private Wilson returned to Australia per Port Sydney. He embarked from England on 22 September 1919, and disembarked in Melbourne on 12 November 1919. He was discharged from the A.I.F. on 5 December 1919.
The Electoral Roll for 1921 records that William Murdoch Wilson was then living at 56 Lorne Street, Moonee Ponds, and he was working as a mail assistant.
In 1929, William Murdoch Wilson married Isabelle Martha Jane Clark in Victoria. (Certificate No.6497/1929)
find my past - Victoria Marriages 1836-1947
Between 1934 and 1954, he lived at 118 Tennyson Street, Essendon, and he was then working as a Public Servant. Also at the same address was Isabella Martha J Wilson – Home Duties. William was then working as a Wireless Licence Inspector, and his name is on numerous summons, issued in 1938, which were heard in the Petty Sessions Courts.
1963 saw William and Isabella at 137 Ellesmere Parade, Macleod West, and was retired.
William Murdoch Wilson died on 6 July 1986, **aged 87 years, and was cremated at the Fawkner Memorial Park on 9 July 1986.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal - No.51735
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: Wilson W. N.
[The initials W.N. on the Oak Board should read W.M.]
Name on the Little River Honour Board: Wilson W. M.
Name in the Werribee Shire Banner’s Roll of Honor: Wilson, W. N. – Little River
* Digger – Federation Index, Victoria, Marriage Cert 1894/6094
** Ancestry.com - The Victoria, Australia, Death Index, 1836-1988 also lists both of his parents.
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