Rowland John WILSON

 Rowland John WILSON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4910), Rowland John Wilson was born at Tallawang, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 24 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 10 stone 6 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had 3 months experience with the Lawson Rifle Club. The “Joined on” date on his Attestation Paper was 7th November 1915.  He was attested at Lawson on 7th November 1915.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. He completed his medical examination at Liverpool on 15th November 1915.

On his embarkation roll he is listed under the name Ronald John Wilson, and his address at time of enrolment was Queens Road, Lawson, N.S.W.  His next of kin is listed as his brother [i.e. uncle], P. J. Wilson, Queens Road, Lawson, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Wilson along with many of the other Coo-ees departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 Private Wilson was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private Wilson left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 8th June 1916.

Private Wilson served with the 45th Battalion during its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916. Private Wilson then moved with the 45th Battalion to Pozieres, France, in early August 1916.

Private Wilson was killed on the night of the 7th/8th August 1916 when the 45th Battalion was under heavy enemy artillery fire between Pozieres and Martinpuich in the Battle of Pozieres – the same night that fellow Coo-ee William Emerton Hunter was killed, who was also in the 45th Battalion.

Private Wilson’s date of death is recorded as 8th August 1916. He has no known grave.

Private Wilson is remembered on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.

Private Wilson's name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Wilson’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Wilson’s name is commemorated on panel 141 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

His name is also remembered on the Lawson War Memorial.

[1] NAA: B2455, WILSON R J

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