As I’m thinking about our forthcoming trip to Europe on Tuesday where we will visit, amongst other places, famous Australian historical sites of the Somme and Gallipoli, my thoughts turn to the experience of my family at war.
I recently had the opportunity to have photos and medals of three generations of the Wilson family, framed and mounted so that I am now able to very proudly display a history of our involvement in war and service to our country.
Click on the picture for a larger view
The photo and medals in the frame on the left are those of my grandfather, Walter Edgar Wilson. He served as a sergeant in the 57th Battalion of the AIF at the Somme in WW1. He was wounded twice – the first time in the Third Battle of Ypres at Polygon Wood in 1916 and then near Villers Brettoneux in the Battle of Amien in 1918. My grandfather died when I was four years old and I only have vague recollections of him. I think his experience in some of the major battles on the Western Front changed him as a person forever.
In the frame on the right are the photo and medals of my father, Edgar Oswald Wilson. He originally joined the militia and served on the supply route through central Australia at Alice Springs and Barrow Creek. When WW2 became really threatening in 1942, he joined he 2nd AIF and saw active service at forward supply bases in Borneo and Moratai.
My photo as a young national serviceman, along with my medals from my service in Vietnam, are in the central frame. You can read about my experience in Vietnam through the diary that I kept. You will find it published in full by clicking on the links at the side of this page.