Arthur WOLNO

WOLNO, Arthur

Service Numbers: 3016, 3016A
Enlisted: 8 September 1916, Brisbane, Qld.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 49th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bald Hills, Queensland, Australia, 3 March 1888
Home Town: Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 14 August 1918, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Beacon Cemetery, Sailly-Laurette
VI G 2,
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bald Hills AIF Honour Roll, Citizens of Sandgate Honour Roll, Kallangur Pine Rivers Memorial Gates, Marchant Park Memorial Gates, Sandgate War Memorial, Strathpine District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3016, 49th Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Qld.
29 Oct 1916: Involvement Private, 3016, 49th Infantry Battalion
29 Oct 1916: Embarked Private, 3016, 49th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Marathon, Brisbane
14 Aug 1918: Involvement Private, 3016A, 49th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Arthur's parents were John Wolno and Mary Ann Phillips. Arthur enlisted the first time on 1 February 1916 and served two months but was discharged due to requiring dental treatment. He enlisted again on 16 September 1916 and his occupation was farmer. He embarked from Brisbane on 27 October 1916 on the Marathon, with two of his friends from Strathpine, George Robert Taylor [3008] and Alexander Sydney McDonald [2957]. Arthur was killed in action aged 30.

Biography contributed by Ian Lang

WOLNO Arthur  # 3016 49th Battalion


Arthur Wolno was born at Bald Hills to Mary and John Wolno. By the time Arthur enlisted his father had died, leaving his mother a widow. He gave his address as Rainbow Street, Sandgate; not far from the home of his mate, Alex McDonald. It appears that Arthur and Alex had teamed up with George Taylor to engage in a farming enterprise in the Strathpine area. All three enlisted within a short time of each other, were allocated to the same battalion and embarked for overseas together.


Arthur Wolno had attempted to enlist in February 1916 but was discharged after two months due to chronic dental problems with missing or decayed teeth. He probably had his teeth attended to in order to be passed fit a second time (the most common way of dealing with such an issue at the time was to have all teeth extracted and dental plates fitted). On the second attempt at enlistment on 15th August, Arthur was passed fit and allocated to the 7th reinforcements of the 49th Battalion, part of the 13th Brigade of the 4th Division AIF. He stated he was a 28 year old single farmer. Arthur and his mates embarked on the “Marathon” in Brisbane on 29th October. Arthur allocated 3/- of his daily pay to his mother. On Christmas Day 1916 off the coast of Sierra Leone, Arthur was charged with sitting on the ship’s rail, for which crime he was admonished.


Upon landing in Plymouth on 9th January 1917, the reinforcements marched out to Codford Camp and the 13th Training Battalion. In July, Arthur was posted overseas to Belgium to be taken on strength by the 49th which was in the reserve lines at Ploegsteert Wood (soldiers called it Plug Street) just south of Messines. Arthur would see his first major action at Polygon Wood in September of 1917.


When the Flanders front was closed down for the winter, all the Australian Divisions went into rest and training around Poperinghe to the west of Ypres. Towards the end of the winter Arthur spent some time at a Field Ambulance with scabies. While he was away, the 49th had been hurriedly transferred to the Somme to meet a surprise German advance which was threatening the vital city of Amiens. Arthur caught up with his unit at Dernacourt on 5th April where the 12th and 13th Brigades faced an estimated two and a half divisions of German storm troopers. The 49th provided mainly a supporting role but did contribute to a most substantial victory when the line was finally secured.


The situation in France remained tenuous for most of April until the retaking of Villers Brettonneux on Anzac Day 1918 halted the German advance. The 49th was in a support role at Hamel where Monash planned a limited engagement on 4th July. After the success of Hamel, Monash planned for a much larger offensive that would begin on 8th August; the Battle of Amiens. The 49th took part in what would be described by the German Commander as the “blackest day for the German Army”; advances being made on an 11 mile wide front up to 7 miles, well beyond the German support lines and into open country. The gains of the 8th needed to be consolidated in the face of German resistance that was strengthening. According to the War Diary of the 49th, much of the month of August was spent in active patrolling to maintain contact with the enemy, wiring and strengthening communications. The diary also records a total of 19 killed and 88 wounded for the month of August.

One of those killed was Arthur Wolno. His file records that he was killed in action on 14th August but the official records contain no other information. He was presumably buried in a battlefield grave marked by a wooden cross with details written in indelible pencil. In 1919 Mary Wolno received a small parcel of Arthur’s effects which included a belt, French coins, a map and a bullet. In 1920, Mary was informed that Arthur’s remains had been reinterred in the Beacon British Cemetery with a permanent headstone of Portland Limestone. Three photographs of his grave were provided.


In addition to being commemorated on the Strathpine Patriotic League Roll of Honour and the Pine Rivers Roll, Arthur Wolno and his two mates Alex Macdonald and George Taylor are listed on the Sandgate Honour Roll.