Walter Oliver (Walt) WEGENER


WEGENER, Walter Oliver

Service Number: 4780
Enlisted: 10 February 1916, Place of enlistment - Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Edwardstown, South Australia, 27 February 1897
Home Town: Tumby Bay, Tumby Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Tumby State School, South Australia
Occupation: Postal Assistant
Died: Killed in Action, France, 3 May 1917, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy
Plot III, Row C, Grave 6, Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy, Nord Pas de Calais, France, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Officers of S.A. Post, Telegraph and Telephone Department HR, Adelaide Postmaster General's Department WWI Honour Board , Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Tumby Bay RSL Portrait Memorials, Tumby Bay War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

10 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4780, 27th Infantry Battalion, Place of enlistment - Adelaide, South Australia
11 Apr 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4780, 27th Infantry Battalion, Embarked on HMAT 'A60' Aeneas from Adelaide on 11th April 1916
3 May 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4780, 27th Infantry Battalion

Past time

Walter was a great man. He loved his family and would do anything to protect them. He was the swagiest lord of the all. He died protecting his family and kissing one of his dead friends to solute him and to find peace.

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Stewart

Walt was born at Edwardstown (SA) on 27 Feb 1897 to Heinrich Lebrecht Wegener and Ellen Wegener (nee Rogers).  He was the third eldest of 9 children in the family, 6 boys and 3 girls.   His family moved to Tumby Bay in 1899, initially to Wadella Springs, before his father became a Commission Agent at Tumby Bay in 1901.  The family lived in a cottage opposite Tresize’s Garage on what is now the school oval.  This was one of the earliest cottages in Tumby Bay!


Walt went to school at Tumby Bay, commencing in 1905 and leaving on completion of Grade 7 in 1911.  He then worked in the Post Office at Tumby, which at that time was located in Tumby Terrace next to the Police Station, until he enlisted in the Army. At the time of enlistment he recorded his occupation as Assistant GPB (?)


As a result of his previous part time military service of 12 months as an Engineer signaller in 28th Battalion (Bn), a Citizen Forces unit, he was sent to the Signals School at Mitcham on enlistment for further signals training. After completion of this training he was posted to 12th Reinforcements/ 27th Bn on 12 Apr 1916.  He undertook further Infantry training, before embarking at Fremantle on “Aenoas” for Suez and then on to UK. 


On arrival in UK in Jul 1916 he was immediately admitted to Fargo Military Hospital suffering from influenza, being discharged from hospital in early Dec 1916.  On 15 Dec 1916 he embarked from Folkstone (UK) aboard the “Princess Victoria” for Etaples (France): On arrival he again joined his unit (27th Bn).


27th Bn was raised in SA in 1915 from recruits previously earmarked for 24th Bn.  Initially the Bn saw service at Gallipoli, commencing in Sep 1915, before returning to Egypt and then on to France, entering the front line on the Western Front on 7 Apr 1916 at the battle of Pozieres.  The Bn participated in a number of attacks during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917.  These attacks are listed as “minor attacks”, but the casualties were high.  It was during one of these attacks that Walt was killed in action (KIA).


Walt was buried in Queant Road British Cemetery near Buissy, which is noted as being 8 ¾ miles (approx 13 ½ Km) North West of Cambrai (France).  As usual for the time his Next of Kin had to send a remittance for 3 photos of the grave site: these were forwarded on 11 Apr 1922.  It is hard for us to comprehend the difficulty experienced and time taken for the passage of information during this period!


Medals and Decorations

British War Medal                                                                             

Victory Medal