Richard Wesley WONG

WONG, Richard Wesley

Service Number: 5430
Enlisted: 22 February 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 17th Infantry Battalion
Born: Moorina, Tasmania, Australia , 19 May 1888
Home Town: Beechworth, Indigo, Victoria
Schooling: Beechworth State School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Blacksmith
Died: Killed in Action, France, 2 March 1917, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Warlencourt British Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Beechworth Methodist Church Honour Roll, Beechworth Shire WW1 Honour Roll, Beechworth War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

22 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 5430, 17 Infantry Battalion AMF
22 Aug 1916: Involvement Private, 5430, 17th Infantry Battalion
22 Aug 1916: Embarked Private, 5430, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Wiltshire, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School

Richard Wesley Wong, the son of Bartholomew and Emma Jane Wong and older brother of William. Richard was born in Moorina Tasmania but the family later moved to Beechworth, Victoria where Richard worked as a blacksmith before enlisting. Richard Wesley Wong was described as being "a very decent fellow" by his peers.

Richard Wesley Wong, enlisted on the 22nd of February in 1916 at the age of 27. He was enlisted at the rank of private with the service number roll 5430 and he embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 22 August 1916 with his unit 17th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement. He had a younger brother called William that tried to enlist six months prior to him however, William was rejected because he was not was "not substantially of European origin" even though Richard successfully enlisted.

Richard Wesley Wong was posted to the 14th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion. After training at Cootamundra, New South Wales, Richard left for the training camps in Britain in August with the 14th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion, on HMAT Wiltshire. He arrived in Plymouth in October and two months later went on to France to join his battalion who were a group of battle-hardened men who had fought in the August Offensive on Gallipoli and at Pozières.

On 2 March the 17th Battalion successfully re-captured a position known as Layton Alley during an assault on Malt Trench, near Warlencourt. It was during the course of this action that Richard was killed. According to the Red Cross Wounded and Missing report, he was killed instantly by a German shell which fell on Layton Alley just as the Australians had captured it.

In the Red Cross Wounded and Missing report, Richard Wesley Wong was killed in action instantly on the 2nd of March in 1917 by a German shell which fell on Layton Alley in France just as the Australians 17th Battalion had successfully recaptured it. Richard was the age of 29 when he died and he was commemorated and buried in the Warlencourt British Cemetery, Warlencourt-Eaucourt, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France at Plot VI, Row H, Grave No. 25. He received the British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service at the Western Front. Richard Wong is on the Australian War Memorial roll of honour at panel number 84 and he is also found on the First World War Embarkation Rolls and First World War Red Cross Wounded and Missing.

His belongings were sent to his widowed mother, including photos and a copy of the New Testament. She also later received his medals.


Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Richard Wesley WONG was born in Moorina, Tasmania on 19th May, 1888

His parents were Bartholomew Poo WONG & Emma Jane RICHARDS