Alexander Mark (Alick) WILSON DCM, MM+Bar

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WILSON, Alexander Mark

Service Number: 12436
Enlisted: 2 July 1915, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 10th Field Ambulance
Born: Footscray, Victoria, 13 June 1888
Home Town: Yarraville, Maribyrnong, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Ammunition worker
Died: Killed in Action, France, 20 May 1918, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Querrieu British Cemetery
Row A, Grave No. 22
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

2 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 12436, Melbourne, Victoria
20 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 12436, 10th Field Ambulance, HMAT Runic, Melbourne
20 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 12436, 10th Field Ambulance, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
27 Feb 1917: Honoured Military Medal, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages, 'At ARMENTIERES on the night 26th/27th February, 1917, during the raid on the German lines, Sergeant WILSON was posted in the subsidiary line under Captain GLASSFORD, A.A.M.C., in charge of a party of Stretcher Bearers. Between 12.45 a.m. and 1.30 a.m. whilst under heavy shell fire and until 4 a.m. under machine gun and rifle fire, Sergeant WILSON was conspicuous for his devotion to the wounded and rendered valuable assistance by his coolness, energy and capacity in directing the stretcher bearers thus contributing materially to the expeditious evacuation of the wounded.' Source: 'Commonwealth of Australia Gazette' No. 133
8 Jun 1917: Honoured Military Medal and bar, Menin Road, On the afternoon of 8th of June 1917 near Ploegsteert Wood, this NCO displayed conspicuous gallantry in getting twelve stretcher bearers, including Lance Corporal Groat, through a heavy barrage of R.A.P. at Schnitzel Farm, returning with one stretcher case and eighteen walking cases. On previous occasions Sgt. Wilson has been conspicuous for his initiative in getting bearers forward and by his cheerful example has stimulated his men. (Source: Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No. 219)
12 Oct 1917: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1st Passchendaele, 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in charge of the loading of horse ambulances with wounded under intense shell fire. When 30 cases still awaited transport, he organized stretcher squads to carry the wounded back, and then returned to his post, remaining on duty until daybreak without shelter, although suffering from a septic foot.' Source: 'Commonwealth of Australia Gazette' No. 110
20 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 12436, 10th Field Ambulance, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Friends mourn the loss of another fine Footscray soldier in Sergt. Alex. M. Wilson, son of Mr H. Wilson, of Goulburn-street, Yarraville, who is officially reported killed in action. As a sergeant in the 10th Field Ambulance in charge of stretcher bearers, by letter written in April he had stated he was well, behind the lines, but it is presumed that he had either volunteered for some special duty or his hospital had been bombed and thus had met his death. Thirty years of age, he had two years of service crowned with distinction, as he was thrice honored, For devotion to duty and cool direction of men under heavy shell fire in a raid on the German lines at Armentieres on the nights of Feb. 26, 27 of this year he received the Military Medal. For conspicuous gallantry and initiative in getting twelve stretcher bearers through a heavy barrage he received a bar to the medal. Then on October 12 at Passcheudale Ridge he won notice again for conspicuous gallantry in loading horse ambulance with wounded under intense shell fire. At the time he was suffering from a septic foot and was allowed ouly on his strong personal plea to take the bearers into action. " His fearless disregard of personal safety was an inspiring incentive to all," says the official despatch announcing the award of a D.C.M. Before enlisting he was employed at the local ammunition works. Miss Ethel Gullock, the well-known
local vocalist, was his fiancee.

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