Mervyn Le Maistre WILSON

Badge Number: 30324, Sub Branch: Westbourne Park

WILSON, Mervyn Le Maistre

Service Number: 751
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Not yet discovered
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Motor Mechanic
Died: Circumstances of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Aldgate War Memorial, Balhannah Old Scholars Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, 751, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, 751, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide

Mervyn LeMaistre Wilson

Name: Mervyn LeMaistre Wilson
Service Number: 751
Place of Birth: Stirling West / Mount Barker
Date of Birth: 20 July 1896
Place of Enlistment: Adelaide
Date of Enlistment: 16 February 1916
Age at Enlistment: 19 years 6 months
Next of Kin: Mother, Harriett Elizabeth Wilson
Occupation: Motor Mechanic
Religion: Methodist
Rank: Private
Having initially been rejected as a recruit due to having a weak heart, Mervyn was accepted in February 1916. He left Adelaide on the A 19 Afric on 9 June. Mervyn spent considerable time throughout 1916 and 1917 being hospitalised in England due to pleurisy and debility. He was hospitalised with a hernia in 1918, but was able to rejoin the 43rd Battalion in France on 6 May. Mervyn returned to Australia on the Nestor on 20 May 1919 and was discharged on 14 August.
The case of Mervyn Wilson raises the question of how could a person be initially rejected as a recruit because he had a weak heart and later be accepted. Was this due to medical incompetence or a desperate attempt to gain recruits in order to bolster numbers prior to the first conscription referendum?

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