Oswald Victor MILDWATER

MILDWATER, Oswald Victor

Service Numbers: 1940, 1940B, 262257
Enlisted: 29 January 1916, Casula, New South Wales
Last Rank: Squadron Leader
Last Unit: RAAF Headquarters
Born: Woollahra, New South Wales, 6 June 1897
Home Town: Hoxton Park, Liverpool, New South Wales
Schooling: Hoxton Park Public School and Sydney Technical High School
Occupation: Student
Died: Natural causes, St Leonards, New South Wales, 3 May 1968, aged 70 years
Cemetery: Northern Suburbs Memorial Gardens and Crematorium, NSW
Memorials: Hoxton Park Public School
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World War 1 Service

29 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1940, Casula, New South Wales
4 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1940, 59th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Lincoln, Melbourne
4 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1940, 59th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Nov 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 60th Infantry Battalion
19 Feb 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 60th Infantry Battalion
12 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1940B, 60th Infantry Battalion, Bullecourt (Second), GSW (left thigh)
26 Apr 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1940B, 60th Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux, 2nd occasion - Shell wound (left arm)
24 Dec 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 1940B, 60th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

31 Jul 1945: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Squadron Leader, SN 262257, RAAF Headquarters

Help us honour Oswald Victor Mildwater's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Robert Devlin

"...1940 Private Oswald Victor Mildwater, 59th Battalion. A student from Hoxton Park, NSW prior to enlistment, Pte Mildwater embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Port Lincoln on 4 May 1916. Later transferring to the 60th Battalion, he was allotted the regimental number 1940B. Following his promotion to Corporal he was wounded in action on two separate occasions and evacuated to England. Due to the severity of his latter wound he returned to Australia on 15 September 1918 and was medically discharged. He later went on to serve in the RAAF during the Second World War with the rank of Squadron Leader with the Director of Technical Services..." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

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Oswald Victor Mildwater was born on 6 June 1897 at Woollahra New South Wales. His parents were Alfred Robert Mildwater, a carpenter and Clara Maud, who worked in the home. Mildwater completed his primary education at Hoxton Park Public School, and completed his secondary education at Sydney Technical High School.[i] He was one of four children; he had two sisters Lily Violet (1900) and Mary Irene (1904) and one brother Ernest G (1902). Mildwater was not married before World War I started. [ii]

Mildwater enlisted at the Casula barracks on 29 January 1916 at age 18 as a Private[1]. He embarked from Melbourne, Victoria on 4 May 1916[2] on board the HMAT A17 Port Lincoln heading towards England via Suez, Egypt and France. Mildwater arrived in Egypt and completed training with the 60th Battalion. Mildwater undertook several training exercises such as shooting and physical fitness. He later departed from Egypt on 3 August 1916 and disembarked in Marseille, France on 8 August 1916. On 11 November 1916, Mildwater battled in France to reinforce the 57th battalion. While he was a part of the 57th Battalion he fought in the Battle of Fromelles which dated from 19 July 1916 to 20 July 1916.[iii] The main objective of this battle was to distract and avert German troops further away from the Somme however this objective was not met as the Germans had better defensive strategies such as placing machine guns along their front which gave them an advantage. He later re-joined the 60th Battalion on 1 December 1916, and was promoted to Corporal on 19 February 1917. [iv]He was amalgamated to the 60th Battalion and was part of the Second Battle of Bullecourt which dated from 3 May 1917 to 17 May 1917. This battle aimed to fortify the village of Bullecourt. The Allied forces penetrated through German lines trying to encircle the German troops which forced them to withdraw out of Bullecourt.  

During his time in World War I, Mildwater suffered numerous illnesses possibly from lack of sanitation and the harsh conditions of life as a solider. On 30 December 1916, he was admitted to a hospital in Rouen, France as a result of mumps. The severity of the mumps meant that he did not re-join the forces until the 3 February 1917 which was more than one month after. Additionally, on the 23 September 1917 he was admitted to hospital in Perham Downs as a result of severe inflammation in the knee.[v]

Mildwater was promoted to Corporal and was severely injured on two separate occasions. On 12 May 1917, Mildwater sustained a shell wound to his left knee at Bullecourt. After this first injury Mildwater was recorded committing the crime of neglect of duty. As a result, he was severely reprimanded by the commander of the 60th Battalion on the 4 April 1918.[vi] Mildwater also suffered a bullet wound and compound fracture on his left arm on 17 June 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux on the Western Front, one of the main theatres of war. After he was injured he was sent to Bristol, England to the Beautfort War Hospital. He was later transferred from that hospital to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford England until 3 July 1918.[vii]

The severity of his wound meant that he was evacuated to multiple hospitals in both France and England. This led to his return to Australia on 19 November 1918 on the HMAT Awara. He was later discharged from a hospital in Randwick, Sydney on the 24  December. In November 1918, Liverpool Railway Station was decorated in his honour for his return home. Additionally, Mildwater was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. The British War Medal was awarded to soldiers that entered the war during specific times, whilst the Victory Medal was awarded to individuals that served between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918. [viii]

Upon return and discharge in Australia, Mildwater enrolled in tertiary education at The University of Sydney. He completed his Bachelor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering graduating on 17 May 1923.[ix] Mildwater was appointed Engineering Assistant in the Engineering Section of NSW Department of Works and Local Government in 1924. In the same year Mildwater married Dorothy Patricia Rooney-Wall in Newcastle.

During the Second World War Mildwater served in the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) with the rank of Squadron leader with the Director of Technical Services. He was part of the 59th Battalion. In 1941 Mildwater divorced his wife[3]. He later remarried Bertha Lucas in 1946 in Kingswood. Mildwater was appointed engineer in the Architectural Section of the NSW Department of Public Works on 27 January 1960. Mildwater died on the 3 May 1968 at St Leonards. 

Bibliography

‘Battle of Fromelles’ (www.awm.gov.au), in The Australian War Memorial. Viewed on 2 August 2018

‘Honouring Anzacs Lest We Forget’ (honouringanzacs.net.au), in Honouring ANZACS. Viewed on 19 June 2018

J Boff, ‘Training to be a soldier’ (www.bl.uk), in The British Library. 2014, viewed on 2 August 2018

J Horne, ‘HOXTON PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL HONOUR ROLL’ (www.hoxtonpark-p.schools.nsw.edu.au), in Hoxton Park Public School. 2016, viewed on 18 June 2018

‘Oswald Victor Mildwater - Beyond 1914 - Book of Remembrance’ (beyond1914.sydney.edu.au), in The University of Sydney. 2014, viewed on 22 June 2018,

The AIF Project ‘Oswald Victor Mildwater’ (www.aif.adfa.edu.au), in The University of New South Wales. 2016, viewed on 16 June 2018,

National Archives of Australia "Attestation Paper and Servivce Record (recordsearch.naa.gov.au)", viewed on 16 June 2018

‘Second Battle of Bullecourt’ (www.awm.gov.au), in The Australian War Memorial. Viewed on 2 August 2018

‘60th Australian Infantry Battalion’ (www.awm.gov.au), in The Australian War Memorial. Viewed on 22 June 2018



[1] Oswald’s Enlistment Form
[2] A Self Portrait of Oswald Victor Mildwater before leaving Australia for war (1916)
[3] Mildwater V Mildwater Divorce Notice


[i] J Horne, ‘HOXTON PARK PUBLIC SCHOOL HONOUR ROLL'

[ii] ‘Oswald Victor Mildwater - Beyond 1914 - Book of Remembrance’

[iii] ‘Battle of Fromelles’, in The Australian War Memorial

[iv - vii] ‘RecordSearch’, in RecordSearch. 2017on 16 June 2018,

[ix] ‘Oswald Victor Mildwater’, in The AIF Project 

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