Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh MAINWARING MID

MAINWARING, Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 19 August 1914
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: Medical Officers
Born: Marryatville, South Australia, 26 September 1869
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Adelaide University
Occupation: Medical Practioner/Surgeon
Died: Natural Causes, Adelaide, South Australia, 1933
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (General)
Road 2, Path 16, East, Site 1
Memorials: Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Hackney St Peter's College Honour Board, The Adelaide Club Great War Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1
20 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, Australian Army Medical Corps (2nd AIF)
22 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, Australian Army Medical Corps (2nd AIF)
22 Oct 1914: Involvement Captain, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '1' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Port Lincoln embarkation_ship_number: A17 public_note: ''
22 Oct 1914: Embarked Captain, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
14 Nov 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Major
28 Jun 1917: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
1 May 1918: Embarked Major, Medical Officers, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
1 May 1918: Involvement Major, Medical Officers, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Euripides embarkation_ship_number: A14 public_note: ''

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Excerpt from Blood Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australian who Served in World War 1. Courtesy of the Authors

Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh-Mainwaring was born in Marryatville, South Australia, the son of the South Australian cabinet minister Wentworth Cavenagh and Ellen, nee Mainwaring.  When Ellen inherited the estate of Whitmore Hall, Staffordshire in 1891, after the death of her brother, Cavenagh-Mainwaring’s father added his wife's family name to his and was then known as Cavenagh-Mainwaring. Whitmore Hall remains in the family today. Cavenagh-Mainwaring was educated at St Peter’s College and studied medicine at the University of Adelaide graduating in 1892.  He proceeded overseas to gain surgical experience at The London Hospital and take the FRCS. He returned to Adelaide to be appointed Honorary Assistant Surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital in 1900. He taught anatomy at the University of Adelaide during the long absences of Prof Watson and was the first to fill the post of lecturer in pathology; for eight years he was the lecturer in surgery. His ability and knowledge was recognized by his colleagues who sought his advice and assistance. He served as the Honorary Medical Secretary of the SA branch of the BMA and of the Medical Defence Association.

Cavenagh-Mainwaring at the age of 45 years, on the 20th August 1914, and with no previous military experience, enlisted in the AIF. He was commissioned as captain in the AAMC and 3rd Australian Light Horse He was 5’10" tall and weighed 12st 2lbs.  He served in a number of units in the Middle East. He served at Gallipoli from 9th May until September 1915 when he was evacuated to Malta with enteritis. He returned to the Gallipoli Peninsular later in October to re-join the 3 LH. John Corbin describes Cavenagh-Mainwaring at Gallipoli "I could tell you many amusing stories of the soldiers and details of Cavenagh-Mainwaring, thin as a herring, grey as a badger, loving his work, doing it fearlessly and conscientiously, and loved by his men". His heroic disregard of his own life and health won the love and admiration of the 3rd Light Horse.  He was promoted Major in November 1916.  Whilst in the Anzac Mtd Div in the Middle East under Major General Harry Chauvel, he was decorated with the White Eagle of Serbia (Third Class) and later with the White Eagle of Serbia (Fifth Class) with crossed swords. He was Mentioned in Despatches during action in the Clearing Stations in the First and Second Battles of Gaza in March and April 1917.  He did a return trip to Australia in February 1918 as MO Transport Ship. He finally returned to Australia in 1919 with his appointment terminated on the 5th September 1919. He was issued with the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with Oak Leaves.

He was promoted to an Honorary Surgeon at the Adelaide Hospital in 1919 and continued there until his death. Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh-Mainwaring died from a bleeding peptic ulcer in 1933. He is described as entering life with great intellectual gifts, of a marvellous memory and a capacity for thinking clearly and of making sound judgements; he was a most loveable friend, cheerful, kind and gentle.  His straight eye made games and shooting easy for him.  He never married.