Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

Stanley Alfred WILSON


Born: June, 1892

Birthplace: Melton

Parents: Father: George Alfred Wilson
Mother: Alice Maude (Mary) Pyle

Died: 1 July, 1974

Place of death: Prahran, Victoria

Burial place: Maddingley Cemetery, Bacchus Marsh; 03/07/1974

Awards and Honours

  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


8th Light Horse Regiment, 19th Reinforcement; 10th Light Horse Regiment, (Nominal Roll)



Regimental Service Number: 2791

Enlistment date: 10 January, 1916 Melbourne

Age at enlistment: 23 years 7 months

Address at enlistment: Rosslyne, Melton

Religion: Presbyterian

Marital Status: Single

Next of kin: Father: George Alfred Wilson

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 7 inches
Weight: 127 pounds
Complexion: Fresh
Eyes: Grey
Hair: Brown
Distinctive marks: Vacc. L. arm

Embarkation ship: RMS Mongolia; re-embarked Dimboola.

Rank: Private

Return Date: 10 July, 1919

Return Vessel: Oxfordshire.

Arrival at Australia: 13 August, 1919.

Discharge Date: 20 September, 1919

War Service Summary

11/07/1916 - Embarked
17/07/1916 - Disembarked at Freemantle to West Subiaco Hospital- ill
17/08/1916 - Medical Certificate from 8th Australian General Hospital stating convalescing from Diptheria; he is returned to camp for light duty
21/08/1916 - Returned to duty and attached to 10th Light Horse
07/10/1916 - Re-embarked on the Dimboola at Fremantle
03/11/1916 - Embarked from Freemantle
04/12/1916 - Arrive at Suez. Ex HT Bakara. (Did he change ships in South Africa?)
14/12/1916 - Discharged from Isolation Camp
31/12/1916 - 20/01/1917 - Detached to the Imperial School of Instruction, Zeitoun.
06/04/1917 - At Belah
19/09/1917 - Sick, to hospital for 1 week
30/05/1918 - Sick, to hospital
15/06/1918 - Sick, to hospital; absceses groin
18/09/1918 - Sick, to hospital
09/05/1919 - Medical Report cites Malaria

War Service Commemerated

Life After the War

Wife and Children:
1925 - Married Ellen (Nel) Mary Shea in Bacchus Marsh. They had four children; three girls and a boy.

Place/s of residence:
1924 - Rosslyne in Melton
1931, 1937, 1942, 1949 and 1954 - Balliang East.
(His farm was adjacent to that of his brother, Gordon.)
1974 - Gisborne Road, Bacchus Marsh.

Occupation: Farmer

Date of death: 01/07/1974 in Prahran
Place of burial: 03/07/1974 Maddingley Cemetery.
Nel died in 1987 and was buried with him.

Additional Information

Brother of William Leslie Gordon Wilson who served in Palestine at the same time.

Served in Middle East; places of his many hospitalisations (illnesses including groin abscesses and malaria) show the places of service: Moascar, Shellal, Jericho, Gaza, Abbassia, Roulac.

During his stay in Palestine he wrote for Bridie Coburn, a memorial which was published in the Melton Express, Saturday 2 March 1918.

Melton Express
23 February 1918p 3

{Note: Please read with care. With changing attitudes over the years we now consider some words used in this letter to be extremely offensive.}

SOLDIERS' LETTERS. Letter received from Trooper Stanley Wilson, son of Mr. Alfred Wilson of Melton, and brother of Gordon, on Active Service:-Somewhere in Syria.

I have been unable to write you for five long weeks. It has perhaps been the most memorable month of my life, what I have seen and passed through I will never forget. At any rate, I am lucky, good health has stuck tome; and not forgetting good luck, you will be surprised to learn that I have been officially, reported "missing." I have been living in hopes they have not notified you.
We (14 men and 1 officer) were five days lost in the mountains, and we were out of rations the whole time. I can honestly say I was never so desperate in all my life. We hung on the whole time; and after being there a couple of days, they called for volunteers to go and look for something to eat. I and my mate stepped out, and we set off to a neighboring village on the top of a mountain. It was only about a mile and three-quarters distant, but it took us exactly four hours to get there, as it was like being in the Italian Alps, we followed the goat tracks.
On arriving there, the first thing I saw was a young goat, and as I had my revolver I shot it. My mate fossicked round the mud and stone Bedouins' huts, and found some millet flour and about a dozen meal chippatties; he afterwards found some barley and a small bin of tibbia (crushed millet straw).Our horses were as hungry as ourselves, so we gave them a bit to eat while we got a fire going, and there was a hunk of kid steak on and frizzling in no time.
We thought it was time we got back; it was getting dull when we left, and we met some Scottish Infantry (kilties) coming in to reinforce some of their fellows and they advised us to camp for the night, or we would get lost. So we camped there that night, intending to get back early next morning.
All night there was heavy rifle and machine gun fire, and shells were bursting over the ridge where the boys were. It was too cold to sleep. I had left my leggings and overcoat with Les. Pryor, we having got drenched the night before. However, we were well down the mountain side at daybreak next morning, and we got up to the Peak (where we left Les and the rest of the boys) at 11 o'clock. Long before getting there we could see that they were gone, and I was living in hopes that the 'Turks had cleared out, and that they had advanced the night before. You can imagine how we felt on arriving at the ledge, when the first thing we saw was six dead horses, a little higher up there were nearly100 more, saddles, gear, and even a wireless set, ammunition galore. Such a sight I never saw before. On another ledge there were two dead Yeomanry fellows, not being enough earth available, they covered them up with stones.
We had a spell then, and some Kilties came along and told as that our fellows had retired. The Infantry relieved them at 3 o'clock that morning. They gave us the direction they took, and thought maybe we might catch them, but when we attempted to go down the path, the Turks fired on us, and thinking we would lose the three horses, we turned back and went down the other side of the mountain. From that time we wandered along a watercourse until about 5 o'clock, when we struck a Battalion of Scotties. Of course we were ravenously hungry, so were the horses. The Scottish Colonel gave us a drink of tea, a tin of beef each and a bag of biscuits. What a feed! God bless the Scotties, they will do me. It was just like getting money from home. We were that crook after the feed, being hungry so long, that I did not care what happened for a while.
That night we camped near a nigger village, and next morning raided it, but all we got was half a dozen oranges. Anyhow, they kept us going all day. We wandered all the day along a metal road; troops were .going up it in thousands, but all Tommies, nobody had seen any Australians anywhere. Just at nightfall we struck a Turkish railway junction, called Kamleh (it is here where the Jaffra and Jerusalem lines branch off, also the Gaza and Beersheba railways).
Here there was a big dump, and we applied for rations; they gave us two days' issue. My word, it was grand, but we have both been a little off ever since, owing to dining not wisely, but too well. We heard here that our Division and Brigade had moved 20 miles South, and were 10miles from Gaza, also that our troops had passed through there that day. So having a day's rations for ourselves and horses, we reckoned we would do the trip right through, and so we did. We left the junction yesterday morning, and following the main road arrived here at 5 o'clock last night.
Though we found the Division and our Brigade, our Regiment is not here, and they tell us they are within four miles of Jerusalem. The other boys (Lesand Company) left the junction for the Regiment, and never came this way at all, so we are still lost, to a certain extent. We are with the 9th Regt., the 8th and 9th being here together; and have been a week to-day lost or "missing," as we were told last night. I believe we were up as far as eight miles North of Jerusalem, so I suppose in a couple of days Jerusalem will be surrounded and will be ours.
It really has been a wonderful campaign, and the tons of gear shells and guns that Jacko has abandoned is great. He has got the biggest shock of his life, and if it were not for the German and Austrian officers, who dominate him, we would have been finished here long ago. The fighting will have been heavy this last week or so, owing to the terribly rough mountainous country this side of Jerusalem. However, the Infantry are up now, and until Jerusalem falls the mounted troops will get a spell.
My word, I was surprised the other day, I met Don Davey, and he was telling me that Don. Cameron was over here in the attack on Beersheba, he was a galloper for an Officer; a taube bombed the 8th Regt, and he was severely hit, and on the way to the clearing station the sand cart capsized and tipped Don and Colonel Maygar, V.C., out; the Colonel has since succumbed to his wounds.
Water has been rather plentiful, to a certain extent, in the country we have passed through, towards the latter end of the month, owing to recent rains, but was rather a scarce item at the beginning, owing to the enemy blowing in and mining most of the wells, and in some cases he even poisoned them.
We have captured thousands of prisoners, and almost every day one passes parties of them being brought in. Oranges are rather plentiful here, though a trifle green; there are lovely vineyards and orange groves on the hillsides. The country is entirely opposite to what we have been in for some months lovely land, and there are quite a number of villages, fine buildings, too (nice tiled roofs) containing Europeans, Americans and Jews.

Melton Express and Bacchus Marsh Express,
2 March 1918.

COBURN.-A tribute of love and respect to the memory of my little friend,Bridie, who passed away to a higher life, Feb.,1916.
Tho' lost to sight, to memory ever dear.
There is a link death cannot sever
Love and remembrance last forever.
Tis sweet to know we'll meet again
Where partings are no more;
And those we love so fondly here
Are only gone before.
Inserted by Trooper Stanley Wilson(Melton), on Active Service, A.I.F., Palestine.


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