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George Thomas Wilson

No. 961; 12th Light Horse Regiment; 4th Machine Gun Squadron

George Thomas Wilson was born at Bumbaldry on 18 June 1896 to George and Ada Wilson. He was the eldest son of eight boys.

In Sydney on 3 May 1915, at the age of 19, George enlisted in the army and commenced training in preparation for a transfer to Egypt. On 9 August 1915 he embarked on the ship HMAT A54 Runic in the 3rd batch of reinforcements for the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment. He landed at Gallipoli on 29 September and remained there until the battle was abandoned. George was then reassigned to Egypt where the Australian LHR had a number of training bases in and around Cairo. He arrived in Cairo on 27 December 1915.

After completing training in early April 1916 around Tel-el-Kebir, George’s regiment was sent across the Suez Canal through Sinai towards Palestine. In early 1917, after more training George was then transferred into the 4th Machine Gun Squadron and joined the advance into Palestine.

In March 1917, he was assigned to the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He remained active with the EEF for the next 18 months.

Due to a debilitating knee complaint over the last 4 months of service, George was given a medical discharge on 5 January 1919. He embarked on the ship HMAT Orsova from Suez on 19 January 1919 and returned to Australia where he was discharged from the AIF on 27 May 1919.

George returned to the Bumbaldry district and acquired the property Warrowrie in August 1920. In 1928, he married Vera Bryant at Cowra. During the Second World War, George was a Captain in the Volunteer Defence Corps. His youngest brother Norman enlisted in June 1940 and later died in New Guinea in 1944.

One of George’s main interests was horses and he spent many years fostering and instructing local pony clubs as well as judging at country shows all over the state. It is worth noting that while he was serving abroad he was the tent pegging champion of the allied forces during World War 1. George was the foundation president of the Greenethorpe RSL Branch. In 1965 he returned to Gallipoli for the 50th anniversary of the landing.

George and Vera sold their farm Warrowrie to Clive and Helen Bryant in May 1963 and retired to Cowra. George died on 22 February 1975 aged 78 and was buried at the Cowra Lawn Cemetery.