Tom Wilson


Tom Wilson Tom Wilson.

Tom Wilson's grave Al-AlameinThe caption to this photo reads "OUR FIRST CASUALTY IN ACTION ON FIRST DAY. 'NATURES GENTLEMAN' JULY 10th 1942 ALAMEIN". The date on the cross is incorrect. Collection of Ron Ware.


The Secretary Helene Riedl wrote about Tom Wilson in The Tannoy:

"Tom Wilson was born at Launceston on 11.09.1912. He lived at Trevallyn at the time of his enlistment at Launceston on 24.06.1940. Lance Sergeant Wilson was posted with the 2/8th when he was killed on 16.07.1942. He is recorded in the Roll of Honour at Launceston, Tasmania.

Although the official records, and in fact his headstone at El Alamein, outline Tom's death on 16.07.2009 [1942], this is incorrect. Tom was actually killed on the morning of 10.07.1942"

In December 2009 Ron Ware wrote to the web master Peter Evans with the following information about the death of Tom Wilson:

"Tom Wilson was I believe the first to meet his death on the regiments first day of real action against the Afrika Korp at El Alamein, at approximately, I seem to recall 10 AM on July 10th 1942. The battery having moved up to the front pre dawn, the infantry were already engaged at close quarters with the enemy & calling for supporting artillery fire. At this stage I myself was waiting at the gun position to be taken to the O. Pip. Trouble was being experienced in getting Don Troop guns onto their survey pegs, due to soggy conditions in the salt marsh. The matter of fire support for the infantry was now so urgent, the G.P.O. (gun position officer) ordered the guns into action where they were. Desultary shell fire from the enemy on the gun position unfortunately killed L/Sergeant Wilson, who like others had sought cover in a slit trench which took a direct hit. I cannot remember whether Tom was killed whilst I was at the gun position or shortly after I had arrived at the O. Pip. I tend towards the former. Its a long time ago & so much was going on at the time & throughout that day. There wasn't really time to dwell on our dead or wounded. Suffice is to say Tom was sadly missed a much liked man, mate in every possible way."

Tel-Aviv Synagogue Two of Ron Ware's cobbersTwo of Ron Ware's cobbers at a Tel-Aviv Synagogue. Ron Ware has identified them as: Tom Wilson; Gunner RJ Phelps TX1768. Collection of Ron Ware. The caption on the photo says in pen "2 of the boys, out of my tent, in the entrance of a Jewish Synagogue in Tel-Aviv, just what happened to it, Ill leave to your imagination". A later caption in biro says "L/Sgt. Tom Wilson on left. Killed at Alamein July 10th 1942".

Tel-Aviv Synagogue detail of Tom WilsonDetail of Tom Wilson.