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WILSON Fenwick Watson
11 June 1878
Braidwood - NSW
27 October 1915
HMAT RMS Orontes
10 November 1915

Fenwick Watson WILSON

When Fenwick Watson Wilson was born at Braidwood, NSW on 11 June 1878, his father, Henry, was 40 and his mother, Emilie, was 35. He had seven brothers and three sisters.

He worked as a drover before joining the Police Force in 1900. It was here that he was first introduced to horses.

In 1911 Fenwick was with the mounted police at the Petrie Terrace Depot in Brisbane.

THE KING’S CHARGEE - A Queensland bred horse has been selected as a presentation to His Majesty the King from the people of Queensland. The animal is a bay gelding with black points. It has not so much as a white spot about it. It is five years old, and is a horse of handsome carriage and appearance. It was purchased for the Commissioner of Police by Inspector Short in January, 1910, from the Queensland National Bank. The animal was bred on the Jimbour Estate, of which Sir. Mcllwraith Taylor was then manager. He is by Darriwin, by Tall Darrell, a son of Daniwell, the Melbourne Cup winner of 1879, who was a son of imported Tim Whiffler. The dam of the King’s charger was Alice, who was sired by Yately, another well-known racer in Queensland. The horse selected for His Majesty has been at the Petrie Terrace Police Depot since its purchase, where it has been trained and ridden under the direction of Inspector J. Warren White. It is intended to give the horse a suitable aboriginal name. It will be insured and despatched as soon as convenient to His Majesty at Buckingham Palace, probably under the care of a Queensland police officer. Bowen Independent, 8 July 1911. In 1911, the horse named ‘Brisbane’, was sent to London in charge of Constable Fenwick Wilson as a present from the Queensland Government to King George V.

The Telegraph (Brisbane) of 20 July 1911 reported: POLICE PRESENTATION - Constable Wilson and the King's Horse.

A representative assembly of the members of the various branches of the police force, was held in the recreation room, at the police depot, Petrie Terrace, on the evening of the 19th instant, for the purpose of presenting Constable F. W. Wilson, with a handsome smokers outfit, on the occasion of his going home to England, in charge of the horse Brisbane, presented by the Queensland Government to his Majesty King George the V. In a happy speech, the Chairman, Senior-sergeant W. H. Ryan, commented on the good qualities of Constable Wilson, and the honour done him and the force generally, through his being selected to look after the safety of Queensland's gift to His Majesty. After the usual response to the guest of the evening, Constables Hall, Rafter, Shepherd, Storey, and Nugent conveyed the compliments of the members of the different branches of the service which they represented, to him. An enjoyable evening concluded by the drinking of his health, with musical honours, and the singing of the National Anthem.

THE KING AND CONSTABLE WILSON. From the London "Daily Mirror" of October 26th, we extract the following:— "Before leaving for Newmarket yesterday morning the King inspected Brisbane, the Horse specially sent to England as a present from the Queensland Government. His Majesty's engagements had prevented an earlier inspection. Constable Wilson, of Brisbane, who .brought the horse to London, has been staying at the Royal mews, and the King directed that that officer should show him the horse in order that he might have an opportunity of thanking him for the care and attention bestowed upon the animal throughout the long sea voyage. Accordingly Wilson rode Brisbane round from the stables to the Palace. The horse was in splendid condition. His majesty greatly admiring the gift, and asking Constable Wilson many questions about it. He heartily congratulated the officer on the condition in which he had been able to deliver Brisbane. "On learning that Wilson was leaving for the return journey to Australia on Saturday, His Majesty shook hands with him, wished him a safe and pleasant trip, and presented to him a memento of the occasion in the form of a handsome gold scarf pin set with diamonds." - Constable Wilson, was formerly stationed at Singleton. Singleton Argus, 16 December 1911.

  Request for Police Station at Palmwoods - January 1914

A letter from the Queensland Farmers Union was sent to the Home Secretary’s Office applying for a Constable to be stationed at Palmwoods.

It read: The tramway to Buderim Mountain is being constructed from here and consequently a great number of navies are working here, which in its self should be sufficient need to station a Constable here. Drunken men lay about the street Sunday and every other day and the language is not English. After 6pm this town is cut off from Nambour by telephone.

OUR FIRST CONSTABLE. Alter continuous agitation by the local Farmers Union a constable is now stationed at Palmwoods arriving from Landsborough on the 5th instant. Your scribe has been kept that far away from him that he has been unable to ascertain his name. Chronicle & North Coast Advertiser, 9 January 1914.

The request was granted and Mounted Constable, Fenwick Watson Wilson was transferred to Palmwoods, taking with him Troop Horse “Ecuador” and a supply of forage to last him a fortnight, pending him getting his usual supply for the troop horse. He was supplied with a small diary, some stationery, and a full mounted kit, and arms, handcuffs for use at this temporary station. A room was rented with stable, paddock, etc., at a cost of 7/- per week from Stephen James Hobson at Palmwoods.

NEW RESIDENT - Constable Wilson has arrived here and has settled down to business in this locality. Chronicle & North Coast Advertiser, 23 January 1914.

The station operated only while the tramway was built to Buderim. It closed on 16 January 1915 and moved to Mapleton for approximately two months.

Bi Monthly Electoral List – 9 October 1914. Electoral District of Murrumba (within the division of Maroochy). WILSON Fenwick Watson; Palmwoods Constable, Date of Claim: 28 July 1914.

CHARGE OF HORSE STEALING - The Telegraph (Brisbane), 29 March 1915.

The charge against John Clarke, 25, labourer, in the City Police Court on Saturday, before Colonel R. A. Moore, P.M., was that on 27th January, 1914, at Horton, near Childers, he stole a horse. The property of Terkelsen Bros. Detective-senior-sergeant Donnelly prosecuted. Constable Wilson, of Mapleton, gave formal evidence of arrest, and a remand to Childers was granted.  

Fenwick was a mounted Police Constable, stationed at the Police Depot, Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, Qld, and 35 years old when he enlisted in the AIF at Brisbane on 27 October 1915.

He gave his address as care of Vorn Wilson (brother), dentist, Crown Street, Wollongong NSW, and sister, Mrs. Emily Charlotte Wilson of Corinal Street, Wollongong NSW, as his next of kin.

Fenwick was described as being single, 5 feet 11 inches tall, fair complexion, hazel eyes and light brown hair and of the Church of England faith.

Promoted to Sergeant on 1 November 1915.

He was appointed to No. 7 Squadron on 12 November 1915 at Chermside, Brisbane.

Australian Remount Unit 2, Squadron 8

Sergeant Fenwick (1965) was allocated to 2 Australian Remount Unit - 8 Squadron,.

WANTED A BUGLE - NO. 2 AUSTRALIAN-IMPERIAL REMOUNT UNIT This unit is now fairly well established at the "Tipperary Camp," Chermside, about 260 men having reported for duty, the greater part of whom are men of mature age. A number have previous military service often running into 10 to 20 years. The unit wants a bugle, and has a good man "bursting" to blow "reveille " Now, what generous citizen will provide it, and give the boys something to remember him by every time the notes ring out?' The Brisbane Courier, 29 October 1915.

Fenwick embarked from Sydney, NSW on 10 November 1915 aboard HMAT RMS Orontes.

The unit arrived in Egypt the day before Xmas Eve. There the unit went to Maadi a suburb of Cairo where the men were engaged in training thousands of horses and mules for the Light Horse.

Fenwicks photo appeared in the Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to the Queenslander, 1 April 1916.

The Remount unit was made up of experienced men who had worked as drovers, stockmen, horse breakers, and rough riders. Horses arrived in Egypt in their hundreds each week, to be handled and cared for by the Remount Units. Bases were set up within riding distance of major areas of operation, for mounts to be readied for the troops in the field. Two Australian remount units were raised to take charge of the horses left in Egypt by the light horse regiments while they were fighting at Gallipoli, so that all the men serving in them could be released for front line service on foot. Both remount units contained 4 squadrons. Initially it was believed that the work would not be hard and the maximum age for enlistment in the units was placed at 50. Consequently the remount units contained older experienced horsemen and a number of Boer War veterans. However the combination of work and the Egyptian climate was more severe than anticipated and it was found that men aged 45 years old or younger were better suited to the work.

9 November 1916 – To the Officer in Charge. 24th Stationery Hospital (British) – Moascar – Ismalia – Egypt. Moascar is an Egyptian town near the Suez Canal where the Allied training depots were located.

For your information I have to report that N.C.O. (1965 Sgt. Wilson – Remount Unit) has been for some considerable time in the 3rd General Hospital at Abbassia suffering from dysentery. On hearing that his Unit was returned to Australia this NCO obtained permission to leave hospital with a view of proceeding back with draft which left for Australia some time ago, but being under the age of forty five years he was not allowed to proceed. Lieut OC Details Camp.

29 November 1916 – 14 Australian General Hospital – Abbassia. Abbassia was a major city precinct in Cairo. Many of the major Allied hospitals were located in this district.

Date of original disability: March 1916 – Maadi, Egypt. El-Ma'adi (Meadi) Camp was one of three training camps in Egypt that were used by the A.I.F.

STATEMENT OF CASE - Prior to enlistment had pneumonia 4 years ago. Bronchitis 2 years ago, and frequent sore throats (13 attacks of Quinsy) a serious complication of tonsillitis. Active service: In Egypt 12 months. Had attack dysentery in March 1916 admitted to 3rd A.G.H. in May 1916 and again in September 1916. Had bronchitis in September 1916 also bowels always loose, passes mucus, at times blood. Feels weak and short of breath with moderate exertion. Relapses as soon as he goes to ordinary rations. Present Condition: He is rather weak. Abdomen tender. Diarrhea and vomiting have occurred since admission. Recommend: Change to Australia for six months.

He sailed by the Euripides for Australian from Egypt on 22 January 1917 suffering from recurrent dysentery. They arrived at Fremantle on 22 February but the men not being allowed to land, the working girls sent up presents of fruit arid flowers and cigarettes, while bundles of magazines were received marked 'Welcome Home’, from Western Australia.

He was discharged on 29 May 1917 Medically Unfit.

On 30 May 1917 he was granted a pension of £1/3/- per fortnight.

He died on 22 June 1919 in Bega, New South Wales aged 41 years and is buried in the Bermagui Cemetery, NSW.


Henry Pacific Wilson (1838-1887)

When Henry was born on 7 January 1838 in Valparaiso, Chile, his father, Joseph, was 30 and his mother, Mary, was 24.

He married Emilie Christiana Wardell on 9 January 1864 in Yass, New South Wales. They had 10 children. He died on 27 February 1887 in Braidwood, New South Wales, at the age of 49.

When Emilie Christiana Wardell was born on 22 April 1843 in Chatham, Kent, her father, George, was 41, and her mother, Mary, was 39. She died on 18 September 1918 in Cessnock, New South Wales, at the age of 75.


Regional George Wilson (1866-1943). Mary McKellar Wilson (1867-1868). Joseph Cameron Wilson (1869-1938). Henry Zouch Wilson (1871-1923). Rose Christiana Wilson (1873-1944). turned to Australia on 11 March 1916.

Information from trooper Rowe who returned on the Euripides with Fenwick in 1917.

WILSON Fenwick Watson
WILSON Fenwick Watson
WILSON Fenwick Watson
Returned to Australia
22 January 1917
22 June 1919
Bega - New South Wales
Bermagui Cemetery - New South Wales

The Telegraph (Brisbane) of 20 July 1911. Singleton Argus, 16 December 1911. Chronicle & North Coast Advertiser, 9 January 1914. Bi Monthly Electoral List – 9 October 1914. Electoral District of Murrumba (within the division of Maroochy). The Telegraph (Brisbane), 29 March 1915. National Archives.

Queensland Police Museum - Photo Title: The horse 'Brisbane' presented to His Majesty King George V The horse named Brisbane, which is to be sent to London in the charge of Constable Fenwick Wilson (the trooper in the photograph) as a present from the Queensland Government to King George V Object number: PM1640b.

Information re trip from trooper Rowe who returned on the Euripides with Fenwick in 1917.

Helene Cronin

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