A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Herbert William Wade (aka John Wade)
Born 4 January 1890 Mount Duneed. Died: 12 August 1951 Heidelberg.
Enlisted: 6 October 1914 aged 24
Served: Egypt and Gallipoli
Bert was the younger son of Richard Wade and Alice Seymour, who had the general store and post office at Gembrook West (Mt Burnett) as early as 1885. For reasons unknown, he enlisted as “John William Wade”. He took part in the second and third wave landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Within days, Bert was severely wounded in horrific circumstances, as a letter to his mother shows. “I had a bullet through the left arm near the shoulder and four bayonet wounds in the chest, the latter I received after I was shot… most of the men I was with were killed… the Turks took us as prisoners but after a while they got hard pressed and evidently decided to dispose of us, so they bayonetted the lot of us… I am the only one who got away alive.” Bert was subsequently evacuated to Alexandria, then to hospital in Birmingham and later also contracted tuberculosis! Sadly, Bert suffered from significant ill-health for the rest of his life, being listed on the electoral roll as a “war pensioner”.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com