Friday, April 15, 2011

St Thomas' Harriers - update

A relative has identified the gentleman in the collar and tie in the group portrait of the St Thomas' Harriers Club, Moonee Ponds, as her uncle Alfred William Gregory Wheatley, enlisted as Gregory Alfred Wheatley.

Greg was aged 33 when he enlisted, employed as an accountant, and a well-known amateur athlete, having competed in the 1908 Olympic Games held in Athens.

Despite having no prior military training, either as a cadet or in the Citizens Military Forces (according to his service record) his mature years, his professional occupation, his tall stature and his reputation as an athlete singled him out from the general run of recruits, and he was immediately sent to train to be a Sergeant.  Before the end of the war he was commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, later confirmed as a Lieutenant.

An unusual feature of his overseas service was a temporary transfer from his unit to the 8th Brigade Sports Unit in February 1918.

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