I went to the National Archives Adelaide office today to view some records I had ordered. The WWII pay records of my uncle William Henry Willison didn’t yield much information but the records of my grandfather William Burnett Willison did. My grandfather died before I was born so I know very little about him. I have his WWI record which has been digitised but not his WWII record so I was very interested to look through his pay records.
Things I found out today
- he didn’t serve overseas in WWII
- he was promoted from Corporal to Sergeant
- he was a conductor to ammunition trains
- the trips for which I found records were mainly from the mid north of South Australia to New South Wales
- my Grandfather’s signature is a lot like my Dad’s
- he received a war gratuity which paid off the mortgage on the family home
- the family lived at 163 Port Rd, Brompton, South Australia (a suburb of Adelaide)
- the trip from Gladstone, South Australia to Outer Harbour, South Australia took two days on the ammunition train
- Nanny had to fill out a form every six months to receive Dependant’s Allowance
- Allowance reduced when Auntie Dawn turned 16yrs.
I felt a little emotional reading these records today but I’m not sure exactly why. It gave me some insight into my Grandfather but not much. He had a dangerous job and must have been a responsible man, so I’m proud of his efforts in both world wars. Maybe it was seeing my Auntie and Uncle’s names in print and the reminder that Dad is the only one left now………..
I got some background information from this website which others might find useful – Introduction To Military Units and Ranks http://www.ipas.com.au/images/Units,%20History%20and%20Terminology%20of%20the%20ADF.pdf