Robert Gerald Hamilton Wilson

Life dates
08 Apr 1895 - 20 Jul 1968

Robert Wilson had served in the First World War in the Kings African Rifles, largely in the East African Campaign. This was a particularly terrible campaign with more than twice as many of the British troops dying from diseases such as Malaraia as were killed in combat. While the mortality rate of 9% of troops was similar for British and African men, with over 1 million African carriers conscripted, the campaign saw the death of 13% of the Kenyan male population. There were further casualties in Portugese, Belgian and German forces of simlar or greater magnitude. The effect on East Africa was devasting as depopulation coupled with failure of the rains led to a famine which killed many more and left the population vulnerable to the Flu Pandemic which arrived in September 1918. It is estimated that 160 to 200,000 more people died from the flu in addition.

Before the Second World War he was living in Africa and returned there after the war as well. He died in Africa in 1968.

His mother died in Marnhull on 4th August 1943. His letters to the Commander of the Motcombe Home Guard are sent from her address in 1941. The Nominal Roll address given here is for his brother's house, where he presumably moved after his mother's house was sold.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
Dorset Group 5 - Blandford Area Commander 19 Sep 1940 03 Dec 1944
National ID
PD 5798

Civil Servant West Africa


18th January 1916 Temporary Lieutenant Kings African Rifles (KAR)

Award Military Cross for leading a vital counter attack at Schaeffer's Farm, preventing a german breakthrough

30th May 1917 Temporary Captain, Mentioned in Despatches for East African campaign

19th September 1917  Promoted Temporary Major KAR

30th September 1918 Mentioned in Despatches for East African campaign

1st January 1919 Awarded Distinguished Service Order for his actions in the East African Campaign

19th December 1919 reverts to Temporary Rank of Captain KAR

Auxiliary Units 1940-1944

12th december 1942 transfer to 203 Battalion recorded in Home Guard records

16th September 1943 Promoted Captain 203 Battalion Home Guard

15th December 1944 Awarded OBE for his work with Auxiliary Units, the highest award made to any member of the 3 Auxiliary Units Home Guard Battalions. At the time of this award he is listed as a Major, though this must have happened very late on, perhaps in November or December 1944 as he is listed as a Captain by Major Hancock around September 1944.

The Stud House, Pimperne, Blandford
Other information