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australian rowers profiles and history

William T Wilkinson

South Melbourne Rowing Club (VIC) now Albert Park South Melbourne Rowing Club (VIC)

William Thomas Wilkinson was a life member of the South Melbourne club.

‘Billy’ has no recorded wins, but was a dedicated committee member. He served as Secretary in 1906, as a general committee member in 1910, and by 1913 was a Vice President of the club – a position which he held again in 1915. 

Before WWI, he was also a long-time committee member of the Victorian Rowing Association. Billy was a 36 year old merchant when he enlisted on 17 January, 1916 as a private in the 15th Machine Gun Company. Promoted to Sergeant in March 1917, he was wounded in May that year with a gunshot wound to the eye, leg, and hand. 

He moved to England, where he was discharged to headquarters, having lost his right eye.

Billy married in Scotland, returning to Australia in February 1918 via America. He returned to the club, serving as Vice President in 1919.

Grace Blake
July 2021


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