Reginald Raymond WILDMAN

Regimental number1888
Place of birthWollongong, New South Wales
True NameBRADNEY, Reginald Raymond
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm hand
AddressHerrington Cottell Mall, via Coolamon, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 8"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinUncle, J Bradley, Herrington Cottell Mall, via Coolamon, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 December 1914
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/19/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 10 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19-20 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot III, Row A, Grave No 4), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
160
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Mother: Mrs Oriel A. JONES, Polding Street, Yass, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsUncles: 2376 Pte John BRADNEY, 56th Bn, killed in action, 2 April 1917; Gunner Donald Walter BRADNEY, 14th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 9 December 1918; 1620 Pte Wentworth Edward BRADNEY, 54th Bn, killed in action, 24 September 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined 2nd Bn, Gallipoli, 31 May 1915.

Admitted to hospital, 1 June 1915; transferred to Convalescent Camp, Cairo, 9 June 1916 (influenza); rejoined Bn, Gallipoli, 13 July 1915.

Admitted to Fleet Sweeper, 19 July 1915 (diarrhoea); transferred to 24th Casualty Clearing Station, Lemnos, 29 July 1915; rejoined Bn, 28 August 1915.

Admitted to Field Ambulance, 18 October 1915; transferred to No 3 Australian General Hospital, 18 October 1915 (abscess on neck); to Lowlands Division Casualty Clearing Station, 24 November 1915; rejoined Bn, Tel el Kebir, 12 January 1916.

Transferred to 54th Bn, 14 February 1916; joined 54th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Transferred to Brigade Police, 23 February 1916.

Admitted to 15th Field Ambulance, Ferry Post, 8 April 1916 (pneumonia); rejoined Bn from Police, 15 April 1916; transferred to No 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 17 April 1916 (gastritis); to 15th Field Ambulance, 17 April 1916; discharged to duty, 18 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing, 19-20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 4 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in action, 19-20 July 1916'.

Red Cross File No 2940705 has statement from 4226 Pte L. HANNA, B Company, 54th Bn (former prisoner of war), 30 December 1918: 'On morning of 20th July 1916 at Fleurbaix I was alongside him when he was shot dead by sniper. Hit in Head (eye). We were then in Enemy's second line trench. They got in behind us into their 1st line and we were cut off. I was hit through helmet by same man immediately after but not hurt. We were taken Prisoners of War about 1 hour later. His body would be left in trench. I did not know his Christian name.'

Second statement: 3511A W.D. CARR, 54th Bn, 24 December 1918: 'In the morning between 8 and 9 o'clock I saw him assisting [1909 H.W.] Bilbow with a machine gun - when he was shot through the right eye either by sniper or machine gun bullet - not shrapnel, as he was killed instantly. It was in a quickly dug trench. We were captured shortly afterwards, so I know nothing as to his burial.'

Third statement, 1909 Lance Corporal W.H. BILLOW (sic), 13 January 1919: 'He was not killed going over the trenches but after he got over in the Germans' second line on the morning of the 20th. I was standing shoulder to shoulder with him up to the moment he was killed. He was hot by a sniper from behind, the bullet passing through his head. He had been working all night with me, trying to build up the trenches. It happened at Fleurbaix ... I took his paybook and his identification disc and was forced to give them up to the Germans with my own paybook.'

Fourth statement, 1841 S. TONKINS, 54th Bn, 28 August 1917: 'Pte Wildman was killed by shrapnel, I saw him lying dead on the ground in the German trenches, on July 20th at Armentieres.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Letter, Mrs Oriel Jones, mother, Polding Street, Yass, to Base Records, 8 May 1920: ''He had no nearer relatives than myself. He was my son, illegitimate unfortunately, so that his father's name would not be necessary. Wildman was not my son's name, it was Reginald Raymond Bradney, but as he lived with people of that name for a time he was mostly called Reg Wildman, and when he was registered for Cadets some years [ago] was advised to register under the name he was known by. The next nearest relatives would be my borthers, [2376] Private John Bradney, 56th Batt. killed in action, Pte W.E. Bradney, 54th Batt. killed in action, Dvr Donald W. Bradney, 14th Howitzer Battery, returned to Wagga, and Pte D. Bradney of Coolamon and my four sisters.'

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 11), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILDMAN Reginald Raymond
Red Cross file 2940705