Hetherington, John Wesley (Warrant Officer, b.1888 - d.1978)

Accession Number PR03795
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 3 cms
Object type Letters, Certificate
Maker Hetherington, John Wesley
Place made At sea, Egypt, France, Greece: Aegean Islands, Lemnos, Malta, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1914-1918
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition
Transcript Download PDF document of Hetherington, John Wesley (Warrant Officer, b.1888 - d.1978) (file)

Collection relating to the service of 1003 Warrant Officer John Wesley Hetherington, 2 Battalion, AIF, At sea, Egypt, Gallipoli, Lemnos, Western Front, England, 1914-1919. Collection consists of 70 letters written by Hetherington to his family, and two Certificates of Discharge. The letters cover the period October 1914 to August 1918 and describe his service at Gallipoli, convalescence on Malta, and time spent on the Western Front.

History / Summary

John Wesley Hetherington was present at the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April, where he was wounded and evacuated within hours of landing. He writes, "I never had time to get a shot in." After convalescing on Malta and Lemnos, he returned to the Peninsula in early November, where he served as an Amoury Sergeant. He was present at the evacuation of Gallipoli, which he describes as being "a most wonderful feat...more thrilling [than the Landing] in every way." Hetherington was an engineer tool maker in civilian life, and was employed for most of his military service in armouries, mainly responsible for repairing weaponry and bicycles.

The letters of John Wesley Hetherington reveal his bitterness towards men who refused to enlist and his strong conviction that conscription should be introduced in Australia. He evidently believed that a German attack on Australian soil was a definite possibility. He demonstrates a great deal of sympathy for the civilian victims of the war on the Western Front, and he was also clearly angry about what he saw as the mistreatment of the longest serving Australian troops, the "1914 men".