Mothers and Widows badge: Mrs Anna Marion Woodland

Accession Number AWM2016.614.2
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Badge
Maker Australian Weaving Co Pty Ltd
Place made Australia
Date made c 1919
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Black ribbon woven in gold, white and red with sprigs of wattle, a General Service 'Rising Sun' badge and 'FOR AUSTRALIA'. The ribbon is suspended between two silver plated bars: the upper bar, decorated with a pattern of laurel leaves, bears an impressed serial number '6846' in the back; the lower bar bears a brass seven-pointed star, representing the death of one child. The brooch pin fitting, normally attached to the upper bar, is missing.

History / Summary

Nineteen year old Ernest Edwin Woodland was employed as a clerk at Messrs Sanderman and Co's Wine and Spirit Stores in Sydney when he enlisted in the AIF on 27 December 1915, with the permission of his parents. As he had served in the militia with the Australian Garrison Artillery he was assigned as a reinforcement gunner, service number 664, for the Siege Artillery Brigade.

Woodland left Sydney on 9 April 1916 aboard HMAT Nestor. After training in England he arrived in France in January 1917, and joined the 54th Battery of the 36th Heavy Artillery Group on 24 February. He was killed in action on 30 April. Bombardier Wilfred Eric Ellis, working on the opposite side of the gun, later recalled: 'I saw Woodland killed by a shell...we were on the gun in action, and there was a big hole in his chest and he was killed at once, it was near St. Nicholas about 3 in the afternoon and he was buried at 5 the same afternoon 300 yards from where he was killed. I was within a few feet of him when it happened. He was on one side of the gun, I was on the other.'

Woodland was initially buried at L'Abbayette, but in October 1917 was reinterred in the Athies Cemetery near Arras. This commemorative brooch was issued to his mother, Anna Marion Woodland.