Biography

Birth date: 27 July 1894
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Bathurst
Death date: 13 June 1941
Death place: Australia: Victoria, Puckapunyal
Final rank: Major
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion

Blair Wark (1894-1941) had been a militia officer in New South Wales before enlisting as an officer in the AIF in mid-1915. A year later he fought in the battle of Fromelles, where he was highly commended for his work, despite being wounded. Next year at Polygon Wood he won the Distinguished Service Order.

Wark's finest feat took place during the attack on the Hindenburg Line in his battalion's final action. He constantly showed outstanding leadership, often in advance of his troops. He was responsible for the capture of some field artillery, the silencing of machine-guns and the capture of many prisoners.

An outstanding citizen and soldier, Wark was active in business and public affairs in Sydney. He was commanding a militia battalion during the Second World War when he died suddenly aged 47.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 09 November 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

P01046.001

1919-05-31. PORTRAIT OF MAJOR BLAIR A. WARK, VC, DSO, 32ND BATTALION 1ST AIF. (DONOR B. WARK)

P01046.001

P01046.002

C. 1940. PARTY OF SENIOR MILITARY PERSONNEL ON HORSEBACK, PROBABLY AT PUCKAPUNYAL, VIC. THIRD FROM LEFT IS LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BLAIR A. WARK, VC, DSO, THEN COMMANDING OFFICER OF 1ST BATTALION, CITY OF SYDNEY'S OWN. (DONOR B. WARK)

P01046.002

P02939.046

Portrait of Captain (Capt) Blair Anderson Wark VC DSO, 32nd Battalion. Capt Wark was awarded the Victoria Cross as a Major (Maj) for "most conspicuous bravery, initiative and control" on 29 September - 1 October 1918 between Bellicourt and Joncourt. Maj Wark was leading his command forward under...

P02939.046

P05879.001

Portrait of Lieutenant B A Wark, later Major B A Wark VC, DSO.

P05879.001

P10806.001

Panorama group portrait of Officers attending the Sixth Course Senior Officers' School. Identified Australian servicemen: back row first on the left: Major Theodore Frederick Ulrich DSO, 6th Battalion, a clerk from Brunswick Victoria embarked from Melbourne on 19 October 1914 on the HMAT Hororata...

P10806.001

P10889.001

Outdoor portrait of the Duke of York during his visit to Government House, Sydney NSW. Identified is Major Blair Anderson Wark, VC who is being greeted by the Duke of York. Wark was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous bravery, initiative and control" on 29 September - 1 October 1918...

P10889.001

P00339.011

FRANCE. 1914-18 WAR. OFFICERS OF THE 29TH AND 32ND BATTALIONS, WHICH WERE AMALGAMATED TO MAINTAIN STRENGTH. AT THE FRONT IS THE BRIGADE CUP. FRONT ROW: CAPTAIN WEAVER, QUARTER MASTER; CAPTAIN ALLEN, MC AND BAR; CAPTAIN DAVIS, DSO, MC; MAJOR WARK, VC, DSO; COLONEL DAVIES, DSO, CROIX DE GUERRE;...

P00339.011

Timeline

Date of birth 1894-07-27
Date of embarkation 1915-11-09
Date of recommendation honour or award 1916
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-10-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-03-04
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-03-06
Date of honour or award 1918-09-29 - 1918-10-01 Awarded Victoria Cross, for action at Bellicourt to Joncourt, France, whilst serving with 32 Battalion, 8 Brigade, 5 Division as a major.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-10-14
Date of death 1941-06-13