More of Walter Bentley Jackson's story: Postcards home

Our Battalion are in the trenches and it is better than Gallipoli.   

Walter Bentley Jackson was living at 92 Watkins Street, South Fremantle when he enlisted on 21 June 1915 and went to war with the 3rd reinforcement of the 28th Battalion. He was wounded in action, receiving a gunshot wound to the thigh, and died on 3 May 1917 in the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, France.

While away at war, ‘Wally’ as he called himself, sent postcards home to his family back home, namely his father Charles Jackson and his sister Melva Jackson. Melva preserved these postcards.


Melva also received postcards from a Francis (Frank) Woodlock. Frank lived two doors away at 96 Watkins Street, South Fremantle. He was also a member of the 28th Battalion although he did not enlist until 9 February 1916 and departed from Australian on a ship in 6 March 1916. He was 43 years of age.





 Walter Bentley Jackson also collected a number of postcards featuring iconic imagery of war.  


Many thanks to Pat Sargeant and family for preserving these postcards and sharing them with us.

Even more photographs and postcards have come to light since this story was posted.

Marilyn Williams, a niece of Walter Bentley Jackson, recently brought in a small collection of treasures pertaining to her Uncles time wartime experience. The collection includes photographs as well as delicately embroidered postcards and handkerchiefs sent predominantly to his mother, and one of his sister's Ida.

Walter Bentley Jackson (3rd from right) captured in a ‘spare moment in camp’ at Blackboy Hill on 20 July 1915.


A small copy of the New Testament was given to all Australian servicemen, perfectly sized to fit in their pockets.

The inside of the bible shows that they were a gift from the British and Foreign Bible Society in Western Australia and that they were distributed by the YMCA of Perth, Western Australia.


Below is a portrait converted into a postcard and send home to his Mother.

And another, looking ever so young...just a boy, off to war...


He also sent home lovely embroidered postcards.

The embroidery contained a pocket in which an extra note could be stored.



Here is another postcard he sent to his mother. 


Below are embroidered handkerchiefs sent to his Mother.



Below are silk pouches sent to his Mother.


Below is a Christmas message that Walter Bentley Jackson sent to his sister, Ida.


Below is the four-sided star or ‘pip’ that Walter Bentley Jackson wore proudly on his uniform and denoted his rank of lieutenant. The inscription reads: Tria Juncta In Uno and means ‘Three joined in one’, referring to the union of the three kingdoms of the British Isles (England/Wales, Scotland and Ireland).


Another treasure of Walter Bentley Jackson's that has been preserved by his family is this wooden chest seen below. Walter's initials are stamped across the top of the box and inside the box has been lined with newspaper from 1915. This item was kindly loaned to the Fremantle History Centre for their ANZAC exhibition. 


Alongside Walter's chest was a picture of his grave.


Many thanks to Marilyn Williams for preserving these items and sharing them with us. 

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The City of Fremantle will be participating in, supporting, and hosting a number of events over the commemorative period. The people of Fremantle (including the greater Fremantle area) are proud to be part of the ANZAC Centenary commemorations and to have the opportunity to honour and pay respect to those who have and are serving our nation as part of the Armed Forces. ANZAC Centenary events will embrace the themes: 'Commemorate, Contemplate and Educate'.
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The 849

The 849

Eight hundred and forty-nine is the number of servicemen who lived in the greater Fremantle area, embarked in Fremantle on transport ships that would take them to far away fields, and they are the ones that never returned. You can view the list here. If you would like to make comment about the list please contact 9432 9999 or email
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Over the ANZAC Centenary period, the City of Fremantle has and will host or support a number of tributes and events related to our city's war veterans. Read our news stories to find out how these events came together through text and photographs.
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