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Wells-R-W-Capt (redirected from Wells R W Capt)

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 6 years ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


Prior to the war, Captain Richard William Wells, and his brother-in-law Sydney Victor Burrow had their portrait

taken in the studio of Agnes Thomson, Ascot Vale.  Courtesy of Mark Latchford.


Wells R W      Capt        Richard William                6 Inf Bn    36    Clerk    Married           

Address:       Ascot Vale, Francis St, 77

Next of Kin:    Wells, Grace V, wife, c/- Mr Burrow, Ballarat   

Enlisted:    19 Aug 1914       

Embarked:     A20 Hororata 19 Oct 1914    

Prior service: 64th Inf


Relatives on Active Service:

Burrow-S-V--SSM-4 brother-in-law

Burrow A A Sgt 62 brother-in -law


Date of Death:  11/05/1915




Major Richard William Wells, pictured in his Essendon Rifles

Uniform prior the war. Photo courtesy of Margery Burston.



Major R. W. Wells is reported as having died from wounds. The deceased was a well-known resident of Francis street, Ascot Vale, and while Captain, was in charge of the 58B senior Cadets at Ascot Vale. He went to the front with the 6th Battalion, and was promoted to the rank of Major. He was universally popular in the district, and the cadets simply worshipped him as a commanding officer. His loss will be a distinct blow to the district and the service. He leaves a widow and family.


For King and Country. (1915, May 20). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved January 11, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74588863



Major Richard William Wells (killed) is a son in-law of Mr Con Burrow, superintendent of the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum He was born at Kensington, and was an accountant in the Railway service prior to enlisting. In Melbourne he was a well-known rifle-shot and was in the old 5th Regiment. Major Wells was 37 years of age and went to the front as captain commanding a company in the 6th (Vic )   Battalion under Colonel Semmens. Prior to enlistment for foreign service he held the rank of captain in the 6th Battalion of Commonwealth Forces. He leaves a widow and   one child. He was area officer at Ascotvale, where he lived for some years.


The Argus 20 May 1915  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1518262 


Major R. W. Wells

(died of wounds) was a member of the instructional staff of the Victorian defence forces. He was 35 years of age, and was born in Melbourne, where his widowed mother resides. For some years he was engaged as an accountant in the Railway department, and was married to a daughter of Mr. Con. Burrow, superintendent of the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum, Mr. Burrow, who is the son of a Crimean veteran, was formerly a non-commissioned officer in the Grenadier Guards, with whom he saw active service in Egypt some thirty years ago. Mrs Wells, with her only child (a boy of two years), has (been staying with her father in Ballarat since the departure of her husband for the front.


The late Major Wells, who was born in 1878, was attached to 5th A.I.R., Melbourne. for some years. He became a second lieutenant on 15th August, 1904, a first lieutenant on 1st September, 1903, and a captain on 13th June, 1910. He was posted as area officer of the 58th Battalion (Ascot Vale) on 1st November, 1910. A son of Mr. Burrow is also at the war with one of the Australian Expeditionary Forces. Prior to leaving for the front Major Wells lived at 11 Union street, Ascot Vale.




Captain R W Wells of the 5th Australian Infantry Regiment is on the right, late 1910.   Courtesy of Mark Latchford.


Extract of letter from 311 Pte George Ascot Gideon


I came across our poor Major Wells. He had a hole   through the upper part of his left leg, and was bleeding very freely. He said: "Hullo, Gideon, you got one too?" I got close to him, cut his trousers away, and started to bandage him. It was a nasty wound, and the brave old Major was suffering great pain. It was awful to see this fine man weakening. Another battalion (the 7th I think) was advancing to support our chaps, and we were right between their fire and that of the Turks. I advised the Major that we should lie flat till they passed on, which we did. The fire at last eased off. I said: "Well, we'll get to work again." I looked at him. He was bleeding from the mouth. He had been shot through the back of the head, near the neck. He said: "Don't worry about me, boy. Get to safety yourself. Take my money-belt; there is £5 in it belonging to the company." I saw that his wounds were too much for me, so I shook his hand. He said: "Thanks, lad; look after yourself." I got down the gully and directed the stretcher-bearers to him.


(Learnt on the boat that our poor Major had died from his wounds.)


 OUR SOLDIERS. (1915, September 23). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4 Edition: Morning. Retrieved January 11, 2012, from



R W Wells, courtesy of Kim Phillips, The Spirits of Gallipoli.


Capt R W Wells.  Source:  For Empire.


Mentioned in these publications

For Empire

Send-off to the Essendon Boys Article in Essendon Gazette

Letter home by Hopkins E J Pte 448  published in the Essendon Gazette

Letter to Mr Mashford by Smith E C Pte 1124 published in the Essendon Gazette 20 Jan 1916. 

Weekly times  article relating to Williams-P-Pte-1251  

The White Ghurkas: the Australians at the Second Battle of Krithia, Gallipoli, by Ron Austin. p 100. Slight reference to death. 



War Service Commemorated

Kensington Methodist Church [R]*

Patriotic Concert 1914


Essendon Gazette Roll of Honour DOW Major

“Send off to the Essendon Boys”


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