John Hector Willson

#112, (7 May 1914-9 May 1975)
FatherFrank Bourne Willson (c 1885-)
MotherMarie Louise Loutit (c 1890-)
Hec Willson 15 Feb 1942
     NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page - Tim Hill.
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John was born on Thursday, 7 May 1914.1 He was the son of Frank Bourne Willson and Marie Louise Loutit. John Hector Willson was known as Hec.2 He was a student at Scot's College Bellevue Hill and later at Sydney Grammar and Sydney University, graduating in 1939.3 He was a student in January 1935.4 He and Ruth Isabella Willson were found on a passenger list on the 'Mariposa' on 26 January 1935 from Sydney to San Pedro, Wilmington and Los Angeles.5 John Hector Willson and Ruth Isabella Willson were found on a passenger list on the 'Mariposa' on 28 January 1935 from Sydney to San Franscisco, California.4

He served as an officer in the military circa 1941 at Greta Camp, in Greta, New South Wales.3 Hec Willson also trained circa 1941 at Gunnedah, New South Wales.3 He wanted to be a surgeon but the army had plenty of surgeons; instead they asked him to be an anaesthetist.3

He spent the next 17 months in difficult conditions in Western Australia, including Morowa, Western Australia.3 He was on a ship to the Middle East which was diverted to Western Australia following the bombing attack on Broome. in March 1942.3 He was then, for a period of time, sent to at New Guinea.3 After the breakout - where the Japanese suffered many self-inflicted blade and gunshot wounds - the Australian surgeons performed 44 operations in the first 24 hours and a further 33 in the following 48 hours. Hec later questioned one of the Japanese officers trying to elicit what they had to gain. He replied that that they hoped to kill as many Australians as possible and then commit suicide as the disgrace of imprisonment meant they couldn't return to Japan.3
Hec Willson c1963
(source: Tim Hill collection)


Hec, aged 30 and an unknown person became the parents of Peter John Willson on Friday, 23 February 1945 at at St. Luke's hospital in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst.1 Hec Willson was made Honorary Specialist Anaesthetist at Brisbane General Hospital and also Greenslopes Military Hospital. he was also a lecturer at St. Lucia University on general anaesthsia to the dental faculty. He was president of the Queensland Society of Anaesthetists for 9 years, and in private practice would travel to Brisbane and Queensland country towns, carrying his McKesson Machine and Nuffield vaporisor. in 1946 at Brisbane.3 John, aged 33 and an unknown person became the parents of Richard Frank Willson on Thursday, 4 December 1947 at Brisbane.1 Hec Willson was awarded the Foundation Fellow of Anaesthesia at the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in 1952.3 He was retired in 1968 at Sydney.3

John died on 9 May 1975 at age 61.3

Children of John Hector Willson

Children
Last Edited20 Oct 2014

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
1914Birth1
Education3
1935Occupation4
1935Passenger list5
1935Passenger listSan Franscisco, California4
c 1941Milit-BegGreta Camp, in Greta, New South Wales3
1950Occupation-hide1
1968RetirementSydney3
1975Death3

Citations

  1. [S259] Mavis 'Patti' Willson,.
  2. [S485] Tim Hill, personal knowledge, unknown date.
  3. [S543] Letter from Mavis 'Patti' Willson to Tim Hill, various.
  4. [S474] Website California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Name: John Hector Willson; Arrival Date: 28 Jan 1935; Age: 20; Ship Name: Mariposa; Port of Arrival: San Francisco; Port of Departure: Sydney, Australia; Archive information (series:roll number): M1410:311.
  5. [S474] Website California Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1957 Name: John Hector Willson; Arrival Date: 26 Jan 1935; Age: 20; Ship Name: Mariposa; Port of Arrival: San Pedro, Wilmington and Los Angeles; Port of Departure: Sydney, Australia; Archive information (series:roll number): m1764:57.