Mr J.S. “Wilkie” Wilkinson, a well-known figure in Townsville, was a World War One veteran who had served in the 52nd Battalion, AIF. For many years he was employed as the North Queensland manager of Dalgety & Co, and in 1930 was transferred to Kenya. Upon his return to Townsville from Africa, he retired but remained very active in community service. In 1951, His Majesty the King admitted membership of the British Empire Order to Wilkinson for his outstanding public achievements. He was Secretary to the Red Cross during WWII, and continued to work for the society for many years after the war. He was also Secretary and Treasurer of the RSSILA (later the RSL) and Townsville Secretary of the Bush Children’s Health Scheme. In 1947 the RSL recognised Wilkinson’s outstanding service to the league by instituting a testimonial in the form of an annual essay competition for children of League members in North Queensland. The “J S Wilkinson Essay Prize” awarded annual prizes of £10/10/- to the boy and girl who submitted the best essay on an Empire statesman.
The archive is a Memoranda of information and specifications for “‘Webb’s Subaqueous Rotative Excavator’ as sent in to the Government of India…June 28th 1870” signed by George Webb and witnessed by A T Wilkinson, Resident Engineer, 4 Dir SNL, Madras Railway.”
Archive Location: 139L
Wilk/1 Subaqueous Rotative Excavation: a memorandum compiled by George Webb (c.1870). Ledger contains specifications and transcripts of correspondence from Webb to such as the Governor General of India, for an “Original Petition for leave to file Specification” for his invention, and to A T Wilkinson and others, and responses to Webb.
Later pages contain details of “Expenses 1928” and “Orders Executed 1928” for goods such as bowls, jardinières, blotters, bellow, buttons, elastic, and various fabrics such as cashmere, wool, fringe silk, crepe, batik patterns, organdi (sic), and silks. All orders are from women, either Mrs or Miss.
(NB Ledger pages have watermark: Madras Railway Company William Brown and Co London)
A piece of torn page is also included with “Geo Webb Esq Chief Engineers Office Madras Railway Madras” written on it.