Guide to the Papers of General Sir John Wilton [MSS 231]

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Manuscript Name Papers of General Sir John Wilton
Manuscript Number MSS 231
Last Updated August 2021
Extent 4 boxes + 7 oversize + 3 AV boxes
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract This collection includes photograph albums, diaries, correspondence, notes, financial papers, regarding the Second World War, the Korean War, SEATO, the Australian Defence Force Academy, military planning and strategy, an Aboriginal Treaty, and other matters.

Date Range of Content


Access and Copying Conditions 

Access: Open Access

This collection contains a variety of copyright material. Copyright is held by the creator of each item. Specific conditions for this collection are listed below. If no conditions are stipulated then the standard terms of the Copyright Act apply for published and unpublished items. Digitised material from manuscript collections is provided to clients by UNSW Canberra in good faith for private study and research only, and may not be published or re-purposed without the express and written permission of the individual legal holder of that copyright. Refer also to the UNSW copyright, disclaimer and takedown policy. 

Copying: No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners


Biographical Note

Wikipedia article: retrieved 1 May 2019


Related Material

The diary of General Sir John Wilton has been transcribed by his son and is available at retrieved 1 May 2019. 

Also available from the same site are: Wilton's obituary by Robert O'Neill, The Age, Melbourne (11 May 1981); a letter from Wilton to Returned Services League president regarding Aboriginal rights (15 May 1980); and a 'Tiger Story' by Lt-Col F.E. (Freddie) Elliot (1892-1971).


Content Listing

Box 1

Folder 1

Diary of General Sir John Wilton: commenced in Mayomayo, Burma in July 1937, recommenced in Canberra, Australia in February 1977.

Folder 2

Two photocopies of the diary in Folder 1 (commenced in Mayomayo, Burma in July 1937, recommenced in Canberra, Australia in February 1977).

Folder 3

Photocopy of the diary in Folder 1 (commenced in Mayomayo, Burma in July 1937, recommenced in Canberra, Australia in February 1977).

Folder 4

Diary of General Sir John Wilton (5th August 1942 – 16th December 1942): Covers his period as GI, 3 Aust. Division Camp near Maryborough.

Folder 5

  • Newspaper clipping: Marriage announcement of John and Helen Wilton (July 2nd 1939).
  • Letters to Helen Wilton:
    • 15 letters sent from Pukapunyal to the Middle East (7th July 1940 – 20th November 1940).
    • 12 letters sent from the Middle East (29th November 1940 – 16th February 1941).
    • 17 letters sent from Queensland, Australia (4th January 1942 – 2nd October 1942).

Folder 6

Letters to Helen Wilton:

  • Letters dated 4th January 1943 – 29th January 1943 sent from HQ of the 3 Aust. Division.
  • Letters dated February 1943 – August 1943 sent from New Guinea.

Box 2

Folder 7

Letters to Helen Wilton: dated 16th March 1953 – 27 July 1953, sent from Korea.

Folder 8

  • Letters to Helen Wilton: dated August 1953 – February 1954, sent from Korea.
  • Newspaper article: “Flashback to the Half-Remembered War: Thirty years after, a look at the bitter conflict in Korea” by Philip Castle, 29th June 1980, Canberra Times (original article plus 1 photocopy).

Folder 9

  • United States / United Kingdom trip (September 1962):
    • Australian Military Forces notebook.
    • Personal booklet of trip “US Army XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg”.
    • General instructions and maps for infantry/Tank Cooperation, Puckapunyal 16-23 May 1965.
    • South East Asia Organisation Council (SEATO):
      • Final draft communique 21st May 1969.
      • Newspaper clipping from 1962.

Folder 10

  • Kerr Committee of Enquiry into Financial Terms and Conditions of Service Employment (3rd November 1970).
  • 1962 Lees Knowles Lecture “The Profession of Arms”.

Folder 11

  • 3 Pay Books.
  • Receipts for returning of military articles.
  • Record of equipment on temporary issue to personnel.
  • Photocopies of magazine articles.
  • Address to the Australia Club dinner (25th April 1971): handwritten notes.

Folder 12

Personal retirement file of General Sir John Wilton.

Folder 13

Newspaper and magazine clippings re. Wilton’s career and allegations against the Army.

Folder 14

Documents and correspondence from General Sir John Wilton’s time as Consul General in New York (1973-1975).

Box 3

Folder 15

Correspondence and speeches from General Sir John Wilton’s time as Consul General in New York (1974).

Folder 16

Consul General:

  • Correspondence and speeches (1975).
  • “Foreign Affairs” reference paper (1975).
  • Representation Allowance Claim forms (1973-75).

Folder 17

Consul General:

  • Documents relating to General Sir John Wilton’s return to Australia (1975-76).
  • Repatriation appeal correspondence (1972-80).

Folder 18

Army Historical Programme:

  • Transcript of Vietnam interview, September 1976.
  • Notes for Vietnam interview.

Folder 19

Miscellaneous papers (1979-80):

  • Brief Notes on Australian Defence Organisation.
  • Defence statements by Killen (August-September 1980).
  • Paper: “Staff Corps Versus Militia: the Australian Experience in World War II” (2 copies).
  • Senior ARA Officer Appointments (1979).

Folder 20

Miscellaneous papers (1950’s-1972).

Folder 21

Papers relating to the Aboriginal Treaty Committee.

Box 4

Folder 22

“Australia and the Korean War 1950-53” by R. O’Neill: typescript and correspondence relating to Volume II.

Folder 23

General Sir John Wilton’s files regarding WWII and the Korean War.

Folder 24

Miscellaneous files:

  • Files regarding the Australian Archives (access clearance forms etc.).
  • Australian Military Forces notebook.
  • Australian Army Manual of Land Warfare Part One: The Fundamentals of Land Force Operations (Provisional) 1977.
  • Large notebook belonging to General Sir John Wilton.

Folder 25

  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Copy of “Jungleer” vol. XXXVI, no. 3 June 30, 1985.
  • Copy of “The Dedication of the Australia Chapel, and Arthur Phillip Memorial...”.
  • Copy of “Bath Guides and Directories and Newspapers”, 1973.
  • Eulogy of General Sir John Wilton.

Folder 26

Papers regarding Casey University – ADFA:

  • Statement by the Hon. D.J. Killen, M.P. Minister for Defence: The Defence Force Academy (15 May 1980).
  • Correspondence regarding Casey University: ADFA.
  • “An Analysis of the Report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works on the Proposed Construction of a Defence Force Academy” by D.J. Killen, Minister for Defence, March 1980 (2 copies).
  • “The Case for the Australian Defence Force Academy” by D.J. Killen, Minister for Defence, April 1980 (2 copies).

Folder 27

Papers regarding Casey University – ADFA:

  • Second Reading Speech by the Minister for Defence – the Hon. D.J. Killen, M.P.: Casey University – Australian Defence Force Academy, 12 April 1978.
  • Statement by the Hon. D.J. Killen, M.P. Minister for Defence on Defence, 23 August 1979.
  • Casey University – Australian Defence Force Academy Bill 1978. Table of Provisions.
  • Photocopies of articles regarding the development of the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Cool Room:

Box 5

Folder 1

Photo album (b&w): Visit to 1st Armoured Division, Kharian, 16 November 1954. Presented to General Sir John Wilton by Major General Nasir Ahamed Khan, Commander 1st Armoured Division.

Folder 2

Photo album (b&w): Unison 65 (the Commonwealth Inter-Service Study, Cranwell, England) including images of RAF flying display

Folder 3

Photo albums (b&w): Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation, Military Advisers (2 albums).

Box 6

Photo album (b&w). [b&w photos from the 1930s to the 1990s].

Box 7

Photo album (b&w): Thirteenth Military Advisers Conference 15-18 September, 1960

Oversize material

Map Cabinet 3, Drawer 7:

  • Certificate of honorary citizenship of Dover, Delaware, 1/4/1975.
  • Declaration for Consul General, N.Y., 20/8/1973.
  • Formal surrender of Second Japanese Army, to General Sir Thomas Blamey, Morotai, 9/9/1945 (2 copies).
  • Parade of Advanced Land Headquarters, Australian Military Forces, Morotai, 16/8/1945.
  • Blue print of house located at 7 (13) Bronte Cres, Batehaven, 91/59, 10/7/1959.
  • Distinguishing badges of the Australian Imperial Force, The Great War, 1914-1918.
  • Cambodia & South Vietnam [colour map], 1967.