Wally Johnson
Australia Crest

Wounded digger immortalised in the photograph by Damien Parer.

The famous wartime photograph shows a heavily bandaged Wally being helped to a medical station in New Guinea by Sergeant G.R.C. Ayre.

Wally went to war when he was 19 and lost an eye and received a serious arm injury when ambushed in July, 1943, on Salamaua on the north coast of New Guinea. He was serving with the 58/59th Battalion when he was wounded by a grenade.

He never considered himself a hero yet the photograph symbolised the diggers' bravery and determination. Surprisingly, the identity of the wounded soldier in the photograph was known only to his family for 40 years.

Wally died in Moe, south-east Victoria, in February, 1999, aged 77.

His story is included in a book by Barry Dickins - Ordinary Heroes, to be released on Anzac Day, 1999..

Copyright © Dinkum Aussies 1999 All Rights Reserved,
feedback to Webmaster