Walkervale’s Wynter Street sign now features the badge of the Rising Sun as Council’s Streets of Remembrance initiative honours Lieutenant General Henry Douglas Wynter.
Born in Gin Gin on 5 June 1886, Lieutenant General Wynter had a long and distinguished military career, which included active service, and began in 1907.
The Herald (7 February 1945, page 3) reported at the time of his death, aged 59, that “he was a Queenslander who had an outstanding military career in the Australian Army”.
The report said he joined the permanent military forces in 1911 before quickly moving through the ranks in various positions.
“In 1919 he became officer commanding AIF troops in France and Flanders,” The Herald said.
He held a number of administrative posts before serving on General Blamey's staff until being appointed to command the 9th Division AIF on 23 October 1940.
An Australian War Memorial collection photograph shows him with the AIF in South England when he still held the position of Major General.
“Major General Wynter, Commanding the AIF, at right, with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir John Dill, on a tour of the Australian Units,” the image caption reads.
Street named in honour of service
The Bundaberg City Council Street Name Register 2008 contains a record of the decision to name Wynter Street which was made in 1940 when he continued to serve his country.
“Extract from Special Report by His Wor. The Mayor dated 10th May, 1940 – Rubyanna Street to be Wynter Street, in honour of Major-General H.D. Wynter, C.M.B., D.S.O., a distinguished former resident, at present Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General, 7th Division, 2nd A.I.F.,” the register reads.
Wynter’s achievements much lauded during his time
The Recorder (14 January 1941, page 2) wrote a piece on the then Major General Wynter titled ‘Student of Military History and Strategy’ which promoted his birth “near Bundaberg, Queensland” where he was first commissioned in the Wide Bay Regiment in 1907.
“Early in his military career his qualities as a student and an organiser were noted, and he has held many instructional and staff appointments of the first importance,” the Recorder article said.
“He is known to his brother officers as a student of military history and strategy, with views on the defence of Australia which reveal originality of mind and a great capacity for research.
“He was the first Commandant and Chief Instructor of the Australian Staff and Command School, and the senior officers who attended the first courses were taken by Gen. Wynter through exercises which threw much new light on Australia’s defence problems.”
Remembering Lieutenant General Wynter
On 7 February 1945, with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant General, he died of illness.
He was buried in Springvale Military Cemetery, in Melbourne, on 9 February 1945 with an Australian War Memorial collection photograph capturing the funeral procession.
“The casket, borne on a gun carriage from the 6th Auxiliary Horse Transport, proceeds to the grave side accompanied by six Major Generals and Warrant Officer Instructors who acted as pall bearers,” the caption said.
The new Wynter Street sign, installed as part of Bundaberg Regional Council’s Streets of Remembrance initiative, now more prominently displays Lieutenant General Wynter’s military career by incorporating the Rising Sun bade and his full name and rank.