Military historian honoured
One of the world's leading military historians, Emeritus Professor Trevor Wilson of the University of Adelaide, has been appointed an Honorary Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia.
Professor Wilson has received his honour for service to education in the area of World War I military history through teaching, writing and historical research. He has taught history at the University of Adelaide since 1960.
"I am delighted that historians are thought to be worthy recipients of this honour," Professor Wilson said. "The fact that people in authority recognise the importance of history, both through writing and teaching, gives me a lot of pleasure."
Professor Wilson is regarded internationally as the author of some of the most distinguished texts on the Great War. His first military book - The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 1914-1918 - published in 1986, is widely acknowledged as revolutionary in its view of war.
A Visiting Professor at the University of Adelaide and co-author of four of his military texts, Robin Prior, said Professor Wilson was the first author to look at war in all its dimensions. "He gave an overall perspective of war, covering not only the specific battles, but also the social and political impacts of the Great War. In that respect, he really broke the mould with this book," Professor Prior said.
"As a teacher, his encyclopaedic knowledge and enthusiasm for history has inspired students for more than 40 years."
Professor Wilson's other military books, which he has co-authored with Professor Prior, include: The Somme (2005); The First World War (1999); Passchendaele: The Untold Story (1996); and Command on the Western Front, 1914-1918 (1992).
His most recent books were launched by SA Premier Mike Rann, General Peter Cosgrove (then Chief of the Defence Force), and former Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley, reflecting the esteem in which he is held in Australia.
Despite "officially" retiring from the University of Adelaide in 1993, Professor Wilson continues to teach honours classes and supervise PhD students.
The University of Adelaide itself has strong connections to World War I: more than 500 staff and students fought in the war, with the first South Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross, Captain A.S. Blackburn, a Law graduate.
Story by Candy Gibson