medal and ribbon
(SEE) OMD 213 (George V issue, first type)
First World War DCM awarded to (974) Sergeant M Wilder, 9th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.
Note that a First World War period Australian Imperial Force recommendation for a gallantry award for (974) Sergeant Wilder has been located via the official Australian Archives relating to the bitter fighting following the landing at Anzac on 25 April 1915 near Gaba Tepe, as the 9th Battalion was the first ashore and heavily involved in defending the beach head. The typescript recommendation (shared with '871 Sergeant J Clark) reads as follows:
'On the afternoon 26th April, under a heavy shrapnel and rifle fire, Sergeants Wilder and Clark carried a wounded comrade, who had been lying in a trench since 2 p.m. the previous afternoon, to safety. They then collected and brought stragglers up to the firing line'.
Lieutenant Colonel Maurice Wilder Neligan (1882-1923) enlisted in the AIF on 20 August 1914 under his assumed name Maurice Wilder. He served with the 9th Infantry Battalaion at Gallipoli where he was awarded a DCM on 25 April 1915. Due to the high rate of casualties he was promoted in the field to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant on 28 April. On 12 March 1916 he was promoted to the rank of Captain just before the 9th Battalion embarked for France. He was awarded the DSO for commanding a successful trench raid on 2 July 1916 where he was wounded in the head. He re-joined the 9th on 22 October, promoted to major and became second in command of the battalion, having risen from private to major in little over two years. In July 1917 he was given command of 10th Battalion, earming the nickname 'Mad Wilder' and outside his battalion, 'Neligan of the 10th'. He was a strict disciplinarian and hard trainer of his troops that proved effective in action at during the Third Battle of Ypres. He was mentioned in Despatches five times throughout the war, awarded the CMG on 3 June 1918, a bar to his DSO for a successful night attack on the village of Merris in July 1918 and the award of a Croix de Guerre was announced in the London Gazette on 10 October 1918. He was demobilised on 12 October 1919 but on 26 March 1920 he was appointed as a Lieutenant in the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force in New Guinea, later becoming a District Officer in Talasea, New Britain, resigning in late 1922 and died on the way back to Rabaul on 10 January 1923.