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Brigadier General Evan Wisdom : [2]

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Evan Alexander Wisdom was born on 29 September 1869 at Inverness, Scotland. At the age of 22 he migrated to Western Australia and went as a prospector to Southern Cross on the Yilgarn goldfield. In 1892 he joined the goldfield at Coolgardie and opened a store. He then joined the goldfield at Kalgoorlie acquiring extensive mining interests and establishing the Exchange Hotel. In October 1901 Wisdom was appointed lieutenant in the Western Australian Mounted Infantry and in 1908 was brigade major of the Western Australian Infantry Brigade. He was mayor of Cottesloe in 1908-13 and member for Claremont in the Legislative Assembly in 1911-1917. On the onset of war in 1914 Wisdom was in charge of the Karrakatta training camp. He transferred to the Australian Imperial Forces in March 1915 and served in the Gallipoli campaign and the Western Front commanding the 18th Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Brigade and the “Liaison Force”. Wisdom returned to Australia in December 1919 and on 21 March 1921 he succeeded Brigadier General Thomas Griffiths as military administrator of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. His first task was to convert the administration to a civil one and on 9 May 1921 a civil government was established and Wisdom became a civil administrator. In 1930, at the onset of the depression, the fall in copra prices and gold production led to reduced government activities. In March 1932 Wisdom opened the Bulolo Gold Dredging Co. After eleven years as administrator, Wisdom left Rabaul in June 1932 and retired in June 1933. He returned to his gold mining ventures and travelled between Melbourne and Perth. Wisdom died in Melbourne on 7 December 1945.

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