Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War

Conscription Referendum of December 1917

The second Conscription Referendum took place one hundred years ago December 20, 1917. The question asked was 'Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Commonwealth Forces overseas?' The result was1,015,159 in favour and 1,181,747 against.  The Referendum was in response to the a decline in volunteers and requests from the British Government to supply more troops. This was the second referendum on the issue of compulsory conscription that would have seen the conscripts serve overseas. The first one was on October 28, 1916 and it was also defeated and after these two defeats the  Prime Minister, William Morris Hughes, did not try for the third time.

Here's a few local reports about the 1917 conscription debate. There were more reports and longer reports on meetings favouring the Yes case than the No case.


South Bourke & Mornington Journal December 6 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66193170
A pro conscription held at the Rechabite Hall at Berwick was well attended.

South Bourke & Mornington Journal  December 6, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66193178
At this meeting at the Dandenong Town Hall, Miss  Martin made an impassioned speech in favour of the Yes vote. This is Miss Martin's speech in full from the article - which is a good summary of the Yes case and some of the issues raised during the debate -  nationalism, support for England and alluding to the sectarian nature of the debate where the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, campaigned strongly against conscription. I presume Miss Martin was the daughter of G.W Martin, President of the Shire of Berwick who was also a guest speaker.
On Monday evening, at the Dandenong Town Hall, a meeting was held, when speeches in favor of conscription were made by Miss Martin, Mr Fox, and Mr G. W. Martin. There was a large attendance, and the president of the Dandenong shire (Cr Colenso) occupied the chair, and introduced the various speakers.Miss Martin said that, although it was not a political question, the people had to decide the most serious question as to whether they would conscript themselves - they had to determine whether Australia would continue as a part of the Empire, and remain true to the boys at the front. When those boys had enlisted, they had not considered whether their comrades were of the same creed, but unfortunately the people of Australia were taking such matters into consideration at the present time. She invited those opposed to conscription to provide some alternative before the 20th, as up to datethey only had the voluntary system. She had addressed the electors at the Dandenong market, in the interests of recruiting, and had afterwards appealed to Mr Tudor, the head of the anti conscriptionmovement, but had gained no assistance, nor from Dr Maloney, who informed her that the Official Labor Party did not favor sending men from Australia to fight. Such men, who were opposed to conscription, should have helped the volunteer movement, but had failed to do so. Married men had been forced to enlist because the single ones had failed to do so, and also had the audacity to remain behind and occupy the married men's positions. It was said that there were plenty of men in England, and therefore recruits were not required, but the figures which she would quote proved otherwise. It was cruel and wicked to ask women to vote on a question of this kind, but British women had proved themselves brave before, and would not flinch on this occasion, and would carry the propositionthrough on the 20th (applause) Men remained behind and allowed boys to fight for the country. Reinforcements were badly needed, for the Australian army was badly placed in comparison with the Allied armies, and therefore conscription was justified in order to gain assistance for the boys at the front. The alternative was to pull out of the war, which would be worse than Russia had done. If that happened,Australia would not be entitled to protection from the British army and navy, and would have to depend upon its own resources a protective policy and an undeveloped cadet system. The financial assistance, rendered Australia by Great Britain, should not be overlooked, re purchasing the products of the  Commonwealth, and she appealed to them not to be led by Mr Tudor, but to vote " Yes" on the 20th (applause).


Lang Lang Guardian  December 8, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119514888
This report shows that a Yes meeting at Lang Lang went off relatively well, however the Yes case was met by noisy resistance at Koo Wee Rup and egg throwing!



Dandenong Advertiser December 20 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88818159
Clearly the Upper Beaconsfield correspondent for the Dandenong Journal was a Yes voter, going from this snippet.


Dandenong Advertiser December 20, 1917https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/88818145
Iona residents were  of the No persuasion. You can read about Frank Brennan here - he was a Catholic, a Labour Party politician, a Pacifist and an interesting and complex man.

Australian Women's National League

During the Great War many groups raised funds for the war effort, including the Australian Women's National League (AWNL). There is a description on the Australian Women's Register of the group (you can read the full article here)  - The Australian Women's National League (AWNL) was a conservative women's organisation established in 1904 to support the monarchy and empire, to combat socialism, educate women in politics and safeguard the interests of the home, women and children. It aimed to garner the votes of newly enfranchised women for non-Labor political groups espousing free trade and anti-socialist sentiments, with considerable organisational success. At its peak, it was the largest and arguably the most influential women's organisation in the country. By 1914 the AWNL claimed 52,000 members in three states. Closely associated with the United Australia Party, the financial and organisational support of the League was a key factor in the foundation of the Australian Liberal Party in 1944. At this point, the majority of members reconstituted themselves as the Women's Section of the Liberal Party. The League continued in a much reduced state.

During the War local branches operated at Berwick, Cranbourne, Pakenham Upper, Officer and Nar Nar Goon - they may well  have operated in other towns however I couldn't  find  any mention of this in local newspapers. 

 Dandenong Advertiser  September 13, 1917 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88818273
This is a report of the 1917 Annual General Meeting of the Nar Nar Goon branch of the Australian Women's National League. Mrs E.A Latta is Mrs Edgar Atherton Latta, born Leila Startup.  John Startup had  taken up the Mount Ararat Station at Nar Nar Goon in 1854 which had at one time the 'largest fenced grazing paddock' in Victoria - his land went from near Pakenham to Drouin. John later acquired property (336 acres)  on the corner of Bald Hill Road and Mt Ararat Road, the property was known as Oaklands and was where Leila was living at the time of her marriage. The Lattas were also early settlers in the area and the family is the source of the name Latta Road in Nar Nar Goon. Phillip and Michael Mulcare were also early landowners and the first subdivision of the Nar Nar Goon township on the south side of the railway was of Michael Mulcare's land. This is the source of the name Mulcare Road.  There is a James Mulcare and a James Raleigh Mulcare in the Electoral at Nar Nar Goon at this time, so one of them is the husband of Mrs J. Mulcare but not sure which or what her own name is.  Miss Jean Grey is possibly connected to the Grey family listed in the book From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen as an early Nar Nar Goon family.


Dandenong Advertiser Aug 24, 1916http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88662624
Not surprising that, as the AWNL  is described as a conservative women's group, local members tended to be from the 'well off' strata of society.  Mrs A. Nash, mentioned above in the Cranbourne group was Mrs Albert Nash or Mary Maud Nash to give her her own name. Mrs Nash was convenor of the Cranbourne Red Cross branch and was well connected to the Grices and the Ryans - you can read about the Cranbourne Red Cross and Mrs Nash's illustrious family here. Mrs A.E Brunt was Ellen Brunt, nee Carter, the wife of Andrew Edgar Brunt. Andrew was a son of Ralph Brunt, who had one thousand acres on the Cardinia Creek. He is the source of the name Brunt Road in Officer.  Ralph's cousin, William, had the Spring Villa property at Cranbourne (where the Settlement Hotel is now located) and is the source of the name Brunt Street in Cranbourne. Mrs J. B Wilson was the wife of James Brisbane Wilson, of Lyndhurst, the son of William and Euphemia (nee Brisbane) Wilson - Berwick pioneers. Mrs Wilson was born Margaret Ballanytne. 

Berwick Shire News July 7, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92090991
As with the Cranbourne branch of the AWNL the Berwick branch was also made up of women involved with the Red Cross - Mrs Scott Sharp, Mrs Pearson, Mrs Beaumont and Mrs Wilson. You can read about these women here. The other women listed are  Mercy Jane Davy  (nee Jacka) of Kippenross (later called Brentwood) in Berwick, you can read about the Davy family here.  Mercy's husband Humphrey had died in 1913. Mrs Jarrett was Eleanor Jarrett (nee Speeding), wife of William Henry Jarrett of Harkaway - their occupations in the 1915 Electoral Roll are listed as 'independent means.' Ogilvy - Mesdame Ogilvy would be a connection to Mr James Ogilvy, described in the Early Days of Berwick, as 'the son of Melbourne's earliest solicitors, who was enrolled  as one of the first pupils when Scotch College opened'. He lived on Buchanan's Road. Mesdame Sturtevant would be Margaret Sturtevant, the wife of Buxton Sturtevant listed in the Electoral Roll as an Electoplater.  The Early Days of Berwick also gives us some information on the Mesdame Tetley - she would be a connection to William Tetley, described as 'an old Harrovian, who lived at the eastern end on Buchanans Road'

What did the AWNL do?  Mrs Watson Robertson of the Central Branch addressed the Berwick Branch in May 1916 and this is some of what she said - Since the outbreak of war politics had been set aside and members had devoted their energies to patriotic work. Their motto was 'For God and Country'  and they were giving their support to many patriotic movements.  They had given four motor ambulances, and two were in Egypt and two in England.  After buying the ambulances there was a surplus, and this formed the nucleus of what is now the League's War Fund.  On a special gift day arranged last year over seven tons weight of goods were received. All the branches were contributing to the war fund, and the Central committee had from this been able to make the following donations : Belgian Relief Fund, £100; Red Cross (France), £20; towards a motor ambulance for Broadmeadows, £50  Lady Stanley's Recreation Hall, Broadmeadows, £10; Servian [i.e. Serbian] Fund; £10 10s; milk for Belgian babies, £10; Bed at Base Hospital, £25; and to the Lady Mayoress' League, £87 18s. For the Nurses they had sent one gross of Atkinson's Eau de Cologne and 15 dozen tins of Cadbury's chocolate. The sum of £250 had been given to the Y.M.C.A., £10 to. the Y.M.C A. Tent. £10 to the French Babies' Fund, £25 for French Motor Ambulance, and £25 to the Lady Mayoress' Patriotic Fund.  The sum of £2,336 had been collected to provide milk for the soldiers in the trenches, and 100 cases of 40 tins each were sent by every transport that could take them. Many gifts were sent to the soldiers at Xmas.



Berwick Shire News May 3 1916http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92089843

Tynong grove planted in honour of local soldiers

A grove  'to honour the men who had gone from the district to the Great War' was planted at the Tynong State School to celebrate Arbor Day on July 6, 1917.  There was a report on this event in the Dandenong Advertiser of July 12, 1917.   You can read the full report here and I have transcribed it,  below. 
 The Arbor Day proceedings at the school were marked by the planting of a grove in honor of the men who have gone from the district to the Great War. Mr.W. S. Keast, M.L.A. attended, and was welcomed on behalf of the residents by Mr T. W. Cunningham, chairman of the School Committee and President of the Progress Association. Mr Keast, in the course of his remarks, said that he was pleased and proud to be present on the occasion. Nothing was too good for the men who had gone to fight the Empire's battles, and it would be the duty of the Federal and State Government to do the best possible for them. He had been pleased to learn how well the pupils of the school had been working for the War Relief Funds, and to show his appreciation of their efforts he would be pleased to forward a cheque for a pound, and another for a similar amount when the school fund reached 100 pounds.  He recognised also the splendid work being done by the ladies of the Red Cross Societies. It was the first time he had been present on an occasion such as this, and he was pleased to pronounce the first acre of the grove well and truly planted. Mr T. Gleeson, in proposing a vote, of thanks to Mr Keast, mentioned his ever willingness to assist in all matters for the welfare of the district, and the appreciation of those present for his assistance on that day. Subsequently trees were planted to: Pte. E. Bullock, Pte.R. Brown, Pte. Bourke, Trooper Coombs, Pte. L. Doherty, Pte. F. Doherty, Corporal L. Gordon, Gunner Harris (killed in action), Pte. J. Hargraves, Pte. V. Jones, Pte. C. Lamb, Pte. Leeson, Trooper Madden, Ptes. P. and L. Orrocks (killed in action), Pte. L. Orde, Pte.W. Rowe, Pte. J. McQualter, Pte G.Rowley, Pte. J. Robinson, Pte. F. Snow, Corporal R. Thompson, Ptes. F. and A. Weatherhead, Pte. H. Wright, Pte. T. White, and Pte. T. Whiston. The fencing of the grove was nearly completed, whilst the School Committee and helpers also further improved the school ground by planting many trees and shrubs around its border, by fencing a portion for the children's ponies and a start was made at the pipe draining of the ground. During the day's program, a talk on local timbers was given by Mr H. Weatherhead, and Mr J.H. Lord of Bunyip gave a demonstration on tree-planting. After afternoon tea, which had thoughtfully been provided by the ladies, had been served, Mr D. Danson expressed the thanks of the committee to those who had attended and made the day's proceedings such a success.
The Tynong State School, No. 2854, was closed on April 14, 1951 as it became part of Pakenham Consolidated School. The school was where St Thomas Aquinas School is now located. 
Here are the soldiers, who were honoured with  a tree, I have had mixed success in identifying these men, so if you can help I would appreciate it. I have listed their Service Numbers (SN) so you can look up their full record on the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au
Bourke  Listed as Private Bourke, I don't know who this might be, but I presume he was connected to the Pakenham Bourkes -  Michael and Kitty Bourke who took up the 12,800 acre Mintons Run property in 1843 and in 1849 built the La Trobe Inn (also known as Bourke's Hotel for obvious reasons) on Toomuc Creek.
Brown, R I am not sure who this is, I cannot find a R. Brown with  a local connection.  There is a Richard Vincent Brown listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong from 1916 to 1919 - his occupation is pensioner, so our soldier may be connected to him. 
Bullock, Ernest (SN 6291) Ernest was nearly 21 and a farmer when he enlisted on July 7, 1916.  He was born in Murrumbena and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Mary Bullock, of Oakleigh. I assume that Ernest was living with his brother Thomas, who was a labourer from Garfield, who enlisted on the same day as Ernest.  Ernest was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918. Ernest and Thomas are also listed on the Garfield Honour Roll as well as the Clyde North State School Roll, where they attended school.  
Coombs, Henry Ernest (SN 4080) Henry enlisted on August 9, 1915 aged 18. His next of kin was his father, also called Henry, of Tynong and his mother was Inez (nee Ffrost). Henry Returned to Australian March 4, 1919.
Doherty, Edward Francis  (SN  1218)  Listed as F. Doherty on the memorial and known as Frank. Frank enlisted on  March 9, 1915 at the age of 26. Frank was Killed in Action on August 4, 1916. Doherty, Louis Michael (SN 12392).  Louis enlisted at the age of 21 on July 17, 1915. Louis returned to Australia in May 30,  1919. Frank and Louis were the sons of John Doherty, Veterinary Surgeon of  Nine Mile Road, Tynong.  Both of the men also had their occupation listed as farmer. The brothers are also listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial
Gordon, L Corporal   You would think Corporal L. Gordon would be easy to identify, but I  can't.  I have checked every Corporal Gordon in the Nominal Rolls and none have an obvious local connection. The only Gordon I could find in the area in the Electoral Rolls was a Duncan Gordon of Bunyip in the 1909 roll. 
Hargraves, J  Private Hargraves is another mystery. I cannot find a Hargraves with a local connection. There was a Edward and Mary Hargrave at Bunyip from 1903 to 1909 in the Electoral Rolls, but that's the closest Hargraves I could find to Tynong. 
Harris, Leo  (SN 3132)  Leo enlisted on July 20, 1915 at the age of 20 and he was a farm labourer. His next of kin was his mother,  Josephine Harris of Nar Nar Goon. Leo was Killed in Action, in France, on August 9, 1916 and his name also appears on the Nar Nar Goon Honor Roll.


Gertie Brent's In Memoriam notice from The Age September 25, 1918 in honour of her fiance, Victor Jones (see below)
Jones, Victor Herbert (SN 3150)  Victor was 27 when he enlisted on July 26, 1915. His occupation was 'engine cleaning', a Railways job. His father and next of kin was William Jones of Moe who was a railway ganger, so working for the  Victorian Railways was  a family affair. As you can see from the article below, he was positioned at Tynong for some years. Victor was Killed in Action in Belgium on September 25, 1917. His will left his estate partially to his father and partly to Miss Gertie Brent of Tynong.   


Narracan Shire AdvocateNovember 17, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129625905
Lamb, C  I don't  who this is. We know there was a Joseph Lamb at Tynong from around 1889 to 1896 - he wrote various letters to the Shire of Berwick complaining about his property being flooded and this is presumably the same Joseph Lamb, farmer,  listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1903. From 1909 to at least 1919 there was a Joseph Lamb in the Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon, his occupation was bootmaker. Is this the same Joseph Lamb who was the farmer?   Also, in 1919,  a Lawrence Joseph Lamb was listed as a State School teacher at Cora Lynn. It is possible that C. Lamb is connected with one of these men, but I can't work out who he is. 
Leeson  Private Leeson could be either Robert Leeson or William Leeson, the sons of Phillip and Amelia (nee Ransom) Leeson of Garfield.  Robert and William’s grandmother, Kathleen Leeson, was the licensee of the Pig & Whistle Hotel on Cannibal Creek.    Leeson, Robert Victor  (SN 2589) Robert enlisted in Melbourne,  at 20 years of age, on June 30, 1916.   Robert Returned to Australia on December 18, 1918. Leeson,  William Herbert Charles  (SN 1178) William enlisted at Tynong on September 26, 1914, aged 24. William was Killed in Action on on May 2, 1915 at Gallipoli.  William is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial and he and Robert are on the Garfield State School Honour Roll
Madden, Trooper   Trooper Madden could be either Frank or Thomas Madden. They are the sons of Thomas and Grace (nee Cook) Madden of Nar Nar Goon, although they are later listed at 9 Caroline Street, Clifton Hill.  There is also a Thomas Madden in the 1914 Electoral Roll listed at Tynong on 1914 so clearly they lived somewhere between the two towns. Frank and Thomas were both wool sorters by occupation. Madden, Frank  (SN 1798) Frank enlisted on January 13, 1915 at the age of 19.    Frank was awarded the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia on April 8, 1919.  Madden, Thomas William  (SN 2232)  Thomas' address on the Embarkation Roll is Nar Nar Goon, and he was 25 years old when he enlisted on April 1, 1916. He Died of Wounds on October 17, 1917 in Belgium. 
McQualter, John Hughes (SN 3199) John enlisted on December 18, 1916 aged 23. His wife, Ellen was listed as his next of kin. They lived at Tynong.  John Returned to Australia on July 8, 1919. John  was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after the war, you can read his file here, on the Battle to Farm website.  
Orde, L   I believe this is most likely Albert Leslie Ord (SN 3889) who enlisted on August 7, 1915 aged 22. His next of kin was his father, Frederick Ord of Nar Nar Goon. There is a Frederick Thomas Ord and a Margaret Ord listed in the Electoral Roll in 1914 at Tynong, so either they had moved or else more likely lived on the border of the two towns. Albert Died of Wounds on September 25, 1916 - he was accidentally shot in the hip by another soldier who was cleaning his gun.
Orrock, Harold Augustus Alexander (SN 552)Orrock, Percy  Newton (SN 3580) Percy and Alex were the sons of David and Emma Orrock of Tynong and were killed within three months of each other. Alex was 20 when he enlisted on March 3, 1916, he was a farm labourer and was Killed in Action on April 22, 1917. Percy was a 28 year old Grocers Assistant when he enlisted on July 16, 1915. Corporal Orrock was Killed in Action on February 8, 1917.

Mount Wycheproof Ensign and East Wimmera Advocate May 18, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154455039

Robinson, John Richard (SN 2304)  John enlisted at the age of 22 on July 7, 1915. His occupation was listed as 'Agent'.  His next of kin was his guardian, Mrs Hollingsworth of Tynong. John married Elizabeth Maskell on November 29, 1918 when he was in England and the Returned to Australia April 27, 1919.  Mrs Hollingsworth was, I believe, Julia Hollingsworth, listed in the Electoral Rolls as a storekeeper.
Rowe, W  Private W. Rowe is on the list but I can't work out who is is - there are number of W. Rowes with a Gippsland connection but no-one with a specific Tynong connection. There is a William Rowe in the Shire of Berwick Rate Books listed at Tynong, occupation farmer, around 1914;  a F.H. Rowe of Tynong  wrote  a letter to the Berwick Shire in September 1916 complaining about drainage - so Private Rowe may well be connected to either of these men. 
Rowley, George Albert  (SN 1989)  George was a 23 year old labourer and he enlisted on March 11, 1916. His next of kin was his father,  Joseph, of Tynong.  George Returned to Australia April 19, 1919 and was granted a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read his file, here.
Snow, F I can't find a Snow with a local connection. 
Thompson, Robert Henry (SN 664)  Robert enlisted on December 16, 1916 at the age of 27, he was a fireman on the Victorian Railways. His next of kin was his father, Samuel, of Tynong.  Corporal Thompson Returned to Australia January 30 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds (rheumatism) in May 1918. 
Weatherhead, Alfred (SN 1005)Weatherhead, Fank (SN 6960)Alf and  Frank were the sons of Horatio and Eleanor (nee Hunt) Weatherhead. In 1908 Horatio took up the lease, for saw milling purposes, of 2,000 acres at Tynong North and in December 1909 he built a mill at Wild Dog Creek, the east branch of Cannibal Creek. The family had previously lived in Lyonville.  Frank enlisted on July 8 1915 at the age of 22 and Returned to Australia on January 14, 1919. Alf enlisted at the age of 19 on February 13, 1915 and Returned to Australia March 17, 1919. Whiston, Julian Thomas (SN 3526)   I assume that T. Whiston is Julian Thomas Whiston, presumably called Thomas, so that's what we will call him. Thomas enlisted on August 7 1915 aged 18. He was a farmer. Thomas Died of Wounds March 21, 1918. Thomas had two brothers who also enlisted Frederick (SN 3524) and John (SN 3525) - they were the sons of Fred Whiston of Cora Lynn.  Thomas and Fred are also listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.
White, T  I am unsure who this is. There was a Robert Anthony White listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1914 so this man may possibly have  a connection to  Private White, but I don't know. 
Wright, H  This is possibly Harold Sidney Wright (SN 6407) I say this because he enlisted at Warragul on October 24, 1916 as a 22 year old and his occupation was an orchardist - and there were orchards close by at Garfield, however his address was listed as Mooroolbark on his enlistment papers. His next of kin was his father who lived in England. Harold Returned to Australia June 4, 1919. If it isn't Harold, then H. Wright may have some connection to William Wright, Railway Employee, who was listed in the 1915 Electoral Roll as living at Bunyip, there was also an Elizabeth Wright listed as well. 

Writing the War exhibition

The Cranbourne Library is pleased to be hosting the Writing the War Exhibition from October 26 to December 7, 2017.  TheWriting the War exhibition looks at stories of war from seven Australians. Nurse, bank clerk, farmer, sports master, journalist, artist, activist - hear their extraordinary stories of war in this moving exhibition tracing World War One through personal accounts. 

The featured writers are - Percival Langford, Jessie Traill, Sir Keith Murdoch, Vida Goldstein, Alice Kitchen, George Auchterlonie and Eric Chinner. Here's some more information about these people - Percy Langford was the inaugural Head Master at Dandenong High School and served at the School until 1934. Jessie Traill was an noted artist and  a resident of Harkaway, you can read about her here. Sir Keith Murdoch - newspaper journalist and owner - you can read Keith's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Vida Goldstein was a pioneering feminist and suffragist and was one of the first women to stand for Parliament - she stood as a Senate candidate in the 1903 election. You can read Vida's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Alice Kitchen served in the Australian Army Nursing Service from August 1914 until she was repatriated to Australia in August 1919. Sister Kitchen kept  a diary of her service. George Auchterlonie was born at Narracan (near Warragul) and served in the 8th Light Horse Regiment. He kept  a diary and was  a keen photographer. Eric Chinner was killed at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.
The Library has a series of  activities in connection with this exhibition - all free and all welcome!Thursday November 2 at 11.00am.Michael Madden - Australian Victorian Cross recipientsMichael Madden is a multi-award winning writer and will talk about his current project- researching and writing a book based on the 100 Australian recipients of theVictoria Cross covering their medals, statues, monuments and final restingplaces. Michael runs his own Military Medal Business in Berwick and has suppliedreplica medals and professional advice to service personnel, Museums and evenHollywood movies!
Thursday November 9 at 2.00pm.Official Launch of Writing the War Exhibition by the Hon. Anthony Byrne. Guestspeaker is Lambis EnglezosLambis Englezos is a Greek-born, retired art teacher from Melbourne with a‘magnificent obsession’ to find, recover, and honour Australia’s missing diggers fromthe Battle of Fromelles. He is the co-founder and driving force behind theinternationally renowned ‘Friends of the 15th Brigade’. Lambis is a central figure inPatrick Lindsay’s book ‘Fromelles’ and is acknowledged in the Robin Corfield book‘Fromelles - Don’t Forget Me Cobber’, for his contribution to the remembrance of thissignificant event in Australian history. He also featured in television stories on ‘60Minutes’, and the ABC ‘7:30 Report’ on the fate of the missing diggers. Additionally,Lambis has written and been featured widely on this subject in print media.Lambis received the Order of Australia in 2008 for his Fromelles work. He also wonthe inaugural Shrine Medallion in 2010 and was honoured by the RSL of Victoria withtheir ANZAC Award in the same year.
Tuesday, November 14 at 11.00am.Local History Librarian, Heather Arnold - How we honored our soldiersThe talk will look at the various ways communities honoured their soldiers once theWar ended. Heather will look at Avenues of Honour, War Memorials and Memorialbuildings such as Halls, Schools and Hospitals.
Saturday November 18 at 1.30pm andMonday, November 20 at 7.00pmJane Rivett-Carnac from the Narre Warren & District Family History Group -Researching your Military historyThere is more to a service person than Name Rank and Serial Number. Join us for a90 minute talk that will explore the many avenues available on the internet and inyour library to gather the information you need to write their story. It may be a soldiersent to Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, a bushman in the Boer War, a Great Unclein the Great War or Dad in the Second World War. Nurses Sailors Airmen andCivilians also have a story to tell.
Wednesday November 22 to Friday November 24 - 11.00am to 2.00pmFind a Soldier – drop in sessions.Need help finding information about your military personnel ancestors? Members ofthe Narre Warren and District Family History Group and Local History Librarian,Heather Arnold, will be available to help you find your solider. Drop into the FamilyHistory Room at the Cranbourne Library any time between 11.00am to 2.00pm.
Thursday, November 23 at 2.00pmMarg Dennis - Lest We ForgetFeaturing songs from World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War.Margaret performs a moving and unforgettable tribute to the war years of thetwentieth century.
Thursday, November 28 at 7.00pmRoss McMullin - Pompey Elliott At War: In His Own WordsDr Ross McMullin is an award-winning historian and biographer who graduated fromthe University of Melbourne with degrees in Law and Commerce and a PhD inAustralian History. His latest book about Australia’s most famous general in WorldWar I is Pompey Elliott at War: in his own words. Ross’s previous biography,Pompey Elliott, was awarded the Christina Stead Award for biography and theMelbourne University Press Award for literature while Farewell, Dear People:Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prizefor Australian History and the National Cultural Award. Ross has also written booksabout political history and articles by him have been published in many newspapersand periodicals.

Fundraising efforts

Three years into the Great War communities were still rallying around raising money and goods for the War effort.  In Yannathan, the Patriotic League was given donations of money and agricultural products - potatoes and chaff and livestock -  a pony and a lamb. The Red Cross at Nar Nar Goon collected 65 dozen eggs and a 'meadow fete' was held at Officer. I presume a 'meadow fete' was something like a harvest festival as there were prizes for displays of produce and sweets. The 'meadow fete' was held in aid of the 'A.W.N. L Milk and Fruit fund for Soldiers' This was the Australian Women's National League and they raised money to send tinned milk  and tinned fruit to the soldiers overseas. 
Lang Lang Guardian October 17, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119514787

Pakenham Gazette   October 27, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92152354


Pakenham Gazette October 12, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92155988

Tourism during the War

There was an interesting article in The Age of January 7, 1915 entitled 'Holidays and the War: effect on amusements'. I have partly reproduced it below and you can read the full article here. There is some local connection as it talks about tourism in Gembrook.

Holidays and the War: effects on amusements
Now that the holiday season is at an end, it is possible to form some estimate of the extent to which the war and the previous dry weather have affected the expenditure of the people on amusements. All things considered there has been, up to the present, very little evidence of depression. In normal times, and in fact at all times, there are three principal lines along which holiday makers disport them selves. They go into the country or to the seaside; they go to the theatres and picture shows, and they go to races. That the holiday traffic on the railways has not greatly suffered this year, despite the unprecedented circumstances, is shown by the number of those who booked tickets at
Spencer Street and Flinders Street stations during the six days - 23rd-28th December as compared with the similar period for 1913  

Flinders Street - 1913: 162, 055;  1914: 144,375
Spencer Street  1913: 24, 407;  1914: 22,341

Though there was a falling off, there was not a great falling off -  certainly not enough to suggest that the hand of misfortune is pressing on the country, or even remotely threatening it. Australia, it must be remembered, is at war and if the holiday figures for the other belligerent nations were available, they would unquestionably show how little we are feeling the pressure compared with themselves.

Some holiday resorts, it is interesting to note, did better this season than they did last. Thus Gembrook attracted 3482 sightseers during the week  week ended 28th December, as compared with only 2390 in 1913. On the other hand, Fern Tree Gully showed a falling off. Warburton about held its own, while the seaside places - largely owing to the wet weather on Christmas day showed an average decline of about 20 per cent.

With regard to indoor amusements, theatres, concerts and picture show -  the position of Australia is again very favorable. One leading theatrical manager said yesterday'It would probably be a fair estimate if we said that our returns, since the war began, had fallen off by 25 to 30 per cent'. 

One form of amusement that is showing practically no sign of bad times, and that hardly seems to have heard of the  war, is that of horse racing. It was remarked that the crowd at Mentone on Saturday last was one of the largest, if not absolutely the largest, seen on the course - certainly larger than at the corresponding meeting twelve months ago. The suburban racing clubs publish no statistics of attendance so only a general estimate can be formed. At the outbreak of war five months ago people did stop away from the racecourses in large numbers. The crowd at Flemington on Cup day was the smallest for some years, and the net profits of the Cup meeting, estimated at about £8000, are rather less than half those of last year. Nevertheless, the Cup day crowd was a great one. and the subsequent records put up by Boxing day and New Year meetings in the country as well as by Mentone, go to show that the cult of the horse is not yet affected by the war.

Of interest is the fact that Gembrook had over 3000 visitors in a week over the Christmas period. This is a huge amount of people given that the population of the town at the time was around 500. (Victorian Places)


Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society

Some of the leading lights in Berwick society and business established a Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society, where they would pay for wounded, returned soldiers to be cared for at the local hospital, operated by Nurse Duigan. I don't know if their wish to have the 'Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society' spread throughout the country districts was granted as the only references on Trove I could find referred to the Berwick group.

South Bourke & Mornington Journal August 2, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66192473

Who were these men? L. D Beaumont was Llewlyn David Beaumont (1860 - 1954). He was a Purser on the 'Fijian', a Union Steamship Company of New Zealand ship when, in 1889, he met his future wife, Ellie Buchanan (1869 - 1954). Ellie was with her father, the Hon. James Buchanan, M.L.C, who was visiting the New Hebrides (now called Vanuatu) as part of a Victorian Parliamentary Party tour.  He then moved to Ardblair at Berwick where he ran an Ayrshire Cattle stud.  Their son, Norman Beaumont, was one of the authors of the book The Early Days of Berwick.  Ellie Buchanan was, as we said, the daughter of the Hon James Buchanan and his wife Ann Wilson (1827 - 1909). Ann was the aunt of the W. Wilson listed as the chairman of the Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society. This was William Wilson (1860 - 1936), the son on William Wilson (1830 - 1907) and Euphemia Brisbane (1838 - 1920). William senior and his brother James (1833 - 1910) established the Wilson Quarry in Berwick. You can read about this here.
Another relation of the Wilsons was Evan C. Henry. William Wilson junior married his first cousin, Annie Buchanan (sister of Ellie) and their daughter Annie (known as Nancy) married Evan Henry (1887 - 1980). Evan Henry was the son of John Henry who lived at I.Y.U Estate at Pakenham, and the grandson of Robert Henry who had the Cardinia Creek Run. Robert was the sister of Martha King, you can read about her here.
Scott Alexander Sharp was a grazier, his wife Beatrice was a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross, you can read about this, here. Dr  Charles Griffiths' wife Annie was also a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross. E. Flack was Edwin Flack (1873 - 1935) a Berwick land owner and a 1898 Olympian, you can read about him, here.  Dr Percy Langmore (1875 - 1972) practiced in Berwick from 1907 to the 1950s and was instrumental in establishing the Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital in 1940.
The Richardson Brothers were butchers who ran a business on Clyde Road. Their father James had come to Berwick in 1869 and worked as a carrier until 1885 when he purchased a butcher's shop in Clyde Road which he operated with his brother John. James' sons, Jim junior, Edward, Jack and Frank also worked in the business. They also had a shop at Narre Warren.
Finally we come to Nurse Duigan. This was Kathleen Marie Duigan and she operated a private hospital in Berwick called, Shepton.  There were advertisements in the Berwick Shire News from December 1913 advertising that the Shepton Hospital, in Station Street (Gloucester Avenue) was under the new management of Nurses Duigan and Vines. Nurse Duigan sold her household furniture in September 1920 according to an advertisement in the paper and moved from Berwick to the Malvern, Armadale region and died in September 1954 aged 69.


Berwick Shire News January 7, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89081680

Nurse Duigan had come from a medical family - this notice about the death oh her mother in 1914 mentions that her father had been a doctor as was her grandfather.
Punch April 9, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129698232
Kathleen Duigan's partner in the Shepton Hospital was Florence Vines. Florence and Kathleen had trained together at Ballarat. Sister  Vines enlisted enlisted in June 1915 and served overseas. You can read more about Florence, here

This report was in the Ballarat Star of January 14, 1909http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article217275846


Recruiting Ready Reckoner for Married Men prepared top join the A.I.F

Here's an interesting 'ready reckoner' for men to calculate their fortnightly pay if they enlisted in the A.I.F. Sadly, or pragmatically,  it also listed the pension the family would receive if the man was totally incapacitated or Killed. At the time the average wage* for a man employed full time in a 'blue collar' type job was 60 shillings per week or 5 pounds, so this pay was about half the average wage, however they did get fed and clothed as the advertisement pointed out.

South Bourke & Mornington Journal  August 2, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6366836
* Information from the Year Book Australia

Five Mile School Honor Roll

This report on the Five Mile School Honor Roll was in the Lang Lang Guardian of June 9, 1915. Five Mile, also known as Koo-Wee-Rup North, was a small township on the corner of the Main Drain and Five Mile Road (the road being five miles from the start of the Main Drain at Western Port Bay). The School opened in July 1894 and closed in November 1959 when school became part of Pakenham Consolidated School.



Lang Lang Guardian June 9, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119512454
Who were these soldiers who were honoured? I  have included their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full record in the National Archives of Australia (www.naa,gov.au)
Backhouse, Bert (Herbert Arthur Burder) (SN 612)  Bert was 23 when he enlisted on April 20, 1914. Bert is listed in the 1913 Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup. His next of kin on his enlistment paper was his father, Talworth Backhouse, whose address is listed as Metropolitan Board of Works, Melbourne. Bert's mother was Emily A'Beckett, a daughter of W.A.C A'Beckett of The Grange in Harkaway, so they were a well connected family, socially. He Returned to Australia on May 4, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds (septic knee)      
Bjurstrom,  Gustave Carl (SN 503)  I can only find one instance of a Bjurstrom enlisting and it is this one, so even though he is listed in the newspaper article as A. Bjurstrom I believe I have the right soldier.  Gustave was 19 when he enlisted on August 27, 1914 and his occupation was sawmill labourer and his next of kin was his father C.G Bjurstrom of Heyfield. Gustave Returned to Australia July 2, 1915. There are reports in various papers that he was wounded but we don't know the full story as we cannot access his service record as it has been combined with his World War Two record, as Gustave enlisted at the age of 42 in March 1940. His address at the time was Cora Lynn.  In the 1916 Electoral Rolls Charles and Agnes Bjurstrom are listed at Koo-Wee Rup, two years previously they were at Heyfield, so obviously moved after their son enlisted.

Burns, Joseph  (SN 1399)  Joseph enlisted on October 19, 1914 at the age of 33 and then was medically discharged in April 1916 due to receiving a Gun shot wound to the 'lower extremities' while fighting at Gallipoli. He rejoined April 27, 1917 and was discharged again in the May. Joseph was the son of Francis and Margaret Burns who are both listed as the next of kin, with an address in Moreland, however there was a Francis, Margaret and Joseph Burns in the Electoral Roll  at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1913.

Chippindall, Robert Arthur (SN 375) Robert was a 23 year old painter when he enlisted on August 15, 1914. His next of kin was his mother, Sarah, of  South Yarra. Robert died of wounds on May 17, 1915.  What was his connection to the Five Mile region? His father was the grandly named Giles Tatlock Chippindall and his mother was Sarah Isaac Dawson. When Giles died at the age of 57 in 1900 his death notice said that he lived at Bunyip and was employed by the Lands Department. Giles had various government positions in Victoria and Queensland  - in 1893 he was appointed as a Crowns Land Bailiff.  I have found the notice below so I presume he was the Lands Department Inspector in the region.  Giles and Sarah had fifteen children altogether and she died in 1932 aged 80. Another son of Giles and Sarah's was Thomas and he is listed in the Electoral Roll in 1908  at Garfield,  his occupation is also Crown Lands Bailiff.  Yet another son, Giles, was the Director General of Post Masters General Department and had also headed the Department of War Organisation of Industry and was knighted in 1950.


Warragul Guardian  June 12 1896http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67438197

Denham, Robert Alexander  (SN 392) Robert was born in Koo-Wee-Rup  and was living in Carlton and was  a fireman when he enlisted at the age of 28 on February 17, 1915 (that's the date according to the Embarkation roll and July 17, 1915 is the date according to the Enlistment papers).  His next of kin was his friend Annie Ritchie. Robert Returned to Australia July 10 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds due to a form of rheumatism. Robert was the son of John and Janet Denham. John Denham was the Cranbourne Shire Secretary from 1909 to 1911 and the Rate collector for nine years, he also had a store at Yallock and  a dairy farm at Koo-Wee-Rup. Janet's father, Alexander Dunlop, had the Harewood Mains property at Tooradin and had a successful cheese making business.

Emmott, Robert Edmund  (SN 1083) Edmund enlisted at the age of 19 of September 12, 1914. His next of kin was his mother, no name was given, but later papers show it was Alphina Emmott and she was living at Red Hill.   Edmund was Killed in Action in France on April 15, 1918. There is a letter in his file from the AIF Base Records Office asking Alphina  if her son had 'any nearer blood relations than yourself, for instance, is his father still alive'  - he wasn't, his father Joseph had died in April 1914. Alphina and Joseph were listed in the Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1914.

Garbellini, George  (SN 378)  George enlisted on February 3, 1915 aged 23. He was the son of Peter and Jane (nee Crombie)  of 'Five Mile Drain', Koo-Wee-Rup. He was Killed in Action in France on May 3 1917.

Gray, William Albert  (SN 218)  William was 22 when he enlisted on January 22, 1915. His occupation was farm hand and his next of kin was his mother, Margaret Gray, of Koo-Wee-Rup.  he Returned to Australia April 27, 1919.

Jenkins, Thomas Edward   (SN 188)  Thomas was a bricklayer and 19 years old when he enlisted on January 11, 1915. His next of kin was his mother,  Annabel Jenkins, of Boundary Road, Koo-Wee-Rup. Thomas had been born in Koo-Wee-Rup.  He Returned to Australia on April 5 1918 and was discharged in the July on medical grounds due to a Gun shot wound to the right arm, received while fighting in France.

Johnson,  Charles Tudor (SN 588).  Tudor, as he was known, was 19 when he enlisted on November 7, 1914. He was a farmer who lived at Cora Lynn and his next of kin was his mother,  Mrs Fanny (nee Bickford) Johnson, of Cora Lynn. Tudor had attended Dookie Agricultural College before he enlisted at Enoggera in Brisbane. His father was Henry George Johnson who for some reason was not listed as the next of kin, generally fathers are more likely to be the official  next of kin than mothers. Tudor Returned to Australia on December 23, 1918. Tudor is also on the Cora Lynn War Memorial.

Killeen, Patrick (SN 772)  Patrick was 24, a farmer and he enlisted on October 1, 1914. His next of kin was his father of Koo-Wee-Rup.  Patrick was the son of Thomas and Maria Killeen. Patrick Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919.

Marshall, George  (SN 1780)  George enlisted on January 11, 1915 at the age of 31. He was a carpenter and his address was Cora Lynn and his next of kin was Samuel Marshall who lived at Koo-Wee-Rup (a later paper had the address as Phillips Drain, Five Mile) George sustained two gun shot wounds at Gallipoli -  one to the left side under his arm and one in his left arm. He Returned to Australia on October 13, 1915 and was discharged on medical grounds in January 1916. There is an Statuary Declaration in his file from 1942 saying that he lost his discharge papers in the 1934 flood at Cora Lynn, he was then living at Bullumwaal, north of Bairnsdale.

M'Gregor, Robert  I am unsure who this is, there is a John and Josephine McGregor on the Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1905 so they may have had a son who the attended the school but I don't know. If  you have more information on Robert,  I'd love to hear from you.

Scanlan, Thomas  Patrick (SN 505) Thomas Scanlon - his surname is spelt as both Scanlan and Scanlon on official documents - is  the son of William and Ellen Scanlon of Cora Lynn. Thomas was 21 when he enlisted on January 12, 1915. He was a farmer. Thomas was awarded the Military medal and he Returned to Australia  April 5, 1919.

Watson, Percy I am not sure who this is - my best bet going on enlistment date, enlistment place, birth place and occupation is that it is Percy Kennedy Watson (SN 926) Percy was 29 and  a labourer when he enlisted on December 7, 1914. He Returned to Australia March 11, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds (Asthma) in the November. Once again, if you can help identify Percy I would love to hear from you.

Knitting for the War effort

Australia entered the Great War on August 4, 1914 and it wasn't long before the local women began their work of supplying clothes and comforts for 'the use of our boys whilst doing their country's work' as Mrs Bickerdike wrote to the Lang Lang Guardian in August 11, 1914.



Lang Lang Guardian August 12, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119511125


This was the 'list of articles most needed' that appeared in The Argus on August 11, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10801422
There are a few unusual items on the list - a nightingale is presumably a night shirt; a Cholera belt is a band of flannel or silk worn around the waist supposedly to prevent gastrointestinal ailments.   A Crimean Shirt was a coloured flannel shirt.
A week later a 'successful sewing meeting' was held at the Yannathan Hall and the Lang Lang ladies also began organising sewing bees. 

Lang Lang Guardian August 19, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13333424
By the end of the month the women and children of Yannathan and Lang Lang were well into the production of garments and supplies.

Lang Lang Guardian August 26, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119511190
Elizabeth Alexina (nee Wastell) and her husband, Arthur Bickerdike had a farm at Yannathan and they left the area in September 1916 and moved to Hampton, according to a report in the Dandenong Advertiser of September 28, 1916. Mrs W. Currie was Annie Ellen (known as Nellie, nee Stillard) who was married to William Russell Currie, store keeper at Yannathan. Miss Hardy, Secretary of the Lang Lang guild, is possibly Elizabeth Charlotte Hardy who is listed in the Electoral Roll at Lang Lang in 1914, her occupation being dressmaker.

Patriotism and Nationalism at Emerald

This is an interesting article that encapsulates some of the underlying philosophies that the Great War brought to the fore. Clearly everyone mentioned here is patriotic, but some are more nationalistic than others and believe that an Honor Roll should only be made by a person of British birth or naturalisation. At this time all people who were Australian born were considered to be British subjects. I wonder who the 'local gentleman' was who was the first choice to manufacture the Honor Board?


Camberwell & Hawthorn Advertiser  December 15, 1916 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article153610650

HONOR ROLL AT EMERALDA Peculiar position has arisen in connection with the erection of a roll of honor at Emerald. At a meeting of the committee appointed by the subscribers held recently, Cr. Butcher Presiding, a motion was proposed that the board be made by British workmanship throughout. An amendment was carried by five votes to two, however, that the work be left in the hands of a local gentleman, who, it was alleged, was neither of British birth nor naturalization. This action caused considerable dissent in the township, with the result that the committee resigned in a body.  A meeting of the subscribers was then held, between 30 and 40 attending, when, after explanations, a new committee of nine was formed. Four of the old committee would not allow themselves to be nominated. Messrs Ferres, Stewart, Morgan, M'Gibbon, A. Nobelius and Davey and Mrs Mawlan were appointed. The Committee met subsequently and appointed Cr Ferres chairman and Mr M'Gibbon secretary. It was resolved that steps be taken to have the board made solely by British manufacture. A sum of about £25 is in hand for the purpose.
Who are these people mentioned in the article? Cr Butcher was Thomas William butcher, listed in the Electoral Roll as a Land Agent and he was a Emerald Riding Ward Councillor of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully from 1914 to 1928. Cr Ferres was Robert Ferres, whose occupation is listed as 'Gentleman' he was a Shire Councillor from 1915 to 1917. I don't know specifically who Mr Stewart was; Mr Morgan may have been Albert Morgan, a baker; Mr M'Gibbon was John Barker McGibbon, State School teacher; A. Nobelius was Archie Victor Nobelius, nurseryman, son of the founder of the Gembrook Nurseries, Carl Axel Nobelius and his wife Emily Brightwell;  Mr Davey may be George Davey, an orchardist. As for Mrs Mawlan, I believe that this is Margaret Ann Mowlan listed in the Electoral Rolls at Emerald in 1916 and 1917, her occupation was 'home duties' 

Wanted - 100,000 pairs of socks!

Many women devoted themselves to the war effort and knitting was one thing they could do whilst still looking after their family and home. In June 1917, Mrs Chirnside of Edrington offered a prize of one pound for the best pair of knitted socks. Winifred Chirnside  was the daughter of Theodatus Sumner and Sarah Peers. Her sister, Alice, was the mother of Lady Casey,  another sister Annie was married to James Grice, brother of Richard Grice, after whom Grice's Road was named  and another sister, Mary, was married to Albert Nash, who owned Ballarto at Cranbourne. Mrs Nash helped establish the Cranbourne Red Cross. The Chirnside family had extensive landholdings including Werribee Park estate and it was Winifred and her husband, Andrew, who owned Edrington, They both died in 1934 and Edrington was left to Lady Casey and her brother, Rupert Ryan and their cousins Noel Sumner Nash and Doris Osborne.  I don't who won the prize for the best knitted socks.

Pakenham Gazette June 15, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92153530

The Battle of Pozieres

The Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society had Mr Barry Gracey of the  Pozieres Remembrance Association as their guest speaker at their recent luncheon. Barry was a very passionate speaker and is devoting his life to gaining recognition for our Pozieres soldiers.  The Pozieres Battle took place between July 23 and August 7 in 1916 at the village of Pozieres in France. 6,848 men were killed and 16,000 wounded. Of the men killed over 4,000 were never found and still lie in the fields around Pozieres. Twelve percent of all Australian soldiers that were killed during the Great War died at Pozieres, and many of these men had survived the Gallipoli Campaign.

The Pozieres Remembrance Association believes these men are not adequately recognised and they have purchased some land that was central to the battle in Pozieres for a memorial garden and to help protect the resting place of the soldiers. To this end they are selling 7,000 bricks at $50.00 each to help raise money for the memorial.  If you are interested in supporting this cause then you can donate via their website http://www.pozieresremembered.com.au/

Some of our local men who were killed at Pozieres are John Leslie Christie, the son of William and Ada Christie of Beaconsfield (Service Number 3054).   John was Killed in Action on July 19 1917 and had no known grave. John has a tree in the Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour and is listed on the Beaconsfield War Memorial. Edward Francis Doherty (known as Frank, Service Number 1218)  was the son of John Doherty of Tynong.  Frank was Killed in Action on  August 4, 1916 and has no known grave. Frank is listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial and the Bunyip War Memorial.


Pozieres - before and after the battle

Pozieres, c. 1910Australian War Memorial image G01534G

Pozieres, France 1916. The main street of the town, now a mass of rubble,  destroyed during battle. Australian War Memorial image A057736    

Jack Morris - the Russian Finn of the Bunyip Swamp

It is not uncommon when researching First World War Soldiers to come across men  who enlisted in the Australian Army who were migrants from European countries. For instance, Nils Pederson was born in Norway and working at Cora Lynn when he enlisted. He was Killed in Action on September 1, 1918. Atolf Aleksanter Aalto is listed on the Nar Nar Goon Honour Roll and he was born in Finland.  Atolf  was awarded the Military Medal.

In this post we will look at John Morris (SN 1639) who was born on Odessa in Russia (now in Ukraine)  although when he was naturalized on August 8, 1937, his naturalization papers say he was born in Tobolsk, Siberia.  He has obviously selected an anglicised name - his real name is listed in the records as Alfronzia Morozoff. His next of kin is his mother Lokeria Oshipumna also of Odessa. Jack, as he was called, was a 37 year old bridge carpenter when he enlisted on May 8, 1915. His record said that he had spent seven years in the Russian Army.



Jack Morris' address on the Embarkation Rolls, Australian War Memorial www.awm.gov.au
The address on the Embarkation Rolls is listed as Scaple Simon, Russian Finn, Bunyip Swamp, Gippsland.  The Bunyip Swamp is the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and he no doubt lived at Bunyip (or more likely Bunyip South, the old name for Iona) I presume he was living with Scaple Simon - but was Scaple the Russian Finn or was John? What is a Russian Finn?  Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia from 1809 to 1917, so presumably it was a Finnish person who lived in the Russian Grand Duchy.

Jack Returned to Australia September 9, 1915 and was medically discharged on April 12, 1916. What happened to him after that? In 1933 he wrote  a  letter to the Army and his address was Goondiwindi in Queensland, the same address as his naturalization papers in 1936. There is a later letter, from 1955 saying that his three medals had been handed in to the Public Curator in Brisbane and they were forwarded to the Central Army Records Base in Melbourne. By this time he was deceased. The letter, as you can see below, lists his real name. Incidently, the Public Curator is responsible for administration of deceased estates, estates of persons in care or disadvantaged, intestacies and insolvencies according to the Queensland Public Curator Office website.


Letter about Jack's medals, from 1955.National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920
I cannot find a marriage record  for him or a death record for him. I found a Alfronzia Morozoff in the Electoral Roll in 1954 and 1958. The address is Eventide, Sandgate North, a suburb of Brisbane. Eventide sounds like a retirement village or nursing home. In 1954 he would have been 78, an appropriate age for a nursing home. Is this Jack Morris? If so, why is he listed in the Electoral Rolls in 1958 after he had died (according to the letter reproduced above he was dead in 1955). My feeling is that this is our man and he just wasn't taken off the Electoral Roll.
1954 Electoral Roll
So why wasn't Alfronzia on the Electoral Roll before 1954? This time I looked for Jack Morris and found him in 1928 living at Dirranbandi in Queensland (south of St George) - as his occupation is listed as 'bridge carpenter' the same occupation as Morris' enrolment papers I am sure we have the same man. There are  a few other listings of Jack Morris in the same area (southern Queensland) but none with the same occupation to be able to be sure this is our Jack Morris. This raises another question - why did Jack revert back to his original name in the 1950s?

1928 Electoral Roll
The next question is who is Scaple Simon and what is his connection to Jack / Alfronzia?  I do not know. I cannot find Scaple on the Electoral Roll, in the Rate Books or any record of his death, so he is  a bit of  a mystery.  If you have any answers to my many questions or mysteries I would love to hear from you.

Men are needed - What the Women can do

In 1915 there were a series of articles in various local newspapers all throughout the State,  headed 'Recruiting Campaign: men are needed'  One of the articles covered the subject 'What the women can do'  It is an interesting look at the role of women in Society and at their perceived influence in modifying the behaviour of men. It is also very nationalistic, as you might expect. The author was clear that men who were able who hadn't enlisted were not doing their duty, they were 'skulking poltroons'  (a word I had never come across before, it means 'an abject or contemptible coward') but on the other hand he couldn't give the impression that all Australian men were like this as the virile Australian character discounts any such suspicion.For your interest, the article is transcribed, below.  You can see the original in the Berwick Shire News of July 28, 1915, here


Berwick Shire News July 28, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92092557

Recruiting CampaignMEN ARE NEEDEDWHAT THE WOMEN CAN DOBy A.WArticle no. 4
The women of Australia have already done, and are doing, much splendid work in the way of raising war funds for various kinds and of supplying valuable equipment to our boys' bound for the front. Now even greater and harder task faces them - to assist in stimulating enlistment. Yet that is what every woman of Victoria who realises her true duty to State and Empire must do today and do`quickly and unflinchingly. 
While there are many who have given their husbands and sons to the great cause, there are many who are either indifferent or who shrink from making the great sacrifice. Yet in this stupendous life or death struggle of the nations women have even more to lose than men. If they have any doubts, let them read even the most meagre records of the German Infamies In Belgium at the expense of women and their children. 

Would they keep their sons at home under pretence that it will be time enough to fight the German hordes when they reach Australia? Then it will be too late, because before that can happen Great Britain will have perished as a nation, and the Commonwealth will surely come under the German heel - the women of Australia, in such an event, will be the greatest sufferers. 

Yet the arguments some of our women are using are similar to those we are told some British women are using - that it will be time for their  sons to fight when the foe lands in England. They are apparently nursing the belief that the British Fleet will ever prevent any such result. But in war the unexpected is likely to happen at any time and some sudden disaster might give Germany at least temporary command of the seas, during which time she could work incalculable harm.

The women of Australia can serve as our most effective recruiting agents it they will. Their words can turn the path of duty many a shirker who would be deaf to all other argument or appeal. Many young men well fitted to serve are hanging back irresolute and doubtful and the women only can influence them for noble strife or ignoble peace. What every mother who has a son or sons fit to bear a rifle should ask herself is 'Shall I keep him at home while other mothers send their sons to fight for him and me, for his sisters and country? Shall I let my boy he regarded as a skulker and a shirker and a member of the White Feather Brigade or shall I send him to the front proud in the knowledge that I have a son prepared to assert the manhood of his country at the call of duty?' The answer of every mother with a real sense of duty should be very clear and definite, however personally distressing. 

The daughters of Victoria can do as much for the great cause as the mothers. They can urge their sweet hearts to play the man's part,  proud in the consciousness that not only will they be doing their duty to their country and the womanhood of the Commonwealth but will also be helping to redress the terrible wrongs of thousands of Belgian girls who have fallen victims to the bestiality of the German Invaders. They can turn contemptuously from all unmarried, shirkers of military age who refuse to respond to their country's call. They would do well to remember that such men would be poor protectors for women in any time of trouble, and that any high-spirited girl would disgrace herself by marriage with a skulking poltroon. 

This war will give our women a much clearer idea of the character of the young men of the Commonwealth. It will enable them to discriminate between the real men with whom our girls might be found to associate and the poor creatures who are hanging back in the rear. At the same time we cannot believe there are many of the latter - the virile Australian character discounts any such suspicion. There are, however, many who want a lead simply  because they do not realise the true condition of things. It is for the women of the State to help them to do so to see things in their true light and point out clearly for them the road of duty. We venture to believe the majority of them, however backward and slothful, will respond readily when they know what is really expected of them. 

Women's persuasion in this great cause is worth more than men's arguments - if they will only employ it.  It is their duty to do so, as it is the duty of the young men to answer the Empire's call - to give the only answer men should give to women's call in the hour of danger.

Great War Soldiers from Clematis

Clematis is a small town near Emerald. The town is on the Puffing Billy Railway line and the railway station was originally called Paradise Valley when it opened in 1902, the name was shortened to Paradise in 1908. According to Helen Coulson in the Story of the Dandenongs the area was known as Paradise until 1921 when a public meeting voted to change the name to Clematis, after the wild clematis creeper that grew prolifically in the area. An early settler, Michael O’Connor, named his farm Paradise  and his house Eden House, which became the Paradise Hotel  c.1926.   Having said all this, the area was clearly known as Clematis before 1921 as there are the five soldiers listed below, who all had that address on their enlistment papers, so I am unsure how that fits in with the other information on the Clematis name.
Here is a list of any soldiers I could find with a Clematis connection. There may be more, but as Clematis only had  a population of  94* in 1933 (the earliest population figure I can find) then it wasn't  a very large town. I have listed the Service Numbers (SN) so you can read their full service record on the National Archives of Australia website.

Boase, John (SN 6282)  John was 21 when he enlisted on October 24, 1916. He was a printer, even though another page of his military records has his occupation listed as poultry farmer, which more likely explains his Clematis address.  His next of kin was his father, also called John, of North Fitzroy.  John's address was Clematis Post Office, Paradise. John Returned to Australia on July 21, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds on January 24, 1918, due to pulmonary tuberculosis.

Hanlon, James Joseph (SN 4911) James enlisted at the age of 42 on February 18, 1916, and was discharged as he was Absent Without Leave. He then re-enlisted on April 2, 1917 at the age of 43. His occupation was a groom and his address on the second enlistment was Clematis Post Office. James served in France and then Returned to Australia November 8, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds suffering from premature senility and rheumatism.

Holliday, Francis Bewley (SN 4732) Francis was a 34 year old labourer when he enlisted on February 17, 1916. His next of kin was his wife, Ethel, and their address was listed as Post Office, Clematis, Paradise.  Francis was Killed in Action in Belgium on April 6, 1918. Ethel was still living in Clematis in 1923, when she wrote a letter to the Army requesting Francis' medals (see below)


Letter from Ethel HollidayNational Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920
Rayson, Clem (SN 3143) Clem was 33 years old and a farmer when he enlisted on July 6, 1915. His next of kin was his wife, Agnes and their address was Clematis Post Office. Clem was Killed in Action in France on September 29, 1918.
Wendlandt,  Franz (SN 3524 and 21275) Franz enlisted as a 19 year old on July 12, 1915. He suffered from appendicitis and had to come back to Australia where he was discharged on August 5, 1916. Franz re-enlisted on June 24, 1918  at the age of 22 and his occupation was Orchardist.  Franz Returned to Australia on January 6, 1919. Franz's next of kin was his mother, Helen, Clematis Post Office, Paradise. On his first enlistment paper it said that his his mother was a naturalized British subject and his 'Father German left Country' On the second enlistment paper it said 'Fathers whereabouts unknown'

This is what I know about the family - according to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages Index Helen Janet Doswell married August Heinrich Wendlandt in 1886. In the 1912 Electoral Rolls there is an August Heinrich Bernard Wendlandt, Professor of Music, address Clematis; a Bernhardt Wendlandt, occupation Musician, address Menzies Creek and a Helen Janet Wendlandt, occupation home duties, address Menzies Creek. There is  a Naturalization paper for Helen at the National Archives - she was born in Sussex in England in 1861 and arrived in Australia April 5, 1886 and her Naturalization was confirmed on October 19, 1914. I don't know why she had to be naturalized as she was already a British subject, but her papers have the notation 'married to a German' so perhaps with the start of the War she wanted to make sure of  her citcizenship. Helen's occupation was listed as 'Proprietress of Convalescent Home' and the address was Paradise Valley.

As for her husband, a clue to his whereabouts can be found in a report in the Kyneton Guardian of April 11, 1914. There was a report on the Kyneton Musical and Elocutionary Competitions and it said that Herr Wendlandt was unexpectedly detained in Germany, whither during last year, he went on a short holiday.  I wonder what happened to him and whether he  survived the War?


Kyneton Guardian April 11, 1914http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129617726
Adding to the mysteries surrounding this family is this one. There is a letter (see below) in Franz's file from Helen, dated July 12, 1915 giving permission for Franz to enlist. In the letter she calls him her 'adopted son'  and  it's hard to interpret her writing but it looks like his 'own name' or it may be 'born name' was Sydney McIntyre. It would be interesting to know the story behind this adoption.


Letter from Helen WendlandtNational Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920

* Victorian Places website http://www.victorianplaces.com.au

Soldiers with a Dalmore connection

Dalmore is a small town on the Great Southern Railway Line, one stop past Tooradin. This section of line from  Tooradin to Koo-Wee-Rup opened August 19, 1889. The Dalmore Railway Station was originally called Peer’s Lane, then Koo-Wee-Rup West and then renamed Dalmore in 1909.  Here is a list of any soldiers I could find with a Dalmore connection - there may have been more but as Dalmore had a population of 173 in 1921*  it clearly wasn't  a very large town so this may be it. Feel free to contact me if you know of any others. I haven't included soldiers who moved into the area after the War onto the Gowan Lea Soldier Settlement Estate.  I have listed the Service Numbers (SN) so you can read their full service record on the National Archives of Australia website

Andrews, Cecil (SN 2123)  Cecil was a 26 year old farmer when he enlisted on May 1, 1916. His address on the Embarkation Roll was Dalmore and his next of kin was his mother, Emily of Mordialloc. Cecil was Killed in Action in France on October 16, 1917. There are six In Memorial notices for Cecil in The Argus from October 18, 1918, including this lovely notice from his nieces and nephews, including 'wee Cecil' obviously named in honour of his Uncle. The other notices were from his parents, his sister Alice, his brother Walter and his wife Ethel, who lived in Mordialloc; his brother Will and his wife Lydia - they lived in Dalmore; and his brothers Arthur and Charles and sister-in-law Nellie, who all lived in Dalmore.


The Argus October 18, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1410553

Hardy, Horace Robert (SN 19995) Horace was the son of William Hardy of Dalmore and he enlisted on June 20, 1917 at the age of 21. He Returned to Australia July 13, 1919.

The following two grandly named men were the sons of Edward Simpson Hill and Charlotte Hill of Dalmore. Edward also enlisted.
Hill, Arthur George Leonard Curnow (SN 61869) was an 18 year old labourer when he enlisted on June 11, 1918. Arthur was born at Bunyip South, later called Iona. He was sent overseas to England, but was not involved in any fighting and Returned to Australia September 22, 1919.
Hill, Graham John Dudley Bowman (SN 1574) Graham  enlisted on September 6, 1915. He was  a 22 year old farmer. Graham Returned to Australia March 9, 1919. Graham was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after the War, you can read his file here, on the Battle to Farm website.
Hill, Edward Simpson (SN V21471) Edward, the father of the two men above, enlisted on February 16, 1916. His next of kin was naturally his wife, Charlotte. His occupation was Engine driver/Engineer. He was discharged on June 22, 1916 as he was unfit for service. He stated his age on enlistment as 44, but a notation on the file says 'is obviously very much over age' and lists his age as 56!
Kelly, Darcy (SN 5050) Darcy enlisted on October 3, 1917 at the age of 18 years and 4 months. He claimed to have been born in Dalmur, Gippsland which has been accepted as Dalmore.  Darcy Returned to Australia March 17, 1919. Darcy claimed that he had no next of kin. His file states This lad asserts he has no relatives, parents dying in infancy and has lost trace of his guardian. Was last employed by a travelling hawker names McFadzen and left him on the River Murray this week. The enlisting officer seemed to have sympathy for his plight and was asking permission to enlist him in loco parentis as Kelly is now without means. Kelly signed  a statuary declaration on December 21, 1918 saying that he was actually born June 26, 1900 and so was only 17 years old when he enlisted and then another Statuary declaration was signed in 1958, this time he said he was only 15 years old and born June 26, 1902.   The 1958 declaration also said his real name was Norman Hunt, not Darcy Kelly. This is most likely correct because a Miss O. Hunt from Malvern wrote to Base Records in 1918 asking for Darcy Kelly's address. The 1958 Declaration was made because Darcy/Norman wanted proof of his service to join the RSL in Iron Knob in South Australia where he was then living. So was Darcy Kelly / Norman Hunt really born in Dalmore? He may have been born in the area but, as we said before, Dalmore was known as Koo-Wee-Rup West until 1909, so he technically wasn't born there but either way  you have to admire the gumption of  a 15 year old boy enlisting and making up what seems to me to be  a very fanciful story about why his parents couldn't sign his enlistment papers, but who knows maybe that was true!
McNamara, Michael (SN 7532)  Michael enlisted on May 9 1917, he was  a labourer from Dalmore and his next of kin was listed as a friend, Amelia Sorensen of Richmond. Michael Returned to Australia on January 30, 1918 and was medically discharged in the April on the grounds of 'premature senility' Michael said he was 44 when he enlisted but this may have been a lie as a year later his medical reports listed his age at 52 so it appears he removed seven years from his age. 
Woods, William (SN 2728) William was 21 and  a farm labourer, when he enlisted on May 9, 1916. His address was care of William Hardy of Dalmore. His next of kin was his grandmother, Mary Woods, of Maribyrnong. He Returned to Australia January 25, 1919.  William also served in the Second World War, he enlisted at the age of  45 in January 1941 and was discharged in March 1944. William was granted a Soldier Settlement farm at Werrimull, south of Mildura, after the Great War and was living in Mildura when he enlisted in 1941.You can read his Soldier Settler file, here.


*Victorian Places website http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/




Harkaway Memorial Stone

A Memorial stone to the Great War personnel was unveiled at Harkaway on Anzac Day in 1959, by Cr George Rae. The stone is at the southern end of the Harkaway Avenue and was instigated by Army Nurse, Jessie Traill, who wanted a permanent memorial stone.  Over 100 people were in attendance to see the stone unveiled including two of the soldiers, Alf Edmonson, who was living in Cheltenham,  and Alex McNabb,  who was living in Berwick. (Information from  Early Days of Berwick)  This post is a list of the names on the Memorial stone, including their Service Number (SN) so you can read their full record on the National Archives of Australia website, www.naa.gov.au



This is the Harkaway Memorial Stone. Photograph courtesy of Casey Cardinia Remembers http://www.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au/


Traill, Jessie  When the War broke out, Jessie want to England and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and nursed in a military hospital in Rouen, France from 1915 until 1919. After the War, she lived in Harkaway and had a distinguished career as an artist. You can read my blog post on her here and her entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here.

Coote, Thomas Hugh (SN 4999) Thomas was born in Ireland and enlisted on January 13, 1916 at the age of 19. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, James, of Harkaway. Thomas was Wounded in Action in April 1918 (gun shot wound in left shoulder, penetrating chest was the bland description in his file) and Returned to Australia July 31, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds on November 16, 1918. Thomas was granted  a Soldier Settlement farm at Rapanyup on his return. You can read about it here on the Battle to Farm: WW1 Soldier Settlement Records in Victoria website.

Cunningham, S - There is an S. Cunningham on the Memorial Stone, I am not sure who this is. It is possibly  Claude Sydney Cunningham (SN 1246) Claude was a 24 year old farmer and his next of kin was his mother, Emma, of Narre Warren sometimes listed as Narre Warren East. He enlisted on March 18, 1916 and Returned to Australia April 30, 1919.
The blog Noble Sons: Harkaway in the Great War suggests that S. Cunningham is Selwyn Bruce Cunningham (SN 7471) Selwyn enlisted on July 2, 1917 at the age of 19. He was  a farmer and his next of kin was his father, Reverend William Richard Cunningham, of The Manse, Korumburra. Selwyn Returned to Australia January 14, 1919. What is Selwyn's connection to Harkaway? There is a report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal in July 1920 that the Reverend Cunningham had purchased a property in Harkaway. A report in the Dandenong Advertiser of March 18 1937 on the 80th anniversary of the Berwick Presbyterian Church said that William was the Minister there from 1921 to 1925 and William and his wife Amy are listed  in the Electoral Rolls at Berwick in 1924.

Davidson, J  There is a J. Davidson listed on the Memorial Stone. We know that he had  a farewell at the Harkway Hall in August 1915, at the same time as  Robert Munro, Robert Haysey and one of the Fleer brothers (see article below under Robert Munro's entry) and we also know that he was sick in August 1915 (see article immediatley below). What I don't know is who he actually is. I can't find a J.W Davidson with a connection to Harkaway or any neighbouring area. If you know who is he, then I would love to hear from you.


Berwick Shire News September 1, 1915Trove http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92093269

Dean, Henry (SN 5585)  Henry enlisted at the age of 29 on February 26, 1916. He was a labourer and his next of kin was his father, Thomas, of Harkaway. In August 1918 he was wounded by machine gun fire - a gun shot wound to the left wrist, smashing several carpal bones and another gun shot wound to the buttock, penetrating the thigh - once again the bland description does not give any indication of the horror of the wound.  Henry Returned to Australia on November 20, 1918.
Dean, Herbert Leslie (SN 570)  Herbert was 23, a labourer, when he enlisted on February 22, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Sarah Dean of Harkaway. Lance Corporal Dean Returned to Australia on January 25, 1919.

Henry and Herbert were brothers, the sons of Thomas and Sarah (nee Meara) Dean. Sarah died  in April 1918 and a short obituary in the Dandenong Advertister (you can read it here) said that she was of an exceedingly kind and generous disposition and that she had two daughters and seven sons. Three of her sons are on active service abroad. The death notice of Thomas in The Argus of April 11, 1924 lists the family as Thomas (born 1874), Annie (1876), John, James (1882), Harry (Henry, 1885), Will (1887), Herbert (1892) Sydney (1894) and Ruby (1896).
 I can't work out who the other son was that enlisted, as there is also a J. Dean on the Memorial stone, it's possible that it was either John or James, but I can't find a matching record for them or any of the other sons.   I have found another possible candidate, a James Dean, born c. 1874, see below, so he was not the son of Thomas and Sarah, but he lived locally, so the address fits.
Dean, James (SN 2999)  James was 42 when he enlisted an May 31, 1916, he was a market gardener from Narre Warren North and his next of kin was his wife, Francis. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919.  James was granted a  Soldier Settlement farm after the War, you can read about it here.

Drummond, Daniel George (SN 3082)  Daniel enlisted on  July 12, 1915 at the age of 27, he was a farmer and his next of kin was his mother, Margaret,  of Officer.  He married Annie Hopkirk in Scotland before he Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.  Daniel was granted a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read about it here.
Drummond, William John (SN 2902)    William enlisted on January 31, 1916 at the age of 29. He was a baker and his next of kin was his father, William Peter Drummond of Harkaway. He Returned to Australia on September 5, 1919. William was also a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read his file here.

Daniel and William are the sons of William and Margaret (nee Duncan).  Daniel was born in Mitta Mitta and William, was born in the neighbouring town of Eskdale

Drummond, J  There is also a J. Drummond on the Memorial stone - not sure who he is. Daniel and William, also had another brother, Walter Neil Drummond (SN 2571) who enlisted at the age of 18 on June 28, 1915. He was a Blacksmith and had been born in Eskdale. His next of kin was listed as his father, William, of Officer. I presume that William and Margaret moved from Officer to Harkaway in 1916. Walter Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.

Edmondson, Alfred (SN 5493) Alfred enlisted on March 4, 1916, he was a 31 year old farmer and his next of kin was his father, John, of Harkaway.  Alfred Returned to Australia on July 22, 1917 and was medically discharged in November 1917. Alf was present at the unveiling of the Memorial stone in 1959.

Fleer, Cyril August (SN 6263) Cyril was an 18 year old farm hand when he enlisted on May 5, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Martha, of Harkaway.  Cyril suffered from trench feet, a condition caused by prolonged exposure to water in the trenches which led to swollen feet, blisters, ulcers and even gangrene. He Returned to Australia on April 5 1918.
Fleer, Harold Edward (SN 3112) Harold was Cyril's brother he was also 18 when he enlisted on July 12, 1915. His next of kin was his father Edward of Harkaway and both Edward and Martha gave consent for their son to sign up.  Harold Returned to Australia on April 13, 1919.
Cyril and Harold were descendants of German born pioneer, Carl Fleer, you can read more about him and the other German settlers at Harkaway, here.

Glover, Francis Robert Dean (SN 50059)  Francis enlisted on November 24, 1917. He was 19 and his  occupation was listed as Station hand and his next of kin was his uncle, George Lyon, of Harkaway. There is a letter in his file, from his mother, Edith Glover, who lived in Sydney asking why she was not listed as his next of kin. George Lyon had signed a paper saying that Francis was adopted by him when he was a child and that Francis' father was dead. Francis is the first cousin of Charles Lyon listed below. He served in France and Returned to Australia January 18, 1919. Correspondence in his file showed that in 1938 he was the Station Manager at Carriewerloo Station in Port Augusta, a long way from the rolling hills of Harkaway. As a matter of interest, Carriewerloo Station was where the 1975 film, Sunday too far away, starring Jack Thompson, was filmed.

Halleur, Clarence (SN 1026)  Clarence was 18 years old and a labourer when he enlisted on March 8, 1915. He was born in Harkaway and his next of kin was his mother, Christina of Harkaway. He Returned to Australia April 27, 1919. Clarence was a descendant of the early Harkaway pioneer, Rudolf Halleur, you can read about him here.

Haysey, Robert Ellsmere  (SN 2588) Robert enlisted on May 17, 1915, he was 20 years old and an orchardist. His next of kin was his mother, Anne, of Narre Warren North.  Robert was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the King of the Belgians in February 1918. He Returned to Australia May 30, 1919.

Irwin, James Purser (SN 5035)
Irwin, Horace Mark (SN 967)
Irwin,  Walter Gray (SN 968)
I have done a post on the Irwin brothers in this blog before, part of a series of Brothers who enlisted, you can read about them here.

Lyon, Charles Hugh (SN 412) Charles was the first cousin of Francis Glover, listed above. His  next of kin was his father, George, of Harkaway. He enlisted at the age of 26 on October 13, 1914 in Walebung in Western Australia. Lieutenant Lyon was Killed in Action in Palestine on November 7, 1917.  Charles' mother, Kate, wrote a letter to the Army on December 1, 1917  Lieutenant C.H Lyon is our  only son. The news of his being 'Killed in Action' came direct to me, according  to our dear sons own wish his father being over 70 we did not want him to hear the news unawares. Is it possible for us to ascertain where in Palestine he was killed?  We regret the  country has lost another  of its brave defenders but his place is already filled by our young nephew and adopted son who enlisted last week and hopes to be as true a soldier as his cousin has been since the beginning of the War. 
Charles attended Geelong College and they have  a tribute to him on their website, you can access it here.

McNabb, Alexander (SN 4166) Alexander  was a 25 year old Engineer and he enlisted on December 13, 1915. His next of kin was his father, Donald, of Harkaway. Alex Returned to Australia  December 22, 1918. Alex was present at the unveiling of the Memorial stone in 1959.

Munro, Robert (SN 6542, incorrectly listed as 65421 in the National Archives) Robert's occupation was Quarrry man  and he served as a Sapper, a military engineer, who constructed bridges, trenches, depots, roads etc.  He was 25 when he enlisted on June 5, 1915 and his next of kin was his wife, Ettie, of Berwick. Lance Corporal Munro Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.



The farewell to Robert Munro, Robert Haysey, J Davidson and either Cyril or Harold Fleer was held at the Harkaway Hall on Saturday, August 14, 1915. This report was in the Berwick Shire News of August 18, 1915. You can read the full article at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92090128

Wanke, Arthur Robert (SN 1427)  Arthur enlisted on March 11, 1916, he was a 27 year old carpenter. Arthur was Wounded in Action on three occasions - Gun shot wound left thigh, Gun shot wound hand and Gun shot wound right leg - as I have said before, the banal description of the wounds does nothing to indicate the severity of them.  He Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.
Wanke, Frederick William  (SN 6379)   Frederick enlisted on April 28, 1916, he was a 26 year old farmer. Frederick Died of Wounds, whilst  fighting in France on May 17, 1918.
Arthur and Fredrick were the sons of Emmanuel and Bertha  Wanke of Harkaway. Emmanuel (also spelt Immanuel) was the son of Ernst Gottlob Wanke and his wife Pauline (nee Schurmann) who settled in Harkaway in 1853. Bertha Wanke was an Aursich, and thus from another pioneering German Harkaway family. You can read more about these early German settlers, here.




Part of a tribute to Fred Wanke from the Dandenong Advertiser of July 4, 1918. You can read the full tribute at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88817395

Way, Leslie Gordon (SN 4547) Leslie enlisted on January 20, 1916, he was a 23 year old farmer and his next of kin was his father, Edward, of Harkaway. Leslie was gassed on two occasions and he Returned to Australia on March 31, 1919. Leslie was granted a Soldier Settlement farm at Derrinallum, you can read his file here on the Battle to Farm website.

The establishment of some local Red Cross units

During the Great War, many of the women in the local community spent their time raising funds and working for the War Effort through organisations such as the Red Cross.  The Cranbourne Red Cross was established at  a meeting held on August 17 1914. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal of August 27 1914 reported on this meeting A meeting of the ladies of Cranbourne was convened by Mrs A. Nash...and it was decided to work for the Red Cross Society.  Mrs Nash had already collected 20 pounds in monetary donations and most of this had been spent on material that her 60 to 70 enthusiastic workers would make up into shirts and socks etc. The items were then forwarded to Red Cross Headquarters in Melbourne where they were shipped off  to the seat of war where they will be used for the benefit of Australian, British and troops of the allies. You can read the full article on Trove,  here.

Mrs A. Nash was Mary Maud Nash wife of Albert, who owned the grazing property Ballarto at Cranbourne. Maud was well connected. She was the daughter of  Theodotus Sumner and his wife Sarah (nee Peers). Her sister Annie was married to James Grice, who was the brother of Richard Grice, after whom Grice's Road is named - you can read about him here and another sister, Alice, married Charles Ryan - they were the parents of Lady Casey - you can read about Lady Casey here. In spite of being socially well connected it doesn't seem like it was  'happy families' all the time as there was a family dispute over Theodotus Sumner's will - you can read about this here.

Back to the Red Cross - the Berwick Red Cross was also established by the women who were socially prominent (or their husbands or fathers were).  I am not denigrating them at all by saying that, but the reality of life was that at the time, women who came from solid middle class households would likely to have had a good education, have good connections in the town and more spare time to devote to community causes than poorer women. The early records of the Berwick Red Cross were destroyed in a house fire, but I believe it started around September 1914 and it is still going, which is  a remarkable achievement. The Berwick Shire News has a report of the Berwick Shire Council meeting of  September 12 1914 and amongst the correspondence was a letter from Lady Stanley asking for the co-operation of the Council in forming a branch of the British Red Cross Society. The action was listed as 'Attended to'  [Lady Stanley was the wife of the Victorian Governor]

The original members of the Berwick Red Cross (pictured below in front of Kippenross House) were President Mrs Scott Sharp, Secretary Mrs A.E Thomas, Mrs L.D Beaumont, Mrs W. Wilson, Mrs C. Griffiths, Mrs J.B Pearson and Mrs John Brown. As is quite common in reporting from times past women were referred to by their husband's names - Scott Alexander Sharp is listed in the Electoral Rolls as a grazier and his wife is Beatrice May (nee Wimble); Mrs A.E Thomas is the wife of Albert Thomas the founder of the Berwick Shire News which later became the Pakenham Gazette, she was born Elizabeth Cox Southern.  Mrs Lewellyn David Beaumont was Ellie Buchanan, daughter of the Hon. James Buchanan, M.L.C. and his wife Anne (nee Wilson) The Buchanans lived at Ardblair in Berwick and their son Norman was one of the authors of Early Days of Berwick. He writes about his parents in the book.  Mrs W. Wilson was the wife of William Wilson (1860-1936) the owner of the Wilson Quarry. She was Anne Buchanan, a sister of Ellie Beaumont. Mrs C. Griffiths was the wife of Dr Christopher Griffiths and was born Annie Lawry Parkes. Mrs J.B Pearson was the wife of  John Benward Pearson, a grazier, who built Kippenross House  (now part of St Margarets School) in 1911. She was born Olive Gooch and married John, who was the son of William Pearson, M.L.C., in November 1895. Finally Mrs John Brown was the wife of the Berwick Shire Rate Collector. I believe she was Frances Elizabeth Barr, but that's all I know about her.



This fantastic photograph of the original seven members of the Berwick Red Cross comes from the book Berwick Nostalgia:  a pictorial history of Berwick, published by the Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society in 2001. 

The Pakenham Red Cross was formed at a  meeting held on November 26, 1915. You can read the report on the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of December 9, 1915 here. The meeting was convened by Cr Close who started the meeting by saying that all the other townships in the Shire of Berwick had their Red Cross branches and it was time for Pakenham to fall into line and do what it could, as a town, to help those who are so nobly serving their King and Country at the Front. Office bearers were Mrs Greenwood, President; Mrs Wilson, Secretary and Miss Cissie Hagens, Treasurer. The Committee were Mesdames Close, Chisholm, Maher, Ritchie, White and the Misses Thewlis and Mulcahey.

Once again I will try to give these women a name - Cr Close and Mrs Close were William and Agnes, he was a grazier. Mrs Alice Greenwood was the wife of Auctioneer, Arthur Greenwood. I don't know who Mrs Wilson was and Cissie Hagens may be the sister of Marie and Louise Hagens, both listed in the 1914 Electoral rolls as being teachers, or else Cissie might be her nick name and she may actually be either Marie or Louise. Mrs Chisholm is presumably Alice Chisholm, wife of James, a grazier. Mrs Maher is possibly Bridget Maher, the wife of local policeman, Stephen. The Mahers had three sons serving overseas - you can read about them here. Mrs Ritchie may be Elizabeth Ritchie, wife of William. I don't have any information on Mrs White. Miss Thewlis would be the daughter of James and Susannah Thewlis and the sister of Syd Thewlis, who was a Berwick Shire Councillor. Miss Mulcahey  (more likely spelt Mulcahy)  would be connected to early Pakenham landowner, Thomas Mulcahy.


The Koo-Wee-Rup Red Cross was formed on July 7, 1915. It is still going and you can read a history of the Unit, written by long serving member Don Jewell,  here.

 This is a Red Cross Rally in Koo-Wee-Rup, in front of the Royal Hotel which opened September 1915, so this is probably 1916 or 1917.Photo: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society
I don't know when the Lang Lang Red Cross was established specifically but it was going strong in September 1915. There is an interesting article in the Lang Lang Guardian of September 15, 1915 about the activities of this branch - they are anxious to send Christmas cheer to our boys  and would be glad of donations of tobacco, tooth brushes, bought puddings (as these pack better), cake, biscuits, lollies, and games of any kind, handkerchiefs, or small presents for the boys of whom we are all so
proud.  They also wanted to fill some billies and send them to the soldiers with something to eat, something to smoke, something to use and something to amuse. 



Lang Lang Guardian  September 15, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119512872

Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered - now online

We have spoken about the book Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered before in this blog (click here for the link) and the good news is that this book is now fully available on-line on the Beaconsfield Progress Association's new website - this is the direct link to the on-line version of the book http://beaconsfield.org.au/beaconsfield-avenue-of-honour/

The book covers the lives of  the 65 men who were honoured with trees in the Beaconsfield/Berwick Avenue of Honour which runs along High Street/Princes Highway, from the top of the hill down to the Cardinia Creek.  This on-line version makes this well researched information even more widely available and, like the trees in the Avenue, is another permanent reminder of the sacrifice that the 65 men and their families from the Beaconsfield area made one hundred years ago.

Some of the entries  have photographs of the soldiers - here are three  of them 


Private Alec MaySource: Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered

Signaller James AdamsonSource: Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered


Private Edward DineleySource: Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered

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