Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War

Celebrating the Armistice in the Cranbourne Shire in 1918

We are looking at how people in the area celebrated the end of the Great War.  In this post we will see how the children in the Shire of Cranbourne celebrated the momentous day.  To see how the Nar Nar Goon community celebrated Armistice Day, click here. To see how the people of Emerald celebrated, click here.

There was a full report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of December 5, 1918 on the 'great day for juveniles' held to celebrate the signing of the Armistice.   The article is from Trove and you can read the full article here, but I have transcribed it below. It must have been an amazing experience for the children, many of whom would hardly have remembered  the time before Australia was at War and most of whom would have had  a soldier in their extended family.


South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 5, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66195176

PEACE CELEBRATIONS.At CranbourneA Great Day for the Juveniles.
To celebrate the signing of the armistice,and the consequent cessation of hostilities between the Allies and their foes, the President of the Cranbourne Shire Council (Cr D. M. McGregor) decided to give a picnic to all the children in the shire on Wednesday, November 27. For this purpose the Shire was divided into three sections, centres being established at Cranbourne, Kooweerup and Lang Lang. The following schools attended at the Cranbourne centre :- Cardinia, Currum Downs, Clyde North, Cranbourne, Devon Meadows, Lyndhurst, Lyndhurst South, Pearcedale and Tooradin; a few children from Clyde were also present.

At 11 a.m. the young folk assembled at the Shire hall, and were lined up in fours to take part in the procession, which was headed by the Langwarrian Military band. The march was down Sladen street, along Codrington and Childers streets and up High street back to the Shire hall. This was well carried out, and the teachers were complimented on the fine display made. 

On returning to the Shire hall the children formed three sides of a hollow square round the Union Jack, which was flying from the recently erected flag-pole. The flag was saluted, the declaration made, and cheers given for our King, our Empire, our Commonwealth, and our own soldier boys. All present solemnly bowed their heads in silent remembrance of the lads who can never come back to us - our honored dead.

The Shire President then gave a short address, briefly stating the reasons for the rejoicings. He then introduced Chaplain Captain Gates, who gave a very interesting address on many phases of the war. The National Anthem and ‘Our Splendid Men’ were sung by the whole assemblage, the band leading the singing.

The children were then marched to the picnic-ground, where they were arranged in rows of fifties. A handsome medallion, bearing the inscription, ‘Shire of Cranbourne. Signing of Armistice, Nov. 11, 1918’ was handed to each child. 

Dinner was served, the good things provided were of first-class quality, and the local caterers, Messrs J. Taylor and J.Thorpe, were complimented, on all sides for the excellent viands supplied. 

After dinner, games and sports were indulged in during the afternoon. Races of all kinds for boys and girls were spiritedly contested and the judges, Messrs Callanan and McKenzie, had their work cut out to separate the winners from the rest. The sports were managed by representatives of the various school committees and teachers, with Mr J. H. White as starter. It was unanimously agreed that the kiddies had had a great afternoon.

Shortly after 4 o'clock all again wended their way to the picnic ground, where tea was  heartily partaken of. After enjoying a splendid meal each child was presented with a bag of sweets. Before dispersing ringing cheers were given for President McGregor for his kindly thoughtfulness in giving the children such an enjoyable time.  The President, in a few words, gracefully acknowledged the compliment. 

The merry-go-round was a great source of pleasure, not only to the juveniles, but also to ‘the children of a larger growth’, many elderly folk seeming to enjoy a ride as much as the little ones. 

The Langwarrin Military band played some very fine selections during the day, and added greatly to the enjoyment of the gathering. 

The picnic was a great success in every way. All the arrangements for the festivities were made by the local committee, of which Mr J. H. White was chairman and Mr D. A. Schulze, hon. secretary. The organization for the day was highly praised. All the details had been carefully planned beforehand, consequently everything worked with the most smoothness. The ladies of the town and district again proved themselves to be willing and efficient workers.

President McGregor was delighted with the success of the day's rejoicing, and no doubt feels exceedingly grateful to all, who in any way, helped to make the event what it truly was - a red letter day in the history of Cranbourne.

In this post we looked at Armistice celebrations in the Cranbourne Shire. To see how Nar Nar Goon celebrated the Armistice, click here. To see how Emerald celebrated the end of the Great War, click here.

Celebrating the Armistice at Nar Nar Goon in 1918

I thought we would have  look at how Armistice Day was celebrated in 1918. This short article was in the Pakenham Gazette on November 29 1918
Pakenham Gazette  November 29, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92152288
The following week's edition (December 6)  had  a full report of the activities. The article is on-line on Trove and you can access the article here and I have provided a transcription, below.  The day was highly successful with over 1,000 people attending the event, a huge amount of people, nearly everyone in the district must have attended.


Pakenham Gazette  December 6, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92152950

NAR NAR GOONA PEACE CELEBRATIONWednesday last was a red letter day in the history of Nar Nar Goon, the occasion being a public demonstration  and picnic in connection with the celebration of peace. 
The day was observed as a public holiday, all business places being closed, and it may be safely asserted that most of the residents of the district not only took part in the demonstration but did their best towards making it a success. 
About a fortnight ago the towns people decided that it was desirable that something should be done to mark their appreciation of the glad news that an armistice had been declared and that there was every indication of an early and lasting peace. An appeal was made for funds to meet the expenses of the celebration, and this met with a most generous response, about £50 being raised. 
Wednesday's event was a credit to the town and district, and it will always be looked back upon with interest. Both young and old entered into the spirit of the day, and as a result everything worked smoothly and all had an enjoyable outing.
The day's proceedings opened with a monster procession, which completely eclipsed anything of the kind ever seen in the district, comprising 130 vehicles and numerous horsemen. A number of the vehicles, including buggies, jinkers and lorries, were nicely decorated with greenery and flowers, and there was a profusion of flags, all the Allies being represented. 
An effigy of the Kaiser, the handiwork of Mr Mappin, of Tynong, was mounted on a horse. This was safe guarded by Master J. Ede, in the character of ‘ John Bull’,  and was a special attraction.
Space will not permit of a description of the various vehicles, but it may be said that all were  attractive, those of Mr E. Oram, representing ‘The Day’ and Mr J. Spencer, representing ‘Peace’ being worthy of special mention.
Amongst those with decorated vehicles were :- Messrs A. Harris, M. Dore, J. Mortimer, J. Mulcare, T. Eves, A. Thorn, J. Kenny, J. Gray, S. Collins, T. Garrett, J. Latta, R. Brooke, T. Grigg, E. Oram, J. Spencer, jun., and J. R. Spencer, the last named driving a fine team of four greys in a buggy. There was also a decorated motor, driven by Mr Donald. Some of the riders were in fancy costume. amongst the number being Miss M Raftis (Ireland) and Master Wadsley (England). 
The procession was formed into line at about 11 o'clock, and, headed by the Richmond Juvenile Brass Band, marched from the township to the place chosen for the day's picnic. 
Four returned soldiers, viz., Ptes. W. Comely, P. Neilsson and H. J. Lennon, of Tynong, and Pte. G. Bjursten, of Cora Lynn, held a prominent position in the procession. 
On arrival at the ground judging took place for prizes in connection with the procession, and the awards were as follows: Best decorated vehicle: Mr E. Oram, Tynong, ‘The Day’. Best Group: Nar Nar Goon. Most original character: Master Ede, Tynong, ‘John Bull’.Special prize: The Kaiser. 
There were about 1,000 persons on the ground, and a sports programme was carried through, providing plenty of enjoyment for young and old.  A merry-go-round was provided for the children. 
Thanks to the excellent management of the committee and the cordial cooperation of all present, the celebrations throughout were a decided success

Irwin Brothers of Harkaway

This is another post about Brothers who enlisted - these are the Irwin Brothers of Harkaway. They were all born in Carlton to David Gray Irwin and Hannah Purser, who married in 1894. David and Hannah were farming at Harkaway but in 1918 moved to the suburbs (St Kilda, Caulfield areas) and he became a tramway employee, according to the Electoral Rolls. David died in 1928 aged 65 and Hannah died in 1934.


Dandenong Advertiser April 25, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88814737
Irwin, James Purser (SN 5035) James enlisted on January 20 1916 at the age of 20. He was a warehouseman. James served in France but  Returned to Australia on  August 27, 1917 and was medically discharged in January 1918 - he suffered from Psoriasis. In 1918 he married Daphne Idina (known as Ida) Mickle and they are  listed in the Electoral Rolls as living at Brighton for twenty years and then various other Melbourne suburbs, he was a Clerk.  James died in 1986. James' dairy recording his experiences in the War is held at the State Library of New South Wales and can be accessed here. He donated the diary to the Library in 1920. The Trustees of the Mitchell Library (as the State Library of N.S.W is known) started the Soldiers' Diaries Collection in 1918 - we are fortunate that they had the foresight to start this collection when many soldiers were still in possession of their diaries..

Irwin, Horace Mark  (SN 967) Horace enlisted on February 9, 1915 at the age of 18 years 8 months. He was an Orchardist.   David Returned to Australia on July 8, 1919. After the War, Horace married Mina Slater in 1922 and they lived in St Kilda and other suburbs.   Horace was a tramways employee, like his father, and died in 1972.

Irwin, Walter Gray (SN 968)  Walter enlisted on March 3 1915 at the age of 18 years and 7 months. He was  a farmer. Walter served at Gallipoli and Returned to Australia  February 8, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds in the July of the same year. He suffered from 'Neurasthenia' which is now described as an obsolete term to cover lassitude, inability to concentrate, mental and or physical fatigue. Walter married Lena Petersen in 1918 and died in 1968. Walter and Lena lived in Bendigo and Tatura then in the mid 1930s moved back to Melbourne to Oakleigh. Walter was a 'traveller' or
salesman.


Berwick Shire News July 12 1916http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92092893
A 'complimentary social' was held at Harkaway on July 8, 1916, with over 200 people present, to honour new recruits and also to welcome home Private Walter Irwin.
I can't quite work out the ages of Horace and Walter - according to the ages on their enlistment papers they were born two months apart which is clearly unlikely and the  Index to the Births, Deaths and Marriages says that Walter was born 1897 and Mark in 1896, so there was possibly  a mistake on the enlistment papers - if anyone knows the answer to this, I would love to find out.

Sister Norah Lehman and Sister Aileen Lehman

The Cranbourne Avenue of Honour was officially opened on August 9, 1919. The Avenue represented 59 men and two women, Sister Norah Lehman and Sister Aileen Lehman. Norah and Aileen  both enlisted on July 17, 1915 into the Australian Army Nursing Service. They were the daughters of George John Lehman and Kate Mary O'Connell who married in Adelaide in 1877. George and Kate had five children in Burra (South Australia) - Stanley Hocking (born) 1878, George Reginald 1879, Norah Blanche, 1882, Ethel, 1884 and Aileen 1886. The next daughter  Cathleen Kate was born in 1888 in Queensland, then daughter Ada was born in  1892 in Dandenong and their last child, Sidney James was born in 1893 in Adelaide.

George Lehman took over the licence of the  Bridge Hotel in Dandneong in February 1889. There was an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 10, 1893 saying that the Lehmans had resigned their interest in the licence of the Bridge Hotel. Mrs. Lehman's name was synonymous with attention, civility and good liquor- It is not improbable that they may return to Dandenong. This was prophetic as the same paper reported on July 1, 1896 that the Lehmans had returned to the Bridge Hotel which had been thoroughly renovated.  I presume, as their last child. Sidney, had been born in Adelaide that they had returned to South Australia in the intervening three years. In December 1897 the licence of the Hotel was granted to Kate Lehman (not sure how she had the time to run a hotel as she had eight children ranging in age from nineteen to four!) They operated the Hotel until the end of 1901.

The family was later living in Malvern East where John  was a 'stock dealer' and they were in East Caulfield when Norah and Aileen enlisted in July 1915. In the  1917 Electoral Rolls  George and Kate were at 'Springmeadows' Cranbourne and his occupation was grazier. At some stage they went back to Malvern East and that's where George died on July 27, 1932 at the age of 77. Catherine died on January 1, 1941 at her son's house in Moonee Ponds. It was her youngest son's house, Sid, who was a Doctor.

So back to Norah and Aileen. Aileen was 27 years old when she enlisted, in Egypt. She had trained and worked at the Melbourne General Hospital and also worked at the Albury Hospital.  Aileen served in France and then had a few bouts of pleurisy. Aileen was sent back to Australia on medical grounds, as 'exposure to cold' made her condition worse and she Returned to Australia on July 17, 1917.  On November 17 of the same year she married Cecil Paul Best at Kew. I believe it was a short lived marriage as by 1919 (according to the Electoral Rolls) Aileen (but not Paul)  is listed with her address as care of her parents in Cranbourne and from 1924 she is living at various addresses in Malvern East with her sister, Norah and sometimes other family members. Aileen died in December 12, 1953 aged 68. The death notice in The Argus listed her as 'late first A.I.F and the mother of Dr Jim Best and the grandmother of three and no mention of the husband.



This lovely tribute to Aileen appeared in the Dandenong Advertiser.Dandenong Advertiser October 17, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88816352
Norah had also trained at the Melbourne General Hospital and had been Matron at Albury Hospital before she enlisted in Egypt with her sister. She served in France and was Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished and gallant service and devotion to duty, this was promulgated on June 29 1917. Norah Returned to Australia  on April 19, 1919.  On her return to Melbourne Norah, as I said before, was living in the Malvern East area and hre occupation from 1924 was listed as 'Inspectress'  - she was a Health Inspector. I have found references to her working at the City of St Kilda around 1930 (see below)


Notice how Sister Lehman earns 240 pounds per annum and the male Health Inspector earns 400 pounds per annum!
Prahran Telegraph October 11 1929http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165009264


Sister Lehman died on May 24 1949 and this obituary appeared in the Dandenong Journal.Dandenong Journal June 8 1949http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222210880

I have created a list of newspaper articles from Trove about the Lehman family, click here to access this list.


St Patrick's Catholic School, Pakenham, Honour Roll

The following article appeared in the Pakenham Gazette of April 26 1918 about the recent unveiling of the Honour Board at St Patrick's Catholic School in Pakenham.  The Board is described as a very handsome one, the panel being of blackwood, with a massive  frame of Queensland figured oak. I don't know if it is still there. You can read the full article from the Pakenham Gazette here and another report about the unveiling of the Honour Roll in The Advocate of May 4, 1918 here.


Pakenham Gazette April 26 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92152180
Here are the 22 names listed on the Honour Roll including their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record at the National Archives of Australia
Rhoden, Norah Sister. Sister Rhoden is listed as Norah in the report but her first name was spelt as Nora  on her enlistment papers. Nora enlisted in Ismaila in Egypt on March 15, 1916. She was 35 years old and served in France and England and Returned to Australia February 2, 1919. Nora was the daughter of John and Kate Rhoden, who were obviously at Pakenham during Nora's school years. Nora died on July 22, 1952 and her obituary appeared on page 2 of The Age of July 24, 1952. 

The Age July 24, 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206212193

Bourke, James Harrison  (SN  2781)    James enlisted on  November 11, 1914 - he was  28 years old and an Auctioneer.   He  Returned to Australia August 17, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds on October 9, 1916 due to a 'recurrent high inguinal hernia'
Bourke, Robert Ievers (SN 1885)  Robert enlisted on June 16 1915 aged 28. He was also an Auctioneer. Robert was wounded in action in August 1916, gun shot wound to back and chest, which he recovered from and he returned to fight again and gained a promotion to Lieutenant.  Robert was wounded again in May 1918 - a gun shot wound to the left leg where his tibia and fibula was fractured and was sent back to Australia in November 1918.
Robert and James were the sons of Daniel Bourke and Frances Ievers, who were living in Stratford when their sons enlisted. Daniel had previously owned 400 acres in Pakenham, Mt Bourke, which was part of Thomas Henty's Pakenham Park. Daniel's parents were 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.

Clancy, Arthur John (SN 557) Arthur was a 31 year old labourer when he enlisted on February 16, 1916. He was Wounded in Action in Belgium and died four days later on October 8, 1917.
Clancy, David Edward  (SN 11927)  David enlisted on November 6, 1915 at the age of 21. He Returned to Australia on September 25, 1919.
Arthur and David were the sons of William Bailey Clancy of Wyuna, Pakenham.

Dwyer, Thomas Kelly (SN 7243) Thomas enlisted on November 20, 1916 in Blackboy Hill in Western Australia. He was a 26 year old Hospital Attendant. Thomas was Killed in Action in Belgium on March 12, 1918.
Dwyer, William Joseph (SN 7233) William enlisted in Sydney, on January 25, 1917. He was a 25 year old Coal Lumper. He was Wounded in Action in France in May 1918 (Gun shot wound to left buttock) but recovered and rejoined his Battallion and Returned to Australia July 23 1919.
Thomas and William were both born in Pakenham. Thomas' next of kin was his father, John Kennedy Dwyer, of Claremont in Western Australia and William's next of kin was his mother, Mary Dwyer, also of Claremont.

Fahey, Edward Joseph (SN 1671A) Edward was 21 when he enlisted on May 4, 1915. He was born in Pakenham and was a grocer. He Returned to Australia March 28, 1919.
Fahey, James  (SN 1695) James enlisted at the age of 31 on August 10 1915. He Returned to Australia December 18, 1918. He was born in Carlton according to  his enlistment paper, but the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriage Index have him listed as being born in Pakenham.  His occupation was labourer. James died in 1954 aged 65.
Fahey, Patrick (SN 2316) Patrick enlisted at the age of 24 on November 16, 1915. His occupation was a wheeler and he was born in Pakenham. Patrick Died of Wounds received in Action in Belgium on October 16, 1917.
Fahey, Thomas   (SN 3289B) Thomas was born in Pakenham and enlisted, at the age of 25,  on July 21, 1915 in Liverpool in New South Wales. He was Killed in Action in France on November 18, 1916.
Fahey, William Alexander  (SN 377)  William enlisted on January 22, 1915, he was a 26 year old labourer. He was born at Pakenham. William was awarded the Military Medal - For most conspicuous gallantry in action at Mouquet Farm on 26th August, 1916, in continuing to fire on the enemy after he had been wounded in both arms.  William Returned to Australia on March 13, 1918 and was discharged ion medical grounds in July - he had Tachycardia - an abnormally rapid heart beat. William died in 1956 aged 65.
The Fahey brothers all had their mother Margaret  of Carlton as their next of kin. She was listed variously as  Margaret Christopherson, Margaret C Fahey or Margaret Christopherson Fahey. I think we can assume that their father John Fahey was deceased (I believe he died in  1895 aged 45 and is  buried at the Pakenham Cemetery)   but I cannot find a marriage of Margaret to Mr Christopherson, although I did find her death in 1927 at the age of 64 where she was listed as Margaret Christopherson.  John and Margaret (nee Kelly) Fahey had six boys - there was also a John, born in 1886, so he was the second eldest. I don't have any information about him.
So far, the Fahey Brothers are the only set of five brothers that I have come across from our local area who enlisted, but I have written about other sets of three or more brothers who enlisted in various other posts.

Fennell, James Patrick (SN 33181) James enlisted on October 25, 1916 aged 25. His occupation was a driver and his next of kin was his father, Michael, of Pakenham, He Returned to Australia July 8, 1919.

Halloran, Timothy  (SN 3134) Tim was the son of John and Joanna Halloran of Pakenham and they were both listed as his next of kin when he enlisted on July 19, 1915 at the age of 33.  Ironically, he was Killed in Action in France, exactly one year later on July 19, 1916.

Hayes, John Edward (SN 2451) John enlisted on May 10 1916 and said he was 18, born in Pakenham and an orphan - he also said his name was Robert Campbell Pattison. In reality, as he said in his Statuary Declaration of October 29, 1917, he was actually John Hayes and had been born June 24, 1899, which would have only made him 16 when he enlisted.  John was the son of Jeremiah Joseph and Ellen Mary Hayes of Pakenham.  John Returned to Australia on October 8, 1919.

Hogan, Albert William (SN 14434) Albert enlisted on September 23, 1916 at the age of 22. He was a motor driver. He was born in Pakenham but living in Hawthorn when he enlisted, as was his father Charles, his next of kin. Albert Returned to Australia July 5, 1919.

Kelly, John  Patrick (SN 5388)  John was born at Nar Nar Goon and enlisted on March 10 1916 at the age of 36. His next of kin was his wife, Mary Kelly, of Carlton and he was a  rubber worker. He died of disease in England on October 26, 1918. I couldn't identify this John Kelly until I  found an entry for him in the Narre Warren & District Family History Group's book Sacrifice and Patriotism: a World War One walk in Pakenham Cemetery. John was a cousin to  the Fahey Brothers.

Keogh, Eustace Graham (SN 14516) Eustace was an 18 year old student when he enlisted on May 18, 1916. Eustace Returned to Australia on March 22, 1919.  His next of kin was his father, Dr Arthur George Keogh, who was listed in the Electoral Rolls at Pakenham in 1908 and 1909 and then at 14 Droop Street in Footscray, the same address as Eustace. We can't actually access his records on the Australian National Archives website as they have been 'amalgamated with this person's later service documents'

Keogh, F.A  Not sure who this is - is he a brother of Eustace, above? Eustace did have  a brother who enlisted, Basil Hewlett Keogh (SN 14353) but I don't see how B.H Keogh could be listed as F.A Keogh. I can't see any F.A Keoghs in any list. Apart form Dr Keogh at Pakenham, in 1909 there was also a  Constable Patrick Keogh in the Electoral Roll at Pakenham the same year, is this person connected to him?  I don't know.

The Advocate May 4, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152191831
Mulcahy, Richard Lindley (SN 5129)   Listed as L. Mulcahy on the Honour Board. Richard enlisted at the age of 22 on January 18, 1915 - he has various enlistment papers - one of the others say he enlisted on July 14 1915;  his mother Bridget was his next of kin on one and his father John on another - but they did have the same address 133 Charles Street, Ascot Vale. His occupation was a joiner and he was  born in Nagambie, but presumably spent some time at St Patrick's School as a child. Richard Returned to Australia January 31, 1919. As you can see from this excerpt (above) from the article   in The Advocate about the unveiling of the Honour Roll, Mr Mulcahy of Ascot Vale had a son listed on the roll and another son who died of wounds received at Gallipoli. The son that died was Thomas Edward Mulcahy (SN 773) who passed away on August 14, 1915 at the age of 30 at the Alexandria 19th General Hospital - he had fractured ribs and gun shot wounds to the back and shoulder.

Maher, Thomas Francis (SN 50190) Thomas was 18 when he enlisted on October 22, 1917. His occupation was student and he was the son of Stephen and Bridget (nee Ryan) Maher of Pakenham. He Returned to Australia July 23, 1919. Thomas was granted  a Soldier Settler Farm (80 acres in the Parish of Nar Nar Goon). You can read his full Soldier Settlement Record on the Battle to Farm website, here.

Pakenham Gazette May 10 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92153019

Ward, Arthur  (SN 20154)  Arthur Ward was two months off the age of 42 when he enlisted at Blackboy Hill in Western Australia, on November 19, 1915. He was born at Ballarat and his occupation was a miner and his next of kin was his sister in law, Ellen Hawes of Cowwarr. As the article in the Pakenham Gazette, above, states he died of wounds on April 17, 1918. He had received a gun shot wound the previous day in the shoulder that penetrated the spine, fighting in France. I wonder how long he had been away from Pakenham.



This is St Patrick's Catholic Church at Pakenham, built in 1872. It would have been a familiar sight to all the men listed on this Honour Roll. The School opened in 1888.Photo from North of the Line: a pictorial record, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.

Lambis Engelzos and the lost soldiers of Fromelles

Yesterday I attended the Korumburra Historical Society 50th anniversary celebration where Lambis Engelzos, AM, was the guest speaker. Lambis was one of a team of  amateur (in the sense of being unpaid, nothing to do with the excellent standard of their work) historians who discovered the mass grave site of 250 Australian soldiers who were 'missing' after the Battle of Fromelles in 1916. It's  a fascinating story and Lambis is a fantastic speaker.  You can read about the discovery and the subsequent reburial of the these soldiers in the Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery here and about his quest here.

Anyway, amongst the many interesting things that Lambis said was that there were around 60,000 soldiers who died whilst serving in the AIF but around the same number died in the 15 years after the War, due no doubt to the trauma (both physical and mental) that they suffered during the War. Many of the returned soldiers are lying in unmarked graves in cemeteries around Australia and like the Fromelles soldiers they also deserve recognition.  This made me wonder about my own great uncles and where they are buried - I'll have to find out. I'm not saying that we should all go out and place  elaborate head stone on these graves, but it did make me think about how we are honoring and recognizing these returned soldiers (and the returned military personnel from later wars)

This is the second time that I have heard Lambis speak and if you ever get the opportunity then go along and hear him. Tim Whitford, was part of the same team as Lambis, who discovered the Fromelles grave site - I have also heard him talk and he is equally interesting,  as his great uncle, Private Harry Willis, from Alberton was amongst the missing soldiers. Harry was indentified by DNA supplied by his niece, Marjory Whitford, who is Tim's aunty. In fact, 150 of the 'missing' soldiers have been positively indentified through DNA and other means. You can read about  Harry Willis here  and listen to podcast of a talk Tim did at the State Library of Victoria during Family History Feast in 2013.


Aerial photograph showing the site of the mass grave beside Pheasant Wood, the northern end of the village of Fromelles, and the site of the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. The mass burial site, its access roads and facilities are shown to the right (eastern side) off the central road leaving Fromelles (the D22). The location of the cemetery site, its access road and carpark are marked on the left (western side) of the D22. [Australian Army]  From http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/fromelles/pheasant-wood.php#

Carter Brothers of Bunyip




The Age August 4, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154996454
In this post, in our series of Brother who enlisted, we are looking at the Carter Brothers of Bunyip. You can read about the Cullen Brothers of Cockatoo here and the Maher Brothers of Pakenham, here.
William, Alfred and Frederick were the sons of William and Annie Carter (nee Saunders)  of Maidstone House in Bunyip. The Brothers came from Maidstone in  Kent in England, hence the name of their property in Bunyip. William had already died when the brothers enlisted as their next of kin was their mother. Annie died in 1924 aged 61 in Carlton. I believe there were at least two other children, George who died in 1962 aged 60 and the grandly named Victoria Georgina Augusta who was only 22 when she died in 1919 in South Melbourne.

Bunyip Free Press September 9 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129630845

Carter, Alfred Nathaniel (SN 2467)  Alfred enlisted on July 20 1915 at the age of 26. He was Driver. Alfred sustained  a Gun Shot  Wound to his right arm, which made him permanently unfit for service and thus he Returned to Australia  December 20, 1917 and was Discharged in July 1918. Alfred died on May 14, 1921 at the age of 32 and is buried in the Bunyip Cemetery.

Carter, Frederick Arthur (SN 1397)  Frederick, who was a baker,  enlisted at the age of 20 on July 28 1915. He did his training, was sent overseas to Egypt  and Returned to Australia on May 21, 1916 for discharge due to 'defective vision in right eye'  In the 1919 Electoral Roll, Frederick is living in Carlton, but not sure of what happened to him after that.

Carter, William (SN 2266) William enlisted on July 17 1915  - he was a 28 year old Labourer. William Died of Wounds received while fighting in France on August 6, 1916. William is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.

The Cullen boys of Cockatoo Creek

This is another post on brothers who enlisted, in the last post we looked at the Maher Brothers of Pakenham and in this post we will look at the four Cullen Brothers of Cockatoo Creek, as the town of Cockatoo used to be called. Interestingly, one of the enlistment papers has the address as Cockatoo Creek, Gembrook line, obviously referring to the 'Puffing Billy'  Railway line. The Cullen Brothers are the sons of Francis Patrick Cullen and Mary Jane Whitehead who married in New South Wales in 1883. They had seven children (there may be more)  the first three listed were born in Sydney, Francis (born 1884) Arthur Byrne (1886), Frederick (1888), Kathleen Mary (1890), Emily Margaret (1891) William Beechworth (1894) and Alfred Charles (1899). Mary Jane died in 1950, aged 91 and Francis died in 1942 aged 84.
The Argus May 26, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1519741

Here are the four brothers, including their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record in the National Archives of Australia, www.naa.gov.au
Cullen, Alfred Charles (SN 2629)     Alfred first enlisted on September 6, 1915 and said he was 18 years old, but this was untrue. There is  a letter in his file from his father saying that his signature must have been forged as he didn't give permission and his son was only 16 years, ten months old. So Alfred was discharged less than two months later on October 31 for 'being a minor and enlisting without parents consent', He enlisted again as Christopher Patrick Cullen on March 11, 1916 aged 18. His occupation was listed as grocer. It appears that he was  bit of  a 'lad', and was charged with Desertion in November 1917, after having been reported as missing, but found guilty of being absent without leave, sentenced to ten years gaol, which was later commuted to two years and then suspended.  Christopher Returned to Australia July 5, 1919. His real name was actually Alfred Charles Cullen and there is a note in his file saying that in 1922 he signed a Statuary Declaration saying that he wasn't really Christopher. Alfred died in 1969.


National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920

Cullen, Arthur Burns   (SN 1347 or 842) Arthur seems to have two Service Numbers and  is listed as having the same Service Number as his brother Frederick. Arthur enlisted on September 21, 1914 aged 25. His occupation was labourer. Arthur Returned to Australia on  December 3, 1918.
Cullen, Frederick  (SN 1347)   Frederick enlisted on the same day as his brother, William, November 11, 1914. He was a 26 year old Saw Mill hand. He was wounded in action - bullet wound to forehead, - and Returned to Australia in September 1915, but then obviously returned to serve overseas and he was  Killed in Action in Belgium on October 19, 1917. 


The Argus November 14, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1663051

Cullen, William Beechworth (SN 1348) William enlisted on November 11, 1914 aged 21. His Occupation was sawyer. William Returned to Australia on  March 11, 1916 and discharged on medical grounds as he was suffering from nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys) William died in 1957.

Maher brothers of Pakenham

I thought we would take  a look at some brothers who enlisted in the War, because it's an interesting to think about how their family back home must have felt - it would be stressful enough with one son enlisting let alone two or, in this case, three sons. We have found examples of three brothers enlisting before. Frederick, John and Julian Whiston were from Garfield, you can read about them here; Alfred, Charles and Norman Kent were from Narre Warren and you can read about them here.

This post looks at  three sons of Stephen and Bridget  (nee Ryan) Maher of Pakenham. Stephen was a member of the Police Force and he was stationed at Pakenham for a number of years from around 1912 until he retired in 1920, after 33 years of service.Stephen and Catherine had ten children, Rosaline (born 1886), Cathleen (1888), Florence Mary (1890), Olive Veronica (1893), Stephen Raymond (1894), John Thomas (1896), Thomas Francis (1899), Daniel Michael (1901) and Leonard Joseph (1903) Mary Monica (1905). According to a report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of June 17, 1920 after his retirement he planned to take up farming and grazing on a property he has acquired locally. Stephen died in April 1931 aged 70 and is buried at Pakenham and Bridget died in January 1939 aged 77 and is buried at Box Hill. You can read an obituary of Bridget in The Advocate here and her death notice from The Advocate is below.

The Advocate February 9, 1939http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page20416484
The three sons of Stephen and Bridget who served overseas were Raymond Stephen (called Roy on his enlistment papers), John Thomas  and Thomas Francis. Mrs Maher's obituary said that four sons enlisted in the Great War, three seeing active service so I presume that the fourth son must have been Daniel who was born 1901, but that would still have made him only 17 when the War ended, so not sure about that and Leonard would have been far too young.

Roy (Service Number (SN) 2228) enlisted on August 27 1914 at the age of 20, occupation Labourer. He served in Gallipoli and France and Returned to Australia October 8, 1918.

John Thomas  (SN 1049) enlisted at the age of 21 on June 14, 1915. He is confusingly called Thomas on the Embarkation Roll.  He Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919. John also served in World War Two, he enlisted in December 1940 and was discharged in June 1944, when he was nearly 48 years old.

Thomas Francis (SN 50190) was an 18 year old student when he enlisted on October 22, 1917.   Corporal Thomas Maher Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919. Thomas was granted an 80 acre Soldier Settlement farm on his return, you can read his full record here on the Battle to Farm website.


Pakenham Gazette  November 1 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92153257


Pakenham Gazette July 15, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88656917
Roy sent a letter home to his parents in 1915, he makes it all sound rather pleasant as though he was on holiday and not just having survived Gallipoli,  but obviously was restricted in what he could write. It's  a lovely letter and interesting letter and I have transcribed it below. It was published in the Pakenham Gazette.

AT THE DARDANELLES..
Mrs Maher, wife of Constable Maher, Pakenham, has received the following letter from her son Ray, who is fighting the Turks and Germans at the Dardanelles.

I received your most welcome letter a little time ago. We are back again from the Dardanelles, as there is not space to get the horses off, and the mules can do better there, as the country is very hilly and rough. We have a nice camp out from Alexandria about nine miles, with a train running right through the camp, and the tram within 10 minutes walk. Best of all, the beach is only about a quarter of an hour's walk. We go down to swim the horses now and then, but go our selves every evening, It is where all the tourists come for their holidays, and there are a lot of English and French people there, so we have a good time with them.  I only wish I could speak French; I can only speak a little of it, also a little Egyptian just enough to be understood.  

The people here seemed to think Australia .only a little island, but they were surprised to hear that it is bigger than Europe, and that most of the inhabitants are white, instead of black, as they thought. I am writing this in the horse lines, as I am on stable guard, taking the place of my mate, who wanted to go to the races. The sun is about 200 in the shade - that is what it feels, at any rate; and the flies would drive a fellow mad.  

Most of our chaps are at the Dardanelles, but a lot of us had to come back with the horses. Many of our men who were wounded are going back in a day or two; they are getting well again.

I think Italy will make a difference when she comes into the war; she will make the war end sooner. 

I must bring this letter to a close, with love to all at home from Ray.

French Island Great War Soldiers

French Island is not part of any Local Government area - but it does border the Shire of Cranbourne and has historic connections to local towns through trade, sport, recreation and medical matters. There is a touching article in the Mornington Standard of August 22, 1895 about  a French Island settler who had an accident, he was then conveyed two and  a half miles on a stretcher to a  boat, where they had to wait until low tide when he was rowed across to Tooradin,  a voyage that took two hours. The Doctor from Cranbourne met him at Tooradin. He then had to wait until the next day before he could be sent to hospital  by train and the article ends with this sad note 'No hopes are entertained of his recovery' You can read the full report here
There are also accounts of injured Islanders being taken to Lang Lang for medical treatment. Other newspaper accounts relate to holiday makers staying at Tooradin and visiting French Island for the day and the French Island cricket team playing against Tooradin. In 1946 Ken Gartside established a regular barge service between Tooradin and French Island, previous to this Islanders had to use their own boats to cart goods. You can read an account in the Dandenong Journal about this barge here.
So because we have these historic connections to French Island I feel the soldiers deserve a place in our blog. What follows is a list of French Island soldiers including their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record at the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au

All of these  soldiers are listed on the French Island Honour Board, located at the French Island Community Hall. You can see a photograph of the Honour Board on the Monument Australia website here. There may be more who should be in this list, feel free to let me know. The main towns on French Island are Tankerton and Fairhaven.




Powlett Express  February 25 1916http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130662774
This article from the Powlett Express said that there were 19 men who had enlisted by 1916
Bayford, Hugh Staynes (SN 1878) Hugh was 25 years old when he enlisted on February 7 1916. His next of kin was his mother who lived in Moreland, but according to the Electoral Rolls Hugh had been  a farmer on French Island since 1909. Hugh was Wounded in Action on three occasions, including sustaining a gun shot wound to his right eye and Returned to Australia on November 8, 1918.

Bennetts, Albert Edward (SN 7029)  Albert enlisted on January 25, 1916 at the age of 34. He was a farmer from Fairhaven.  Albert Returned to Australia on June 2, 1919 and according to the Electoral Rolls returned to living on French Island.

Bond, Frederick William (SN 585)  Frederick was a 28 year old miner when he enlisted on September 5, 1914 at Rosebery Park in New South Wales. His next of kin was his father, James Bond, of French Island. Frederick was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on April 27, 1915.


The Argus June 8, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1522685

Chapman, Albert Claude (SN 2790) A.C Chapman is listed on the Honour Board and there is an Albert Claude Chapman on the Electoral Roll at Fairhaven in 1918, occupation farmer so I presume they are the same people, however I cannot actually link Albert to French Island through any information in his service record. Albert enlisted on November 30, 1916 aged 32, his occupation was warehouseman, he was born in England and his next of kin was his father who lived in London. Albert Returned to Australia January 25, 1919.

Chilcott, Frank William Leslie  (SN 5673) Frank enlisted on February 7, 1916 aged 24. His next of kin was his mother, Margaret Chilcott, of French Island. Frank Returned to Australia on June 12, 1919.

Collinson, John Henry (SN Depot)   J.Henry is listed on the Honour Board and   the Electoral Roll lists  a John Henry Collinson at Fairhaven from 1918 until 1927. I presume this is the same John Henry Collinson who enlisted on May 22 1915 at the age of 21. He was an electrician. John was discharged as unfit for military service on July 5, 1915 due to 'overlapping toes', the 'first toe on both feet overlap the big toe' was the note on his record.
Collinson, Wilfred (SN 2210)  Wilfred was born in Hull, in Yorkshire in England, as was John, above, so I believe they were brothers. Wilfred enlisted at age of 19 on November 16, 1914. Wilfred Returned to Australia on April, 10 1919.There are two letters in Wilfred's file from Mrs Jean Harrop, 'Long View', Tankerton  one dated May 26, 1919 and the other dated June 5 1919 (see below) asking for information about Wilfred. In one letter she writes 'I am interested and would like accurate information' The response was that they didn't have an official report on Collinson but if they did they would communicate with his next of kin, his father. I wonder who Mrs Harrop was? She was also connected to Alfred Pocock, below.

National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920
Cremin, J  The Honour Roll lists a J. Cremin and according to the National Archives there were only two Cremins who enlisted - John Francis Cremin (SN 593) and a Samuel Cremin (SN 369). There was however, a James Stuart Cremen (SN 838) who also enlisted. So if we eliminate Samuel then we are left with John and James. I think we can eliminate James Stuart Cremen as he was born, worked (as a crockery packer) and enlisted in Sydney, the surname spelling is irrelevant as I have seen lots of incorrect surnames on Honour Boards. That leaves us with John Francis Cremin (SN 593) John  was born in Scotland, his next of kin was his mother who lived in London. He enlisted on April 16, 1915 at Broadmeadows at the age of 21 and he was a Clerk. John married Ada May Lambourne in May 1917 when he was in England. John Returned to Australia on June 16, 1919 and the couple are listed in the Electoral Rolls in the 1920s as living in Prahran. Is John the J. Cremin listed on the Honour Roll? I can find nothing that connects him to French Island, but I feel that he's the most likely candidate,  but happy to be proven wrong.

Cuttriss, John  (SN 1135)  John was a 27 year old motor boatman of Fairhaven when he enlisted at the age of 27 on March 6, 1916. He Returned to Australia January 10, 1918 and was discharged on medical  grounds in August 1918, due to a gun shot wound to the right elbow.

Edhouse, Charles Edward (SN 333a)  Charles was a 21 year old farm hand when he enlisted on April 24, 1916. His address on the Embarkation Roll was care of R. De La Haye, Fairhaven, French Island. Charles Returned to Australia July 9, 1919.

Gillings, Robert (SN 19847)  Robert was a 22 year old labourer, from French Island,  and he enlisted on November 23, 1915. Next of Kin was his father who lived in England. He Returned to Australia on February 19, 1919.

Griffiths, Ivor (SN 5377) Ivor was born in Wales and he enlisted on January 15, 1916 aged 24. He was a farmer from Tankerton. Ivor Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.

Haward, Martin Francis (SN 17859) Martin  enlisted on April 3, 1917, he was a 24 year old telephone mechanic from Tankerton. Martin Returned to Australia June 16, 1919.

Hill, James (SN 2782) - see below under Charles Williams.

Iliff, George Robert (SN 1734) George enlisted on May 20, 1915, he was a 22 year old labourer. He served overseas but suffered  a number of bouts of disease and Returned to Australia on October 17, 1916 and was medically discharged in April 1917.
Iliff, Joseph Ludwig (SN 6334) Joseph was a 29 year old farm labourer when he enlisted on October 25, 1916. He Returned to Australia August 8, 1919.
Iliff, William Charles (SN 1137) William enlisted at the age of 24 on July 28 1915. He Returned to Australia April 8, 1919. William was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after his return on Eight Mile Road at Nar Nar Goon - you can read about this on the Battle to Farm website here.
George, Joseph and William were brothers and their next of kin was their mother, Bertha, of Tankerton. Their father, Joseph, had died in 1905.

Lovie, William Wallace (SN 14077) William enlisted on February 1, 1916 at the age of 21. He was from Fairhaven. He Returned to Australia on June 2, 1919.

Maddaford, Alfred (SN 2035)   enlisted on July 28, 1915 at the age of 26. He was discharged on medical grounds in June 1916 as he had 'chronic epilepsy'
Maddaford, Richard James (SN 2949) Richard enlisted at the age of 28 on February 18 1916. He was Killed in Action in France on April 24 1918. There was an article about his death in the Powlett Express, see below.
Richard and Alfred both had their sister Lily (sometimes spelt Lillie)  as their next of kin. When Alfred enlisted her address was Ballarat (where they were born)  but when Richard enlisted her address was Tankerton. However according to the Electoral Roll, in 1909 Richard and Lily were both on French Island and in 1912 Richard and Alfred were both living on French Island and Lily had moved back to Ballarat, but was obviously back on the Island by 1916.




Powlett Express June 7 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article130665657
Meade, Frederick John (SN 4730) Frederick was a 36 year old labourer and a widower and he enlisted on February 23, 1916. His address on the Embarkation roll is French Island and his next of kin was a friend, Miss Maggie D'Arth of Stony Point.  He was discharged on medical grounds in May 1916 due to multiple fistulas which caused an abscess. Frederick married Maggie and they had three children, Charles, Frederick and Vera and are listed on the Electoral Rolls at French Island, until at least 1936.

Nicholls, Richard Wilfred (SN 4154) Richard was only 18 when he enlisted on October 26, 1915. He was a farm labourer. His next of kin was his friend, Miss Nellie Bond, of Tankerton. Nellie was the sister of Frederick Bond, listed above, who was killed at Gallipoli and the sister in law to Ernest Sisson (see below).  Richard was awarded the Military Medal and Returned to Australia on January 18, 1919.

Pocock, Alfred James William (SN 6883)  Alfred  enlisted at the age of  18 on February 12, 1917. He was born in England, occupation was farming labourer and his next of kin was his father of The Grange in Dandenong (although his Embarkation record says his father lived in View Street, Mont Albert) Alfred went overseas and was wounded in action in May 1918 (gun shot wound arm and left thigh) and he Returned to Australia on January 22, 1920. We can connect Albert to French Island as his enlistment paper  has his address as C/O Mrs Harrop, Tankerton, French Island, the  same Mrs Harrop who wrote two letters enquiring after the well being of Wilfred Collinson (see above) - in fact it's the same writing so she must have filled out Alfred's application form.

National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920
Ratford, John (SN 2982) John enlisted on February 5, 1916. He was a 22 year old labourer. John Returned to Australia on March 5, 1919.Ratford, William John (SN 1493)  William enlisted on  August 24, 1914 at the age of 23. He was a farmer. On August 2, 1915 William  received a Gun shot wound to his femur and he Returned to Australia on December 4, 1915 and was medically discharged on April 11, 1916.
John and William are the sons of John Ratford of Tankerton.

There is an interesting account of  a cricket match between French Island and Tooradin in the Mornington Standard of May 17, 1919, which mentions the return of John Ratford to the team 'after an absence of three years at a more strenuous game' You can read the full article here


Mornington Standard May 17, 1919http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65852539

Sisson, Ernest William  (SN 6641) Ernest enlisted on February 17, 1916 at the age of 31. He was a farmer and a widower. Ernest had married Kathleen Bond in 1914 and she passed away in  April 1915. Kathleen was the daughter of James and Emma (nee Witts) Bond and the sister of Frederick Bond, listed above. Ernest remarried when he was in England to Evaline Gillins and he Returned to Australia on May 12, 1918. Ernest was Medically Discharged on August 14, 1918, suffering from 'Myelogenenus Leukaemia'

Thompson, William (SN 61937) William was 23 when he enlisted on December 17, 1917. He was a 23 year old farmer and his next of kin was his father, Joseph, of Tankerton. He embarked from Melbourne on October 5, 1918. arrived at Cape Town in South Africa in early November, where he was in hospital with the measles and then Returned to Australia on December 4, 1918.

Walden, Charles William (SN 20362)  Charles was a 23 years farm labourer when he enlisted on September 1, 1915. Charles got married when he was overseas in April 1919 and Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919. His wife's name was listed as Minnie Maria Walden, so did he marry a  cousin or was it just a coincidence that they had the same surname?
Walden, Henry (SN 6137) Henry enlisted on March 8, 1916 at the age of 21. He served overseas and sustained a gun shot wound to his right thigh on August 23, 1918 and Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.
Charles and Henry were the sons of  Charles Walden of Tankerton.

Williams, Charles (SN 5782) Charles enlisted on February 17, 1916, he was a 24 year old farmhand from Tankerton. Charles was Wounded in Action (Gun shot wound, right thigh) on December 22, 1916, which required his leg to amputated and he passed away on January 12, 1917. There is a Statuary Declaration in his military file where Charles states that his real name is James Hill, not Charles Williams. It would be interesting to know why he enlisted under  a false name.

Yeomans, J The French Island Honour Board lists a J. Yeomans, not sure who this is.  There is Joseph Yeomans (SN 332), John William Yeomans (SN Depot), Lieutenant Julian Clyde Yeoman, James Yeoman (SN Depot), James Yeoman (SN 1696) and Captain John Stanhope Yeoman. The most likely candidate in my mind is John William Yeomans (SN Depot) who was 19 when he enlisted on August 10, 1918. His occupation was a driver and his next of kin was his father, of Bakers Road, Blackburn. John was discharged on medical grounds on November 8, 1918 due to 'old injury to elbow and old infantile paresis' but I cannot connect him (or any of them) to French Island.

Modella Great War Soldiers

This post lists the Great War soldiers who have  a connection to Modella. It's  a work in progress, so if you know of any soldiers who should be included on this list, then please let me know. I have listed the  Service Number (SN) so you can look up each soldier's full service record on the National Archives website (www.naa.gov.au)




Bunyip Free Press August 19, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129630757

Chambers, Michael James (Jim) (SN 64173)    Jim had enlisted on  March 6 1918 at the age of 38. He lived in Modella and had a wife, Labela, and three children. Jim Returned to Australia on July 26, 1919 and on October 11 1919 a 'welcome home' was provided for him* Jim had also served in the Boer War in the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles for 18 months. Their son, Ronald, was the Shire of Berwick Engineer from 1948 until 1973, and then the Shire of Pakenham Engineer until 1977. The family are the source of the name Chambers Road, Modella. The R.J. Chambers Reserve in Pakenham Upper is named for Ronald.

Corbin, William Osment  (SN 5114) William was 19 years old when he enlisted on February 11, 1916. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, William, of Modella. Lance Corporal Corbin Returned to Australia May 20 1919. After the War, William took up a soldier settlement farm at Caldermeade - you can see his file on the Battle to Farm website here  

Doran, Matthew John (SN 1376)   M. Doran is listed in the newspaper article, above, and I believe it is Matthew Doran although I can find no specific connection to Modella, however he did have his medical examination at Warragul, prior to his enlistment on August 3, 1915, so I believe I have the correct M. Doran.  Matthew was a 29 year old labourer when he enlisted and his next of kin was his mother, Mary Scanlon, of Heathcote. Matthew was Killed in Action on October 23, 1916 in France,

Esler, Gordon  (SN 534) Gordon was 30 when he enlisted on July 8, 1915. He was a 30 year farmer from Modella and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Helen Smethurst of Yannathan. Helen died in November 1916 and his brother, Hugh, who was a Policeman, then became his next of kin. Gordon Returned to Australia April 13, 1919 and was granted a Soldier Settler farm in the Parish of Tongala, you can read about this here.

Hughes, Ephraim  (SN 11763) Ephraim enlisted at the age of 31 on September 7, 1915. His next of kin was his father, Robert, of Modella. Ephraim Returned to Australia April 20, 1919 and was granted a soldier settlement farm of 77 acres in the Parish of Yannathan, you can read about this here

Lugton, John Archibald  (SN 3193) Arch enlisted on October 19, 1916 at the age of 27. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, Charles, of Northcote. Arch received  a gun shot wound to the chest on August 8, 1918, whilst fighting in France, and died the next day.  A Memorial service was held at the Modella School in memory of Arch*

Marchant, John (SN 897) John was a blacksmith and he was 24 when he enlisted on August 21, 1914. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs J Marchant, of Modella. John had a bit of mixed military record, and was absent without permission on a few occasion which meant that a form had to be filled out, and on two occasions this paperwork had his 'General character' listed as 'Bad'. I'm sure he wasn't bad - perhaps just not suited to Army life. John Returned to Australia March 3 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds on May 14 due to 'leucoma right eye' - which is a dense, white opacity of the cornea due to an injury.

Norton, Noel Condah  (SN 4498) Noel was born at Koo-Wee-Rup and enlisted on September 17, 1914. He was 22 and his next of kin was his wife,  Ann May Norton of Modella and they had three children at the time of his enlistment. He was discharged as medically unfit on November 19, 1914. Noel then enlisted again on July 29, 1915.  He Returned to Australia on April 29, 1919.  Noel also became  a Soldier Settler and you can read about him here.





South Bourke and Mornington Journal September 19, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66194707
Ryan, John Joseph     As we can see from the newspaper article, above, a John Joseph Ryan from Modella enlisted in August or September 1918 - I can't find  a record for him on the National Archives of Australia website, so I have no other details. 
Warren, George William  (SN 6716) George was 32 and  a farmer when he enlisted on January 11, 1917 at the age of 32. His next of kin was his father, also called George Warren, of Modella. George served in France and  Returned to Australia on February 7, 1919. George was granted a Soldier Settler farm in Mildura, you can read about this here.

Wilson, Joseph Daniel (SN 1869)  Joseph was born in Northern Ireland and was 26 years old and the teacher at Modella State School when he enlisted on September 11, 1915.  Joseph was awarded the Military Medal and he Returned to Australia on June 20, 1919.

*Modella: a brief history compiled by Graham Utber (1968)

Welcome Home at Koo-Wee-Rup


This photograph from the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society shows the welcome home given to local boys, Les Cochrane, Bill Gilchrist and Billy McGree.
Les Cochrane (Service Number 2162) had enlisted May 2, 1916 at the age of 21. Les served in France and was twice wounded in action.  He Returned to Australia on February 15, 1918. Mr Cochrane later became a Cranbourne Shire Councillor and a Member of the Legislative Assembly - you can read more about him here.
William John Gilchrist, known as Bill (Service Number 1648) enlisted on January 13, 1916 at the age of 26. He was a farmer from Koo-Wee-Rup. After serving overseas,  Corporal Gilchrist Returned to Australia on January 31, 1918.  He was discharged on medical grounds on May 25, 1918 - his disability was listed as Myocarditis. Bill applied for a Soldier Settler block and was granted 40 acres (Allotments 106 and 119, Section 0, Parish of Koo-Wee-Rup East, off Little Road in Iona) in May 1921 but had to give up  the land due to his on-going ill health two years later. His application form said that he was receiving a pension of 14 shillings per week due to shell shock. You can read his full application here on the Public Records Office of Victoria Battle to Farm Soldier Settlement Records  website -http://soldiersettlement.prov.vic.gov.au/soldiers/a7-gilchrist-william-john/
Bill married Minnie Mary Ellen Forsyth in 1920. Bill lived to the age of 86 and died June 23, 1975;  Minnie died at the age of 81 August 9, 1983.
The third man in the photograph is William Francis McGree (Service Number 3110) Billy had enlisted on February 2, 1917 aged 23. He was a farm labourer and had been born in Launceston. Billy served overseas and was wounded in action (gun shot wound to left leg) in France. He Returned to Australia on February 15, 1918. Billy was given a Soldier Settlement Farm in 1918 and like William Gilchrist, had to give up his land in July 1921 due to ill health. His land was of 84 acres, Allotment 23a, Section J, Parish of Koo-Wee-Rup - off the Pakenham-Koo-Wee-Rup Road. You can see his full soldier settlement file at http://soldiersettlement.prov.vic.gov.au/soldiers/1179-12-mcgree-william-francis/
Billy married Elizabeth Margaret (Maggie) Neal in 1919.  Billy died in Ararat in 1957 aged 63. I can't find any reference to the death of Maggie.

This is the report from the Lang Lang Guardian of May 4, 1918 of the homecoming of  Les Cochrane, Bill Gilchrist and Billy McGree.http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119515392

Pakenham Upper gives more of her best to the A.I.F


Pakenham Gazette May 31, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92154616

Douglas Bruce Black (Service Number (SN) 64799) enlisted on June 28, 1918 at the age of 19 and was sent overseas and arrived in Egypt but sadly died of 'cerebro spinal fever' on December 12, 1918. Bruce was the son of Thomas Montgomery Black and Margaret Ellen Fergus, orchardists of Pakenham Upper. The article refers to his three brothers who were also fighting in France - two of the brothers  were Donald Caldwell Black (SN 7201) and Wallace Moncrief Black (SN 7451). They were both orchardists. Donald enlisted at the age of 24 on January 10, 1917. He Returned to Australia July 7, 1919. Wallace enlisted on July 10, 1917 aged 21 and Returned to Australia July 13, 1919. 
The other brother was Robert Livingstone Conning Black (SN 5985) a 22 year old Engineering student, who enlisted on February 2, 1916. Robert was Killed in Action in France on August 9, 1918. Whilst these brothers were fighting overseas the farm was being run by another brother Thomas Fergus Black. Thomas appeared before the Dandenong Exemption Court on October 17, 1916 for exemption to military service on the grounds that he had 22 young orchards of ten acres each to attend to amongst other work and also employed four men. The case was adjourned until November and as I can find no record of him serving I believe he must have been granted an exemption. 
The Holdensen boys were the sons of Peter Holdensen and Katrine Lindberg of Pakenham Upper although their address is sometimes referred to as Gembrook South. The family arrived from Denmark in January 1898.  Jens Peter Holdenson enlisted when he was 19 on August 6, 1915 and was discharged as medically unfit a month later on September 9 due to 'deformed insteps of feet'.  Paul Holdenson, officially called Povl Jorgen Holdensen, was also born in Denmark but was naturalised in August 1915. Paul enlisted on June 3, 1916 aged 23 and Returned to Australia on December 21, 1919. I can't find any record of Lin Holdensen's enlistment on either the National Archives of Australia or the Australian War Memorials - but I believe his full name was Iver Rasmus Lindberg Holdensen and he was naturalised in June 1918. 

Right sort of Colonist - Kenneth Fyffe

The Weekly Times published this article on August 4, 1917 and is interesting as it shows the connection at the time between  patriotism, colonialism and nationalism. Kenneth Thompson Grant Fyffe (Service Number 6798A) enlisted on September 3 1917, at the age of 21 and had been employed as a Farm Labourer at Bunyip. Kenneth was gassed while serving overseas in France. He Returned to Australia February 26 1920.

In the 1921 Electoral Roll Kenneth was living in North Fitzroy and had an occupation of 'Engine Cleaner' and three years later he was living at Brighton Avenue in Preston, with his wife Amelia, and he was a tram conductor. You can read more about Kenneth on the RSL Virtual War Memorial rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au or click here to go directly to his entry. Sadly, his life after the war was not all smooth sailing and he died in 1964 at the age of 68. I wonder of he ever returned to Bunyip?




Weekly Times August 4, 1917 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page13611994

Pakenham War Memorial - the 'scene of beer parties'

I came across this article in the Dandenong Journal of May 21, 1941 about the neglected state of the Pakenham War Memorial. It's interesting that after the enthusiasm of having Memorials erected in the late 1910s and the 1920s that it didn't take all that long for the Memorials to be neglected. The Pakenham War Memorial was officially unveiled on January 15, 1921 by Brigadier General Brand. There is a report in Dandenong Journal of February 9, 1928, how the War Memorial is 'a disgrace' (you can read the article here http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article200675138) The reason would have been, as Cr Bourke said in 1941 that 'that the trouble was that nobody was responsible for the care of the memorial'

Dandenong Journal  May 21, 1941http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214603307
Here is the text from the article.
Pakenham War Memorial Neglected and Forgotten"Scene Of Beer Parties", Declares CouncillorTalk of removal at later date
Asking that the position regarding the War Memorial at Pakenham be defined, the Pakenham R.S.S.I.L.A. said that at present it stands neglected and forgotten, and offers little encouragement for the young men of today to come forward and offer their services to their country. “We should remember the fallen always, and the memorial should be kept in a manner fitting to the dead,” the writer stated, in urging council to remove the memorial to a more fitting site. He paid tribute to Cr Bourke for his action in having the surroundings cleaned up at his own expense.
Cr Bourke said that the trouble was that nobody was responsible for the care of the memorial. He understood that the trustees were all dead. Cr C. Greaves said that the soldiers themselves couldn’t do much. If council thought it better to remove the memorial to another site where it could receive attention more easily,then they would fall in with that plan.
Mr Ahern; The site is leased from the railways. The memorial should never have been put there. Most people realised that at the time but the soldiers themselves wanted it there.
Cr Bourke: There’s generally 8 or 9 dozen beer bottles strewn round it. 
The Secretary: That’s what it’s used for - for drinking parties. Couples returning from dances .also use it as a parking place.
Cr Greaves: The memorial can never be satisfactory in a place like it is.
When other councillors suggested removing the memorial, Cr Kinsella pointed out that it would be hard to get a suitable site in the town. He suggested that the proposed removal be deferred until the, present war is over.
Cr Greaves: We’ll have to move it. Maintaining it as just a sort of beer garden is not much good.
He moved, and Cr Wadsley seconded, that the memorial be shifted to a more suitable site when one was found and that in the meantime council look after it.
Later, this resolution was withdrawn when it was pointed out that council could hardly act in the matter without giving the public a say.
After a motion had been carried that council maintain the memorial at half cost to Pakenham and half to lona ridings, Crs Greaves and Wadsley moved that a public meeting be convened by the shire president to consider the position regarding the site.
Where was the Memorial Park?  According to the Back to Pakenham: Souvenir Booklet of March 1951 the community first asked the Railway Department 'for the block of land to the Station Entrance' This was refused on the grounds that it might be needed for railway purposes, but the Department allowed a  portion about one chain wide, running from Station Street to Station Road. The stone was erected and the community raised money for a fence, a hedge and gates, garden seats and a machine gun enclosed in brickwork with a glass front. The booklet goes onto say that for  a number of years it was well cared for, but as time went on it was allowed to get into a state of untidiness - everybody's business being nobody's business.

The War Memorial is now outside the Hall and Library Complex in John Street.

Cranbourne Presbyterian Church Honour Roll

The Cranbourne Presbyterian Church Honour Roll is housed at the Fishermans Cottage Museum at Tooradin. The Museum is operated by the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society. It's a beautiful board, in a Gothic ecclesiastical style.  What follows is a list of soldiers on the Honour Board,  their fate (i.e. when they Returned to Australia after active service or when they were Killed in Action) and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record on the National Archives website (www.naa.gov.au)



Baker, Alexander George  (SN 1782) Alexander enlisted on June 11, 1915 at the age of 22. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, Mr J. W Baker of Lyndhurst. Alexander was awarded the Military Medal in 1917. He Returned to Australia April 8,  1919
The T. Bell listed on the Honour Roll is either Thomas Bell (SN 340) or Thomas Bell (SN 3773) They are both Presbyterian.Bell, Thomas  (SN 340)  Thomas was one month off 25 years of age when he enlisted on January 18, 1915. His next of kin was his father, J. Bell of Cranbourne and his occupation was farm labourer. Thomas Returned to Australia January 2, 1919.Bell, Thomas Stanley (SN 3773)  Thomas enlisted on August 12, 1915 aged 23. His next of kin was his mother, Mary Ann Bell of St Germains, Clyde. Thomas Returned to Australia October 18, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds on January 21, 1918. In June 1917 he had been wounded - 'Gun shot wound chest penetrating' was the description of the wound.
Bethune, Rupert Charles (SN 3672) Rupert enlisted at the age of 26 on July 24, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Annie Meade of Cranbourne.  Rupert was Killed in Action in France on July 19, 1916.
Bethune, William Charles (SN 3262) William was a 20 year old grocer when he enlisted on June 30, 1917, his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Susie Bethune, of Cranbourne. William Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919.
Brunt, Robert Harold  (SN 26769) Robert is the son of  William Brunt and  Mary Jane (nee Espie), who lived at Spring Villa, where the Settlement Hotel is now located. William was a Cranbourne Shire Councillor from 1904 to 1923. Robert enlisted on February 26, 1916 aged 27 and Returned to Australia on May 31, 1919. Brunt Street in Cranbourne is named for the family.
Cameron, Alexander Gordon (SN 1688) Alexander enlisted on June 28, 1915 at the age of 23. His next of kin was his mother, Mary Ann Cameron of Heatherleigh in Cranbourne. Alexander Returned to Australia May 15, 1919. Alexander's father was Ewen (1860 to 1903) and his mother Mary Ann (1859 to 1947)  was also a Cameron and she was the daughter of early Cranbourne pioneer, Alexander Cameron ( 1814 to 1881) who took up the Mayune run in 1851 and purchased the pre-emptive right of the property which he re-named Mayfield; he was also a member of the Cranbourne Road Board from 1863 until 1867. Cameron Street in Cranbourne is named for the family.
Daws, James  (SN 3809)  James was 18 years old when he enlisted on July 16, 1915. He was an engine driver and his next of kin was his father, Abraham Daws, of Codringtton Street, Cranbourne. James was Killed in Action in France on May 3, 1917.
Greaves, Charles Forrester (SN 13156) Charles enlisted on July 10, 1915 aged 24.  Charles Returned to Australia  May 6, 1919.Greaves, Sydney Alexander (SN 6523) Lieutenenat Greaves enlisted at the age of 23 on July 16, 1915. He Returned to Australia  May 29, 1919. Charles and Sydney were the sons of of Edwin and Margaret (nee Forrester) Greaves of The Springs, Berwick. Edwin's brother, William, owned Picnic Park at Lyndhurst.
Hallyburton, Adam Benjamin  (SN 391) Adam enlisted at the age of 21 on February 3, 1915. He was Killed in Action in France on July 27, 1918. His next of kin was his father, W.B Hallyburton of Cranbourne. 
Hill, Leslie Victor (SN 64207) Leslie first enlisted on November 27, 1917 - claimed he  was 18 and his next of kin was his father, Leslie of Nilma, this was,of course, all lies. His father sent  a stern letter asking how it is that the military authorities have taken him in as he was not only underage but didn't have his parent's permission. He was discharged on March 14, 1918 because  he was underage, but then he re-enlisted less than two moths later, on May 1.  This time he truthfully said that his father was Samuel Hill of Tooradin Park in Tooradin. He was sent overseas to Egypt, where he arrived in October 1918 and he Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919.
Innes, Peter  (SN 1757)  Listed as Innis on the Honour Board. Peter was 33 when he enlisted on January 5, 1915. He was killed at Gallipoli four months later on August 6, 1915. His next of kin was his brother, William, of Hicksborough. Peter was a resident of Cranbourne when he enlisted and his death was reported in the 'Patriotic News' section of the South Bourke and Mornington Journal

Report on the death of Peter Innes.South Bourke and Mornington Journal September 23, 1915http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66188498

Kennedy, Alexander Stewart  (SN 2131) Alexander enlisted at the age of 31 on March 2, 1916. His occupations were listed as 'farmer and general smith'. His next of kin was his wife, Helen Quinn Kennedy. His enlistment papers say that he had spent 5 years with the Tooradin Rifle Club. Alexander Returned to Australia January 24, 1919.
Kirkham, Malcolm (SN 913)  Malcolm was 29, and a farmer from Lyndhurst, when he enlisted on June 8, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Margaret. Lieutenant Kirkham was Killed in Action in France on September 2, 1918.
This is an article about the deaths of Malcolm Kirkham and William Lecky. This is the link to the original article on Trove, which may be easier to read http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66194848South Bourke and Mornington Journal  October 10, 1918.

Laidlaw, Rodney Goulburn (SN 2037) Rodney was a black smith and enlisted  on April 18, 1917 at the age of 28. His next of kin was his father, Robert, of Cranbourne,  He Returned to Australia on May 6, 1919. Interestingly, Rodney was born in Tatura which is in the Goulburn Valley and also part  of the old Shire of Rodney, which presumably influenced his parents when they were naming him.
Lecky, James Alexander (SN 19922)  James enlisted on February 25, 1916 at the age of 25. He died of 'wounds  received in action' in France on November 14, 1918. The wound was a gun shot wound to the chest, which he sustained on October 25 1918.  Lecky, William Mervyn  (SN 6612) William enlisted on June 15, 1915 aged 20. He was killed in Action in France on September 1, 1918.James and William were the sons of James Lecky of Cardinia Park in Officer. James (1841 to 1939) was a Cranbourne Shire Councillor from 1876 until 1905.  Their grandfather, also James (1802 to 1884) had taken up the Gin Gin Bean Run (later named Cardinia Park) at Officer in 1854 and he was a member of the Cranbourne Road Board and the Cranbourne Shire from 1860 until 1881.  Lecky Road in Officer/Pakenham  is named for the family.
McLellan, Donald (SN 2207) Donald was 19 when he enlisted on February 28, 1916. He was born at Lyndhurst and his next of kin was his father, Alexander of Ferndale, Cranbourne. Alexander Returned to Australia on June 10, 1919.
Morris, Philip Samuel (SN 1509) Philip enlisted at the age of 34 on September 6, 1918. He served in Rabaul in New Guinea and then was seconded to the Department of Agriculture over there and Returned to Australia on January 28 1920 and was discharged on medical grounds (post-malarial debility) on March 7, 1920.  His next of kin on enlistment was his wife, Minnie, and his address was Ellamatta, Cranbourne and his occupation was orchardist. 
Pitcher, Claude  William Leonard (SN 2552)  Claude enlisted on February 26, 1916, aged 21. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, John, of Cranbourne,  He Returned to Australia July 31, 1918 after being wounded including sustaining a gun shot wound to his right shoulder, and discharged on October 14, 1918.
Read, George Alfred  (SN 1636) George enlisted at the age of 21 on November 10, 1916. His next of kin at the time was his father, William, of Myrtle Cottage, Cranbourne.  He Returned to Australia on December 21, 1919.
Reeves, A.R  This is  possibly Albert Reginald Reeves, he is the only A.R Reeves I can find who enlisted. Albert was farm labourer, so could have worked on a local farm, but I can't find  a specific local connection.  He enlisted on July 20, 1915 at the age of one month off 23 years of age. He was born in Essex in England and his next of kin was his father, who also lived in Essex. Albert Returned to Australia on April 19, 1919.
Ryland, Arthur Anderson (SN 2553) Arthur enlisted at the age of 21 on March 23, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Amelia Ryland of Clyde; his father Alfred having already died.  He stayed in France after the War ended and was attached to the Australian Base Depot and on September 29, 1919 he married Marie Jeanne Hureaux at the Town Hall in Argenteuil, in France.   He Returned to Australia on February 2, 1920. What happened to Marie? Did she come to Australia? In the 1925 Electoral Roll Arthur is listed at Duff Street Cranbourne with the interesting occupation, Picture Showman. Also at the address is his mother, Amelia, and  Hilda Alice Ryland, his sister, who was a dressmaker. In the 1930s Arthur was President of the Cranbourne Football Club, on the Recreation Reserve Committee and President of the Cranbourne Band Committee and gave his sister Ruth 'away' at her marriage to Thomas Facey, amongst other things. So we know all this, but I can't tell you what happened to Marie.


This is the original Cranbourne Presbyterian Church, built in 1860 and served the Cranbourne Community until the exisiting Church was built in 1953.

Stark, John (SN 4311) John enlisted on July 20, 1915 at the age of 20, he was a Railway employee. His next of kin was his father, William, of Cranbourne, even though in  a letter William wrote in August 1917, he has his address listed as Devon Meadows, Cranbourne.  John was Killed in Action in France on August 18, 1916.
Strong, Frederick William (SN 29790) Frederick enlisted on March 23, 1916. He was 27 and  a farmer. Frederick Returned to Australia  May 31, 1919.Strong, Albert Victor  (SN 29789) Albert was 24 when he enlisted on the same day as his brother, Frederick. He Returned to Australia on February 7, 1919. Frederick and Albert were both born in Portarlington and were the sons  of William Strong of Ercildoune, Cranbourne.
Taylor, William George (SN 1740) He is listed as G. Taylor on the Honour Board.  William was 24, had been born in Lyndhurst and  enlisted on February 17, 1916. He was the son of Richard Thomas Taylor whose address was Post Office Lyndhurst   William Returned to Australia January 8, 1919.   
Thomas, Hedley Howard (SN 4611) Hedley enlisted on September 3, 1915. He was Killed in Action in France, on July 10, 1918. He was the son of George Thomas of Clyde. His enlistment papers said that he was Methodist, but this may have been a mistake, or he may have just been very ecumenical.

Welcome home for Tom Williams of Cranbourne

I  received an email from Marilyn Williams who has kindly provided these photographs of the welcome home  for Tom Williams. Tom was born in 1897 and registered with the surname Bregazzi. His uncle,Tom Bregazzi, had  a farm in Cranbourne. The  photographs were taken in Duff Street Cranbourne, possibly at the farm.  There is a Bregazzi Reserve situated on the area where the farm was once located. It was divided into an estate in  late 1970s, after Tom Bregazzi died, aged  97.
Tom, whose Service Number was 657, enlisted on August 12 1915 at the age of 18. He was three years into an apprenticeship as a wood worker (cabinet maker). His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Madeline Deer, whose address was Cranbourne Post Office. His mother and step father, Henry Deer, signed the consent form. His employer, Mr Griffiths, also signed a form releasing Tom from his employ so he could serve in the 'Imperial Force'. Tom Returned to Australia July 22, 1919. Tom Williams is standing to the right of the photograph
Some of the young ones standing are Tom & Florence Bregazzi's children :-Tom, Glad, Win, Ron...Keith and Chas yet to be born. 

Tom is seated in the car, just above the lady sitting on the running board of the car.
Marilyn also tells us that  after the War, Tom Williams emigrated to New Zealand, and was the father of Yvette Williams who was the first Olympic Gold Medalist for New Zealand in 1952, when she won the long jump at the Helsinki Games. Yvette had won the gold medal in the same event at the 1950 Empire Games, held in Auckland.  She was named Otago's Sportswoman of the Century in 2000. 
In addition, Tom Williams' son (and therefore Yvette's brother) Roy competed in many sports in New Zealand  and was a Commonwealth decathlon champion. In 2014 Roy wrote a book titled Sports Crazy, describing his career in Sport and later as a Sports Journalist. Included in the book, is a photo of Madeline Bregazzi, the mother of Tom Williams (therefore grandmother of Yvette & Roy) and sister to Tom Bregazzi. 

A message from the Sea

I came across this article in the Lang Lang Guardian of April 19 1916 about the chance discovery of a bottle containing a note, which was tossed overboard by  a couple of soldiers. It has a local connection, in that the bottle was discovered by  Mr Ward of Koo-Wee- Rup but it doesn't concern a local soldier. It does, however,  make you wonder whether any of our local  boys tossed a bottle overboard when they were leaving Melbourne to fight overseas and if so, whether anyone found it.


One of the writers was John Walter Feehan (Service Number 1592) who enlisted in July 28 1915. His occupation was Station Manager.  He was part of the Australian Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport and Returned to Australia on August 8 1918. I don't know  who his friend, J M'Pherson was, even having done  a search on the 15th Battalion, 1st to 23rd  reinforcements - there are seven McPhersons, none of whom have a first name beginning with J. The other mystery is, who is Mrs Browb of 170 Albert Street, Newton Sydney?

Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered

The Beaconsfield Progress Association have published a book, Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered commemorating 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. 


Funds for the Avenue were donated by Miss Ada Arymtage of Holm Park in Beaconsfield. Ada was one of the Armytage family who owned Como House. The trees were planted in 1929 and there were also metal plaques that were made at the time, but never displayed. They went missing for a while and they were located by the late Tony Rushton at the  City of Casey depot, which is where the Avenue is, however Beaconsfield, where most of the soldiers came from is part of the Cardinia Shire. New plaques listing the soldiers names were made and installed in Beaconsfield Park March 13, 2015 - there are three plaques listing the 65 names. How proud Tony Rushton would have been to see this finished project as he did a lot of work on researching and commemorating the Beaconsfield soldiers and was responsible for initiating this project, but he was sadly killed in a car accident at Easter time in 2007.

One of the new plaques installed in Beaconsfield Park in 2015Photograph courtesy of  Casey Cardinia Remembers website.
The book lists the names, service number and a short biography of each soldier. The research on the soldiers was undertaken by Penny Harris Jennings. It's a a great publication honouring the men who served in the Great War from the Beaconsfield area. Click here to access Library copies of the book.






These are some of the original plaques, taken by Tony Rushton at the City of Casey Depot.

Hallam and Hampton Park World War One Soldiers

The areas that are now known as Hallam and Hampton Park have gone through a few name changes over the years. In the case of Hallam this is a relatively new name for the area, dating from around 1906. Before that, the district was known as Hallam's Road after William and Mary Hallam. Earlier than that it was sometimes referred to as Dandenong and sometimes  as Eumemmerring, which covered the area basically from the Dandenong Creek to what is now Hallam Road and  both sides of the Princes Highway - so basically the suburbs of Doveton, Hallam, Endeavour Hills and the modern day suburb of Eumemmerring (gazetted May 20, 1981). The name  changes in Hallam State School, No. 244 reflect these name  changes. You can read about this school here, if you are interested.

In the case of  Hampton Park the area was previously also referred to as Eumemmerring or Dandenong and also Lyndhurst, until the Hampton Park name took hold after the Great War. You can read about Lyndhurst soldiers here and you  can read about Hampton Park here.

This post looks at any Great War Soldiers that I could find that have a connection to the Hallam and Hampton Park areas, so thus will also include Doveton, Endeavour Hills and the  Eumemmerring suburb area. There were around 250 soldiers who enlisted with a  Dandenong address or were born in Dandenong, some of whom may be eligible to be in this blog post so if you know that I have missed some Hallam  or Hampton Park soldiers, then let me know.

Some of the information in this post is from the booklet, Hallam 1830-1930 written by  Dr Deborah Stephan and published in 1993 by the City of Berwick. The booklet includes material provided by Mrs Marie Carson, the great niece of Elizabeth Andrews, who you can read about here.   Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Bridget Andrews who settled at Hallam in 1854.   Some of the information about  Hampton Park comes from The history of Hampton Park by Roy R. Scott, written in 1970 and  published in the Dandenong & District Historical Society Journal, Gipps-land Gate.

Mrs Carson remembers attending an ANZAC Service at the Hallam State School 'I remember about that time..my mother taking me along a rough and bumpy track in a a 'go-cart' as they called a baby pusher in those days, to an ANZAC celebration at Hallam State School. Someone pinned an ANZAC medal with red, white and blue ribbon on it on me and I had it for many years and felt very proud of it....this ANZAC day must have been a very early one - 1919 or 1920 perhaps"
                                      
What follows is a list of soldiers, their connection to the Hallam and Hampton Park areas, their fate (i.e. when they Returned to Australia after active service or when they were Killed in Action) and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record on the National Archives website (www.naa.gov.au)

Andrews, Louis John  (SN 4493) Louis was born in Dandenong and enlisted at the age of 22 on September 30, 1916. He was a printer and his next of kin was his wife, Ellen, of Glenferrie Road, Malvern. He Returned to Australia on April 30, 1919.  Louis was the  grandson of John Bridget Andrews, early pioneers of the Hallam area and a nephew of Elizabeth Andrews -  you can read about them here.

Battersby, John Henry  (SN 2582) John was a 23 year old timber worker when he enlisted on July 14, 1915. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919. His next of kin was his father, John Battersby of Hallam Road, Dandenong. John and Susan (nee Skinner) had ten children and built Cloverdale Cottage in 1870. Cloverdale Cottage is still standing in Hallam North Road and is  listed on the City of Casey Heritage Conservation Study.

Brown, John Alfred (SN 64160) John was born in Hallam but was living in East Caulfield when he enlisted on May 7, 1918. He was 20 years old and a clerk with the Victorian Railways.  He left Australia in September 1918, suffered from pleurisy (right lung, very severe was the notation in his record) and he Returned to Australia on July 26, 1919 and was discharged on medical grounds on September 13, 1919.




South Bourke and Mornington Journal  October 16, 1919http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6365314

Brown, W There is a W. Brown listed in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal article of October 16, 1919 (see article above)  I believe that this is William Reginald Brown (SN 125) as he (or someone by the same name)  is listed in the 1919 Electoral Roll at Hallam Road, Hallam, occupation farmer.  William enlisted on January 11, 1915 aged 24. His next of kin was his sister, Stella, of South Melbourne. He is listed twice on the Embarkation Rolls - once with his address as Yarram and once as South Melbourne.   He was sent overseas and Returned to Australia on June 10, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds on October 2, 1916 as he was suffering from 'otitis media'  or deafness.

Brunet, Harry  (SN 52808)   The South Bourke and Mornington Journal has  a report of the Dandenong  Exemption Court hearings from October 16 & 17, 1916. Harry Brunet of Hallam,  applied for an exemption and the paper noted that he was an engine driver and mechanic and could plough 12 acres per day where man and three horses could only plough three and thus could take the place of at least four men in the harvest field.   The Court refused to exempt Harry and he enlisted at the age of 23 on December 18, 1917.   He Returned to Australia on July 26, 1919. His next of kin was his father, Antonio Brunet, of Clyde. The family are listed in the 1917 Electoral Roll at Hallam Road, Hallam and obviously moved to Clyde that year and are in the 1918 Roll at Clyde.

Crean, Andrew Norman (SN 1230)  Andrew enlisted on July 17, 1915 aged 22. His next of kin was his father, also Andrew, of Hallam's Road, Hallam. He Returned to Australia on May 15, 1919.  Andrew's mother, Annie Florence Crean, was a member of the Hallam State School Mothers Club in 1921, you can see a photograph of her and the other mothers,  here.

Dempsey, William Stanley (SN 3519)   Mrs Carson writes that her uncle, William Dempsey, enlisted in the First World War. Her father, Walter Dempsey (William's brother) had married a niece of Elizabeth Andrews and the family was living at Hallam 'near the turn of the century' - there was a Patrick Dempsey in the Rate Books at Hallam in 1903 and a Patrick, Clara, James and Walter Dempsey in the Electoral Roll at Hallam in 1906. William's mother Clara was his next of kin when he enlisted on September 27, 1915 at the age of 23, although she was living in Geelong then.  William was discharged on medical grounds on May 18, 1917 as he had suffered  a nervous breakdown. If you think I have the wrong William Dempsey please let me know

Eccles, James Leslie  (SN 72595)  James enlisted on August 19, 1918 and as you can see by the article below he had a 'grand concert and send-off' on October 11. James did not get to serve overseas and was Demobilized on December 24, 1918.




South Bourke and Mornington Journal October 31, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6365118
Emerson, Walter Cecil (SN 1559)  Walter enlisted at the age of 18 on August 4, 1915. His father was his next of kin and his address was Richmond, but was later changed to Berwick Road, Hallam. His parents, Alfred and Carrie Emerson, are listed in the Electoral Roll at Hallam for  a few years from 1917. Walter served overseas but was discharged on medical grounds, 'Nerves' was listed as the condition, on May 30 1917. However, Walter re-enlisted on September 17, 1918 and was demobilized as the War ended. In 1929 Walter wrote a letter asking for proof of his service as he was then employed by the Post Masters General Department and as they gave preference to returned soldiers he needed this proof. His address on this letter was the quaintly named 'Cosy Tea Shop', Point Nepean Road, Chelsea.

Frawley, John (SN 2172)  According to Mrs Carson - John was known as Jerry, so that's what we will call him. Jerry was born in Hallam and enlisted on April 28, 1916 at the age of 36 years and ten months. His  next of kin was his sister, Rosanna, also of Hallam.  Jerry Returned to Australia on June 10, 1919. Frawley Road is named after the family - Mary Frawley purchased 60 acres in the area in 1857 and Jerry and Rosanna were her grandchildren.

Gander, Frederick (SN 1550) Frederick enlisted for the first time at the age of 28 on June 4, 1916. He was born in England and his address was Narre Warren. He was sent overseas to England but Returned to Australia on May 4, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds as he suffered from 'Hammer toes, both feet'  Frederick re-enlisted on June 4, 1918 and missed his send-off that was being held with James Eccles (see newspaper report, above) as he had already sailed. By this time he was 30 years old and living in Hallam. Frederick served in New Guinea and was again discharged on medical grounds this time on August 16, 1919.

Higgins, Thomas (SN 4641) Thomas enlisted on October 15, 1917 at the age of one month off 22 years of age. His next of kin was his father, Edward, of Hallam (the Embarkation Roll has the address listed as Hallam, Mt Dandenong, which is incorrect). Thomas was a 'turner and fitter' Thomas left for Egypt on April 30, 1918 and Returned to Australia on December 22, 1918. Thomas was farewelled along with Clarie Pool and  Henry Waite by over 200 people on January 31, 1918. (see report below)


South Bourke and Mornington Journal February 7, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66193494

Hill, Robert (SN 1591) Robert was a 19 year old farmer when he enlisted on August 2, 1915. Less than a year later on July 20 1916 he was Killed in Action in France.  His next of kin on enlistment was his father, George Hill, of Hallam's Road, Gippsland. His mother's name was Mary.

Liston, A   Private A. Liston is named in the report from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 16, 1919 (reproduced further above)  as being welcomed home with 'other Returned Soldiers connected with Hallam District'  Who is he? I can't find any Listons listed in the Electoral Roll at Hallam, so no clues there. There was an Alexander Liston (SN 3569) who enlisted on July 28, 1915 in Seymour, his next of kin was his wife Rebecca of South Melbourne, but his medical examination was carried out in Dandenong, so that's the closest connection that I can find between a Liston and the Hallam area.  Alexander Returned to Australia on January 31, 1918. Ironically, on the Nar Nar Goon Honour Board, there is a C.Liston listed who I can't find either, my best guess is that it is Thomas Liston, who enlisted at Tynong, so I don't know why Listons have proved to be so puzzling.

Masters, Albert Ernest (SN 428) Albert enlisted on February 8, 1915 aged 28, at Morwell. Albert Returned to Australia on December 11, 1918 and was discharged for medical reasons (flat feet, was the disability listed) on March 24, 1919.Masters, Charles Henry (SN 2893) Charles was 23, a grocer, when he enlisted on June 7, 1915. He was awarded the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Charles Returned to Australia on January 15, 1919 and was discharged for medical reasons (Gassed) in April 24, 1919.
Albert and Charles were the sons of William and Sarah Jane (nee Blythman) Masters of Kirkham Road in Dandenong. They are listed in the report from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 16, 1919 (reproduced further above)  as being welcomed home with 'other Returned Soldiers connected with Hallam District' but I am not sure what the exact connection to Hallam was,  apart from being the adjacent town.

Meehan, James Joseph (SN 2112)  When  James enlisted on July 5, 1916 at the age of 24, he was living in Sea Lake.  He was wounded whilst serving in France. He Returned to Australia on May 12, 1918 (incorrectly listed as Mat 12, 1919 on the Nominal Rolls) and was discharged on medical grounds on July 23, 1918.  What is his connection to Hallam? A report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of  February 11, 1915 said that Mr J.J. Meehan  was farewelled by the residents of Hallam before his departure to Sea Lake. There is a James Joseph Meehan in the Electorate Roll of 1914 at  Hallam's Road - also listed is a Thomas Michael and Ellen Meehan of Hallam's Road - I am surmising that they are his relatives (Uncle and Aunty perhaps - Thomas Meehan is mentioned in the report, immediately above, about the farewell to Privates Higgins, Poole and Waite)  - then in 1915 he moved to Sea Lake where he enlisted. Then in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 29, 1919 there is a report about an 'unfortunate accident' which 'befel Mr J. Meehan, a  Returned Soldier farming at Hallam.'  I am confident that this is our James, and that he returned to Hallam after his war service. James Joseph Meehan and Ruth  Rebecca Meehan are in the 1921 Electorate Roll at Hallam's Road. Mrs Meehan is pictured in the Hallam State School Mothers Club photograph from 1921 here.

Morris, Charles (SN 7578) Charles was born in England and was working as a farm labourer in Hallam when he enlisted on April 2, 1917 aged 24. His next of kin was his father who lived in Mansfield, Nottingham in England. Charles was married to  Gertrude Jones in Mansfield on July 12, 1919 and was discharged from the AIF in England on October 2 the same year. Did they return to Australia? I don't know.

Poole, Clarie Edward (SN 50194) Clarie was living in New South Wales when he first enlisted on January 17, 1916 and he was discharged February 16 the same year -  a notation in another enrolment paper says that it was because he was underage, although his date of birth was listed as July 24, 1896, so possibly he didn't have his parent's permission as his next of kin was a friend. Anyway he re-enlisted on February 2, 1918  at the age of 21 and this time his next of kin was his mother Amelia Poole and she was living in New South Wales, but Clarie's address was Hallam's Road, Hallam.  He was farewelled along with Henry Waite and Thomas Higgins on January 31, 1918 (see report above) Clarie was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918.

Reedy. Albert George (SN 1956) Known as George, he enlisted at the age of 22 on February 9, 1916. George Returned to Australia on May 15, 1919.  Reedy, John Thomas (SN 1220)  John, known as Jack, was 32 when he enlisted on July 19, 1915. He Returned to Australia on May 8, 1919. Jack was awarded the Military Medal.
Jack and George were the sons of James and Elizabeth (nee Kirkham) Reedy, their father had already passed away when they enlisted and their mother was listed as the next of kin. The men were born in Dandenong and this was the address on enlistment, although they actually lived in what we now call Hampton Park. You can read more about the Reedy Family and early Hampton Park, here.

Seymour, Francis Joseph (SN 2391) Francis was 18 when he enlisted on May 31, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Edith Sarah Seymour of Hallam's Road, Hallam. Francis served overseas and wounded by shrapnel and gassed and spent six months in hospital in England and then Returned to Australia on January 31, 1918 and was discharged as being medically unfit on May 18, 1918. 
Waite, Henry  (SN 50467)  Henry was farewelled at a function on January 31, 1918 along with Clarie Poole and Thomas Higgins (see report above). Henry enlisted on December 11, 1917, he was 21 years old. His next of kin was his sister, Elizabeth Waite of Broadford. He was a labourer, presumably working for Mr C.A. McKenzie as his address was C/O Mr McKenzie, Hallam's Road, Hallam. Henry was sent overseas to Egypt and Returned to Australia on March 14, 1919.

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