Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tourism during the War

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society

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


South Bourke & Mornington Journal August 2, 1917


Who were these men? L. D Beaumont was Llewlyn David Beaumont (1860 - 1954). He was a Purser on the 'Fijian', a Union Steamship Company of New Zealand ship when, in 1889, he met his future wife, Ellie Buchanan (1869 - 1954). Ellie was with her father, the Hon. James Buchanan, M.L.C, who was visiting the New Hebrides (now called Vanuatu) as part of a Victorian Parliamentary Party tour.  He then moved to Ardblair at Berwick where he ran an Ayrshire Cattle stud.  Their son, Norman Beaumont, was one of the authors of the book The Early Days of Berwick.  Ellie Buchanan was, as we said, the daughter of the Hon James Buchanan and his wife Ann Wilson (1827 - 1909). Ann was the aunt of the W. Wilson listed as the chairman of the Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society. This was William Wilson (1860 - 1936), the son on William Wilson (1830 - 1907) and Euphemia Brisbane (1838 - 1920). William senior and his brother James (1833 - 1910) established the Wilson Quarry in Berwick. You can read about this here.

Another relation of the Wilsons was Evan C. Henry. William Wilson junior married his first cousin, Annie Buchanan (sister of Ellie) and their daughter Annie (known as Nancy) married Evan Henry (1887 - 1980). Evan Henry was the son of John Henry who lived at I.Y.U Estate at Pakenham, and the grandson of Robert Henry who had the Cardinia Creek Run. Robert was the sister of Martha King, you can read about her here.

Scott Alexander Sharp was a grazier, his wife Beatrice was a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross, you can read about this, here. Dr  Charles Griffiths' wife Annie was also a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross. E. Flack was Edwin Flack (1873 - 1935) a Berwick land owner and a 1898 Olympian, you can read about him, here.  Dr Percy Langmore (1875 - 1972) practiced in Berwick from 1907 to the 1950s and was instrumental in establishing the Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital in 1940.

The Richardson Brothers were butchers who ran a business on Clyde Road. Their father James had come to Berwick in 1869 and worked as a carrier until 1885 when he purchased a butcher's shop in Clyde Road which he operated with his brother John. James' sons, Jim junior, Edward, Jack and Frank also worked in the business. They also had a shop at Narre Warren.

Finally we come to Nurse Duigan. This was Kathleen Marie Duigan and she operated a private hospital in Berwick called, Shepton.  There were advertisements in the Berwick Shire News from December 1913 advertising that the Shepton Hospital, in Station Street (Gloucester Avenue) was under the new management of Nurses Duigan and Vines. Nurse Duigan sold her household furniture in September 1920 according to an advertisement in the paper and moved from Berwick to the Malvern, Armadale region and died in September 1954 aged 69.



Berwick Shire News January 7, 1914


Nurse Duigan had come from a medical family - this notice about the death oh her mother in 1914 mentions that her father had been a doctor as was her grandfather.

Punch April 9, 1914

Kathleen Duigan's partner in the Shepton Hospital was Florence Vines. Florence and Kathleen had trained together at Ballarat. Sister  Vines enlisted enlisted in June 1915 and served overseas. You can read more about Florence, here


This report was in the Ballarat Star of January 14, 1909



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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

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


South Bourke & Mornington Journal  August 2, 1917

* Information from the Year Book Australia

Monday, July 17, 2017

Five Mile School Honor Roll

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




Lang Lang Guardian June 9, 1915

Who were these soldiers who were honoured? I  have included their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full record in the National Archives of Australia (www.naa,gov.au)

Backhouse, Bert (Herbert Arthur Burder) (SN 612)  Bert was 23 when he enlisted on April 20, 1914. Bert is listed in the 1913 Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup. His next of kin on his enlistment paper was his father, Talworth Backhouse, whose address is listed as Metropolitan Board of Works, Melbourne. Bert's mother was Emily A'Beckett, a daughter of W.A.C A'Beckett of The Grange in Harkaway, so they were a well connected family, socially. He Returned to Australia on May 4, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds (septic knee)      

Bjurstrom,  Gustave Carl (SN 503)  I can only find one instance of a Bjurstrom enlisting and it is this one, so even though he is listed in the newspaper article as A. Bjurstrom I believe I have the right soldier.  Gustave was 19 when he enlisted on August 27, 1914 and his occupation was sawmill labourer and his next of kin was his father C.G Bjurstrom of Heyfield. Gustave Returned to Australia July 2, 1915. There are reports in various papers that he was wounded but we don't know the full story as we cannot access his service record as it has been combined with his World War Two record, as Gustave enlisted at the age of 42 in March 1940. His address at the time was Cora Lynn.  In the 1916 Electoral Rolls Charles and Agnes Bjurstrom are listed at Koo-Wee Rup, two years previously they were at Heyfield, so obviously moved after their son enlisted.

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

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


Warragul Guardian  June 12 1896


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Knitting for the War effort

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



Lang Lang Guardian August 12, 1914



This was the 'list of articles most needed' that appeared in The Argus on August 11, 1914

There are a few unusual items on the list - a nightingale is presumably a night shirt; a Cholera belt is a band of flannel or silk worn around the waist supposedly to prevent gastrointestinal ailments.   A Crimean Shirt was a coloured flannel shirt.

A week later a 'successful sewing meeting' was held at the Yannathan Hall and the Lang Lang ladies also began organising sewing bees. 


Lang Lang Guardian August 19, 1914

By the end of the month the women and children of Yannathan and Lang Lang were well into the production of garments and supplies.


Lang Lang Guardian August 26, 1914

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

Patriotism and Nationalism at Emerald

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



Camberwell & Hawthorn Advertiser  December 15, 1916 


HONOR ROLL AT EMERALD
A Peculiar position has arisen in connection with the erection of a roll of honor at Emerald. At a meeting of the committee appointed by the subscribers held recently, Cr. Butcher Presiding, a motion was proposed that the board be made by British workmanship throughout. An amendment was carried by five votes to two, however, that the work be left in the hands of a local gentleman, who, it was alleged, was neither of British birth nor naturalization. This action caused considerable dissent in the township, with the result that the committee resigned in a body.  A meeting of the subscribers was then held, between 30 and 40 attending, when, after explanations, a new committee of nine was formed. Four of the old committee would not allow themselves to be nominated. Messrs Ferres, Stewart, Morgan, M'Gibbon, A. Nobelius and Davey and Mrs Mawlan were appointed. The Committee met subsequently and appointed Cr Ferres chairman and Mr M'Gibbon secretary. It was resolved that steps be taken to have the board made solely by British manufacture. A sum of about £25 is in hand for the purpose.

Who are these people mentioned in the article? Cr Butcher was Thomas William butcher, listed in the Electoral Roll as a Land Agent and he was a Emerald Riding Ward Councillor of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully from 1914 to 1928. Cr Ferres was Robert Ferres, whose occupation is listed as 'Gentleman' he was a Shire Councillor from 1915 to 1917. I don't know specifically who Mr Stewart was; Mr Morgan may have been Albert Morgan, a baker; Mr M'Gibbon was John Barker McGibbon, State School teacher; A. Nobelius was Archie Victor Nobelius, nurseryman, son of the founder of the Gembrook Nurseries, Carl Axel Nobelius and his wife Emily Brightwell;  Mr Davey may be George Davey, an orchardist. As for Mrs Mawlan, I believe that this is Margaret Ann Mowlan listed in the Electoral Rolls at Emerald in 1916 and 1917, her occupation was 'home duties' 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wanted - 100,000 pairs of socks!

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


Pakenham Gazette June 15, 1917