Thursday, November 30, 2017

Australian Women's National League

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

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

Dandenong Advertiser  September 13, 1917

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


Dandenong Advertiser Aug 24, 1916

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


Berwick Shire News July 7, 1915

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


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




Berwick Shire News May 3 1916

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tynong grove planted in honour of local soldiers

A grove  'to honour the men who had gone from the district to the Great War' was planted at the Tynong State School to celebrate Arbor Day on July 6, 1917.  There was a report on this event in the Dandenong Advertiser of July 12, 1917.   You can read the full report here and I have transcribed it,  below. 

 The Arbor Day proceedings at the school were marked by the planting of a grove in honor of the men who have gone from the district to the Great War. Mr.W. S. Keast, M.L.A. attended, and was welcomed on behalf of the residents by Mr T. W. Cunningham, chairman of the School Committee and President of the Progress Association. Mr Keast, in the course of his remarks, said that he was pleased and proud to be present on the occasion. Nothing was too good for the men who had gone to fight the Empire's battles, and it would be the duty of the Federal and State Government to do the best possible for them. He had been pleased to learn how well the pupils of the school had been working for the War Relief Funds, and to show his appreciation of their efforts he would be pleased to forward a cheque for a pound, and another for a similar amount when the school fund reached 100 pounds.  He recognised also the splendid work being done by the ladies of the Red Cross Societies. It was the first time he had been present on an occasion such as this, and he was pleased to pronounce the first acre of the grove well and truly planted. Mr T. Gleeson, in proposing a vote, of thanks to Mr Keast, mentioned his ever willingness to assist in all matters for the welfare of the district, and the appreciation of those present for his assistance on that day. Subsequently trees were planted to: Pte. E. Bullock, Pte.R. Brown, Pte. Bourke, Trooper Coombs, Pte. L. Doherty, Pte. F. Doherty, Corporal L. Gordon, Gunner Harris (killed in action), Pte. J. Hargraves, Pte. V. Jones, Pte. C. Lamb, Pte. Leeson, Trooper Madden, Ptes. P. and L. Orrocks (killed in action), Pte. L. Orde, Pte.W. Rowe, Pte. J. McQualter, Pte G.Rowley, Pte. J. Robinson, Pte. F. Snow, Corporal R. Thompson, Ptes. F. and A. Weatherhead, Pte. H. Wright, Pte. T. White, and Pte. T. Whiston. The fencing of the grove was nearly completed, whilst the School Committee and helpers also further improved the school ground by planting many trees and shrubs around its border, by fencing a portion for the children's ponies and a start was made at the pipe draining of the ground. During the day's program, a talk on local timbers was given by Mr H. Weatherhead, and Mr J.H. Lord of Bunyip gave a demonstration on tree-planting. After afternoon tea, which had thoughtfully been provided by the ladies, had been served, Mr D. Danson expressed the thanks of the committee to those who had attended and made the day's proceedings such a success.

The Tynong State School, No. 2854, was closed on April 14, 1951 as it became part of Pakenham Consolidated School. The school was where St Thomas Aquinas School is now located. 

Here are the soldiers, who were honoured with  a tree, I have had mixed success in identifying these men, so if you can help I would appreciate it. I have listed their Service Numbers (SN) so you can look up their full record on the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au

Bourke  Listed as Private Bourke, I don't know who this might be, but I presume he was connected to the Pakenham Bourkes -  Michael and Kitty Bourke who took up the 12,800 acre Mintons Run property in 1843 and in 1849 built the La Trobe Inn (also known as Bourke's Hotel for obvious reasons) on Toomuc Creek.

Brown, R I am not sure who this is, I cannot find a R. Brown with  a local connection.  There is a Richard Vincent Brown listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong from 1916 to 1919 - his occupation is pensioner, so our soldier may be connected to him. 

Bullock, Ernest (SN 6291) Ernest was nearly 21 and a farmer when he enlisted on July 7, 1916.  He was born in Murrumbena and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Mary Bullock, of Oakleigh. I assume that Ernest was living with his brother Thomas, who was a labourer from Garfield, who enlisted on the same day as Ernest.  Ernest was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918. Ernest and Thomas are also listed on the Garfield Honour Roll as well as the Clyde North State School Roll, where they attended school.  

Coombs, Henry Ernest (SN 4080) Henry enlisted on August 9, 1915 aged 18. His next of kin was his father, also called Henry, of Tynong and his mother was Inez (nee Ffrost). Henry Returned to Australian March 4, 1919.

Doherty, Edward Francis  (SN  1218)  Listed as F. Doherty on the memorial and known as Frank. Frank enlisted on  March 9, 1915 at the age of 26. Frank was Killed in Action on August 4, 1916. 
Doherty, Louis Michael (SN 12392).  Louis enlisted at the age of 21 on July 17, 1915. Louis returned to Australia in May 30,  1919. Frank and Louis were the sons of John Doherty, Veterinary Surgeon of  Nine Mile Road, Tynong.  Both of the men also had their occupation listed as farmer. The brothers are also listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial

Gordon, L Corporal   You would think Corporal L. Gordon would be easy to identify, but I  can't.  I have checked every Corporal Gordon in the Nominal Rolls and none have an obvious local connection. The only Gordon I could find in the area in the Electoral Rolls was a Duncan Gordon of Bunyip in the 1909 roll. 

Hargraves, J  Private Hargraves is another mystery. I cannot find a Hargraves with a local connection. There was a Edward and Mary Hargrave at Bunyip from 1903 to 1909 in the Electoral Rolls, but that's the closest Hargraves I could find to Tynong. 

Harris, Leo  (SN 3132)  Leo enlisted on July 20, 1915 at the age of 20 and he was a farm labourer. His next of kin was his mother,  Josephine Harris of Nar Nar Goon. Leo was Killed in Action, in France, on August 9, 1916 and his name also appears on the Nar Nar Goon Honor Roll.



Gertie Brent's In Memoriam notice from The Age September 25, 1918 in honour of her fiance, Victor Jones (see below)

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



Narracan Shire Advocate
November 17, 1917

Lamb, C  I don't  who this is. We know there was a Joseph Lamb at Tynong from around 1889 to 1896 - he wrote various letters to the Shire of Berwick complaining about his property being flooded and this is presumably the same Joseph Lamb, farmer,  listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1903. From 1909 to at least 1919 there was a Joseph Lamb in the Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon, his occupation was bootmaker. Is this the same Joseph Lamb who was the farmer?   Also, in 1919,  a Lawrence Joseph Lamb was listed as a State School teacher at Cora Lynn. It is possible that C. Lamb is connected with one of these men, but I can't work out who he is. 

Leeson  Private Leeson could be either Robert Leeson or William Leeson, the sons of Phillip and Amelia (nee Ransom) Leeson of Garfield.  Robert and William’s grandmother, Kathleen Leeson, was the licensee of the Pig & Whistle Hotel on Cannibal Creek.    
Leeson, Robert Victor  (SN 2589) Robert enlisted in Melbourne,  at 20 years of age, on June 30, 1916.   Robert Returned to Australia on December 18, 1918. 
Leeson,  William Herbert Charles  (SN 1178) William enlisted at Tynong on September 26, 1914, aged 24. William was Killed in Action on on May 2, 1915 at Gallipoli.  
William is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial and he and Robert are on the Garfield State School Honour Roll

Madden, Trooper   Trooper Madden could be either Frank or Thomas Madden. They are the sons of Thomas and Grace (nee Cook) Madden of Nar Nar Goon, although they are later listed at 9 Caroline Street, Clifton Hill.  There is also a Thomas Madden in the 1914 Electoral Roll listed at Tynong on 1914 so clearly they lived somewhere between the two towns. Frank and Thomas were both wool sorters by occupation. 
Madden, Frank  (SN 1798) Frank enlisted on January 13, 1915 at the age of 19.    Frank was awarded the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia on April 8, 1919.  
Madden, Thomas William  (SN 2232)  Thomas' address on the Embarkation Roll is Nar Nar Goon, and he was 25 years old when he enlisted on April 1, 1916. He Died of Wounds on October 17, 1917 in Belgium. 

McQualter, John Hughes (SN 3199) John enlisted on December 18, 1916 aged 23. His wife, Ellen was listed as his next of kin. They lived at Tynong.  John Returned to Australia on July 8, 1919. John  was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after the war, you can read his file here, on the Battle to Farm website.  

Orde, L   I believe this is most likely Albert Leslie Ord (SN 3889) who enlisted on August 7, 1915 aged 22. His next of kin was his father, Frederick Ord of Nar Nar Goon. There is a Frederick Thomas Ord and a Margaret Ord listed in the Electoral Roll in 1914 at Tynong, so either they had moved or else more likely lived on the border of the two towns. Albert Died of Wounds on September 25, 1916 - he was accidentally shot in the hip by another soldier who was cleaning his gun.

Orrock, Harold Augustus Alexander (SN 552)
Orrock, Percy  Newton (SN 3580)
Percy and Alex were the sons of David and Emma Orrock of Tynong and were killed within three months of each other. Alex was 20 when he enlisted on March 3, 1916, he was a farm labourer and was Killed in Action on April 22, 1917. Percy was a 28 year old Grocers Assistant when he enlisted on July 16, 1915. Corporal Orrock was Killed in Action on February 8, 1917.


Mount Wycheproof Ensign and East Wimmera Advocate May 18, 1917


Robinson, John Richard (SN 2304)  John enlisted at the age of 22 on July 7, 1915. His occupation was listed as 'Agent'.  His next of kin was his guardian, Mrs Hollingsworth of Tynong. John married Elizabeth Maskell on November 29, 1918 when he was in England and the Returned to Australia April 27, 1919.  Mrs Hollingsworth was, I believe, Julia Hollingsworth, listed in the Electoral Rolls as a storekeeper.

Rowe, W  Private W. Rowe is on the list but I can't work out who is is - there are number of W. Rowes with a Gippsland connection but no-one with a specific Tynong connection. There is a William Rowe in the Shire of Berwick Rate Books listed at Tynong, occupation farmer, around 1914;  a F.H. Rowe of Tynong  wrote  a letter to the Berwick Shire in September 1916 complaining about drainage - so Private Rowe may well be connected to either of these men. 

Rowley, George Albert  (SN 1989)  George was a 23 year old labourer and he enlisted on March 11, 1916. His next of kin was his father,  Joseph, of Tynong.  George Returned to Australia April 19, 1919 and was granted a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read his file, here.

Snow, F I can't find a Snow with a local connection. 

Thompson, Robert Henry (SN 664)  Robert enlisted on December 16, 1916 at the age of 27, he was a fireman on the Victorian Railways. His next of kin was his father, Samuel, of Tynong.  Corporal Thompson Returned to Australia January 30 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds (rheumatism) in May 1918. 

Weatherhead, Alfred (SN 1005)
Weatherhead, Fank (SN 6960)
Alf and  Frank were the sons of Horatio and Eleanor (nee Hunt) Weatherhead. In 1908 Horatio took up the lease, for saw milling purposes, of 2,000 acres at Tynong North and in December 1909 he built a mill at Wild Dog Creek, the east branch of Cannibal Creek. The family had previously lived in Lyonville.  Frank enlisted on July 8 1915 at the age of 22 and Returned to Australia on January 14, 1919. Alf enlisted at the age of 19 on February 13, 1915 and Returned to Australia March 17, 1919. 
Whiston, Julian Thomas (SN 3526)   I assume that T. Whiston is Julian Thomas Whiston, presumably called Thomas, so that's what we will call him. Thomas enlisted on August 7 1915 aged 18. He was a farmer. Thomas Died of Wounds March 21, 1918. Thomas had two brothers who also enlisted Frederick (SN 3524) and John (SN 3525) - they were the sons of Fred Whiston of Cora Lynn.  Thomas and Fred are also listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.

White, T  I am unsure who this is. There was a Robert Anthony White listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1914 so this man may possibly have  a connection to  Private White, but I don't know. 

Wright, H  This is possibly Harold Sidney Wright (SN 6407) I say this because he enlisted at Warragul on October 24, 1916 as a 22 year old and his occupation was an orchardist - and there were orchards close by at Garfield, however his address was listed as Mooroolbark on his enlistment papers. His next of kin was his father who lived in England. Harold Returned to Australia June 4, 1919. If it isn't Harold, then H. Wright may have some connection to William Wright, Railway Employee, who was listed in the 1915 Electoral Roll as living at Bunyip, there was also an Elizabeth Wright listed as well. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Writing the War exhibition

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


The featured writers are - Percival Langford, Jessie Traill, Sir Keith Murdoch, Vida Goldstein, Alice Kitchen, George Auchterlonie and Eric Chinner. 
Here's some more information about these people - Percy Langford was the inaugural Head Master at Dandenong High School and served at the School until 1934. Jessie Traill was an noted artist and  a resident of Harkaway, you can read about her here. Sir Keith Murdoch - newspaper journalist and owner - you can read Keith's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Vida Goldstein was a pioneering feminist and suffragist and was one of the first women to stand for Parliament - she stood as a Senate candidate in the 1903 election. You can read Vida's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Alice Kitchen served in the Australian Army Nursing Service from August 1914 until she was repatriated to Australia in August 1919. Sister Kitchen kept  a diary of her service. George Auchterlonie was born at Narracan (near Warragul) and served in the 8th Light Horse Regiment. He kept  a diary and was  a keen photographer. Eric Chinner was killed at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

The Library has a series of  activities in connection with this exhibition - all free and all welcome!
Thursday November 2 at 11.00am.
Michael Madden - Australian Victorian Cross recipients
Michael Madden is a multi-award winning writer and will talk about his current project
- researching and writing a book based on the 100 Australian recipients of the
Victoria Cross covering their medals, statues, monuments and final resting
places. Michael runs his own Military Medal Business in Berwick and has supplied
replica medals and professional advice to service personnel, Museums and even
Hollywood movies!

Thursday November 9 at 2.00pm.
Official Launch of Writing the War Exhibition by the Hon. Anthony Byrne. Guest
speaker is Lambis Englezos
Lambis Englezos is a Greek-born, retired art teacher from Melbourne with a
‘magnificent obsession’ to find, recover, and honour Australia’s missing diggers from
the Battle of Fromelles. He is the co-founder and driving force behind the
internationally renowned ‘Friends of the 15th Brigade’. Lambis is a central figure in
Patrick Lindsay’s book ‘Fromelles’ and is acknowledged in the Robin Corfield book
‘Fromelles - Don’t Forget Me Cobber’, for his contribution to the remembrance of this
significant event in Australian history. He also featured in television stories on ‘60
Minutes’, and the ABC ‘7:30 Report’ on the fate of the missing diggers. Additionally,
Lambis has written and been featured widely on this subject in print media.
Lambis received the Order of Australia in 2008 for his Fromelles work. He also won
the inaugural Shrine Medallion in 2010 and was honoured by the RSL of Victoria with
their ANZAC Award in the same year.

Tuesday, November 14 at 11.00am.
Local History Librarian, Heather Arnold - How we honored our soldiers
The talk will look at the various ways communities honoured their soldiers once the
War ended. Heather will look at Avenues of Honour, War Memorials and Memorial
buildings such as Halls, Schools and Hospitals.

Saturday November 18 at 1.30pm and
Monday, November 20 at 7.00pm
Jane Rivett-Carnac from the Narre Warren & District Family History Group -
Researching your Military history
There is more to a service person than Name Rank and Serial Number. Join us for a
90 minute talk that will explore the many avenues available on the internet and in
your library to gather the information you need to write their story. It may be a soldier
sent to Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, a bushman in the Boer War, a Great Uncle
in the Great War or Dad in the Second World War. Nurses Sailors Airmen and
Civilians also have a story to tell.

Wednesday November 22 to Friday November 24 - 11.00am to 2.00pm
Find a Soldier – drop in sessions.
Need help finding information about your military personnel ancestors? Members of
the Narre Warren and District Family History Group and Local History Librarian,
Heather Arnold, will be available to help you find your solider. Drop into the Family
History Room at the Cranbourne Library any time between 11.00am to 2.00pm.

Thursday, November 23 at 2.00pm
Marg Dennis - Lest We Forget
Featuring songs from World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War.
Margaret performs a moving and unforgettable tribute to the war years of the
twentieth century.

Thursday, November 28 at 7.00pm
Ross McMullin - Pompey Elliott At War: In His Own Words
Dr Ross McMullin is an award-winning historian and biographer who graduated from
the University of Melbourne with degrees in Law and Commerce and a PhD in
Australian History. His latest book about Australia’s most famous general in World
War I is Pompey Elliott at War: in his own words. Ross’s previous biography,
Pompey Elliott, was awarded the Christina Stead Award for biography and the
Melbourne University Press Award for literature while Farewell, Dear People:
Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize
for Australian History and the National Cultural Award. Ross has also written books
about political history and articles by him have been published in many newspapers
and periodicals.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fundraising efforts

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

Lang Lang Guardian October 17, 1917


Pakenham Gazette   October 27, 1917



Pakenham Gazette October 12, 1917

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