Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Campbell Cameron and John Miles - enlisted together


Dandenong Journal June 11, 1941

I found this article about Sergeant Campbell Cameron of Clyde North and it also mentions his friend, Sergeant Johnny Miles of Hampton Park, so I thought we will have  a look at these two men.


Sergeant Campbell Cameron
National Archives of Australia
Second Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1939-1947

Campbell Cameron (VX 5850)  enlisted on October 28 1939. He was born on  September 30, 1915 and when he enlisted he was 24 years old and a farmer. His next of kin was his mother, Winifred Cameron, of 31 Valentine Grove, Malvern. According to his AIF personnel dossier available at the National Archives of Australia, www.naa.gov.au,  Campbell was wounded in the withdrawal from Serbia Pass on April 18, 1941, evacuated a few miles south and has not been heard of to date.  A further notation said it has now been reported that he Died of Wounds April 28, 1941. He is buried in the Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens, Greece.

The 1937 Electoral rolls have Campbell listed at Thompson's Road, Clyde North, so I presume that was the location of Earlston Park. Campbell was the son of Campbell and Winifred (nee McFadzean) Cameron. Campbell senior who died in 1933, aged 56 was the son of John Wardrop and Celia (nee Callanan) Cameron. His sister, Celia, had married Captain William John Lakeland, M.B.E., in 1922. William Lakeland was the owner of Earlston Park.


Lieutenant John Miles
National Archives of Australia
Second Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1939-1947

John Miles (VX 5849) was born in Wonthaggi on December 7, 1918. He enlisted, as the article said, the same day as Campbell on October 28, 1939 when he was 20 years old. His next of kin was his father, Arthur Miles, of Hampton Park and his occupation was labourer. During his time serving overseas he was promoted to Lieutenant. In 1944 he married Lauriene Thornton and they had a baby daughter, who was born March 18, 1945 according to his personnel dossier. John was discharged on October 3, 1945. After the war, John and Lauriene settled on a farm at Boorcan, which is between Camperdown and Terang. The Electoral Rolls tell us that from at least 1972 the couple were living in Queensland at Annerley and later in Sprenger Street, Fig Tree Pocket in Queensland. The quaintly named Fig Tree Pocket is just out of Brisbane. John died June 30, 1996 (source Ryerson Index)

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Lang Lang and District War Memorial Unveiled



Souvenir badge to commemorate the unveiling of the Lang Lang and District War Memorial on August 15, 1949.
(Private collection)

On August 15, 1949 the Lang Lang and District War Memorial was unveiled. It commemorates the men from the area who gave their lives whilst fighting for Australia. The occasion was reported on in the Koo Wee Rup Sun of August 17, 1949. I have transcribed the article and a slightly edited version is reproduced below. I have also researched the soldiers whose names appear on the monument.


Lang Lang and District War Memorial Unveiled
600 Residents Attend

A dull day with sombre clouds overhead and a pale sun gleaming through fitfully did not prevent a large gathering of citizens from the Lang Lang Riding attending the unveiling of  the War Memorial to the memory of those men who paid the supreme sacrifice in the Second World War at Lang Lang on Monday. The ceremony commenced with  a march down the main Street, headed by the Victorian Police Band, under the direction of their band master, Mr Thomas B. Davidson. Former members of the  1st and 2nd A.I.F., nearly 100 strong, led by Messrs W. Coleman (1st A.I.F. ) and H. Robotham (2nd A.I.F.)marched with military precision, and they were followed by the Lang Lang Boy Scouts Troup, and children of the Lang Lang, Caldermeade, Heath Hill, Langview and Yannathan schools. The march concluded at the site of the memorial, where all took up their position. A dais was erected for the speakers and an amplifying system so that all could  hear the addresses. Special seating accommodation was provided  for the next of kin of the fallen men, also seats provided for elderly people. After the souvenir programmes had been distributed to all present and the Boy Scouts had mounted a guard of honor at the site of the Monument the proceedings began.

The chairman of the War Memorial Committee, Mr F.M. Dale, said "As president of the committee and chairman of to-days proceedings I appreciate your presence here, so that all can join in this service of commemoration of the local serviceman who gave their lives for their country in the Second World War. At the same time we should remember the men who likewise served and died in the First World war and whose names are recorded on a panel on the front of our Memorial Hall.  As a committee representing the whole of the Lang Lang riding we met your wishes by undertaking the erection  of a Soldiers' Club Room and a Monumental Memorial.  The Monument is now erected and the Club Rooms  will be eretced when the  monies have been raised and the building position becomes easier. I feel that the dual nature of the Memorial will meet the wishes of the whole community. The nature of the memorial  always leads to differences of opinion, but I am sure all agree that the noble sacrifice of our men demands that we set aside a few feet of the country for which they died as a memorial, also that their service and sacrifice will not be forgotten by present or future generations and that it may serve as  a local Shrine of Remembrance. We chose the day as it was the 4th anniversary of V.P. day when the war ended with the unconditional surrender of Japan. On that day we did not know the full extent  of our local losses. To the next of kin we say that we understand your feelings, admire your courage and trust that God will sustain and comfort you.

Mr Dale went on to thank the Parliamentary and Civic representatives and then finished with Finally, I desire to thank the Shire Council for giving us the land on which to erect the Memorial, and especially the engineer (Mr Cockcroft) for his help in the erection.

A number of hymns were sang and Mr Dale introduced the guest speaker, Mr Wiltshire. Mr Dale said that he had the pleasure of fighting by his side in the First World War. He displayed great gallantry and leadership. He was one of the first men to enlist and was awarded the M.C. for bravery and  a few weeks later was awarded the same again. He was severely wounded, and the result had left him incapacitated. He was the district's most gallant soldier, and they should feel proud of him as a man, a soldier and resident and good neighbour  for 30 years.

Mr Wiltshire, who was warmly applauded, said "I am sure that the committee must be proud that their efforts for the day have been rewarded by the great assembly of residents and district soldiers present, and to you, Capt. Dale, I thank you for your kind remarks, for you knew that during my service it took all my efforts to prove my rights to stand shoulder to shoulder  with yourself and our gallant comrades. These young soldiers whom we remember and their comrades fought with considerable distinction in every theatre of war in the last great conflict. Today, we are gathered to witness the unveiling of a monument which has been erected here in memory of the gallant men who fought and made the great sacrifice. I think it is best that we should let our minds travel over the years prior to and since the last war. After our great victories in 1914-1918 it was soon evident that unworthy elements in this county and the Empire were seeking cheap notoriety and throwing away everything gained by the hard won glory of our gallant men. Preaching their slimy doctrines and using the names of our gallant dead as a smoke screen, they hid the truth, so it was little wonder that in our hours of greatest peril the Empire found itself once more bare-headed in the face of our enemies who armed to the teeth, overwhelmed resistance by brave people everywhere, and flushed with victory were poised to attack and destroy the very heart of our Empire.......You and I were determined to defend our shores to the last man, the last woman and the last shilling, but since the conclusion of the war the great forces of evil on our midst, following the same pattern which has been successful in other small brave countries now vanished behind the Iron Curtain,  have nearly brought chaos and ruin to our country, which should  be enjoying  peace and prosperity - the things our gallant dead fought for and died for. In the midst of all this chaos these days there stands as a great light, as a great beacon and guiding star, the deeds of our gallant men and women, their suffering and sacrifice. They fought for every law of civilization based on the essential principals of Chrsitianity. They fought to preserve our birthrights, our heritage, our freedom........In Africa, Europe, Asia and the Islands, on the land, at sea, in the air and under the sea they fought the great fight; in Egypt, Syria, Tobruk, Benghazi, Abyssinia, Greece, Crete, Malaya, New Britain, Borneo, Labuan, Finschhafen, Tarakan, Timor and New Guinea. They fought with the skill characteristic of the Australian way of life, proving ours was indeed a great name; a name to live up to, not to live on; each and everyone determined to succeed or perish in the attempt. We are gathered not to glory in their deeds, but to remember the price they paid, our nearest, our dearest and our best.

You have entrusted to my care the unveiling of the monument, which I now unveil; a simple yet beautiful stone which has been erected to the glory of God in memory of your fallen and dead comrades. I feel in your hearts and mine there is a wish that they should be with us at this solemn moment and read in our hearts  that great determination to preserve for ever the things  for which they fought and fell, to treasure and safeguard them; that they could see here a shrine before which we may pause and remember. Let us, like future generations assemble here on solemn occasions; perform our duty to our fallen, and accept now and always our great responsibilities for these our gallant dead that we may always walk with clear hearts and clear minds and say truly 'They rest in peace'. Engraved upon the monument are the words, 'Lest We Forget.' If we do forget, if future generations do forget, then we as a nation must perish. May if please Almighty God that such should never be, and that the sacrifices of these, your dead, our comrades, shall not have been in vain. Their task is done, ours has only just began."

Mr Wiltshire's speech was followed by The Last Post, a reading of the  Anzac Requiem by Mr. F. Alloway and then Reveille. Wreaths were then laid by the the next of kin and community organizations. The Anzac Commemoration Hymn was sung. Mr Dale  read a number of acknowledgments and the service was completed.  The newspaper  declared the day an outstanding success.



The Lang Lang and District War Memorial.
Image courtesy of the Narre Warren & District Family History Group -
 Casey Cardinia Remembers http://www.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au/ 


Here are the men listed on the War Memorial. Some of the the records have been digitsed on the National archives of Australia website www.naa.gov.au - all World War Two records are in the process of being digitised. The other sources of information were the nominal rolls https://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/ww2 and the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial. Sometimes the nominal rolls and the enlistment papers at the National Archives differ as to date of enlistment, I don't know why.

Barry, Sidney Roy.   Sidney was born in Manchester, England on October 28, 1900 and he enlisted on May 29, 1940, in the Army. Sidney's address in the Electoral Rolls was c/o G. Bleasby, Yannathan and his occupation was farm labourer.  Sidney's date of death is listed as September 9, 1943 in Burma, the cause of death was murder.

Cameron, Ian Donald.   Ian was  born July 27, 1899 in Poowong and he  enlisted June 6, 1940, in the Army. He was a dairy farmer of Yannathan. Ian was reported as Missing in Action  and died  of illness on  May 9 1943, when he was a Prisoner of War on the Burma Railway.

Chase, William McLaurin.   William was born October 27, 1922 in Yannathan and he enlisted November 7, 1941 in the Royal Australian Air Force.  William died on  May 9, 1944, in air operations over Belgium.


The report of death on active service of  Flight Lieutenant William Chase.
The Argus November 19, 1944  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11370891


Coleman,  George James.   George was born December 3, 1911 at Preston. George was a labourer, living in Lang Lang and enlisted July 19, 1940 in the Army. His date of death is January 23, 1942 at Rabaul, New Britain, New Guinea, this is the presumed date as he was Missing at the time of his death.

Dubberke, Harry Walter.   Harry was born in Dandenong, August 14 1919. He enlisted in the Army  on March 15, 1940.  Harry was Killed in Action in Greece on April 19, 1941 according to the Roll of Honor, although the report in the Dandenong Journal (below) says it was in Libya. Harry's grandfather August Martin Dubberke (1843-1926) and his grandmother, Augusta Wanke (c.1845-1913) who were both born in Prussia farmed at Harkaway. Read more about the German Lutheran community at Harkaway, here.


Report of the death of Harry Dubberke
Dandenong Journal May 21, 1941  https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/214603394

Eden, Allan Robert.   Allan was born July 1, 1919 and enlisted on May 19, 1941. He was from Caldermeade and his occupation was 'tent hand.'  He was missing in Malaya when he died and his presumed death date is February 11, 1942.

Jackson, Douglas Kenyon.    Douglas was born October 9, 1918 in Korumburra. His occupation was motor driver and he lived in  Lang Lang when he enlisted on August 9, 1940.
Jackson, Stanley Arthur.    Douglas' brother Stanley enlisted on October 26, 1940. He was born at Korumburra on June 7, 1919. Both the boys are presumed to have died on February 20, 1942 - in Ambon, Dutch East Indies.


The sad news confirming the deaths of Douglas and Stanley Jackson, three years after the event.
The Dandenong Journal December 12, 1945 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214334149

Keating, Robert James.  Robert was born January 2, 1921 in Sydney. On his enlistment in the Army on June 28, 1940 he was living in Shepparton, but on his enlistment paper his address was c/o W. L. Lawrence of Caldermeade. Robert was also, like the Jackson boys,  presumed to have died February 20, 1942 in Ambon, Dutch East Indies.

Nicholls,  A.G.   There are no A. G. Nicholls/Nichols/Nicolls or Nicols on the Roll of Honor, so Mr Nicholls is a mystery at the moment.

Power, C. J.   There is a Chester James Power, the only C. J. Power on the Roll of Honor, and he was Killed in Action in Egypt on July 22, 1942, but I cannot find any connection between him and the local area. He was born in St Kilda October 29, 1921 and he was living in North Melbourne when he enlisted.on May 12, 1941.

Richards, Jack Reid.   Jack was born in Scotland on January 6, 1910. He enlisted on July 8, 1940. Jack was a farmer at Lang Lang when he enlisted in the Army. Lieutenant Richards died in Malaya and his presumed date of death was February 11, 1942. Jack's file at the National Archives has not yet been digitised, but from the sad short report in the Dandenong Journal (see below) he was reported missing and became a Prisoner of War.

Lieutenant Richard's fate
Dandenong Journal  October 18, 1944   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214167536 

Rowe, Norman Andrew.   Norman was born in Richmond on October 7, 1907 and was living at Monomeith when he enlisted in the Army at Koo Wee Rup on June 3, 1941. Norman was Killed in Action in Papua on December 8, 1942. 



Report of the death of Norman Rowe
Dandenong Journal February 10, 1943 https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/214307175

Samuel,  Builth Hamilton.    Builth was born in Lang Lang January 6, 1917. He enlisted in the Army on August 14, 1940 and was like the Jackson boys and Robert Keating, is presumed to have died February 20, 1942 in Ambon, Dutch East Indies. The book Protector's Plains* says that the Samuel family came to Lang Lang in 1907 and that they had originally came from Builth Wells in Wales, hence the unusual first name. They also list the family as Samuels, not Samuel,

Smith,  W.J.   There are six W.J. Smiths on the Roll of Honor - William James, William Joseph and William Joseph Willard - all from New South Wales. Then there is a William John Sterling with connections to Dimboola amd Heywood; William James born in Bendigo, living in East Brunswick on enlistment and another William James, born in Kalgoorlie and connected to Whittlesea. None of the six have an obvious connection to the area, so W.J. Smith remains unidentified currently.

Stephenson, William John.   William was born in Bunyip on March 2, 1919. He enlisted on March 19, 1941. William died of wounds on September 16, 1943,  received while fighting in New Guinea.


Report of the death of William Stephenson.
Dandenong Journal September 29, 1943  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214309886

Stewart,  Alec James.   Alec was born August 18, 1918 in Dandenong. He enlisted in the Army on July 8, 1940 and he was living in Yannathan. His fate sadly was that of Douglas and Stanley Jackson, Robert Keating and Builth Samuel - presumed to have died February 20, 1942 in Ambon, Dutch East Indies.

Vinnell, Arthur Raymond. Arthur was born in Castlemaine on May 30, 1920. He enlisted July 20, 1940. Arthur was on the Montevideo Maru when it was torpedoed on July 1, 1942. He was officially declared dead on September 26, 1945.   Read about the Montevideo Maru, here, on the Australian War Memorial website.
Vinnell, Albert Charles. Albert was born October 19, 1911 at Loch and enlisted on July 20, 1940.  Albert died of illness (malaria) at sea en route to Port Moresby April 6, 1942



The Vinnell brothers enlist
Dandenong Journal June 19, 1940  http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/216061736

The newspaper article, above, talks about the enlistment of Bert (Albert) and Alan. Alan was born March 2, 1917 at Swan Hill and also enlisted July 20, 1940. He was discharged on February 6, 1946. Alan was a motor driver at the Lang Lang butter factory, according to the Electoral roll. Two other brothers also enlisted. Stanley was born in Loch on May 20, 1910. He enlisted March 15, 1942 and was discharged June 14, 1943. Lindsay, born June 23, 1913 at Leongatha;  enlisted June 5, 1942 in the Air Force and was discharged August 1, 1943. 


The Vinnell family death notice for Albert.
The Argus April 23, 1942  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article8243274

The Vinnell family moved around Victoria - the parents  Albert Thomas and Ada Rose (nee Wood) were living in Macarthur when the boys enlisted. Alan and Arthur are listed as enrolling at Lang Lang State School in 1928/1929, according to Protector's Plains, so the family was in Lang Lang then.

Wise, John Leo   John enlisted in the Army on November 4, 1942. He had been born at Geelong December 29, 1921 and was living at Caldermeade when he enlisted. John died of illness in New Guinea on January 13, 1943.


Report of the death of John Wise of Caldermeade.
Dandenong Journal January 20, 1943.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214306907

Wise, Trevor Watson. Trevor, born May 11, 1918 in Geelong, enlisted firstly in the Army on March 28, 1941 and then in the Royal Australian Air Force on April 24, 1942. Trevor was presumed to have been killed in action, whilst fighting in New Guinea on August 15, 1943. Sadly for the family, the death was not confirmed until 1946, see article below.


Report of the death of Trevor Wise.
Dandenong Journal, November 27 1946.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article214796653

John and Trevor were the sons of Leopold Frederick and Eva Violet (nee Watson) Wise. Leopold and Eva were living in Geelong when the boys were born and in the 1931 Electoral Roll they were at Hall Road in Carrum Downs. Leopold died in 1933, Eva is then listed at Dumbalk, and later in 1942 she is listed as a housekeeper and c/o Mrs T. Amos of Caldermeade.

...................................................................................................................................................

*Protector’s Plains: history of the Lang Lang Primary school No.2899, 1888-1988 and district by Barbara Coghlan (CBC Publishing, 1988)

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Breaking the news of War Fatalities

The Dandenong Journal of July 9, 1941 had the following interesting article about one of  the most tragic impacts of War - the death of a soldier and having to break the news to their family. Instead of family receiving the news by telegram it was proposed by the Federal Government that it be delivered in person and a local Minister of Religion was one of the preferred people to deliver the sad news. However in country areas  this could be  a trip of many miles and with petrol rationing it may restrict the ability of the Clergy to deliver the news. The matter came up at a Shire of Cranbourne Council meeting in July 1941. Read it on Trove, here, and it is transcribed below.



Breaking News Of War Fatalities
To Next-of-kin
Cranbourne Council Forms Local Committees
Petrol Rationing an Obstacle

So crippling has petrol rationing become in the country that several Cranbourne councillors expressed the opinion at last Friday's meeting, that lack of ration tickets would prevent local committees from conveying news of a soldier’s death to his next-of-kin, as desired by the Premier. In a circular, the Premier's Dept, sought council’s co-operation in trying to soften the blow for bereaved parents and next-of-kin, by arranging for the personal delivery of such tidings in each district. Ministers of religion were prepared to co-operate, it was stated. Cr Thwaites said that the matter was one of considerable importance.

CRIPPLING PETROL RESTRICTIONS
Cr G. Burhop agreed, but said that he failed to see how it could be carried out unless extra petrol was made available. In his area the ration had been restricted to such an extent that the A.R.P. work was rendered valueless. If a motorist put in a claim, mentioning that he was performing such social services, he still got no more petrol. While they were trying to organise for an emergency the Fuel Board was cutting the ground from under their feet.

‘'Can’t tickets be obtained from police stations in case of emergency?” queried Cr Kirkham.

Crs Lamperd and Burhop moved that the Premier’s Dept, be advised that council would co-operate if it would make the necessary ration tickets available. Cr M. Bennett, M.L.A., opposed this motion as “too mercenary.” Cr Thwaites thought the local committees should arrange with the ministers of religion to break the news of a soldier’s death, but agreed that it was hardly fair to ask them to provide the petrol.

Mr Bennett, M.L.A., too, thought that the ministers were the right people for the job. The local committees could contact the right ones in each case. He felt sure that if the Fuel Board was approached it would be sympathetic and grant them the necessary ration tickets.

"It's all very nice to say that the Fuel Board will be very sympathetic,” retorted Cr Lamperd, “but while it can find petrol for a lot of non-essential services, it doesn’t make it available for these essential tasks. We should approach it on the matter.”

Cr F. M. Dale thought it would be hard to beat the present method of notification through the post office. Probably if ministers were asked to break the news, local welfare committees would help out with the cost of petrol.

"DO IT EVEN IF WE HAVE TO WALK"
Cr Cochrane said that he couldn’t see that there were any insuperable difficulties in the way. “Even if we had to walk 10 miles to do the job it wouldn't hurt us,” he declared. “This is a public responsibility and we should give our co-operation.” Cr Lamperd: It is a Government responsibility and they’re trying to put it on to us.

Cr Greaves pointed out that the saving of petrol was not the Government’s main concern in this case. It was out to break down the rather stark official telegram. “Even if we have to ride out on a horse or a bike we should agree to do this,” he added. Cr Cochrane deprecated the fact that apparently the petrol outlook was taking precedence over the real object of the request.

Cr Bennett saw difficulties in the way of the successful functioning of local committees, and declared that the best way to convey the news would be through the respective ministers. He believed the Fuel Board would make ration tickets available to them. Local committees would bear the cost.

Cr Lamperd: Motorists will only be getting a quarter of their present ration next month. Down in a scattered district like Pearcedale it might take 4 gallons to get a message out. We only get 7 gallons a month. I say the old method, which was so successful in the last war - getting the clergy to do it - is the best solution.

As the discussion dragged on for forty minutes, Cr Burhop pointed out that it was not for council to discuss the best means of breaking the news. The Federal Authorities had outlined a certain procedure, and council was not called upon to alter that. “We’re willing to co-operate with them as suggested,” he said. “We’re willing to do all they want us to do - but let them give us the means to do it.”

Cr Bennett: But the Federal Government is not always in touch with the right method. Cr Burhop: The Cranbourne Council can’t control the Federal Government!

After hearing the letter re-read, Cr Dale agreed that council was only asked to co-operate in a scheme that was already in existence. He suggested the appointment of a committee of riding councillors in each riding, giving them power to co-opt the services of any other citizens they thought fit to help them in the task. Finally, Crs Lamperd and Burhop withdrew their motion, and the following resolutions, sponsored by Crs Bennett and Dale, were carried:
“That the Premier be advised that this council will be pleased to co-operate with him regarding the breaking the news of fatal casualties to next-of-kin;
“That the riding councillors in the respective ridings be appointed a committee to carry out the wishes of the Government as expressed in the letter;
“That application be made to the Liquid Fuel Board to make available the ration tickets necessary to carry out this very necessary duty.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Local Teacher's Second World War service

In 1959, the Education Department of Victoria published War Service Record, 1939-1945 which has a list of Teachers, College lecturers and Departmental Officers who enlisted in the Second World War - 1,775 men and women in total. I have found the staff who were connected to schools in the Casey Cardinia region and they are listed here. I have come across one other who enlisted but for some reason is not in the book, so he is also included.

The list is alphabetical by surname, then has the name and number of any local schools they were teaching at before enlistment, their date of birth and a short summary of their service from the book. This service information sometimes differs from that in the Nominal Roll. The dates of birth come from the World War Two Nominal Roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/ Some of the entries in the book had photographs and I have included them here.

Here are the abbreviations used regarding the different services -
A.I.F. - Australian Imperial Force 
A.M.F.  - Australian Military Forces
C.M.F. - Civilian Military Forces
R.A.A.F. - Royal Australian Air Force
R.A.N. - Royal Australian Navy
R.A.N.R. - Royal Australian Naval Reserves
W.A.A.A.F. - Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force.
There is a useful section on the Australian War Memorial website called Understanding Military Structure that explains all these services https://www.awm.gov.au/learn/understanding-military-structure

Anderson, John Cunningham.  Bunyip, No. 2229.  Born December 28, 1922. Enlisted January 31, 1942 in the R.A.A.F.  Served in England, North Africa, Italy, Palestine and Egypt and took part in night bombing operations in Europe. Discharged January 31, 1946.


John Cunningham Anderson
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Anderson, Maurice Kelvin.   Garfield North, No. 3849, where he was Head Teacher.  Born April 17, 1912. Enlisted December 31, 1941 in the R.A.A.F. Served with his squadron of Beaufort aircraft in New Guinea and Torres Strait. Discharged on medical grounds April 3, 1945.


Maurice Kelvin Anderson
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Bull, Raywood Alfred.  Cranbourne, No. 2068. Born January 10, 1922.  Member of the C.M.F. from January 14, 1942 and joined the A.I.F on September 7 that year. Served in New Guinea and New Britain, then returned to Australia and worked as an instructor and was discharged on August 22, 1946.


Raywood Alfred Bull
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Chapple, Alison Derrick.  Beaconsfield Upper, No. 2560, where he was Head Teacher. He had also been a student teacher at Berwick, No. 40 before his teacher training.  Born June 21, 1908. Enlisted in the A.I.F. on March 28, 1941. Attached to the 13th Australian Armoured  Regiment, 1st Australian Ordnance Vehicle Park in Australia. Discharged December 18, 1945.

Child, Phillip John.   Koo Wee Rup, No. 2629.  Born May 24, 1923. Enlisted on March 25, 1942 in the R.A.N.R. Discharged February 1, 1946.

Cox, Stuart Edward.  Pearcedale, No. 2961. Born  May 4, 1924. Enlisted in the A.M.F. on June 16, 1942 and later transferred to the A.I.F. Served in Australia and was discharged  February 21, 1946.

Dodd, Basil Alcuin.  Rythdale, No. 4231, where he was Head Teacher. He had also been a student teacher at Officer, No. 2742 and Pakenham, No. 1359, before his teacher training.   Born March 13, 1913. Enlisted in the A.I.F. on February 2, 1942. Served in Australia and New Guinea. Discharged December 12, 1945.


Basil Alcuin Dodd
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Donald, Alexander Louis.  Koo Wee Rup, No. 2629.  Born July 7, 1905.  Enlisted December 6, 1939 in the A.I.F.  Served in the Middle East. Discharged January 25, 1943.


Alexander Louis Donald
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Doyle, Allen Andrew.  Caldermeade, No. 4271, where he was Head Teacher.  Born March 24, 1916. Enlisted in the A.M. F. January 13, 1942 and later transferred to the R.A.A.F. Served in Australia, Bouganville and New Britain. Discharged August 31, 1945.

Fyffe, John Raymond.  Heath Hill, No. 3225, where he was Head Teacher. He had also been a student teacher at Emerald, No. 3381.  Born May 25, 1910. Enlisted in the A.M. F. in November 1941.  He served in the 13th Armoured Regiment in Australia and was discharged May 21, 1943.


John Raymond Fyffe
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Graham, Douglas John.  Tynong North, No. 4464. Born September 19, 1919. Enlisted in the A.M.F. on February 5, 1941. He served in the Middle East and the commando forces in New Guinea and the South Pacific. Discharged on October 13, 1945.

Horsfall, Henry Graham.   Tonimbuk, No. 3363, where he was Head Teacher.  Born September 14, 1913. Enlisted in the A,I.F., on July 11, 1940. He served with the 4th Australian General Hospital in the Middle East. Mr Horsfall was one of the 'Rats' of Tobruk. On his return to Australia he became part of the Army Topographical Survey Company. Discharged October 11, 1945. Mr Horsfall was a teacher at Pakenham Consolidated School, when I was there in the 1960s.


Henry Graham Horsfall
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Hunter, Nada.   Narre Warren East. No. 3719.  Born April 11, 1918. Enlisted in the W.A.A.A.F. on June 8, 1942. Stationed at the R.A.A.F. station in Tocumwal, then undertook a course in Radio filter work and photographic interpretation and later attached to Central Intelligence in Brisbane. Discharged December 6, 1945.


 Nada Hunter
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Janicke, Peter Francis Stewart.  Longwarry, No. 2505.  Born June 6, 1924. Enlisted in the R.A.A.F.  on July 10, 1942 and served in New Guinea and the Philippines. Discharged September 4, 1945.

Koochew, Walter John Henry.  Island Road, No. 3952, and had also been a student teacher at Bunyip, No. 2229.   Born January 7, 1914. Enlisted on June 12, 1942 in the R.A.A.F., with the Meteorological section. Discharged October 2, 1945.

Laugier,  Jean Biene Pierre.  Lyndhurst South, No. 1222.  Born March 20, 1902. Enlisted in the A.I.F., on May 20 1940. He saw service in the Middle East and as an instructor with the Northern Territory Force Training School. Discharged March 7, 1944. Mr Laugier also served in the First World War where he was awarded the Military Medal. He enlisted in April 1916 and had his age as 18 years old, which means he was born in 1898. If he was really born in 1902 then he enlisted in the Great War at the age of 14 or else he took four years off his age to enlist in the Second World War, which I believe is the case.


Jean Biene Pierre Laugier
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Mackenzie, Kenneth George.  Catani, No. 4151, where he was Head Teacher. Born July 4, 1904. Enlisted in the A.I.F. on November 13, 1939 and after training arrived in Palestine in May 1940, then Egypt in the September and took part in the Western Desert campaign. He returned to Australia for medical reasons and was appointed as a staff officer to the Chief of the General Staff, then to the 2/7 Australian  Cavalry Commando  Regiment and various other roles until he was discharged February 22, 1946.

McFadyen, Norman.   Dalmore, No. 4002.  Born January 10, 1905. According to the Dandenong Journal, Norman left for military training in October 1939, then returned  a few weeks later. However, according to the Nominal Roll,  Norman enlisted in the A.I.F. on March 17, 1941 in the 52nd Battalion and also enlisted on July 19, 1942. There is no discharge date and he is not listed in the War Service Record, 1939-1945  book.  Did he enlist three times? I do not know, neither do I know why he is not in the book.


Norman McFadyen of Dalmore State School, leaves for military service.
Dandenong Journal  October 11, 1939


Norman McFadyen returns to Dalmore State School.
Dandenong Journal October 25, 1939  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201308255


McGill, Frederick William.  Narre Warren East, No. 3719, where he was Head Teacher. Born January 21, 1913. Enlisted in the R.A.N. on November 4, 1940,  he spent the war years as an instructor at various locations. Discharged October 9, 1945.

McPhee, Ronald Alexander.  The Gurdies, No. 2224, where he was Head Teacher.   Born April 26, 1911. Enlisted in the A.I.F. on January 13, 1942. He served in the 7th and 3rd Australian Radio maintenance sections and was discharged November 2, 1945.


Ronald Alexander McPhee
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Morgan, James C. H.  Cardinia, No. 3689. Can't find him in Nominal Rolls. Enlisted in the R.A.A.F. on October 13, 1940. Undertook training in Canada from March 1941 and was then posted to the United  Kingdom where he served as a bombing leader with Bomber Command. He was demobilized  on March 21, 1946.

Nilan, Michael Allen Kerins.  Dewhurst, No. 4522, where he was Head Teacher.  Born April 1, 1913. Enlisted in the A.M.F. on January 12, 1942 and served in New Guinea. He was discharged February 13, 1946.


Michael Allen Kerins Niland
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Phillips, Allan Joseph.  Toomuc Valley, No. 3034.  Born February 2, 1903. Enlisted on January 7, 1942 in the A.I.F. He served in New Guinea and Australia and was discharged on medical grounds on March 28, 1945.


Allan Joseph Phillips
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Reed, Sydney John. Army Road, Pakenham, No. 3847, where he was Head Teacher. Born October 4, 1914. Enlisted in A.I.F. on July 1, 1940. Served in Northern Australia, New Guinea and Bougainville. Discharged February 4, 1946.

Revell, John.  Cardinia, No. 3689.  Born January 25, 1915. Enlisted January 13, 1942 in the A.I.F. Served in the Intelligence Branch in New Guinea and Bouganville. Discharged March 27, 1946.

Romanes, John.  Yallock Village, No. 3420, where he was Head Teacher.   Born February 18, 1912. Enlisted in the R.A.A.F. on June 23, 1941. Attached to the 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army. Discharged October 16, 1945.


John Romanes
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Sheldon, Clarence George.   Tynong North, No. 4464, where he was Head Teacher. He was also a student teacher at Longwarry, No. 2505. Born October 10, 1910. Enlisted in the A.M.F. on June 23, 1942 and discharged a few months later on August 31, 1942.



Clarence George Sheldon
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

St Ellen, Joseph James.  Labertouche, No. 2471, where he was Head Teacher. Born November 3, 1912. Enlisted October 29, 1942, in the A.I.F., even though the Education Department War Service book said he had undertaken training in 1941. Served in New Guinea and Bouganville and took part in the organization of rehabilitation training for members of the  Australian forces after the surrender of Japan.  Discharged January 18, 1946.


Joseph James St Ellen
War Service Record, 1939-1945 (Education Department Victoria, 1959)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Crimean War and Indian Mutiny veterans in Casey Cardinia region

I thought it would be interesting to find out what historic connections there were between the Casey Cardinia region and some of the pre-Great War conflicts, specifically the Crimean War. However, I discovered that one Crimean veteran also fought in the Indian Mutiny, as it was traditionally known.  We will start of with a short history of both conflicts from the Australian War Memorial website.

The Crimean War (1853 to 1856) was fought between Imperial Russia on one side and an alliance of France, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Sardinia, and the Ottoman Empire on the other. Most of the conflict took place on the Crimean Peninsula, with additional actions occurring in western Turkey, and the Baltic Sea region. (Australian War Memorial website, see here)

The Indian Mutiny - The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of British East India Company's army on the 10th of May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to the region of present-day Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, northern Madhya Pradesh or Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, Delhi, and Gurgaon. The rebellion posed a considerable threat to British power in that region, and it was contained only with the fall of Gwalior on 20 June 1858. The rebellion is also known as India's First War of Independence, the Great Rebellion, the Indian Mutiny, the Revolt of 1857, and the Sepoy Mutiny. (Australian War Memorial website, see here)

I knew we had some Crimean veterans who had come to Australia and lived locally as there is this paragraph in the book Early Days of Berwick - Two Crimean War Veterans, Mr Drummond and Mr Adams, resided in High Street, Berwick. These two old gentlemen wearing their Crimean War medals, could often be observed sitting in the Boulevard, enjoying the sunshine. It was said that Mrs Drummond was contemporary with and associated with Florence Nightingale, nursing at the Crimea. 

I can find no information on Mr Adams, but a report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of August 10, 1911 said that Tom Drummond celebrated his golden wedding anniversary on Friday evening and Private Tom wears a couple of Crimean medals of which he is justly proud (see article here) So, now we know Mr Drummond's first name and according to the Electoral Roll, his wife was called Mary.  The Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages Index tells us that Tom died in 1915 at Berwick, that he was aged 86 and his mother's name was Mary and his father's name was Thomas. His obituary in the Berwick Shire News of  June 23, 1915 said that he came to Adelaide in 1875 and eight years later moved to Victoria where he lived at Toora and Mirboo North and he came to Berwick about four years ago.  Tom was attached to the Coldstream Guards and was in the trenches at the taking of Sebastapool and the battle of Alma. He was also in other minor engagements, and was awarded the Crimean war medals issued by the English and Turkish Governments, which he greatly treasured (Berwick Shire News June 23, 1915, see here) I am not sure when Mary passed away - there is a Mary Anne Drummond who died in 1927 in Cheltenham, aged 89 (parents listed as Michael Seabright and Elizabeth Tobin). This is possibly her. It is quite interesting that Mrs Drummond nursed with Florence Nightingale, I will do some more research on her (Mrs  Drummond) one day.

I found this in Punch magazine of May 14, 1914 and I feel the article must be about Tom and Mary Drummond - An interesting presentation was made to Lady Stanley during her visit to Beaconsfield last week. This was an old Crimean veteran, as far as is known, the only surviving one in this part of the world. His wife, an elderly lady, who was also present the same afternoon, came in for much attention. She was one of Florence Nightingale's nurses, and pursued her work of healing through the horrors of the Crimean War also. The old gentleman is eighty-five, and his wife is seventy-five. The old lady was very worried because her husband had been presented to Lady Stanley whilst she had not, and "e'll be crowing over me, too, and I've got something interesting to tell Her Ladyship." Later in the afternoon the second presentation was duly made, and Lady Stanley was very interested to hear that her grandmother was also one of the volunteer nurses who went out with Florence Nightingale. When the guests departed the old couple were left happily hand in hand comparing notes over the events of the afternoon, both looking well and happy, in spite of the fact that the old lady had been operated on only six weeks ago. (Punch, May 14 1914, see here)


Death notice of William Fist, Crimean veteran
The Argus February 16, 1921 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1736766

Another Crimean veteran who lived in the area was Color-Sergeant William Fist who died February 14, 1921 at the age of 80. He was also a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. William Frederick Fist is listed in the 1919 Electoral roll at 4 Grattan Street, Prahran, with his wife Fanny Maria Fist (nee Croxford) whom he married in 1912, so I am not quite sure of the connection to Lyndhurst, but it is listed in the death notice and the short obituary that appeared in the Frankston and Somerville Standard (see below) refers to him as an old Lyndhurst identity, and who had taken part in the Seige of Lucknow.


Obituary of William Fist
Frankston and Somerville Standard, February 25, 1921  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75948196

From various newspaper reports we can build  a picture of some of William's life. In April 1875, William was brought before the Emerald Hill Court by his wife Elizabeth for maintenance. The report said that the marriage of the pair took place in India in 1860, and in consequence of the insobriety of Mrs. Fist, a separation took place some time since. The defendant, who held a commission in the 16th Lancers in India, and was now filling the occupation of coachman at Toorak. (The Age April 15, 1875) The result of the court case was that Mrs Fist was granted 7 shillings and six pence per week. Mrs Fist was back in Court in August 1889, claiming the William had not paid maintenance since October 1886 and that she was thus owed £52.

Two years later he was back in Court on a perjury charge. William had given evidence at an Inquest at the City Morgue that the deceased woman, Mary Anne Keilly, who was the subject of the Inquest,  was his wife, when in fact they were not married but had been living together for years and she was known by the neighbours as Mrs Fist. His Honor said that in committing the crime of perjury the accused did not appear to have been actuated by any sordid motive. But the circumstance did not justify the prisoner in perjuring himself. His Honor believed that he swore what was untrue to save the character of the woman with whom he had been living, and for the sake of the character of her children. (The Herald July 27, 1891, see here)

In 1909 the Weekly Times had some photographs of Naval and Military Veterans taken at the Victoria Barracks, and William Fist was in one of them.


 Veterans of the Crimean and Indian Mutiny Wars - William Fist is seated on the right.
Weekly Times November 20, 1909.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221824966

The only other Crimean War connection I can find was that of Charles James Jago, who died February 1, 1914 at the age of 77. He had been Mayor of Richmond and then left Richmond and retired to his handsome country residence at Springvale. Mr Jago was the Shire President of Dandenong, so just outside the Casey Cardinia region. You can read his obituary in the Dandenong Advertiser of February 5, 1914. It had this to say about his experience in the Crimean War -   At the age of 16 he was engaged as a bugler in the Crimean war, and was engaged right through the campaign, with all its hardships and privations, and later took a prominent part in the siege of Sebastopol. (Dandenong Advertiser, February 5, 1914, see here)


Death notice of Crimean War veteran, Charles Jago.
The Leader February 7, 1914.  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89316164


Place names
The battles and personalities of the Crimean War were a source of place and street names  - a prime example can be seen in the suburb of St Kilda which has a Crimea, Alma, Inkerman and Redan Streets and is near the suburb of Balaclava. The towns of St Arnaud and Sebastapol also have  a Crimean War connection. Locally there are three streets in Cranbourne with a Crimean War connection -
Codrington - Sir William John Codrington (1804 to 1884) was Commander in Chief of the British Forces in the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856.
Clarendon - George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon (1800 to 1870) was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1847 to 1852 and the British Foreign Secretary on three occasions from 1853 to 1870. He negotiated a favourable outcome for Britain at the end of the Crimean War in 1856 at the Congress of Paris Peace talks. The Crimean War, which was a war between Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia took place largely on the Crimean Peninsula in Russia.
Lyons - Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons (1790 to 1858), Ist Baronet Lyons, commanded the Black Sea fleet during the Crimean War.

I also believe that Pakenham was named after Lieutenant-Colonel Edward William Pakenham (1819 -1854) who was killed at Inkerman during the Crimean War. This has been disputed, but I stand by my research. You can read more about the naming of Pakenham, here.

Lucknow, in East Gippsland, is the only place name I know connected to the Indian Mutiny.

I have created a list of articles on Trove, on these three Crimean War veterans, you can access it here. All the articles referred to here are on the list.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Rowville Prisoner of War camp - tragic shooting

In December 1944, a camp was opened in Rowville to house Italian Prisoners of War. It was under the supervision of the Murchison camp and initially housed 100 inmates. The camp was located on the south west corner of Stud and Wellington Road, when Rowville was still very much a country town. It was very low security and the men worked on the neighbouring farms, the engineers depot at the Oakleigh rail yards or the salvage depot at Fisherman's Bend. In June 1945, Rowville became a relocation camp for prisoners who were to be relocated to other areas.

As you might imagine, the prisoners often formed close relationships with the locals, including some romantic attachments. One of these men was Rodolfi Bartoli, who worked on a farm owned by the Gearon family and he and Nora Gearon became attracted to each other. Sadly, I cannot tell you that this relationship had a  happy ending, as it ended in tragedy.  Rodolfi was shot dead on March 20, 1946 by the commandant of the camp, Captain Waterston. Was it cold blooded murder or warning shot which was fired that had a deadly result?


Darren Arnott, has written a fascinating book about the Rowville camp and the tragic shooting. The book,  No Regard for the Truth: Friendship and Kindness. Tragedy and Injustice. Rowvilles's Italian Prisoners of War  has many photographs, transcripts of the official inquiries which took place after the event, lovely letters written to Nora from Rodolfi and letters written between Nora Rodolfi's family in Italy.

An interesting and little known part of our local and military history, this book is  a great read. You can borrow it from the Library, click here, or Darren has links on his website to purchase either  a print or electronic copy, https://darrenarnott.com/

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Shire of Cranbourne certificate presented to Edwin Spencer Johnson

This certificate is from the Koo Wee Rup Swamp Historical Society collection and was awarded to Edwin Spencer Johnson by the Shire of Cranbourne, in appreciation of your voluntary enlistment for active service overseas. It is dated march 27, 1943 and was signed by Shire President, Cr Matthew Bennett, M.L.A; Cr Leslie James Cochrane, M.L.A and Shire Secretary Allan Frank Buchanan.


Edwin Johnson's Shire of Cranbourne certifcate
Koo Wee Rup Swamp Historical society collection

The certificate was presented at a function at the Koo Wee Rup Memorial Hall on Saturday, March 27, 1943 and it was reported on in the Koo Wee Rup Sun of  April the 1st. The dance and presentation night was held under the auspices of the Koo wee Rup Citizens' Send-off and Welcome Home Committee. 250 people were present to farewell the 16 local boys who enlisted - only four of whom were present - Ken Child, Wallie Ellett, Gordon Hobson and Keith Barnes. Cr Cochrane said that the Committee had farewelled 93 servicemen and each man (or their family) were given £2 and the Cranbourne Shire Certificate shown here. The twelve men who could not be present were listed as J. O'Brien, H. Jacob, Ted Johnson, J. Davey, K. McInnes, C. Loveday, L. Colvin, L. Seddon, B.L. Broadbent, A. Burton, Colin Burton and G. Cuff.

Here's some information about Ted Johnson, the man whose certificate we have -
Johnson, Edwin Spencer (SN VX117828 Australian Army) Ted was born in Dandenong on August 29, 1914 and was living in Koo Wee Rup when he enlisted. He was discharged Janaury 11, 1946. On July 15, 1944, Ted married Gladys Warren, of Upper Yannathan, at St Johns Church of England in Lang Lang. Gladys wore a graceful frock of white chantilly lace, with an ivory tuille veil. There is a lovely report of their wedding in the Dandenong Journal of  August 2, 1944, read it here. The report also tells us that Ted Johnson was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs W. Johnson of Charles Street in Koo Wee Rup. Ted and Gladys are listed in the 1954 Electoral Roll in Lang Lang, his occupation was  a butcher. Ted died on August 23, 1990  and Gladys on July 28, 1997 and they are both buried at the Lang Lang Cemetery.

Here is some brief biographical information  of the other men who are listed in the Koo Wee Rup Sun article. The information is from the World War Two Nominal Rolls http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/ and  includes their Service numbers (SN)

Barnes, Keith Henry  (SN 119759 Royal Australian Air Force). Born in Swan Hill, lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged March 18, 1946.

Broadbent, Benjamin Lane ( SN VX112302 Australian Army)  Born in Northcote, lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged May 10, 1946. Ben Broadbent was well known in Koo Wee Rup as the owner of Broadbent's Drapery store.

Burton, Allan Edward  (SN VX123516 Australian Army).   Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged September 24, 1946.

Burton, Colin Stewart (SN VX113988 Australian Army) Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged December 15, 1943.

Child, Kenneth Samuel (SN PM5468 Royal Australian Navy) Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged April 12, 1946.

Colvin, Leonard Michael (SN VX122263 Australian Army). Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged December 19, 1945.

Cuff, Gordon George (SN VX110054 Australian Army). Born in Lismore in NSW, lived at Koo Wee Rup. Discharged June 2, 1948.

Davey, John Arthur  (SN VX117309  Australian Army) Born in Dandenong, lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged June 7, 1946.

Ellett, Walter Lyell (SN PM5217  Royal Australian Navy) Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged February 14, 1946.

Hobson, Gordon James (SN VX67536 Australian Army) Born in Bunyip, lived in Rythdale. Discharged January 8, 1944.

Jacob, Harold Allen (SN PM5297  Royal Australian Navy)  I believe this is the right man - he was born in Murrayville and he doesn't have  a place of residence listed, however his next of kin is listed as W. Jacob and there is a William Alexander and Anne Olive Jacob in the Electoral Roll at Koo Wee Rup in 1942, so I believe I have the right man. Harold was discharged June 3, 1946. The family are listed in Tynong North in the 1949 Electoral Rolls.

Loveday, Cuthbert Lyall  (SN VX112913 Australian Army)  Born and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged October 31, 1945.

McInnes, Keith Gordon  (SN 120614  Royal Australian Air Force)  Born in Rushworth, lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged April 11, 1945. 

O'Brien, J Not sure who this is. The Koo Wee Rup Sun article said that he joined the Royal Australian Navy, but I can't find a J. O'Brien with a Koo Wee Rup connection.

Seddon, Charles Leonard  (SN VX106720 Australian Army)  Born in Stanley and lived in Koo Wee Rup. Discharged January 14, 1946.

The men who signed the certificate were - 
Bennett, Matthew (1862 - 1951) Owned a  dairy farm  at Catani. He was a Cranbourne Shire Councillor from 1925 until 1951. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly for Gippsland West from 1929 until 1950 for the Country party and was succeeded Les Cochrane.

Cochrane, Leslie James  (1894 - 1972) Cranbourne Shire Councillor from 1930 - 1964, Shire President 1935/1936, 1946, 1949/1950 and 1957/1958. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly for Gippsland West from 1950 to 1970. I have written about Cr Cochrane, here.

Buchanan, Allan Frank.  Cranbourne Shire Secretary from 1935 until 1950. In October 1950 he took leave of absence due to ill health and retired in April 1951. You can read about his retirement in the Dandenong Journal, here.