Monday, December 29, 2014

Narre Warren War Memorial

The Narre Warren War Memorial was erected in 1923, on the corner of the Princes Highway and the Narre Warren North Road. The original memorial, had a lovely arch, which you can see in the photograph, below. The arch was removed in the 1950s. The War Memorial was moved in 2003 to  a location outside the Civic Centre.


Narre Warren War Memorial, erected 1923.

According to Discovering ANZACs and the Australian ANZACs in the Great War  websites there were 44 men who were either born or enlisted in Narre Warren or Narre Warren North. There are 29 soldiers listed on the War Memorial and of these 29 only 14 are amongst the 44 listed on Discovering ANZACs and  Australian ANZACs in the Great War sites.  Once again, it would be interesting to know how the local community selected the men who would be honoured on War Memorial.

I have done some research on the men listed on the War Memorial. It took a while to identify some of the men and there are still a few I still haven't been able to identify. If you know any information about these soldiers, then I would love to hear from you. It's interesting to note that seven of the men had a Narre Warren connection because their fathers were Victorian Railway employees and had been appointed to the Narre Warren Railway Station. What follows is the list of First World Soldiers who are listed on the War Memorial, their connection to Narre Warren and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service records on the National Archives website, www.naa.gov.au

I wish to acknowledge the research of Chris McKenna of the Berwick RSL, who has researching local soldiers for many years, it has been very helpful in correctly identifying these soldiers.

Brown, J  This man is currently a mystery. According to the Australian ANZACs in the Great War website there were two Mr Browns who had a Narre Warren address  and they were brothers -   Robert Woodside Brown from Narre Warren North (SN 3040) who enlisted July 21, 1915 and Returned to Australia on May 18, 1919. His brother,  Alfred Hart Brown (SN 1217) from Narre Warren enlisted November 8, 1916 and Returned to Australia on December 11, 1918. Neither of them are J. Browns, so if anyone knows who this is, then please contact me.

Buchanan, Eric Alexander  (SN 1676) Eric was from Station Street, Berwick and enlisted on July 14, 1915 and Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919.

Burns, Charlie  I know this is Charlie Burns, as there are various reports in local papers at the time of his talents as a entertainer at local functions. At the annual cricket club concert held October 9, 1914, Charlie was again to the fore with his humourous songs, clog dances and spoon items (Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette October 14, 1914)  There was  a report of his recent enlistment in the February 16, 1916 issue of the paper. The Australian ANZACs in the Great War website has five Charles Burns who enlisted from Victoria and going by occupation (he's  a labourer) and date of enlistment I believe (but I cannot confirm) that our Charles has the Service Number of 4373 and enlisted on December 24, 1915. He Returned to Australia May 29, 1919.



Pakenham Gazette  February 16, 1916

Dewar, Alfred James (no SN listed) Alfred enlisted on July 20, 1915 and he died of 'cerebro spinal meningitis'  less than a month later on August 15, 1915. His father's address was Drouin on the enlistment papers. A report in the Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette of August 18, 1915 said the  Dewar family of Drouin who have suffered so severely through the meningitis epidemic were some years ago residents of Harkaway. Mr Dewar owned a property on Hessell's Road near the old church. An earlier report in The Argus (August 13, 1915) said that Private Dewar had returned home suffering form what he thought was influenza, but it turned out to be meningitis and his mother, who was nursing him contracted the disease and died after 24 hours illness. A tragic story.

Duncan, D   I believe this may be David Baird Duncan  (SN 2366) based solely on his occupation of Orchardist. There were two other D. Duncans who enlisted from Victoria -  David John Duncan (SN 2292)  was a coach builder and David Francis Duncan (SN 6665) was a jeweller, both have a Melbourne address. The Bailey family has established  an orchard at Narre Warren North in the 1890s and this was the first of many orchards in this area, thus being an orchardist is a likely occupation for someone from Narre Warren, but I cannot find any actual connection to this area. David was born in Scotland and enlisted on May 10, 1915 at the age of 20. He Returned to Australia April 5, 1919.

Duncan, James Ramsay (SN 432) James was born in Berwick and he enlisted on September 28, 1914. James was a Lieutenant and he returned to Australia on April 15, 1918.

Dunwell, Fred   (SN 1392)    Fred was from Narre Warren and he enlisted July 31,  1915. He returned to Australia on July 18, 1919.

Hillbrich, A  I am not sure who this is - There are only three Hillbrichs (or Hillbricks as it is spelt on the Nominal and Embarkation Rolls) who enlisted - Ernest and Harold are written about below and the other one was Norman (SN 5326) who enlisted on January 14, 1916 and Died of Wounds on May 6, 1917. The Memorial lists A. Hillbrich as having returned, so that doesn't tally with Norman's record. The three Hillbrichs are all descendants of Johann and Maria Hillbrich who settled in Harkaway in 1855.

Hillbrich, Ernest William  (SN 3989 and 1045)  Listed as Hillbrick on the Nominal and Embarkation Rolls. Ernest was a farmer from Narre Warren when he enlisted on March, 9, 1915. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919.

Hillbrich, Harold Herbert (SN 11760) Listed as Hillbrick on the Nominal Rolls. Harold was born in Narre Warren and enlisted on November 3, 1915. He Returned to Australia on June 12, 1919.

Ireland, Percy Markham De Courcy (SN 1116) Percy's parents, De Courcy and Margaret Ireland are listed in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren in 1903, so it is possible that Percy went to school at Narre Warren. In 1914 the family was living in Heidelberg. Percy enlisted on May 25, 1915 and Returned to Australia on April 13, 1919.

Kent, Alfred Ernest (SN 3336). Alfred enlisted on August 2, 1915.  Alfred is also on the Berwick Grammar School memorial in Church Street, Berwick.  Alfred was from Narre Warren and his parents, Anthony and Mary Kent, had arrived in Narre Warren around 1875 and purchased Granite Park (which they re-named Oatlands). Alfred was married to Alice Webb, the daughter of Sidney and Ann Webb.  Alfred was 40 when he enlisted as was Killed in Action in France on May 5, 1916.

Kent, Charles Edward  ( SN 237)  Charles was a farmer from Narre Warren and he enlisted on February 28, 1916. He Returned to Australia on April 5, 1918. Charles and Norman are brothers to Alfred (above)

Kent, Norman (1009) Norman is the brother of Alfred and Charles (above) and he enlisted on October 1, 1914.  He Died of Wounds on April 12, 1917.


The Narre Warren War Memorial at the Civic Centre.
Photograph courtesy of the  Casey Cardinia Remembers website

MacKenzie, Dugald (SN 6069) Dugald enlisted on March 22, 1916, He was a widower and his occupation was 'nurseryman labourer'. His address on enlistment was South Melbourne, but a Dugald MacKenzie is listed in the 1914 Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren, occupation Nurseryman, so I am sure that we have the right man. Dugald was Killed in Action in France on May 4, 1917.

McClure, Alexander David  (SN 516) Alexander enlisted on February 10, 1915. He was the son of Colin McClure. Alexander was a miner from Benalla when he enlisted and I found his connection to Narre Warren in a report in the Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette of May 17, 1916. the report states that McClure, road foreman on the Victorian railways at Yackandandah, who was well known in this district as one of the prominent members of the Narre Warren Cricket Club, has had the sad misfortune to lose his son in the war. The article then has some reports from his friends about his death and his friend said that Alexander died as he lived, game and cheerful to the last. Alexander Died of Wounds, received at Gallipoli,  November 20, 1915.

Mouser, George.   Lieutenant George Mouser  enlisted on May 1, 1916. His next of kin was his father, John Mouser of Narre Warren. John was the Station Master at Narre Warren from July 1915 to August 1918.  He Returned to Australia on July 24, 1919. George is also listed on the Bunyip Methodist Church Honour Roll  His father was at the Bunyip Station around 1903.

Muffett, John Henry (SN 3104) He is listed as Muffit on the War Memorial.   John enlisted on January 6, 1917 and was Killed in Action on August 26, 1918. I believe that the connection to Narre Warren can be found in a report in South Bourke and Mornington Journal on April 8, 1903. The article reports that railway line repairer, Benjamin Muffit (sic) was killed on the railway line. Muffit resided in a gate house on Lalor's Road, about a quarter of a mile from the Narre Warren Station. He was 42 years old at the time of the accident and he left a wife and four children. There is a birth of a John Henry Muffett in 1892 to a Benjamin and Mary Muffett and his next of kin on his enlistment paper is his mother, Mary. I believe that John is the son of the deceased railway worker and may have went to school at Narre Warren.

Neil,  W  No luck so far in identifying this soldier. There was a William Neill who was the Station Master at Narre Warren from April 1912 until he was transferred to Yarra Glen on June 1, 1914. Is this the connection? He had  a son Wilfred Vivian born 1894 but he didn't enlist.  Any help appreciated on this one.

Nutter, S  There were only four men who enlisted with the surname of Nutter - Alan and Lawrence are brothers from Killara in Sydney; John Nutter was from England and enlisted in Sydney and doesn't seem to have any connection with the area. There is also a William  Nutter Scott, born in England and enlisted in Sydney and once again I can find no connection between him and this area.

Sage, Louis Francis (SN 30437)  When Louis enlisted on March 2, 1916 his next of kin was his mother, Margaret Sage of Narre Warren North. He Returned to Australia on January 30, 1918.

Smith George Stephen (SN 3679).  George was born in Horsham and was living at Longwarry when he enlisted on  August 7, 1915. He was Killed in Action in France on March 31, 1917.  It took some research to identify George as, according to the Australian War Memorial website, there were 53 G. Smiths who did not return, of these 19 were Victorians, so I concentrated on these 19 and still could not find  a Narre Warren connection until I found a George Adolphus Smith listed in the 1903 Electoral Roll, where he was the Station Master at Narre Warren. Then I went back to my 19 soldiers and discovered that our George was the son of a George Adolphus Smith and that the elder George was listed as the Station Master at Longwarry in 1914 Electoral rolls, so it all fitted. George was 19 when he enlisted in 1915, thus born around 1896. An article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of  June 23, 1909 reports that Mr George Smith was leaving Narre Warren after eight years as Assistant Station Master, so both young George and his brother, William (see below) would have attended Narre Warren State School. As a matter of interest, Colin McClure, the father of Alexander McClure, above, 'occupied the chair' for the Smith's farewell social.

Smith William Edward (SN 20121) William is also the son of George Adolphus Smith and was born at Creswick and was living at Longwarry when he enlisted on April 4, 1917, just four days after his brother was killed. He was 18, thus born about 1899. William Returned to Australia July 18, 1919.

Stedman, Albert  (SN 3262) Albert enlisted on July 14, 1915 and he was an 'asbestos worker' not an occupation that you hear of today. His father, also called Albert, was Station Master at Outtrim.  Albert was Killed in Action in France on July 28, 1916. Albert senior was the Station Master at Narre Warren for eight years and he left in July 1906 as he was appointed to Port Fairy. A report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of July 11, 1906 says that Mrs and Mrs Stedman had a very enjoyable farewell  social at the Mechanics' Institute.

Stedman, Walter (SN 3909) Walter was the brother of Albert, above. He enlisted on November 4, 1915 and Returned to Australia February 13, 1917.

Wanke, Arthur Robert (SN 1427)  Arthur was the son of Emmanuel Wanke of Narre Warren.  He enlisted on March 3, 1916. He Returned to Australia on December 12, 1918.

Wanke, Frederick William (SN 6379) Fred was the son of Berthe Wanke of Narre Warren. He enlisted on April 28, 1916 and Died of Wounds received May 17, 1918.

Wauchope, Neil Andrew (SN 2239)  Neil was born at Narre Warren and he enlisted on July 9, 1915. He Returned to Australia on August 24, 1918.

Woodley, George Herbert (SN 4570) George was the son of Thomas Woodley, who had a bakers shop on the corner of the Princes Highway and Webb Street (click here to see a picture of the shop) George enlisted on August 18, 1915 and was discharged on October 4, 1919. George's brother, Ernest Simmill Woodley, had enlisted on August 16, 1915 but  he was discharged due to being medically unfit on May 29, 1916 as he suffered from 'traumatic epilspsy'.  Their father, Thomas,  had died in January 1906, he had gone to Melbourne to watch an interstate cricket match and later died of ptomaine poisoning (or food poisoning caused by putrefication)  said to have been caused by the pie he ate for lunch.


This picture was taken in 2003, just after the Memorial was moved to the Civic Centre site.That's long serving Council Officer, David Westlake with a colleague.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Bunyip War Memorial

The War Memorial at Bunyip was unveiled on Wednesday, February 9 1921 by Frank Groves, M.L.A. There  are 36 names from the Great War on the Memorial. It would be interesting to know how the names were selected as the Australian ANZACs in the Great War website lists 78 people with a  Bunyip address who enlisted and  a further 53 with a Garfield address and 16 with an Iona address, so there was no shortage of potential candidates who could have been honoured.


The Argus, February 12 1921

Here is a list of the 36 soldiers and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full record on the National Archives of Australia website www.naa.gov.au   If you want to read about other men from Bunyip who are listed and on the Bunyip Methodist Church Honour Roll then click here.

Beswick,  Edwin  Ezard (SN 6725) Edwin was the son of John Beswick of Garfield and enlisted on September 16, 1916.  He died of gas poisoning on October 9, 1917.

Bradshaw,  Stanley Guelph  (SN 2280) Son of Joseph Bradshaw of Bunyip, Stanley enlisted on August 21, 1916. Stanley was Killed in Action in Belgium on October 4, 1916.

Carter,  William  (SN 2266) Enlisted on July 17, 1915 and he died of wounds on August 6, 1916. William was the son of William Carter of Bunyip.

Clarkin, William.  (SN 1522). William was born at Bunyip and enlisted at Tynong in December 1914 at the age of 21. He died of wounds in France on August 26, 1916. His next of kin was listed as his brother L. Clarkin of Iona, although an annotation on his Attestation paper says it is his eldest brother, John Clarkin of Garfield. William is also on the War Memorial at Cora Lynn.

Dawes G   (Clifford Gordon)  (SN 5086) Clifford  was born at Garfield and was the son of Alfred Dawes of Iona. he enlisted on January 26, 1916 and Returned to Australia on July 7, 1917.

Devine H. G I have not yet discovered who this is.

Doherty,  Edward Francis (Frank)   (SN 1218) The son of John Doherty, a farmer of Tynong,  Frank was Killed in Action on August 4, 1916 and is also listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial.

Donald Henry Gordon (SN 6001A) Henry was the son of Elizabeth Donald of Garfield, He enlisted on March 30, 1916 and was Killed in Action in Belgium, exact date unknown, but from June 7 to June 9, 1917.

Fallon Joseph (SN 3521)  Joseph was  born in Bunyip and enlisted on April 17, 1917. He Returned to Australia July 8, 1919.

Fitzgerald D  This could be Daniel Fitzgerald (SN 3312) from Iona, who enlisted on October 5, 1914. He Died of Wounds on October 6, 1917.  It may also be David William Fitzgerald (SN 37563) also of Iona. David enlisted on February 27, 1917, he spent some time in a military hospital after the war and Returned to Australia on April 10, 1919.
Fitzgerald John Lawrence (SN 2474) John, from Iona,  enlisted on July 15, 1915.  He was Killed in Action in France on July 19, 1916. I presume these three boys were brothers as they all had a David Fitzgerald from Iona, listed as their father.


This is a report from the Dandenong Advertiser of  September 14, 1916 reporting the deaths of  Frank Doherty and Jack Fitzgerald.

Fitton James Herbert (SN 3979)  James was born in London and was the brother of Wilfred Fitton, who is listed as living at Bunyip in the 1914 Electoral Rolls. James enlisted on July 28, 1915 and was Killed in Action in Belgium on September 30, 1917.

Gachin John (SN 2528) - his last name is listed as Gaghin and Gaghain on other sources, but looking at his signature on his enlistment paper, I believe Gaghin is the correct spelling. John is the son of Michael Gaghin of Garfield and enlisted on June 16, 1916.   He was Killed in Action in France on April 11, 1917.

Green Francis Regis (SN6013)  Francis was the son of Catherine Green of Iona and enlisted on April 17, 1916 and was Killed in Action on May 12, 1917 in France.

Gunnelson Percy Oskar   (SN 893)
Gunnelson Ingelbert Thomas  (SN 3160) Percy and Inglebert were the sons of James Gunnelson of Garfield, sadly they were both Killed in Action, Percy on  May 8, 1915 and Inglebert on October 4, 1917.

Holland William George Sydney (SN 850) William was born in Bunyip and enlisted on June 3, 1915. He died on November 1, 1918 after being gassed.

Leeson William Herbert Charles (SN 1178) William was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on May 2, 1915. He was the son of Philip Leeson of Garfield.




Bunyip War Memorial
Photograph courtesy of the  Casey Cardinia Remembers website


McDonald Allan Walter   (SN 2474) Allan and his wife Jessie lived at Garfield when he enlisted on March 3, 1916. He died of wounds received in France on April 17, 1917.

McIvor John Edward (SN 26655) His next of kin on enlistment was his wife Edith, who moved around after John enlisted on January 1, 1916. One of her addresses was C/O Mrs Scealy  of Bunyip, this was Margaret Ellen Scealy, Edith's sister. There may have been another Bunyip connection, but I haven't established it yet, as John was born in  Footscray and enlisted from North Carlton. John was Killed in Action on July 25, 1918.

Milligan, Joseph Lewellen. (SN 5376). Farm hand of Cora Lynn;  his mother was Catherine Milligan also of Cora Lynn. Joseph was Killed in Action on February 23, 1917. Joseph is also on the War Memorial at Cora Lynn.

Moore Walter Henry Edward  (SN 3428)  Next of Kin was his wife, Mrs E, Moore of 'Kia Ora' Bunyip. When he enlisted on July 7, 1915 his address was Prahran. Walter died of disease on February 1, 1919 and is buried in England.

Mynard Charles  (SN 459) Charles enlisted on August 17, 1914 and was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. He was from Garfield.

Pearson Frederick Francis (SN 869)  Frederick was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on April 25, 1914. He was the son of Charles Pearson of Bunyip and had enlisted in September 4, 1914.

Plant Lawrence (SN 1804)  Born in Garfield and enlisted at Tynong on he was Killed in Action in France on May 12, 1917.

Reardon Eric Charles (SN 2524). Eric enlisted on June 3, 1915 and died of wounds on September, 9 1918.  He was the son of James Reardon of Bunyip.

Slattery Gerald Malyon   (SN 272) Gerald's occupation on his enlistment papers butter maker and he enlisted on March 15, 1915. In the 1914 Electoral Rolls he was living at Iona and his occupation was Creamery Manager. He was Killed in Action in France on July 7, 1916.

Sleigh Stephen   (SN 3244) Stephen was the son of Mary Jane Sleigh of Bunyip and he enlisted on July 16, 1915. Stephen was listed as missing on July 28, 1916 and  a later Court of Enquiry found that he was Killed in Action on July 7, 1916.

Spence Malcolm (SN 4614) When Malcolm enlisted on August 31, 1915 his next of kin was listed as his sister, Harriet Walker of Bunyip. He was Killed in Action in France on July 20, 1916. Malcolm, and his two brothers, are also listed on the Bunyip Methodist Church Honour Roll.

Stacey Ernest William  (SN4298)  Ernest enlisted on July 7, 1915. He was the son of Thomas Stacey who owned the Railway Hotel in Bunyip. He was Killed in Action in Belgium on October 5, 1917.

Streeter Henry (SN 2402) Henry was from Bunyip and enlisted on October 17, 1916. He was a Lieutenant and was Killed in Action in France on February 17, 1918.

Toner Francis John  (SN 5092)  Francis, the son of Catherine Toner of Garfield, enlisted on March 3, 1916. He was Killed in Action in France, March 24, 1917.

Williams Percy Francis (SN 7099) Percy enlisted on April 28, 1916 and was the son of Mary Ann Williams of Main Street, Bunyip. He died of pneumonia in a Military Hospital in England on March 14, 1917.

Watson Albert (SN 3664)  Albert was the son of  Mrs Jessie Adamson of Garfield and enlisted on August 25, 1915. He died of wounds received in Belgium on March 9, 1918.

Whiston Julian Thomas (SN 3526)
Whiston Frederick (SN 3524)   Julian and Fred were the sons of Fred Whiston of Cora Lynn. Fred was born in Garfield and Julian at 'Bunyip Swamp'. Sadly both boys died on wounds received, Fred on July 7, 1916 and Julian on March 21, 1918.

I wish to acknowledge the research of Chris McKenna of the Berwick RSL, who has researching local soldiers for many years, it has been very helpful in correctly identifying these soldiers.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Berwick Footballers who enlisted

This is a report from the Berwick Shire News of March 8, 1916 which lists the 23 Berwick Football Club players who had enlisted for active service (even though the article says 24). I have done some research to try to work out who these men were and I have also used the research of Chris McKenna of the Berwick RSL, who has researching local soldiers for many years.  I have listed their Service Numbers (SN) so you can look up  their full record on the National Archives site www.naa.gov.au


Berwick Shire News March 8, 1916

Avard, Hugo (Richard Hugo Turnbull Avard) (SN 1851) Hugo worked for the Post Office before he enlisted on September 11, 1915. He returned to Australia on September 26, 1917.

Bannan, John Joseph. (SN 1126) He is listed as Bannon on the War Memorial in Berwick and as Badnan on the Nominal rolls. John was quarryman, who enlisted on June 14, 1915 aged 24. He was married to Mary Ann and they lived in Berwick. He died of disease on October, 16, 1918.

Baxter, Frederick Edward (SN 4440) Fred enlisted on March 5, 1915. He was a gunner. He was Killed in Action in France on August 22, 1918. 

This is a report from The South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 6, 1915 about Gunner Baxter's enlistment.

Bragg, Arthur Robert (SN 2564)  Arthur and his wife Emily had the Central Hotel Beaconsfield. Arthur enlisted on August 2, 1915 at the age of 39. He was Killed in Action on July 19, 1916.   Arthur is also listed on the Beaconsfileld War Memorial.

The Truth November 27, 1915

I found this interesting account of Arthur Bragg's divorce in The Truth newspaper of  November 27, 1915 - it's a bit hard to read but it appears that Mrs Bragg owned a hotel in Cloncurry, which she sold and she then purchased the Central Hotel in Beaconsfield. Arthur got into debt, they quarrelled and he joined up, but later admitted that he had been 'misconducting himself with women' The couple had three children. It lists his age as 44, 5 years older than the age he gave when he enlisted.  

Brocklebank, Ralph Thomas. (SN 3012) Lieutenant Brocklebank enlisted on July 20, 1915 age 22. He was a Bank Clerk. He returned to Australia April, 27 1919.

Buchanan, Eric Alexander. (SN 1676). Eric was a Clerk from Berwick when he enlisted on July 14, 1915 age 21. He was in the Light Horse and returned to Australia on July 23, 1919.

Clements, John William Henry  (SN 5995) John was a teacher at Officer State School when he enlisted on June 16, 1916. he returned to Australia September 25, 1919.

Crabtree, Walter (SN 242a). Walter, a driver, enlisted in Berwick on February 29, 1916. He returned to Australia August 22, 1919.

Faragher, Leslie Victor (SN 2624) Leslie was employed by R. J Espie as a blacksmith before he enlisted on August 2, 1915. He was Killed in Action in France on May 16, 1916.

Fleer, Harold Edward (SN 3112). Harold was a farmer from Harkaway when he enlisted on July 7, 1915 aged 18. Hist parents Edward and Martha Fleer, gave permission as Harold was under 21. Harold returned to Australia on April, 13, 1919.

Griffin, James Daniel (SN 26752) James, a labourer,  was living in Berwick when he enlisted on January 17, 1916. Returned to Australia June 16, 1919.

Grigg, Donald Douglas (SN 85a) Donald was a farmer and lived in Berwick when he enlisted on March 24, 1915.   Returned to Australia January 2, 1919.

Lewis, F I don't know who this one is - is it Fred Lewis that worked for Mr Rowe the baker? Read about Mr Rowe here.

Loveridge, Ellis (Alfred Ellis Loveridge) ( SN 7880) Storekeeper of Berwick and enlisted on June 15, 1915. Returned to Australia May 3, 1919. 

Lyall, Edmund Ramsden (SN 3170). Edmund was a teacher at the Berwick State school when he enlisted July 24, 1915 aged 20 years, 11 months. He was the son of  John Lyall of Jindivick. Edmund was Killed in Action, in France, on November, 11 1916.

McKay, Albert Duncan (SN 4758) Albert, a labourer,  enlisted on February 2, 1916 and Returned to Australia on June 6, 1918.

Munro, Robert (SN 6542) Robert was a Quarryman and enlisted on June 5, 1915. Not surprisingly, as he had worked in a Quarry he was a Sapper. He returned to Australia April 13, 1919.

O'Sullivan, William (SN 3867) William was 27 when he enlisted on July 9, 1915. He is next of kin was listed as his cousin, Maud Maynard. He died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound on July 19, 1916. 

Randle, Henry George (SN 1274). Henry enlisted on July 7, 1915 aged 27. He was an orchardist from Narre Warren. Henry returned to Australia on May 15, 1919. He was in the First Light Horse Regiment.

Sherriff, Arthur Mason (SN 4529)  Arthur was a nursery man of Narre Warren and enlisted on December 24, 1915. He returned to Australia August 25, 1917. 

Smith, Clarence John (SN 107) Clarence, a horse driver,  enlisted February 4, 1916 and was Killed in Action in Belgium on June 8, 1917.

Warne, Charles Frederick Peneligon  (SN 254) Charles was 42 years old and a painter when he enlisted on January 29, 1916. He Returned to Australia Septermber 23, 1919.

Young, Walter Leslie (SN 632) There is a Walter Leslie Young listed in the 1914 Electoral roll, occupation merchant, address Narre Warren North and a Walter Leslie Young, occupation grocer, enlisting on February 2, 1916 so I believe that W. Young is this person. Plus there is an account of a Private Walter Young having a farewell social at Narre Warren North in April 1916, so I am confident we have the correct man. Walter Returned to Australia on May 27, 1919.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Patriotic Concerts

Not long after the  Great War commenced, communities had already began to hold concerts and events to raise money for the 'war effort'.  Here are reports about three  early concerts - one held at Berwick on August 26, 1914; Tonimbuk on October 3, 1914 and the other held at Koo-Wee-Rup on October 30, 1914. These reports are of interest for a number of  reasons - firstly they show how quickly small towns were to support the 'war effort.' Secondly, the reports provide an interesting snapshot of the social life of small towns at the time - who was involved and what songs and music were presented. Finally, they are interesting from a family history point of view - perhaps one of your ancestors or relatives were involved in the concerts. 


South Bourke and Mornington Journal September 3. 1914

Bunyip Free Press October 8, 1914



South Bourke and Mornington Journal  November 5, 1914



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exemption Courts

This article is from the Dandenong Advertiser of October 26,  1916 and is an account of the activities of Dandenong Exemption Court held on October 17 before Mr Vivian Tanner, P.M. The Court heard applications from men from Springvale, Clayton, Keysborough, Dandenong and also from our area - so below are some of the applications and outcomes from men from the Shire of Cranbourne and the Shire of Berwick. 


Dandenong Advertiser of October 26,  1916

What was an Exemption Court?  The government made a proclamation at the beginning of October 1916 declaring all unmarried able-bodied men between the ages of 21 and 35 were to undertake military training leading to the possibility of service within the Commonwealth. All men meeting those criteria had to enrol at enrolment centres where they were assessed for suitability. However, there was a procedure whereby men classified as suitable could appeal and be granted exception from service. http://localhistory.kingston.vic.gov.au/

Courts were set up in each Federal Electorate and men who wished to be exempt from military training had to fill out a form in duplicate, deliver it to the military registrar and they would then be able to put their case at the Exemption Court. The article from The Argus, below, outlines the process.


The Argus October 2, 1916
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1629845



I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Exemption Courts on Trove, click here to access the list.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Berwick Grammar School Avenue of Honour and War Memorial

There are three Avenues of Honour in Berwick which commemorate the service of local people in the First World War.  The City of Casey has produced a book on the Avenues in their region, including the three Berwick ones. You can down-load a copy of the book here.

The smallest of these Avenues is the one in Church Street in Berwick which commemorates the nine soldiers who were killed and who had attended Berwick Grammar School. This school operated from 1882 until 1928 and was located in the building on the corner of Church Street and Brisbane Street, in Berwick.


This is the memorial stone, in Church Street, which lists the names of the nine soldiers.


The Argus June 12, 1920

We know the Avenue of Honour was planted in June 1920 and an Honour Board listing the names of the 66 'old boys' who joined up was unveiled at the same time and I presume the memorial stone in Church Street was also erected at this time.

Who are the nine boys, who were honoured by the Avenue in Church Street?  It is not always that easy to specifically identify the names on a memorial and in this case, as Berwick Grammar was a boarding school as well as  a day school, many of the students did not have a local address, so I was lucky to find the following article on Trove

Berwick Shire News February 9, 1916

As you can see the article lists a number of 'old boys' who had already joined up in 1916, some of whom are on the Avenue of Honour stone. Below is a list of the nine students and their Service Numbers (SN). You can access their full service records on the National Archives of Australia website, www.naa.gov.au

Brunn, E.D'A. This is Eric D'Arcy Brunn (SN 3357) even though his enlistment papers at the National Archives have his surname as Bruun, Eric was born in Seymour and was 38 years old and living in Woodend when he enlisted on June 18, 1917. He was Killed in Action in France on April 25, 1918. I am unsure whether Brunn or Bruun was the correct surname -  his sister, Alice D'Arcy Brunn enlisted as a nurse in 1915 and yet I have found them on the Electoral Roll as both Brunn and Bruun. 

Elmes, H. O.  Herbert Oliver Elmes (SN 1355) was born in Berwick and living in Berwick when he enlisted at the age of 40, on November 30, 1914. He was Killed in Action in France on November 5, 1916.

Gaunt, E.G.  I believe this is Edwin George Gaunt (SN 2604). He was born at Yarraville and enlisted at the age of 37 on July 7, 1915, in New South Wales. He was Killed in Action in France on July 19 or 20, 1916.

Hodgson, S. I can't work out who this is. On the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour there is  only one S. Hodgson listed - Sidney Hodgson (SN 3562)  who was born and enlisted in New South Wales. He was 18 when he enlisted on September 7, 1915 and was Killed in Action in France a year later on October 22. Was this our S. Hodgson? The history of Berwick Grammar School (citation below) has an incomplete list of students and it lists an S. Hodgison -  but I cannot find any Hodgisons who enlisted.  If you know who this might be, I would love to hear from you.

Hope, H.L.  Harry Leslie Hope (SN 61) was born in South Melbourne and was living in Elsternwick  when he enlisted  on June 4, 1915 when he was 30 years of age. He died of wounds, in France, on April 22, 1917. 

Kent, A.E.  Alfred Ernest Kent (SN 3336) was from Narre Warren and enlisted on  August 2, 1915. Alfred's parents, Anthony and Mary Kent had arrived in Narre Warren around 1875 and purchased Granite Park (which they re-named Oatlands). Alfred was married to Alice Webb, the daughter of Sidney and Ann Webb.  Alfred was 40 when he enlisted as was Killed in Action in France on May 5, 1916.

Lyon, C.H. Charles Hugh Lyon (SN 412) was born at Hawksburn and enlisted in Western Australia on September 10, 1914. He was 26  and his next of kin, his mother, was living at Harkaway. Lieutenant Lyon was part of the Camel Corp and was Killed in Action on November 7, 1917 in Palestine. 

Miller, A.H.  Lieutenant Alexander Henderson Miller was born in Berwick  and enlisted, at Beechworth,  on July 15, 1915 aged 29. He was Killed in Action in Belgium on September 25, 1917.

Robin, A. M.  Arthur Mervyn Robin (SN 2180) was born at Camberwell and was 21 years old when he enlisted on March 10, 1915.  He was Killed in Action in France on June 29, 1916.


The Avenue of Honour in Church Street, Berwick.

There is a  history of the Berwick Grammar School - The School that was: a history of the Berwick Grammar School, 1882-1928 by John Bellair. It was published by the author in 1992.

I have created  a list of newspaper articles about the Berwick Boys Grammar School on Trove, click here to access the list.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Les Cochrane - from AIF to MLA

Cochrane Park in Koo-Wee-Rup is named after Leslie James Cochrane.  Mr Cochrane died on April 25, 1972. His funeral was held on April 28 at the Presbyterian Church in Koo-Wee-Rup and attended by an estimated 1,000 people with another 700 people attending the service at the Springvale Crematorium. Mr Cochrane was a man who served his country in the Great War and then served the community after being elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Victorian Parliament.


Leslie was born in Bentleigh in 1894 to David and Lucy (nee Burgess) Cochrane. The family moved to Caldermeade when he was eight. He enlisted in the First World War on May 2, 1916 at the age of 21. His Service Number was 2162.  He was in the 46th Infantry battalion and saw war service in France. He returned to Australia in February 1918 and in the December of the same year he married Ivy, the daughter of Harry and Sarah Wildes of Yannathan.  Leslie and Ivy moved to a soldier settlement block on the Pakenham Road.  After the war, as well as running the farm, Mr Cochrane began a life of community service. He joined the Cranbourne Shire Council in 1930, representing the Koo-Wee-Rup Riding until 1964 and was Shire President on four occasions. It was said he never missed a meeting.




This wonderful photograph belongs to the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society and shows Les Cochrane, Billy McGree and Bill Gilchrist and their 'Welcome Home' party in 1918.


Mr Cochrane also represented Gippsland West in the Legislative Assembly from May 1950 until May 1970 for the Country Party. He held various Parliamentary positions and was the Country Party ‘whip’ from 1961 until 1970. When he died, the Premier, Sir Henry Bolte; the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Clive Holding and the leader of the Country Party, Mr Ross-Edwards, each presented a short eulogy on Mr Cochrane in the Victorian Parliament. In fact, Sir Henry pointed out that Mr Cochrane was the last surviving member of this Parliament who served as a member of the Australian Infantry Forces during the First World War. Mr Cochrane was also the President of the Westernport Memorial Hospital Board and he was awarded a Life Membership for his work with the R.S.L. He was a Past Master of the Koo-Wee-Rup Masonic Lodge and an Elder of the Presbyterian Church and was awarded an O.B.E in 1971.


Leslie and Ivy had two children - Irene (Mrs Jack Haw who died in 2001) and Stewart who died in 2000. Mrs Cochrane was also involved in community organizations such as the Presbyterian Ladies Guild and attended the first Koo-Wee-Rup Red Cross meeting. She was Foundation President of the Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and was awarded a Life Governorship of the Hospital in 1974. Mrs Cochrane died in September 1986, aged 91.

Cochrane Park was developed by the Apex Club in 1980 on Railway land. It was then taken over by the Lions Club who named it for Leslie Cochrane.

The two small photographs are from the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun May 3, 1972 from a report about Mr Cochrane's funeral.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sister Muriel Instone - Army Nurse

Sister Muriel Instone enlisted on May 5, 1915 as an Army Nurse and embarked on the Mooltan on May 18, 1915. She served in hospitals in England and France throughout the War and returned to Australia on the Konigen Luise in January 1920. Table Talk, a weekly Melbourne newspaper at the time, had a full page feature on Nurses who have recently left for the Front in their May 27 1915 issue, so we are lucky to have  a photograph of Muriel.

Table Talk May 27, 1915

Muriel's Embarkation record, from the Australian War Memorial,  is reproduced below. As you can see, her address at the date of her enrolment was Pakenham.  

 Australian War Memorial (click on image to enlarge it) 

To find out where she lived in Pakenham I went to the Electoral Rolls, available through the Ancestry Family History database. In 1914 Sister Instone was living at IYU, a large property at Pakenham. 


This is the entry for Muriel Instone from the 1914 Federal Electoral roll.
Source: Ancestry Family History database

The IYU run  in Pakenham was taken up in 1839 by Dr W. K. Jamieson. It was originally nearly 13,000 acres (about 5, 200 hectares).  In 1849, William Waddell took over the pastoral lease and after his death his widow, Annie purchased the pre-emptive right section plus other land. Mrs Waddell built a large brick house, pictured below,  on the property in 1858 and this would have been where Muriel was living when she was on the property. The property at that time was around 4,800 acres and some subsequent owners were George Watson, Steven and Samuel Staughton and  John Kitchin, who operated what is thought to be Australia's largest dairy farm on the property.


This is the IYU  Homestead. It was built in 1859 and destroyed by fire around 1929.
Photograph from: In the wake of the pack tracks, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.

According to the Shire of Berwick rate books, Robert and Constance Staughton took over IYU in 1913, which by then  was a mere 2,000 acres. I believe Robert was the son of former owner, Stephen Staughton. The Electoral Rolls indicate that  Muriel was in Melbourne until about 1914, so I am surmising that she took a job with the Staughtons - they had  four children between three and ten to look after and in March 1915 the entire family came down with ptomaine poisoning or food poisoning and needed medical assistance, so they were fortunate they had  an experienced nurse on hand. 


Dandenong Advertiser March 4, 1915
http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88662306

Muriel Instone was born in Riverton, New Zealand in 1878 to Matthew and Emily (nee Brodrick) Instone, so she was 36 when she enlisted in 1915. Muriel was in Victoria in 1903 as she is listed in the Electoral rolls at the Homeopathic Hospital in South Melbourne. The Homeopathic Hospital was renamed Prince Henry's Hospital in 1934. Muriel's service record at the National Archives www.naa.gov.au  also indicates that she had experience at the Women's Hospital, that she had her midwifery certificate,  as well as experience in private hospitals and private nursing.  In 1909, Muriel and Daphne Instone were listed as living at 16 William Street, South Yarra. I am not sure of the relationship between Muriel and Daphne, but she was also a nurse. As I said before Muriel returned to Melbourne in 1920 but I cannot find any trace of her after that until her death on October 11, 1932 aged 54.

I was interested to find that when Muriel was still in England and still with the Australian Army Nursing Service that she undertook a three month motor driving and workshop course at Mansions Motor Training Garage in London and she made good progress and passed satisfactorily.  Many of our Army nurses were single women who had to support themselves and make their own way in the world and this training just supports this idea, so that when Muriel returned to Melbourne she could drive her own car and have a basic knowledge of the mechanics of it.

From Muriel's service record at the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Langwarrin Military Reserve

Before Federation each Colony was responsible for its own defence. The Victorian Volunteer Act 1854 allowed for the establishment of volunteer units. From 1860 many towns had their own Volunteer unit , including Dandenong which was the head quarters of the local volunteers.   From 1884, the Volunteer Forces were replaced by the Victorian Militia Force. The Militia forces were part-time like the Volunteers but they were paid.and they were obligated to attend a certain amount of training each year in the form of annual camps.

The Volunteers and the Militia  trained at various locations in Victoria, such as Werribee and Queenscliffe, but it became apparent that a permanent training ground needed to be established by the Victorian Government and,  in 1886, land at Langwarrin was set aside for this purpose. The land had gentle slopes, natural water supplies and  a variety of vegetation. The reserve eventually consisted of 549 acres or 222 hectares.


Encampment Langwarrin 1887
State Library of Victoria Image H90.90/77

The first Langwarrin camp was held at Easter  in  1887.  The first buildings at the Reserve were stores for the Commissariat Corp; other buildings included caretakers quarters and  stables. Roads, Parade Grounds, and a  rifle range were other structures erected.  Numbers at some camps were large - in the 1890s some camps had over 3, 500 men, plus hundreds of horses. Langwarrin was used to train contingents of Victorians who went to the Boer war (1899-1902).



This is part of an article about the first camp held at Langwarrin
Australasian April 9 1887  

Originally, access to the Reserve was by trains which stopped at Frankston - after that troops, all supplies , horses etc had to be carted or travel down bush tracks to get to the Reserve.  An extension of the Frankston line was established and this reached the Reserve, with the station being called Langwarrin,  in October 1888.


Langwarrin Camp Ground 1897

There was, for  a short time, a School on the Reserve. It was the Langwarrin Railway Station School. No. 3023. This had opened in 1890 in the Presbyterian Hall and then moved to  a purpose built school in 1895 on  the south-west corner of the Reserve, near the corner of McClelland Drive and Robinsons Road. This School burnt down, around 1905 and children then attended the Mornington Junction  School which was built on the corner of McClelland and Golf Links Road , near the railway line. In 1919, the name changed to Baxter and it moved to its present location on the six cross roads in 1954. To be more precise, some children attended the Mornington Junction School, other children did not go to school, as this article from the Mornington  Standard tells us. The parents said that they are more than three miles from the school and thus not required to send their children to school,  unless they take  a short-cut through the Military Reserve, which is a bit dangerous on the days when rifle practice is carried out!




Mornington Standard December 16, 1905

The Reserve was handed over to the Commonwealth Government in March 1901 and various training camps were held  intermittently  and in declining frequency until World War One. The Reserve was not used to train men in World War One but it was used to house prisoners of war or internees i.e. German, Austrian and Turkish nationals that were in Australia after war was declared, and the crew of any German ships.  The Internment camp was first occupied at the end of 1914  Huts were built, a gaol was built for those that were deemed to need it. Most of these internees were removed to Liverpool in New South Wales in August 1915.


Victorian Infantrymen in camp at Langwarrin


Langwarrin was then used to as a hospital for men infected with venereal diseases, as this was a problem amongst soldiers. At one stage, over 800 men were housed at the Langwarrin Reserve. The Hospital complex had an operating theatre, a dispensary, kitchen, engine house, dental surgery amongst other buildings.  The Langwarrin Camp was closed in February 1921. It was used occasionally for grazing, some training exercises during World War Two, the Frankston small bore rifle club had the lease of some of the land from 1960;  various sub-division proposals came and went and were never acted upon. In 1980 the Victorian Ministry for Conservation took over about 207 hectares of the land, in 1982 the remaining land was purchased and on December 11, 1985 the land became the Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve.


The location of the Langwarrin Military Reserve can be seen on 1938 map, prepared by the grandly named Australian Section Imperial General Staff.



Most of the information in this post comes from the book Australian Aldershot: Langwarrin Miltary Reserve Victoria 1886-1980 by Winty Calder (Jimaringle Publications, 1987)  The Library no longer has a lending copy of this book, we only have  a  reference copy in the Local History collection, which can be accessed by appointment

Hastings Western Port Historical Society has  copies for sale, if you wish to acquire your own copy of this interesting book.
http://home.vicnet.net.au/~dromana/hastings.htm

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The patriotic Mr Rowe, baker, of Narre Warren

This is an interesting article from the Berwick Shire News of November 10, 1915 and illustrates  the fact that the whole community had to make sacrifices during the Great War. As the article says Mr D.H. Rowe, a baker, of Narre Warren,  has been considerably inconvenienced by the quick changes in his staff but he has shown his patriotism in recognising that the needs of the Empire should have consideration before his personal requirements. Donald Hartley Rowe is listed in the Shire of Berwick Rate books from 1912 to 1922. His shop was owned by Sidney Webb


Berwick Shire News November 10, 1915

Here is the list of Mr Rowe's eight employees who enlisted and their Service Number (SN), if I could find it. As you can see I have only (fairly confidently) identified five of the eight (based on address or the occupation of baker)

Chitts, Vic. (SN possibly 1715) You would think with such a distinctive name that Mr Chitts would be easy to identify, but not so. There was a Clarence, a Hector and a Russell Chitts who enlisted - Russell was a painter from New South Wales; Clarence was a Dairyman from Sandringham and I have found him and his wife Alice in the Electoral Roll both before and after the War and there is no local connection. That leaves Hector Rudolph Chitts as the most likely, so maybe he was known as Vic. Hector  was nearly 20 when he enlisted on March 7, 1916, his next of kin was listed as his sister, Mrs Downs of East Malvern. His occupation was a farm hand. He Returned to Australia on February 2, 1919.

Currie, Reg (SN 1840)  Reg was the son of Donald Currie of Reserve Street in Berwick and he enlisted on November 6, 1915. His occupation was Horse Driver. He Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.

Forrester, George (SN 4810)  George was born in Shepparton and he was from Taradale. His occupation was baker. George enlisted on November 6, 1915, the same day as Reg Currie. He Returned to Australia July 24, 1919.

Johnstone, Harold

Lewis, Fred.  There is a an F. Lewis in a list of Berwick Football Club players who joined up. Are they the same man?

Lyons, Jack (Charles Jack)  (SN 1394) Jack enlisted on September 14, 1914. He was born in South Melbourne and enlisted in Tasmania, but his occupation was baker, so this is why I assume that he was Mr Rowe's employee. He Returned to Australia on May 12, 1918.

McGuire, Harry

Rooney, Alfred George (SN 481) Alf was born at Ballarat and enlisted at Ballarat on October 15, 1914.  I came across an article about Alf in the Berwick Shire News of March 28, 1917 and he was awarded the Military Medal for having carried ammunition and water under heavy fire in the desert fighting of August 9, 1916.  The article goes onto to mention that he was employed by Mr Rowe when he enlisted. He Returned to Australia on January 2, 1919.



Berwick Shire News of March 28, 1917 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Shrine of Remembrance

The Shrine of Remembrance www.shrine.org.au has a series of lectures and activities  relating to different aspects of World War One and other conflicts. Some of the topics include our submarine heritage; the lost boys of ANZAC which looks at the men who died on April 25 1915 at Gallipoli and The Other ANZACS - a look at women who served in the war. The full schedule can be down-loaded at www.shrine.org.au/Whats-On
I attended one of these lectures, held at the Warragul RSL and heard Tim Whitford's talk on the Lost Diggers of Fromelles and it was fantastic, so based on this experience I can well recommend the series.

The Visitors Centre at the Shrine is being refurbished and will be opened in August 2014  and in November the new Galleries of Remembrance will open which will display exhibitions relating to Australian at War.


The Shrine of Remembrance
State Library of Victoria Image H30150/16

The Shrine was constructed between 1927 and 1934. There was a competition to design this memorial to the soldiers of the Great war and it was won by Philip B. Hudson and James H. Wardrop. It was built by the Company Vaughan and Lodge and was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on November 11, 1934. If you want to read about all the architectural features of the Shrine, click here to access the citation on the Victoria Heritage Database http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/


This is the headline in The Argus of November 12, 1934 about the opening ceremony of the Shrine - you can read the full report in The Argus click here on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

Before the Duke of Gloucester dedicated the Shrine, the Premier of Victoria, Sir Stanley Argyle, read the Ode, written by Rudyard Kipling especially for the occasion. The ode was a stately and dignified tribute to the Australian soldiers according to The Argus


Kipling's ode written for the opening of the Shrine - click on the image to enlarge it.
This was published in the Sydney Morning Herald - http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17138809

The Shrine is built of granite, quarried from Tynong. This was a fact that my grandma, who grew up in Tynong, was very proud of! The Visitor Centre which opened in 2003 was also finished in Tynong granite, sourced from a quarry close to the original one.

 The Argus of November 14, 1928 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3968930

This is a not very clear photograph of the Tynong Quarry - so here is a  transcription of the headline and caption. Click on the picture to get a better view.

Headline: GRANITE FOR AN EVERLASTING SHRINE.
Caption: Certain that the people of the State will approve fully, the National War Memorial Committee has now decided that the Shrine of Remembrance shall be built, not of freestone, which is subject to weathering, but of granite, the most lasting of structural materials. Beautiful silver-grey granite of an eminently suitable kind is available at Tynong, in Gippsland, and workmen are shown in the photograph hewing the blocks of granite from the hillside. Inset:-A fine heap of granite blocks ready for dressing. They measure from six cubic foot upwards.


Aerial of the Shrine of Remembrance, c.1946.
State Library of Victoria Image H2009.12/48

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A life beyond the trenches by Mavis Martin

As silence descended over the battlefields of Europe the 11th November 1918, soldiers laid down their weapons to prepare for their homeward journey and civilian life. Henry Thomas Williams of the 38th Battalion was one of the thousands of soldiers whose return to civilian life was marred by the memories of the battle field.  This is a story of how he found solace and a new beginning in the rural tranquillity of Iona.


Henry in uniform

Henry Williams was the cousin of my grandmother, May Rogers, and he enlisted on the 26th January 1917 in the 38th Battalion, aged 33 years.  His unit embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT Ballarat on the 19th February 1917 and returned to Australia 22nd August 1919. He saw action in France wading through the muddy trenches that ulcerated his legs.


Henry and his bungalow at Little Road, Iona

Henry, like so many soldiers, never spoke of his experiences as he returned to civilian life as a cleaner at Mrs Dauber’s hotel in Lygon Street Carlton. Henry and alcohol became inseparable partners as he tried to erase the memories of war. His decision to seek solace in the country and live with us was beneficial to him as the strongest brew he then drank was coffee. Although he could not reform from every bad habit as the interior of his bungalow was always haze of cigarette smoke.

 Henry like so many soldiers overcame the adversity of war and settled into civilian life. They never forgot the mates that they left behind on the battlefield just as we will always remember their sacrifice.

Henry died aged 78 in 1961 and is buried at the Bunyip Cemetery. Every ANZAC day and Remembrance day we commemorate his memory by placing a token of the soldier’s sacrifice, an Anzac badge or a poppy, on his grave.


Henry working on the farm with Dick Rogers. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cora Lynn War Memorial

The Cora Lynn War Memorial was unveiled on Wednesday, February 22 1922. According to a report in the Pakenham Gazette of March 10, 1922  (reproduced left) the attendance was large, in spite of the showers which fell incessantly.The stone and the machine gun was unveiled by Cr Groves, M.L.A.  I don't know what happened to the machine gun but the memorial is still at Cora Lynn.

 There are nineteen names on the memorial for soldiers from the First World War.  I have researched their service number (SN) so if you are interested in finding out more about these soldiers you can look up their full service record on the National Archives of Australia site or their records on the Australian War Memorial site. I have also included their connection to Cora Lynn or the surrounding area.

Here are the soldiers -
Clarkin, William. Service Number (SN 1522). William was born at Bunyip and enlisted at Tynong in December 1914 at the age of 21. He died of wounds in France on August 26, 1916. His next of kin was listed as his brother L. Clarkin of Iona, although an annotation on his Attestation paper says it is his eldest brother, John Clarkin of Garfield.

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.

Evans, Harry  (SN 5589). Harry enlisted at Warragul in March 1916 at the age of 37. Harry was from  Cora Lynn and his wife Edith Minnie was listed as his next of kin. He embarked from Melbourne on September 25, 1916 on the HMAT Shropshire A9 and returned to Australia on December 31, 1916 having suffered continually form measles and pneumonia. He was discharged from the Army on February 12, 1917.

Fritz, L –This is Leslie James Fritsch* (SN 2661). Leslie enlisted on July 19, 1915 at the age of 21. He left Australia in October 1915, was invalided back to Australia in April 1916 and died of diabetes on July 16, 1916. He was born in Prahran and at the time of enlistment his mother was living in Warrnambool. His occupation was farm labourer and he was obviously working at Cora Lynn at the time of his enlistment, as the article below attests.


Bunyip Free Press September 30, 1915


Holian John Mildred. (SN 16160)  John enlisted at the age of 22 on December 13, 1915. He was a farmer from Cora Lynn. His next of kin  was his father, Patrick Holian, also a Cora Lynn farmer. John Returned to Australia February 7, 1919.

Huey  John Robert. (SN 3168). John was born at Castlemaine and enlisted at Warragul at the age of 30 on November 24,  1916. His occupation was listed as a labourer and he lived at Cora  Lynn at the time of enlistment. His next of kin was his friend, Mrs Mary Ann Jones of Carlton. John Returned to Australia on June 30, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds in the October due to Debility, Bronchial catarrh and he had also suffered from paratyphoid and enteric fever.

Jeffers  Raymond Alva (SN 6290). Ray was born at Strathbogie and enlisted at the age of 23 on  May 25, 1916. He was a Cora Lynn farmer and the son of Alexander Jeffers, also a Cora Lynn farmer. Lieutenant Jeffers was awarded the Distinguished Conduct medal and the Military medal. He was in France until at least May 1919 and arrived home in Australia later that year. After the War he moved to Dandenong and spent seventeen years (1946 - 1963)  as a Councillor with the Dandenong Shire and City of Dandenong and was Shire President and Mayor.  You can read an interview in the Dandenong Journal with his his daughter, Mrs Wilma Coleman, here.


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 already attended Dookie Agricultural College when he enlisted, which he did  at Enoggera in Brisbane. His father was Henry George Johnson who for some reason was not listed as the next of kin, as generally fathers are more likely to be the official  next of kin than mothers.  Tudor Returned to Australia on December 23, 1918.

Kinsella, Bertram Michael  (SN 3056)  Bertram was a 29 year old farmer when he enlisted on July 12, 1915. He was Killed in Action September 25, 1917.
Kinsella, Norman Francis  (SN 920).  Norman, who was also a farmer, enlisted at the age of 19 on May 26, 1915. Norman returned to Australia after his overseas service on May 3, 1919. They were the sons of Michael and Susan (nee Lockens) Kinsella of Cora Lynn.

Milligan, Joseph Lewellen (SN 5376)  Joseph enlisted at the age of 21 on March 8, 1916, he was a 21 year old farm hand of Cora Lynn.  His mother was Kathleen Milligan, also of Cora Lynn, was his next of kin. Her name was sometimes listed as Catherine. His father was James Milligan.  Joseph was Killed in Action on February 23, 1917.

Murdoch, Arthur Charles (SN 2634). Arthur was born at Iona but was living in Brighton at the time of his enlistment on October 29, 1917. He was 19 years old and a motor driver.  Arthur Returned to Australia August 22, 1919.  George Murdoch, his father,  owned the Cora Lynn store from 1907 until 1922.

Pederson, Nils  (SN 1249). Nils was born in Norway and was working as a farm labourer at Cora Lynn at the time of his enlistment on February 24, 1915.  He was 21 years old and his next of kin was his father who lived in Norway.  He was Killed in Action in France on September 1, 1918. In his will, dated July 13, 1917, he left everything to Miss Nellie Jeffers of Cora Lynn. Nellie was the sister of Ray Jeffers, above, so I wondered if he was working for the Jeffers. However, also in his file was a letter from Miss Corrie Anderson asking about her friend, Nils, so maybe he was working for the Andersons.  Corrie later married Dan Kinsella, a brother of Bertram and Michael, above.


Corrie Anderson's letter about Nils Pedersen
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au 
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920

Rigby, William Alexander  (SN 2350). A farmer from Mayfield  Cora Lynn, William enlisted on August 16, 1916 at the age of 21.  His next of kin was his father, Isaac Rigby,  also from Mayfield, Cora Lynn. William Returned to Australia on May 12, 1919.

Roper, Thornton Graham  (SN 61922). Thornton was a 20 year old motor mechanic from Cora Lynn and he enlisted on June 24, 1918. His father, James Roper, also from  Cora Lynn was his next of kin, Thornton did get sent overseas and Returned to Australia January 4, 1919.

Scanlon, Joseph Bernard  (SN 3452)  Joseph enlisted on May 9, 1916. He was 21 years old and a labourer. He Returned to Australia on July 5, 1919. Joseph also served in the Second World War from June 1940 to May 1944, in the World War Two Nominal roll it says that he was born July 2, 1900, which only makes him 16 when he enlisted in the Great War, however the Index to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages have him listed as being born 1895, so it seems he knocked 5 years off his age in 1940!
Scanlon, Thomas  (SN 505)  Thomas was 21 when he enlisted on January 12, 1915. He was a farmer. Thomas was awarded the Military medal. He Returned to Australia on April 5, 1919.  They are also listed in some official records with the surname Scanlan. They were the sons of William and Ellen Scanlon of Cora Lynn  one newspaper report in a local paper says they were from Scanlons Drain, Cora Lynn.

Smith, Beith.  (SN 1436)  His first name was also listed as Bert and Berth in some documents but I believe that Beith is correct. He was Killed in Action May 9 or May 10 in 1915 at Gallipoli.  I had a hard time finding who B. Smith actually was until I  found out that Beith enlisted at Tynong on September 21, 1914, aged 19. The Attesting Officer was William Carney, Shire of Berwick President. His occupation was listed as a labourer. He was born at Rochford, near Kyneton and that is where his father lived.

According to Australian ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 website there is another soldier from Cora Lynn, but for some reason he is not on the War Memorial.
Thomas, James Matthew (SN 6109). James was born in Bendigo and enlisted in Melbourne on March 18, 1916 but on the Nominal roll his address on enlistment was Cora Lynn and his occupation was labourer. His next of kin was his Guardian, Mrs Higgins of North Melbourne. He was 37 when he enlisted and he Returned to Australia on June 2 1919.

*Thank you to Lynne Bradley of the Narre Warren & District Family History Group www.nwfhg.org.au  for discovering the identity of L. Fritz. It's great that we can give him his proper identity.