Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bunyip Methodist Church Roll of Honour

The Bunyip Methodist Church Roll of Honour is in the Uniting Church at Bunyip. The Bunyip Methodist Church was in High Street, just up from the Post Office, and officially opened on October 8, 1899 and by 1902 the Church had been lined, a new porch added and,  later, a Vestry added. The Church closed in the 1970s and was later demolished.



Bunyip Methodist Church
Source: Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest.

There are 25 names on the Honour Roll and I did naturally expect that they might all have been Methodists , however only 12 were. Five said they were Church of England, four were Presbyterian, one was Catholic and one was Baptist and two had no religion stated. So either the Bunyip Methodists were a very ecumenical lot or else there were some mistakes made at the time. Either way this is an interesting list and is an example of one of the thousands of Honour Boards established after the War by churches, schools and businesses.

Here is a list of the 25 servicemen 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 the other men from Bunyip who enlisted and are on the Bunyip War Memorial, then click here.

Barnett, Charles Henry  (SN 1673) Charles was born in 1896 in Bunyip. In June 1912 he signed up to Royal Australian Navy for seven years. He was on the Cerberus, the Protector and the Sydney. He was in Navy until 1921.  Charles and Clifford, below, were the sons of William and Emma (nee Mills) They were at Bunyip  from at least 1896 when Charles was born and were on the Electoral Roll at Bunyip  to 1912, but not on the Roll in 1914.

Barnett, Clifford (SN  2257)  Clifford was born in 1898 and he joined the Royal Australian Navy in October 1912, perhaps inspired by his brother, Charles, above. He was on the Tingira, the Australia, the Platypus and the Cerberus. Clifford was in the Navy until 1923.

Bastin,  John Alfred (SN 2339)  John was born in Bunyip and was a fisherman. He enlisted on January 7, 1916 and his next of kin was his father, Alfred Bastin. He Returned to Australia on March 14, 1919. His stated religion was Church of England.

Campigli, Donald Hugh (SN 7460)  Donald  enlisted on December 11, 1914 and served in Gallipoli where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, was later at Dardenelles, and was discharged February 1916 but then rejoined  on July 16, 1917 and Returned to Australia April 1920.   On his second enlistment he was  one of the 'Sportsmen's Thousand' a 1917 campaign to encourage sportsmen to join the AIF. His father, James, was the Station Master at Bunyip from February 1901 to May 1904 but the family had been in Bunyip earlier than that as Donald was born there in 1896. His stated religion was Presbyterian.



Australian War Memorial collection ARTV00026

Dale,  Charles Coning.  Lieutenant Dale enlisted on November 3, 1914. His next of Kin was his wife, Sibyl,  of Canning Street, North Carlton. Charles was a soldier and had already spent three years at the Royal Military College at Duntroon.   He was Killed in Action August 7, 1915 at Gallipoli. Charles was born in Longwarry in 1894 and his parents, James and Elizabeth,  are on the 1903 Electoral roll at Bunyip. His stated religion was Presbyterian. Charles left behind a widow who had the delightful name of Sybil Daffodill (nee Wootten) whom he married in 1914. They had  a little girl, Valda Rita, who was born in 1915. Did he ever get to see his daughter? I suspect not as he left Australia on February 25, 1915.

Forsyth,  Robert Bruce   (SN 203) Robert enlisted on August 18, 1914. He was the son of William Forsyth of Bunyip. According to Call of the Bunyip, William had worked on the drainage of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and Robert was born near Five Mile (Koo-Wee-Rup North) William was allocated  a block on the Main Drain near the Juction bridge.  William was the Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School as well as being a member of the Salvation Army. In spite of this, Robert said he was a Presbyterian when he enlisted.  Robert was twice mentioned in Dispatches and was awarded the Military Cross. Captain Forsyth Returned to Australia November 6, 1918.

Heatley Edward (SN 6945a)  Listed as Heatly on the Honour Roll. Edward enlisted on October 19, 1917. He was a farm labourer and his next of kin was his father, William, of Bunyip. His stated religion was Roman Catholic. He Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919.

Heatley, William Henry (SN 246 and 5603) Listed as H, Heatly on the Honour Roll, so we will call him Henry.  Henry enlisted on December 24, 1914 was discharged on June 18, 1915 as he was medically unfit due to 'small multiple subcutaneaous tremors and variciceie'. He re-enlisted on February 8, 1916, served in France and then  Returned to Australia on November 5, 1917. He was discharged from the AIF in August 1918 as he was medically unfit due to 'multiple lipomata and debility'. His father William Heatley of Bunyip was his next of kin, though this later changed to his wife Muriel. His stated religion was Church of England. In spite of the difference of religion I believe that Edward (above) and Henry were brothers - the sons of William and Margaret (nee Hannan).

Jenkin,  Samuel  (SN 6533)  Samuel and his wife Alexandrina lived in Bunyip and he enlisted on October 4, 1915.  He was a farmer. He Returned to Australia on May 4, 1919. His stated religion was Methodist.

Jewell,  John George (SN 55)   John enlisted on August 22, 1914. He Returned to Australia on January 23, 1918. John was born in Bunyip and his next of kin was his father, William, of Bunyip, although the 1914 Electoral Roll have William and his wife Elizabeth at Tonimbuk. Call of the Bunyip  says that the Jewells had fifty acres as part of the Tonimbuk Village Settlement Scheme and they arrived at Tonimbuk around 1892. John's stated religion was Church of England.

Masters,  Percy Thomas (SN 1777 or 1580) Percy enlisted on January 4, 1915. Percy was awarded the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia on March 9, 1919. He was the son of  William and Clara Masters of Bunyip. His stated religion was Methodist.

Miles,  Eric Clive  (SN 3733)  Eric was born in Bunyip and he enlisted on December 15, 1917, when he was 18 years old. His next of kin was his father, Henry Miles of  Bunyip.  He Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919. His stated religion was Methodist.

Miles,  Ronald Birkett  (SN 2715) Ronald enlisted on August 2, 1915, when he was 20.   His parents were William and Mary Miles of Bunyip.  He Returned to Australia on December 21, 1918. His stated religion was Methodist.

Miles, William Joseph  (SN 3388) William was 29 when he enlisted on November 4, 1916 . He was a farmer from Bunyip and his wife Harriet was his next of kin. William was born at Mt Doran, as well  Ronald, above, so I assume they were brothers.  He Returned to Australia on July 13, 1919.   His stated religion was Methodist.



Bunyip Methodist Church Honour Roll

Morrison,  George Alfred   (SN 2135) George enlisted at Bunyip on July 27, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Sarah Morrison of Bunyip. George was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He Returned to Australia April 19, 1919. His stated religion was Methodist.

Mouser,  George   Lieutenant George Mouser  enlisted on May 1, 1916. He Returned to Australia on July 24, 1919. 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 and had also been the Station Master at Beaconsfield from June 1912 to March 1914.  John is listed on the 1903 Electoral Roll at Bunyip, occupation Railway employee, so that's the Bunyip connection. George is also honoured on the Narre Warren War Memorial. His stated religion was Methodist.

Pomeroy,  Alfred John (SN 2745)  Alfred was born at Beulah and he enlisted on March 21, 1916. His next of kin was his father Richard of Barrow Street in Brunswick. His stated religion was Methodist. He Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919. What is his Bunyip connection?  Richard and Sarah Pomeroy are listed in the 1903 and 1909 Electoral Rolls at Bunyip South (Iona); in the Victorian Births Index there is an Alfred John born in 1893 to a Richard and Sarah Pomeroy at Beulah, so I am convinced that Alfred is our man. It would seem that Richard and Sarah are some of the hundreds of families that moved to the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp in the 1890s and early 1900s due to the availability of land.

Ransom,  Harry  (SN 6366)   Harry was a 19 year old postal assistant when he enlisted on July 21, 1916. He Returned to Australia on December 11, 1918. His stated religion was Methodist. His next of kin was his father, Harry, who was then Station Master at Tallarook. Harry senior had been the Station Master at Bunyip from June 1908 to November 1910, so it is likely that Harry and his brother Herbert, see below, attended school at Bunyip.

Ransom,  Herbert William (SN 128) Herbert enlisted on August 18, 1914. He was 19 and like his brother, Harry, above, he was also a postal employee. At the time he enlisted his father was at Maffra. His stated religion was Baptist. Herbert suffered a gun shot wound to the abdomen and the bullet was still in his body as an operation was not considered necessary. Harry was discharged from the AIF on medical grounds and Returned to Australia on October 8, 1915.  

Spence, James Sinclair (SN 10339) James was 30 when he enlisted on August 2, 1915. He was an Inspector at the Melbourne & Metropolitan Board of Works. His next of was his wife Jessie. He Returned to Australia on May 11, 1918. His stated religion was Methodist.  James, Malcolm and Russell (see below) were brothers. They were the sons of James and Zillah (nee Ward) Spence, who came to Bunyip in 1892. Both James and Zillah had died  by the time their sons enlisted.  (Information from Call of the Bunyip) The three boys all stated that they were Methodists on their enlistment papers.

Spence, Malcolm (SN 4614) Malcolm enlisted on August 31, 1915, his next of kin was his sister, Harriet Walker of Bunyip. He was 22 years of age and was a postal employee. He was Killed in Action, in France, on July, 20, 1916.  Malcolm is the brother of James and Russell. Malcolm is also listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.

Spence,  Russell Ayres (SN 3555)  Was enlisted when he was 19, on July 8, 1915. He was a taxi driver and his cousin was his next of kin. He suffered from various wounds and diseases and was still in hospital in England in 1919. He is listed in the 1924 Electoral roll at Footscray, so obviously came back to Australia. He later had a farm in Bunyip and he was the Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School.  Russell is the brother of James and Malcolm.

Wheeler,  Ernest James (SN 22329)  Ernest enlisted  on January 10, 1916 His next of kin was his mother, Henrietta Wheeler of Bunyip. Ernest was a tile maker from Mitchum and he Returned to Australia May 29, 1919.  His stated religion was Church of England.

Withington,  Robert Charles     Major Withington was a Medical Practitioner who enlisted on December 2, 1915 at the age of 41.   He Returned to Australia March 16, 1919.   According to Call of the Bunyip, Dr Withington was Bunyip's first resident doctor. Robert, his wife Eleanor and daughter, Rewa, and had arrived there in 1904 from Fiji where he had been a Missionary Doctor. They had two other daughters, Irene and Elizabeth, born when they were at Bunyip.  Call of the Bunyip also says that Dr Withington held the distinction of being the first person in the Bunyip district to suffer in a motor accident when his car was hit by a passenger train. His stated religion on his enlistment paper was Presbyterian, however Call of the Bunyip says that the family was Methodist. After the family lived at St Georges Road in Elsternwick.

Williams,  Thomas Trevor (SN 7575)  Thomas was born in Bunyip and enlisted on July 18, 1917. His next of was his father, Benjamin, who lived in Elsternwick. He was 18 years and 2 months old at the time of his enlistment. He Returned to Australia on March 21, 1919. His stated religion was Church of England.

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