Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hallam and Hampton Park World War One Soldiers

The areas that are now known as Hallam and Hampton Park have gone through a few name changes over the years. In the case of Hallam this is a relatively new name for the area, dating from around 1906. Before that, the district was known as Hallam's Road after William and Mary Hallam. Earlier than that it was sometimes referred to as Dandenong and sometimes  as Eumemmerring, which covered the area basically from the Dandenong Creek to what is now Hallam Road and  both sides of the Princes Highway - so basically the suburbs of Doveton, Hallam, Endeavour Hills and the modern day suburb of Eumemmerring (gazetted May 20, 1981). The name  changes in Hallam State School, No. 244 reflect these name  changes. You can read about this school here, if you are interested.

In the case of  Hampton Park the area was previously also referred to as Eumemmerring or Dandenong and also Lyndhurst, until the Hampton Park name took hold after the Great War. You can read about Lyndhurst soldiers here and you  can read about Hampton Park here.

This post looks at any Great War Soldiers that I could find that have a connection to the Hallam and Hampton Park areas, so thus will also include Doveton, Endeavour Hills and the  Eumemmerring suburb area. There were around 250 soldiers who enlisted with a  Dandenong address or were born in Dandenong, some of whom may be eligible to be in this blog post so if you know that I have missed some Hallam  or Hampton Park soldiers, then let me know.

Some of the information in this post is from the booklet, Hallam 1830-1930 written by  Dr Deborah Stephan and published in 1993 by the City of Berwick. The booklet includes material provided by Mrs Marie Carson, the great niece of Elizabeth Andrews, who you can read about here.   Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Bridget Andrews who settled at Hallam in 1854.   Some of the information about  Hampton Park comes from The history of Hampton Park by Roy R. Scott, written in 1970 and  published in the Dandenong & District Historical Society Journal, Gipps-land Gate.

Mrs Carson remembers attending an ANZAC Service at the Hallam State School 'I remember about that time..my mother taking me along a rough and bumpy track in a a 'go-cart' as they called a baby pusher in those days, to an ANZAC celebration at Hallam State School. Someone pinned an ANZAC medal with red, white and blue ribbon on it on me and I had it for many years and felt very proud of it....this ANZAC day must have been a very early one - 1919 or 1920 perhaps"
                                      
What follows is a list of soldiers, their connection to the Hallam and Hampton Park areas, their fate (i.e. when they Returned to Australia after active service or when they were Killed in Action) and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record on the National Archives website (www.naa.gov.au)

Andrews, Louis John  (SN 4493) Louis was born in Dandenong and enlisted at the age of 22 on September 30, 1916. He was a printer and his next of kin was his wife, Ellen, of Glenferrie Road, Malvern. He Returned to Australia on April 30, 1919.  Louis was the  grandson of John Bridget Andrews, early pioneers of the Hallam area and a nephew of Elizabeth Andrews -  you can read about them here.

Battersby, John Henry  (SN 2582) John was a 23 year old timber worker when he enlisted on July 14, 1915. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919. His next of kin was his father, John Battersby of Hallam Road, Dandenong. John and Susan (nee Skinner) had ten children and built Cloverdale Cottage in 1870. Cloverdale Cottage is still standing in Hallam North Road and is  listed on the City of Casey Heritage Conservation Study.

Brown, John Alfred (SN 64160) John was born in Hallam but was living in East Caulfield when he enlisted on May 7, 1918. He was 20 years old and a clerk with the Victorian Railways.  He left Australia in September 1918, suffered from pleurisy (right lung, very severe was the notation in his record) and he Returned to Australia on July 26, 1919 and was discharged on medical grounds on September 13, 1919.




South Bourke and Mornington Journal  October 16, 1919


Brown, W There is a W. Brown listed in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal article of October 16, 1919 (see article above)  I believe that this is William Reginald Brown (SN 125) as he (or someone by the same name)  is listed in the 1919 Electoral Roll at Hallam Road, Hallam, occupation farmer.  William enlisted on January 11, 1915 aged 24. His next of kin was his sister, Stella, of South Melbourne. He is listed twice on the Embarkation Rolls - once with his address as Yarram and once as South Melbourne.   He was sent overseas and Returned to Australia on June 10, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds on October 2, 1916 as he was suffering from 'otitis media'  or deafness.

Brunet, Harry  (SN 52808)   The South Bourke and Mornington Journal has  a report of the Dandenong  Exemption Court hearings from October 16 & 17, 1916. Harry Brunet of Hallam,  applied for an exemption and the paper noted that he was an engine driver and mechanic and could plough 12 acres per day where man and three horses could only plough three and thus could take the place of at least four men in the harvest field.   The Court refused to exempt Harry and he enlisted at the age of 23 on December 18, 1917.   He Returned to Australia on July 26, 1919. His next of kin was his father, Antonio Brunet, of Clyde. The family are listed in the 1917 Electoral Roll at Hallam Road, Hallam and obviously moved to Clyde that year and are in the 1918 Roll at Clyde.

Crean, Andrew Norman (SN 1230)  Andrew enlisted on July 17, 1915 aged 22. His next of kin was his father, also Andrew, of Hallam's Road, Hallam. He Returned to Australia on May 15, 1919.  Andrew's mother, Annie Florence Crean, was a member of the Hallam State School Mothers Club in 1921, you can see a photograph of her and the other mothers,  here.

Dempsey, William Stanley (SN 3519)   Mrs Carson writes that her uncle, William Dempsey, enlisted in the First World War. Her father, Walter Dempsey (William's brother) had married a niece of Elizabeth Andrews and the family was living at Hallam 'near the turn of the century' - there was a Patrick Dempsey in the Rate Books at Hallam in 1903 and a Patrick, Clara, James and Walter Dempsey in the Electoral Roll at Hallam in 1906. William's mother Clara was his next of kin when he enlisted on September 27, 1915 at the age of 23, although she was living in Geelong then.  William was discharged on medical grounds on May 18, 1917 as he had suffered  a nervous breakdown. If you think I have the wrong William Dempsey please let me know

Eccles, James Leslie  (SN 72595)  James enlisted on August 19, 1918 and as you can see by the article below he had a 'grand concert and send-off' on October 11. James did not get to serve overseas and was Demobilized on December 24, 1918.




South Bourke and Mornington Journal October 31, 1918

Emerson, Walter Cecil (SN 1559)  Walter enlisted at the age of 18 on August 4, 1915. His father was his next of kin and his address was Richmond, but was later changed to Berwick Road, Hallam. His parents, Alfred and Carrie Emerson, are listed in the Electoral Roll at Hallam for  a few years from 1917. Walter served overseas but was discharged on medical grounds, 'Nerves' was listed as the condition, on May 30 1917. However, Walter re-enlisted on September 17, 1918 and was demobilized as the War ended. In 1929 Walter wrote a letter asking for proof of his service as he was then employed by the Post Masters General Department and as they gave preference to returned soldiers he needed this proof. His address on this letter was the quaintly named 'Cosy Tea Shop', Point Nepean Road, Chelsea.

Frawley, John (SN 2172)  According to Mrs Carson - John was known as Jerry, so that's what we will call him. Jerry was born in Hallam and enlisted on April 28, 1916 at the age of 36 years and ten months. His  next of kin was his sister, Rosanna, also of Hallam.  Jerry Returned to Australia on June 10, 1919. Frawley Road is named after the family - Mary Frawley purchased 60 acres in the area in 1857 and Jerry and Rosanna were her grandchildren.

Gander, Frederick (SN 1550) Frederick enlisted for the first time at the age of 28 on June 4, 1916. He was born in England and his address was Narre Warren. He was sent overseas to England but Returned to Australia on May 4, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds as he suffered from 'Hammer toes, both feet'  Frederick re-enlisted on June 4, 1918 and missed his send-off that was being held with James Eccles (see newspaper report, above) as he had already sailed. By this time he was 30 years old and living in Hallam. Frederick served in New Guinea and was again discharged on medical grounds this time on August 16, 1919.

Higgins, Thomas (SN 4641) Thomas enlisted on October 15, 1917 at the age of one month off 22 years of age. His next of kin was his father, Edward, of Hallam (the Embarkation Roll has the address listed as Hallam, Mt Dandenong, which is incorrect). Thomas was a 'turner and fitter' Thomas left for Egypt on April 30, 1918 and Returned to Australia on December 22, 1918. Thomas was farewelled along with Clarie Pool and  Henry Waite by over 200 people on January 31, 1918. (see report below)



South Bourke and Mornington Journal February 7, 1918


Hill, Robert (SN 1591) Robert was a 19 year old farmer when he enlisted on August 2, 1915. Less than a year later on July 20 1916 he was Killed in Action in France.  His next of kin on enlistment was his father, George Hill, of Hallam's Road, Gippsland. His mother's name was Mary.

Liston, A   Private A. Liston is named in the report from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 16, 1919 (reproduced further above)  as being welcomed home with 'other Returned Soldiers connected with Hallam District'  Who is he? I can't find any Listons listed in the Electoral Roll at Hallam, so no clues there. There was an Alexander Liston (SN 3569) who enlisted on July 28, 1915 in Seymour, his next of kin was his wife Rebecca of South Melbourne, but his medical examination was carried out in Dandenong, so that's the closest connection that I can find between a Liston and the Hallam area.  Alexander Returned to Australia on January 31, 1918. Ironically, on the Nar Nar Goon Honour Board, there is a C.Liston listed who I can't find either, my best guess is that it is Thomas Liston, who enlisted at Tynong, so I don't know why Listons have proved to be so puzzling.

Masters, Albert Ernest (SN 428) Albert enlisted on February 8, 1915 aged 28, at Morwell. Albert Returned to Australia on December 11, 1918 and was discharged for medical reasons (flat feet, was the disability listed) on March 24, 1919.
Masters, Charles Henry (SN 2893) Charles was 23, a grocer, when he enlisted on June 7, 1915. He was awarded the Military Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Charles Returned to Australia on January 15, 1919 and was discharged for medical reasons (Gassed) in April 24, 1919.
Albert and Charles were the sons of William and Sarah Jane (nee Blythman) Masters of Kirkham Road in Dandenong. They are listed in the report from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of October 16, 1919 (reproduced further above)  as being welcomed home with 'other Returned Soldiers connected with Hallam District' but I am not sure what the exact connection to Hallam was,  apart from being the adjacent town.

Meehan, James Joseph (SN 2112)  When  James enlisted on July 5, 1916 at the age of 24, he was living in Sea Lake.  He was wounded whilst serving in France. He Returned to Australia on May 12, 1918 (incorrectly listed as May 12, 1919 on the Nominal Rolls) and was discharged on medical grounds on July 23, 1918.  What is his connection to Hallam? A report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of  February 11, 1915 said that Mr J.J. Meehan  was farewelled by the residents of Hallam before his departure to Sea Lake. There is a James Joseph Meehan in the Electorate Roll of 1914 at  Hallam's Road - also listed is a Thomas Michael and Ellen Meehan of Hallam's Road - I am surmising that they are his relatives (Uncle and Aunty perhaps - Thomas Meehan is mentioned in the report, immediately above, about the farewell to Privates Higgins, Poole and Waite)  - then in 1915 he moved to Sea Lake where he enlisted. Then in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 29, 1919 there is a report about an 'unfortunate accident' which 'befel Mr J. Meehan, a  Returned Soldier farming at Hallam.'  I am confident that this is our James, and that he returned to Hallam after his war service. James Joseph Meehan and Ruth  Rebecca Meehan are in the 1921 Electorate Roll at Hallam's Road. Mrs Meehan is pictured in the Hallam State School Mothers Club photograph from 1921 here.

Morris, Charles (SN 7578) Charles was born in England and was working as a farm labourer in Hallam when he enlisted on April 2, 1917 aged 24. His next of kin was his father who lived in Mansfield, Nottingham in England. Charles was married to  Gertrude Jones in Mansfield on July 12, 1919 and was discharged from the AIF in England on October 2 the same year. Did they return to Australia? I don't know.

Poole, Clarie Edward (SN 50194) Clarie was living in New South Wales when he first enlisted on January 17, 1916 and he was discharged February 16 the same year -  a notation in another enrolment paper says that it was because he was underage, although his date of birth was listed as July 24, 1896, so possibly he didn't have his parent's permission as his next of kin was a friend. Anyway he re-enlisted on February 2, 1918  at the age of 21 and this time his next of kin was his mother Amelia Poole and she was living in New South Wales, but Clarie's address was Hallam's Road, Hallam.  He was farewelled along with Henry Waite and Thomas Higgins on January 31, 1918 (see report above) Clarie was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918.

Reedy. Albert George (SN 1956) Known as George, he enlisted at the age of 22 on February 9, 1916. George Returned to Australia on May 15, 1919.  
Reedy, John Thomas (SN 1220)  John, known as Jack, was 32 when he enlisted on July 19, 1915. He Returned to Australia on May 8, 1919. Jack was awarded the Military Medal.
Jack and George were the sons of James and Elizabeth (nee Kirkham) Reedy, their father had already passed away when they enlisted and their mother was listed as the next of kin. The men were born in Dandenong and this was the address on enlistment, although they actually lived in what we now call Hampton Park. You can read more about the Reedy Family and early Hampton Park, here.

Seymour, Francis Joseph (SN 2391) Francis was 18 when he enlisted on May 31, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Edith Sarah Seymour of Hallam's Road, Hallam. Francis served overseas and wounded by shrapnel and gassed and spent six months in hospital in England and then Returned to Australia on January 31, 1918 and was discharged as being medically unfit on May 18, 1918. 

Waite, Henry  (SN 50467)  Henry was farewelled at a function on January 31, 1918 along with Clarie Poole and Thomas Higgins (see report above). Henry enlisted on December 11, 1917, he was 21 years old. His next of kin was his sister, Elizabeth Waite of Broadford. He was a labourer, presumably working for Mr C.A. McKenzie as his address was C/O Mr McKenzie, Hallam's Road, Hallam. Henry was sent overseas to Egypt and Returned to Australia on March 14, 1919.