So because we have these historic connections to French Island I feel the soldiers and Matron Ross, an Army Nurse deserve a place in our blog. What follows is a list of French Island service personnel including their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record at the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au
Most of these people are listed on the French Island Honour Board, located at the French Island Community Hall. You can see a photograph of the Honour Board on the Monument Australia website here. There may be more who should be in this list, feel free to let me know. The main towns on French Island are Tankerton and Fairhaven.
Bayford, Hugh Staynes (SN 1878) Hugh was 25 years old when he enlisted on February 7 1916. His next of kin was his mother who lived in Moreland, but according to the Electoral Rolls Hugh had been a farmer on French Island since 1909. Hugh was Wounded in Action on three occasions, including sustaining a gun shot wound to his right eye and Returned to Australia on November 8, 1918.
Bennetts, Albert Edward (SN 7029) Albert enlisted on January 25, 1916 at the age of 34. He was a farmer from Fairhaven. Albert Returned to Australia on June 2, 1919 and according to the Electoral Rolls returned to living on French Island.
Bond, Frederick William (SN 585) Frederick was a 28 year old miner when he enlisted on September 5, 1914 at Rosebery Park in New South Wales. His next of kin was his father, James Bond, of French Island. Frederick was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on April 27, 1915.
Chapman, Albert Claude (SN 2790) A.C Chapman is listed on the Honour Board and there is an Albert Claude Chapman on the Electoral Roll at Fairhaven in 1918, occupation farmer so I presume they are the same people, however I cannot actually link Albert to French Island through any information in his service record. Albert enlisted on November 30, 1916 aged 32, his occupation was warehouseman, he was born in England and his next of kin was his father who lived in London. Albert Returned to Australia January 25, 1919.
Chilcott, Frank William Leslie (SN 5673) Frank enlisted on February 7, 1916 aged 24. His next of kin was his mother, Margaret Chilcott, of French Island. Frank Returned to Australia on June 12, 1919.
Collinson, John Henry (SN Depot) J.Henry is listed on the Honour Board and the Electoral Roll lists a John Henry Collinson at Fairhaven from 1918 until 1927. I presume this is the same John Henry Collinson who enlisted on May 22 1915 at the age of 21. He was an electrician. John was discharged as unfit for military service on July 5, 1915 due to 'overlapping toes', the 'first toe on both feet overlap the big toe' was the note on his record.
Collinson, Wilfred (SN 2210) Wilfred was born in Hull, in Yorkshire in England, as was John, above, so I believe they were brothers. Wilfred enlisted at age of 19 on November 16, 1914. Wilfred Returned to Australia on April, 10 1919.There are two letters in Wilfred's file from Mrs Jean Harrop, 'Long View', Tankerton one dated May 26, 1919 and the other dated June 5 1919 (see below) asking for information about Wilfred. In one letter she writes 'I am interested and would like accurate information' The response was that they didn't have an official report on Collinson but if they did they would communicate with his next of kin, his father. I wonder who Mrs Harrop was? She was also connected to Alfred Pocock, below.
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au
Cremin, J The Honour Roll lists a J. Cremin and according to the National Archives there were only two Cremins who enlisted - John Francis Cremin (SN 593) and a Samuel Cremin (SN 369). There was however, a James Stuart Cremen (SN 838) who also enlisted. So if we eliminate Samuel then we are left with John and James. I think we can eliminate James Stuart Cremen as he was born, worked (as a crockery packer) and enlisted in Sydney, the surname spelling is irrelevant as I have seen lots of incorrect surnames on Honour Boards. That leaves us with John Francis Cremin (SN 593) John was born in Scotland, his next of kin was his mother who lived in London. He enlisted on April 16, 1915 at Broadmeadows at the age of 21 and he was a Clerk. John married Ada May Lambourne in May 1917 when he was in England. John Returned to Australia on June 16, 1919 and the couple are listed in the Electoral Rolls in the 1920s as living in Prahran. Is John the J. Cremin listed on the Honour Roll? I can find nothing that connects him to French Island, but I feel that he's the most likely candidate, but happy to be proven wrong.
Cuttriss, John (SN 1135) John was a 27 year old motor boatman of Fairhaven when he enlisted at the age of 27 on March 6, 1916. He Returned to Australia January 10, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds in August 1918, due to a gun shot wound to the right elbow.
Edhouse, Charles Edward (SN 333a) Charles was a 21 year old farm hand when he enlisted on April 24, 1916. His address on the Embarkation Roll was care of R. De La Haye, Fairhaven, French Island. Charles Returned to Australia July 9, 1919.
Gillings, Robert (SN 19847) Robert was a 22 year old labourer, from French Island, and he enlisted on November 23, 1915. Next of Kin was his father who lived in England. He Returned to Australia on February 19, 1919.
Griffiths, Ivor (SN 5377) Ivor was born in Wales and he enlisted on January 15, 1916 aged 24. He was a farmer from Tankerton. Ivor Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.
Haward, Martin Francis (SN 17859) Martin enlisted on April 3, 1917, he was a 24 year old telephone mechanic from Tankerton. Martin Returned to Australia June 16, 1919.
Hill, James (SN 2782) - see below under Charles Williams.
Iliff, George Robert (SN 1734) George enlisted on May 20, 1915, he was a 22 year old labourer. He served overseas but suffered a number of bouts of disease and Returned to Australia on October 17, 1916 and was medically discharged in April 1917.
Iliff, Joseph Ludwig (SN 6334) Joseph was a 29 year old farm labourer when he enlisted on October 25, 1916. He Returned to Australia August 8, 1919.
Iliff, William Charles (SN 1137) William enlisted at the age of 24 on July 28 1915. He Returned to Australia April 8, 1919. William was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after his return on Eight Mile Road at Nar Nar Goon - you can read about this on the Battle to Farm website here.
George, Joseph and William were brothers and their next of kin was their mother, Bertha, of Tankerton. Their father, Joseph, had died in 1905.
Leppke, William. William Leppke is listed on Discovering Anzacs website as having enlisted in 1915 when he was living on French Island. His official record has not been digitised and is part of the National Archives Series 'Applications to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force' which covers 'records for those individuals who applied to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force, and were either rejected, discharged while still in training, or went on to serve within Australia only [usually as depot troops or camp guards]. The most common reason for rejection is on medical grounds'. So apart from the fact that he was 28 years old and born in East Prussia, that's all I know about him.
Lovie, William Wallace (SN 14077) William enlisted on February 1, 1916 at the age of 21. He was from Fairhaven. He Returned to Australia on June 2, 1919.
Maddaford, Alfred (SN 2035) enlisted on July 28, 1915 at the age of 26. He was discharged on medical grounds in June 1916 as he had 'chronic epilepsy'
Maddaford, Richard James (SN 2949) Richard enlisted at the age of 28 on February 18 1916. He was Killed in Action in France on April 24 1918. There was an article about his death in the Powlett Express, see below.
Richard and Alfred both had their sister Lily (sometimes spelt Lillie) as their next of kin. When Alfred enlisted her address was Ballarat (where they were born) but when Richard enlisted her address was Tankerton. However according to the Electoral Roll, in 1909 Richard and Lily were both on French Island and in 1912 Richard and Alfred were both living on French Island and Lily had moved back to Ballarat, but was obviously back on the Island by 1916.
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au
John and William are the sons of John Ratford of Tankerton.
There is an interesting account of a cricket match between French Island and Tooradin in the Mornington Standard of May 17, 1919, which mentions the return of John Ratford to the team 'after an absence of three years at a more strenuous game' You can read the full article here
Toebelmann, Arnold (SN 613) Arnold was born on French Island and he enlisted on March 25, 1916 at the age of 19. His next of kin was his father, Johann, of Moorooduc. Arnold was Killed in Action in Belgium on October 4, 1917.
Walden, Henry (SN 6137) Henry enlisted on March 8, 1916 at the age of 21. He served overseas and sustained a gun shot wound to his right thigh on August 23, 1918 and Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.
Charles and Henry were the sons of Charles Walden of Tankerton.