Thursday, November 30, 2017

Australian Women's National League

During the Great War many groups raised funds for the war effort, including the Australian Women's National League (AWNL). There is a description on the Australian Women's Register of the group (you can read the full article here)  - The Australian Women's National League (AWNL) was a conservative women's organisation established in 1904 to support the monarchy and empire, to combat socialism, educate women in politics and safeguard the interests of the home, women and children. It aimed to garner the votes of newly enfranchised women for non-Labor political groups espousing free trade and anti-socialist sentiments, with considerable organisational success. At its peak, it was the largest and arguably the most influential women's organisation in the country. By 1914 the AWNL claimed 52,000 members in three states. Closely associated with the United Australia Party, the financial and organisational support of the League was a key factor in the foundation of the Australian Liberal Party in 1944. At this point, the majority of members reconstituted themselves as the Women's Section of the Liberal Party. The League continued in a much reduced state.

During the War local branches operated at Berwick, Cranbourne, Pakenham Upper, Officer and Nar Nar Goon - they may well  have operated in other towns however I couldn't  find  any mention of this in local newspapers. 

Dandenong Advertiser  September 13, 1917

This is a report of the 1917 Annual General Meeting of the Nar Nar Goon branch of the Australian Women's National League. Mrs E.A Latta is Mrs Edgar Atherton Latta, born Leila Startup.  John Startup had  taken up the Mount Ararat Station at Nar Nar Goon in 1854 which had at one time the 'largest fenced grazing paddock' in Victoria - his land went from near Pakenham to Drouin. John later acquired property (336 acres)  on the corner of Bald Hill Road and Mt Ararat Road, the property was known as Oaklands and was where Leila was living at the time of her marriage. The Lattas were also early settlers in the area and the family is the source of the name Latta Road in Nar Nar Goon. Phillip and Michael Mulcare were also early landowners and the first subdivision of the Nar Nar Goon township on the south side of the railway was of Michael Mulcare's land. This is the source of the name Mulcare Road.  There is a James Mulcare and a James Raleigh Mulcare in the Electoral at Nar Nar Goon at this time, so one of them is the husband of Mrs J. Mulcare but not sure which or what her own name is.  Miss Jean Grey is possibly connected to the Grey family listed in the book From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen as an early Nar Nar Goon family.


Dandenong Advertiser Aug 24, 1916

Not surprising that, as the AWNL  is described as a conservative women's group, local members tended to be from the 'well off' strata of society.  Mrs A. Nash, mentioned above in the Cranbourne group was Mrs Albert Nash or Mary Maud Nash to give her her own name. Mrs Nash was convenor of the Cranbourne Red Cross branch and was well connected to the Grices and the Ryans - you can read about the Cranbourne Red Cross and Mrs Nash's illustrious family here. Mrs A.E Brunt was Ellen Brunt, nee Carter, the wife of Andrew Edgar Brunt. Andrew was a son of Ralph Brunt, who had one thousand acres on the Cardinia Creek. He is the source of the name Brunt Road in Officer.  Ralph's cousin, William, had the Spring Villa property at Cranbourne (where the Settlement Hotel is now located) and is the source of the name Brunt Street in Cranbourne. Mrs J. B Wilson was the wife of James Brisbane Wilson, of Lyndhurst, the son of William and Euphemia (nee Brisbane) Wilson - Berwick pioneers. Mrs Wilson was born Margaret Ballanytne. 


Berwick Shire News July 7, 1915

As with the Cranbourne branch of the AWNL the Berwick branch was also made up of women involved with the Red Cross - Mrs Scott Sharp, Mrs Pearson, Mrs Beaumont and Mrs Wilson. You can read about these women here. The other women listed are  Mercy Jane Davy  (nee Jacka) of Kippenross (later called Brentwood) in Berwick, you can read about the Davy family here.  Mercy's husband Humphrey had died in 1913. Mrs Jarrett was Eleanor Jarrett (nee Speeding), wife of William Henry Jarrett of Harkaway - their occupations in the 1915 Electoral Roll are listed as 'independent means.' Ogilvy - Mesdame Ogilvy would be a connection to Mr James Ogilvy, described in the Early Days of Berwick, as 'the son of Melbourne's earliest solicitors, who was enrolled  as one of the first pupils when Scotch College opened'. He lived on Buchanan's Road. Mesdame Sturtevant would be Margaret Sturtevant, the wife of Buxton Sturtevant listed in the Electoral Roll as an Electoplater.  The Early Days of Berwick also gives us some information on the Mesdame Tetley - she would be a connection to William Tetley, described as 'an old Harrovian, who lived at the eastern end on Buchanans Road'


What did the AWNL do?  Mrs Watson Robertson of the Central Branch addressed the Berwick Branch in May 1916 and this is some of what she said - Since the outbreak of war politics had been set aside and members had devoted their energies to patriotic work. Their motto was 'For God and Country'  and they were giving their support to many patriotic movements.  They had given four motor ambulances, and two were in Egypt and two in England.  After buying the ambulances there was a surplus, and this formed the nucleus of what is now the League's War Fund.  On a special gift day arranged last year over seven tons weight of goods were received. All the branches were contributing to the war fund, and the Central committee had from this been able to make the following donations : Belgian Relief Fund, £100; Red Cross (France), £20; towards a motor ambulance for Broadmeadows, £50  Lady Stanley's Recreation Hall, Broadmeadows, £10; Servian [i.e. Serbian] Fund; £10 10s; milk for Belgian babies, £10; Bed at Base Hospital, £25; and to the Lady Mayoress' League, £87 18s. For the Nurses they had sent one gross of Atkinson's Eau de Cologne and 15 dozen tins of Cadbury's chocolate. The sum of £250 had been given to the Y.M.C.A., £10 to. the Y.M.C A. Tent. £10 to the French Babies' Fund, £25 for French Motor Ambulance, and £25 to the Lady Mayoress' Patriotic Fund.  The sum of £2,336 had been collected to provide milk for the soldiers in the trenches, and 100 cases of 40 tins each were sent by every transport that could take them. Many gifts were sent to the soldiers at Xmas.




Berwick Shire News May 3 1916

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tynong grove planted in honour of local soldiers

A grove  'to honour the men who had gone from the district to the Great War' was planted at the Tynong State School to celebrate Arbor Day on July 6, 1917.  There was a report on this event in the Dandenong Advertiser of July 12, 1917.   You can read the full report here and I have transcribed it,  below. 

 The Arbor Day proceedings at the school were marked by the planting of a grove in honor of the men who have gone from the district to the Great War. Mr.W. S. Keast, M.L.A. attended, and was welcomed on behalf of the residents by Mr T. W. Cunningham, chairman of the School Committee and President of the Progress Association. Mr Keast, in the course of his remarks, said that he was pleased and proud to be present on the occasion. Nothing was too good for the men who had gone to fight the Empire's battles, and it would be the duty of the Federal and State Government to do the best possible for them. He had been pleased to learn how well the pupils of the school had been working for the War Relief Funds, and to show his appreciation of their efforts he would be pleased to forward a cheque for a pound, and another for a similar amount when the school fund reached 100 pounds.  He recognised also the splendid work being done by the ladies of the Red Cross Societies. It was the first time he had been present on an occasion such as this, and he was pleased to pronounce the first acre of the grove well and truly planted. Mr T. Gleeson, in proposing a vote, of thanks to Mr Keast, mentioned his ever willingness to assist in all matters for the welfare of the district, and the appreciation of those present for his assistance on that day. Subsequently trees were planted to: Pte. E. Bullock, Pte.R. Brown, Pte. Bourke, Trooper Coombs, Pte. L. Doherty, Pte. F. Doherty, Corporal L. Gordon, Gunner Harris (killed in action), Pte. J. Hargraves, Pte. V. Jones, Pte. C. Lamb, Pte. Leeson, Trooper Madden, Ptes. P. and L. Orrocks (killed in action), Pte. L. Orde, Pte.W. Rowe, Pte. J. McQualter, Pte G.Rowley, Pte. J. Robinson, Pte. F. Snow, Corporal R. Thompson, Ptes. F. and A. Weatherhead, Pte. H. Wright, Pte. T. White, and Pte. T. Whiston. The fencing of the grove was nearly completed, whilst the School Committee and helpers also further improved the school ground by planting many trees and shrubs around its border, by fencing a portion for the children's ponies and a start was made at the pipe draining of the ground. During the day's program, a talk on local timbers was given by Mr H. Weatherhead, and Mr J.H. Lord of Bunyip gave a demonstration on tree-planting. After afternoon tea, which had thoughtfully been provided by the ladies, had been served, Mr D. Danson expressed the thanks of the committee to those who had attended and made the day's proceedings such a success.

The Tynong State School, No. 2854, was closed on April 14, 1951 as it became part of Pakenham Consolidated School. The school was where St Thomas Aquinas School is now located. 

Here are the soldiers, who were honoured with  a tree, I have had mixed success in identifying these men, so if you can help I would appreciate it. I have listed their Service Numbers (SN) so you can look up their full record on the National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au

Bourke  Listed as Private Bourke, I don't know who this might be, but I presume he was connected to the Pakenham Bourkes -  Michael and Kitty Bourke who took up the 12,800 acre Mintons Run property in 1843 and in 1849 built the La Trobe Inn (also known as Bourke's Hotel for obvious reasons) on Toomuc Creek.

Brown, R I am not sure who this is, I cannot find a R. Brown with  a local connection.  There is a Richard Vincent Brown listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong from 1916 to 1919 - his occupation is pensioner, so our soldier may be connected to him. 

Bullock, Ernest (SN 6291) Ernest was nearly 21 and a farmer when he enlisted on July 7, 1916.  He was born in Murrumbena and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Mary Bullock, of Oakleigh. I assume that Ernest was living with his brother Thomas, who was a labourer from Garfield, who enlisted on the same day as Ernest.  Ernest was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918. Ernest and Thomas are also listed on the Garfield Honour Roll as well as the Clyde North State School Roll, where they attended school.  

Coombs, Henry Ernest (SN 4080) Henry enlisted on August 9, 1915 aged 18. His next of kin was his father, also called Henry, of Tynong and his mother was Inez (nee Ffrost). Henry Returned to Australian March 4, 1919.

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. The brothers are also listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial

Gordon, L Corporal   You would think Corporal L. Gordon would be easy to identify, but I  can't.  I have checked every Corporal Gordon in the Nominal Rolls and none have an obvious local connection. The only Gordon I could find in the area in the Electoral Rolls was a Duncan Gordon of Bunyip in the 1909 roll. 

Hargraves, J  Private Hargraves is another mystery. I cannot find a Hargraves with a local connection. There was a Edward and Mary Hargrave at Bunyip from 1903 to 1909 in the Electoral Rolls, but that's the closest Hargraves I could find to Tynong. 

Harris, Leo  (SN 3132)  Leo enlisted on July 20, 1915 at the age of 20 and he was a farm labourer. His next of kin was his mother,  Josephine Harris of Nar Nar Goon. Leo was Killed in Action, in France, on August 9, 1916 and his name also appears on the Nar Nar Goon Honor Roll.



Gertie Brent's In Memoriam notice from The Age September 25, 1918 in honour of her fiance, Victor Jones (see below)

Jones, Victor Herbert (SN 3150)  Victor was 27 when he enlisted on July 26, 1915. His occupation was 'engine cleaning', a Railways job. His father and next of kin was William Jones of Moe who was a railway ganger, so working for the  Victorian Railways was  a family affair. As you can see from the article below, he was positioned at Tynong for some years. Victor was Killed in Action in Belgium on September 25, 1917. His will left his estate partially to his father and partly to Miss Gertie Brent of Tynong.   



Narracan Shire Advocate
November 17, 1917

Lamb, C  I don't  who this is. We know there was a Joseph Lamb at Tynong from around 1889 to 1896 - he wrote various letters to the Shire of Berwick complaining about his property being flooded and this is presumably the same Joseph Lamb, farmer,  listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1903. From 1909 to at least 1919 there was a Joseph Lamb in the Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon, his occupation was bootmaker. Is this the same Joseph Lamb who was the farmer?   Also, in 1919,  a Lawrence Joseph Lamb was listed as a State School teacher at Cora Lynn. It is possible that C. Lamb is connected with one of these men, but I can't work out who he is. 

Leeson  Private Leeson could be either Robert Leeson or William Leeson, the sons of Phillip and Amelia (nee Ransom) Leeson of Garfield.  Robert and William’s grandmother, Kathleen Leeson, was the licensee of the Pig & Whistle Hotel on Cannibal Creek.    
Leeson, Robert Victor  (SN 2589) Robert enlisted in Melbourne,  at 20 years of age, on June 30, 1916.   Robert Returned to Australia on December 18, 1918. 
Leeson,  William Herbert Charles  (SN 1178) William enlisted at Tynong on September 26, 1914, aged 24. William was Killed in Action on on May 2, 1915 at Gallipoli.  
William is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial and he and Robert are on the Garfield State School Honour Roll

Madden, Trooper   Trooper Madden could be either Frank or Thomas Madden. They are the sons of Thomas and Grace (nee Cook) Madden of Nar Nar Goon, although they are later listed at 9 Caroline Street, Clifton Hill.  There is also a Thomas Madden in the 1914 Electoral Roll listed at Tynong on 1914 so clearly they lived somewhere between the two towns. Frank and Thomas were both wool sorters by occupation. 
Madden, Frank  (SN 1798) Frank enlisted on January 13, 1915 at the age of 19.    Frank was awarded the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia on April 8, 1919.  
Madden, Thomas William  (SN 2232)  Thomas' address on the Embarkation Roll is Nar Nar Goon, and he was 25 years old when he enlisted on April 1, 1916. He Died of Wounds on October 17, 1917 in Belgium. 

McQualter, John Hughes (SN 3199) John enlisted on December 18, 1916 aged 23. His wife, Ellen was listed as his next of kin. They lived at Tynong.  John Returned to Australia on July 8, 1919. John  was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after the war, you can read his file here, on the Battle to Farm website.  

Orde, L   I believe this is most likely Albert Leslie Ord (SN 3889) who enlisted on August 7, 1915 aged 22. His next of kin was his father, Frederick Ord of Nar Nar Goon. There is a Frederick Thomas Ord and a Margaret Ord listed in the Electoral Roll in 1914 at Tynong, so either they had moved or else more likely lived on the border of the two towns. Albert Died of Wounds on September 25, 1916 - he was accidentally shot in the hip by another soldier who was cleaning his gun.

Orrock, Harold Augustus Alexander (SN 552)
Orrock, Percy  Newton (SN 3580)
Percy and Alex were the sons of David and Emma Orrock of Tynong and were killed within three months of each other. Alex was 20 when he enlisted on March 3, 1916, he was a farm labourer and was Killed in Action on April 22, 1917. Percy was a 28 year old Grocers Assistant when he enlisted on July 16, 1915. Corporal Orrock was Killed in Action on February 8, 1917.


Mount Wycheproof Ensign and East Wimmera Advocate May 18, 1917


Robinson, John Richard (SN 2304)  John enlisted at the age of 22 on July 7, 1915. His occupation was listed as 'Agent'.  His next of kin was his guardian, Mrs Hollingsworth of Tynong. John married Elizabeth Maskell on November 29, 1918 when he was in England and the Returned to Australia April 27, 1919.  Mrs Hollingsworth was, I believe, Julia Hollingsworth, listed in the Electoral Rolls as a storekeeper.

Rowe, W  Private W. Rowe is on the list but I can't work out who is is - there are number of W. Rowes with a Gippsland connection but no-one with a specific Tynong connection. There is a William Rowe in the Shire of Berwick Rate Books listed at Tynong, occupation farmer, around 1914;  a F.H. Rowe of Tynong  wrote  a letter to the Berwick Shire in September 1916 complaining about drainage - so Private Rowe may well be connected to either of these men. 

Rowley, George Albert  (SN 1989)  George was a 23 year old labourer and he enlisted on March 11, 1916. His next of kin was his father,  Joseph, of Tynong.  George Returned to Australia April 19, 1919 and was granted a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read his file, here.

Snow, F I can't find a Snow with a local connection. 

Thompson, Robert Henry (SN 664)  Robert enlisted on December 16, 1916 at the age of 27, he was a fireman on the Victorian Railways. His next of kin was his father, Samuel, of Tynong.  Corporal Thompson Returned to Australia January 30 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds (rheumatism) in May 1918. 

Weatherhead, Alfred (SN 1005)
Weatherhead, Fank (SN 6960)
Alf and  Frank were the sons of Horatio and Eleanor (nee Hunt) Weatherhead. In 1908 Horatio took up the lease, for saw milling purposes, of 2,000 acres at Tynong North and in December 1909 he built a mill at Wild Dog Creek, the east branch of Cannibal Creek. The family had previously lived in Lyonville.  Frank enlisted on July 8 1915 at the age of 22 and Returned to Australia on January 14, 1919. Alf enlisted at the age of 19 on February 13, 1915 and Returned to Australia March 17, 1919. 
Whiston, Julian Thomas (SN 3526)   I assume that T. Whiston is Julian Thomas Whiston, presumably called Thomas, so that's what we will call him. Thomas enlisted on August 7 1915 aged 18. He was a farmer. Thomas Died of Wounds March 21, 1918. Thomas had two brothers who also enlisted Frederick (SN 3524) and John (SN 3525) - they were the sons of Fred Whiston of Cora Lynn.  Thomas and Fred are also listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.

White, T  I am unsure who this is. There was a Robert Anthony White listed in the Electoral Roll at Tynong in 1914 so this man may possibly have  a connection to  Private White, but I don't know. 

Wright, H  This is possibly Harold Sidney Wright (SN 6407) I say this because he enlisted at Warragul on October 24, 1916 as a 22 year old and his occupation was an orchardist - and there were orchards close by at Garfield, however his address was listed as Mooroolbark on his enlistment papers. His next of kin was his father who lived in England. Harold Returned to Australia June 4, 1919. If it isn't Harold, then H. Wright may have some connection to William Wright, Railway Employee, who was listed in the 1915 Electoral Roll as living at Bunyip, there was also an Elizabeth Wright listed as well. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Writing the War exhibition

The Cranbourne Library is pleased to be hosting the Writing the War Exhibition from October 26 to December 7, 2017.  TheWriting the War exhibition looks at stories of war from seven Australians. Nurse, bank clerk, farmer, sports master, journalist, artist, activist - hear their extraordinary stories of war in this moving exhibition tracing World War One through personal accounts. 


The featured writers are - Percival Langford, Jessie Traill, Sir Keith Murdoch, Vida Goldstein, Alice Kitchen, George Auchterlonie and Eric Chinner. 
Here's some more information about these people - Percy Langford was the inaugural Head Master at Dandenong High School and served at the School until 1934. Jessie Traill was an noted artist and  a resident of Harkaway, you can read about her here. Sir Keith Murdoch - newspaper journalist and owner - you can read Keith's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Vida Goldstein was a pioneering feminist and suffragist and was one of the first women to stand for Parliament - she stood as a Senate candidate in the 1903 election. You can read Vida's entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here. Alice Kitchen served in the Australian Army Nursing Service from August 1914 until she was repatriated to Australia in August 1919. Sister Kitchen kept  a diary of her service. George Auchterlonie was born at Narracan (near Warragul) and served in the 8th Light Horse Regiment. He kept  a diary and was  a keen photographer. Eric Chinner was killed at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

The Library has a series of  activities in connection with this exhibition - all free and all welcome!
Thursday November 2 at 11.00am.
Michael Madden - Australian Victorian Cross recipients
Michael Madden is a multi-award winning writer and will talk about his current project
- researching and writing a book based on the 100 Australian recipients of the
Victoria Cross covering their medals, statues, monuments and final resting
places. Michael runs his own Military Medal Business in Berwick and has supplied
replica medals and professional advice to service personnel, Museums and even
Hollywood movies!

Thursday November 9 at 2.00pm.
Official Launch of Writing the War Exhibition by the Hon. Anthony Byrne. Guest
speaker is Lambis Englezos
Lambis Englezos is a Greek-born, retired art teacher from Melbourne with a
‘magnificent obsession’ to find, recover, and honour Australia’s missing diggers from
the Battle of Fromelles. He is the co-founder and driving force behind the
internationally renowned ‘Friends of the 15th Brigade’. Lambis is a central figure in
Patrick Lindsay’s book ‘Fromelles’ and is acknowledged in the Robin Corfield book
‘Fromelles - Don’t Forget Me Cobber’, for his contribution to the remembrance of this
significant event in Australian history. He also featured in television stories on ‘60
Minutes’, and the ABC ‘7:30 Report’ on the fate of the missing diggers. Additionally,
Lambis has written and been featured widely on this subject in print media.
Lambis received the Order of Australia in 2008 for his Fromelles work. He also won
the inaugural Shrine Medallion in 2010 and was honoured by the RSL of Victoria with
their ANZAC Award in the same year.

Tuesday, November 14 at 11.00am.
Local History Librarian, Heather Arnold - How we honored our soldiers
The talk will look at the various ways communities honoured their soldiers once the
War ended. Heather will look at Avenues of Honour, War Memorials and Memorial
buildings such as Halls, Schools and Hospitals.

Saturday November 18 at 1.30pm and
Monday, November 20 at 7.00pm
Jane Rivett-Carnac from the Narre Warren & District Family History Group -
Researching your Military history
There is more to a service person than Name Rank and Serial Number. Join us for a
90 minute talk that will explore the many avenues available on the internet and in
your library to gather the information you need to write their story. It may be a soldier
sent to Sydney Cove with the First Fleet, a bushman in the Boer War, a Great Uncle
in the Great War or Dad in the Second World War. Nurses Sailors Airmen and
Civilians also have a story to tell.

Wednesday November 22 to Friday November 24 - 11.00am to 2.00pm
Find a Soldier – drop in sessions.
Need help finding information about your military personnel ancestors? Members of
the Narre Warren and District Family History Group and Local History Librarian,
Heather Arnold, will be available to help you find your solider. Drop into the Family
History Room at the Cranbourne Library any time between 11.00am to 2.00pm.

Thursday, November 23 at 2.00pm
Marg Dennis - Lest We Forget
Featuring songs from World War One, World War Two and the Vietnam War.
Margaret performs a moving and unforgettable tribute to the war years of the
twentieth century.

Thursday, November 28 at 7.00pm
Ross McMullin - Pompey Elliott At War: In His Own Words
Dr Ross McMullin is an award-winning historian and biographer who graduated from
the University of Melbourne with degrees in Law and Commerce and a PhD in
Australian History. His latest book about Australia’s most famous general in World
War I is Pompey Elliott at War: in his own words. Ross’s previous biography,
Pompey Elliott, was awarded the Christina Stead Award for biography and the
Melbourne University Press Award for literature while Farewell, Dear People:
Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize
for Australian History and the National Cultural Award. Ross has also written books
about political history and articles by him have been published in many newspapers
and periodicals.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fundraising efforts

Three years into the Great War communities were still rallying around raising money and goods for the War effort.  In Yannathan, the Patriotic League was given donations of money and agricultural products - potatoes and chaff and livestock -  a pony and a lamb. The Red Cross at Nar Nar Goon collected 65 dozen eggs and a 'meadow fete' was held at Officer. I presume a 'meadow fete' was something like a harvest festival as there were prizes for displays of produce and sweets. The 'meadow fete' was held in aid of the 'A.W.N. L Milk and Fruit fund for Soldiers' This was the Australian Women's National League and they raised money to send tinned milk  and tinned fruit to the soldiers overseas. 

Lang Lang Guardian October 17, 1917


Pakenham Gazette   October 27, 1917



Pakenham Gazette October 12, 1917

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tourism during the War

There was an interesting article in The Age of January 7, 1915 entitled 'Holidays and the War: effect on amusements'. I have partly reproduced it below and you can read the full article here. There is some local connection as it talks about tourism in Gembrook.

Holidays and the War: effects on amusements
Now that the holiday season is at an end, it is possible to form some estimate of the extent to which the war and the previous dry weather have affected the expenditure of the people on amusements. All things considered there has been, up to the present, very little evidence of depression. In normal times, and in fact at all times, there are three principal lines along which holiday makers disport them selves. They go into the country or to the seaside; they go to the theatres and picture shows, and they go to races. That the holiday traffic on the railways has not greatly suffered this year, despite the unprecedented circumstances, is shown by the number of those who booked tickets at
Spencer Street and Flinders Street stations during the six days - 23rd-28th December as compared with the similar period for 1913  

Flinders Street - 1913: 162, 055;  1914: 144,375
Spencer Street  1913: 24, 407;  1914: 22,341

Though there was a falling off, there was not a great falling off -  certainly not enough to suggest that the hand of misfortune is pressing on the country, or even remotely threatening it. Australia, it must be remembered, is at war and if the holiday figures for the other belligerent nations were available, they would unquestionably show how little we are feeling the pressure compared with themselves.

Some holiday resorts, it is interesting to note, did better this season than they did last. Thus Gembrook attracted 3482 sightseers during the week  week ended 28th December, as compared with only 2390 in 1913. On the other hand, Fern Tree Gully showed a falling off. Warburton about held its own, while the seaside places - largely owing to the wet weather on Christmas day showed an average decline of about 20 per cent.

With regard to indoor amusements, theatres, concerts and picture show -  the position of Australia is again very favorable. One leading theatrical manager said yesterday'It would probably be a fair estimate if we said that our returns, since the war began, had fallen off by 25 to 30 per cent'. 

One form of amusement that is showing practically no sign of bad times, and that hardly seems to have heard of the  war, is that of horse racing. It was remarked that the crowd at Mentone on Saturday last was one of the largest, if not absolutely the largest, seen on the course - certainly larger than at the corresponding meeting twelve months ago. The suburban racing clubs publish no statistics of attendance so only a general estimate can be formed. At the outbreak of war five months ago people did stop away from the racecourses in large numbers. The crowd at Flemington on Cup day was the smallest for some years, and the net profits of the Cup meeting, estimated at about £8000, are rather less than half those of last year. Nevertheless, the Cup day crowd was a great one. and the subsequent records put up by Boxing day and New Year meetings in the country as well as by Mentone, go to show that the cult of the horse is not yet affected by the war.

Of interest is the fact that Gembrook had over 3000 visitors in a week over the Christmas period. This is a huge amount of people given that the population of the town at the time was around 500. (Victorian Places)


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society

Some of the leading lights in Berwick society and business established a Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society, where they would pay for wounded, returned soldiers to be cared for at the local hospital, operated by Nurse Duigan. I don't know if their wish to have the 'Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society' spread throughout the country districts was granted as the only references on Trove I could find referred to the Berwick group.


South Bourke & Mornington Journal August 2, 1917


Who were these men? L. D Beaumont was Llewlyn David Beaumont (1860 - 1954). He was a Purser on the 'Fijian', a Union Steamship Company of New Zealand ship when, in 1889, he met his future wife, Ellie Buchanan (1869 - 1954). Ellie was with her father, the Hon. James Buchanan, M.L.C, who was visiting the New Hebrides (now called Vanuatu) as part of a Victorian Parliamentary Party tour.  He then moved to Ardblair at Berwick where he ran an Ayrshire Cattle stud.  Their son, Norman Beaumont, was one of the authors of the book The Early Days of Berwick.  Ellie Buchanan was, as we said, the daughter of the Hon James Buchanan and his wife Ann Wilson (1827 - 1909). Ann was the aunt of the W. Wilson listed as the chairman of the Returned Wounded Soldiers Aid Society. This was William Wilson (1860 - 1936), the son on William Wilson (1830 - 1907) and Euphemia Brisbane (1838 - 1920). William senior and his brother James (1833 - 1910) established the Wilson Quarry in Berwick. You can read about this here.

Another relation of the Wilsons was Evan C. Henry. William Wilson junior married his first cousin, Annie Buchanan (sister of Ellie) and their daughter Annie (known as Nancy) married Evan Henry (1887 - 1980). Evan Henry was the son of John Henry who lived at I.Y.U Estate at Pakenham, and the grandson of Robert Henry who had the Cardinia Creek Run. Robert was the sister of Martha King, you can read about her here.

Scott Alexander Sharp was a grazier, his wife Beatrice was a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross, you can read about this, here. Dr  Charles Griffiths' wife Annie was also a founding member of the Berwick Red Cross. E. Flack was Edwin Flack (1873 - 1935) a Berwick land owner and a 1898 Olympian, you can read about him, here.  Dr Percy Langmore (1875 - 1972) practiced in Berwick from 1907 to the 1950s and was instrumental in establishing the Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital in 1940.

The Richardson Brothers were butchers who ran a business on Clyde Road. Their father James had come to Berwick in 1869 and worked as a carrier until 1885 when he purchased a butcher's shop in Clyde Road which he operated with his brother John. James' sons, Jim junior, Edward, Jack and Frank also worked in the business. They also had a shop at Narre Warren.

Finally we come to Nurse Duigan. This was Kathleen Marie Duigan and she operated a private hospital in Berwick called, Shepton.  There were advertisements in the Berwick Shire News from December 1913 advertising that the Shepton Hospital, in Station Street (Gloucester Avenue) was under the new management of Nurses Duigan and Vines. Nurse Duigan sold her household furniture in September 1920 according to an advertisement in the paper and moved from Berwick to the Malvern, Armadale region and died in September 1954 aged 69.



Berwick Shire News January 7, 1914


Nurse Duigan had come from a medical family - this notice about the death oh her mother in 1914 mentions that her father had been a doctor as was her grandfather.

Punch April 9, 1914

Kathleen Duigan's partner in the Shepton Hospital was Florence Vines. Florence and Kathleen had trained together at Ballarat. Sister  Vines enlisted enlisted in June 1915 and served overseas. You can read more about Florence, here


This report was in the Ballarat Star of January 14, 1909



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Recruiting Ready Reckoner for Married Men prepared top join the A.I.F

Here's an interesting 'ready reckoner' for men to calculate their fortnightly pay if they enlisted in the A.I.F. Sadly, or pragmatically,  it also listed the pension the family would receive if the man was totally incapacitated or Killed. At the time the average wage* for a man employed full time in a 'blue collar' type job was 60 shillings per week or 5 pounds, so this pay was about half the average wage, however they did get fed and clothed as the advertisement pointed out.


South Bourke & Mornington Journal  August 2, 1917

* Information from the Year Book Australia

Monday, July 17, 2017

Five Mile School Honor Roll

This report on the Five Mile School Honor Roll was in the Lang Lang Guardian of June 9, 1915. Five Mile, also known as Koo-Wee-Rup North, was a small township on the corner of the Main Drain and Five Mile Road (the road being five miles from the start of the Main Drain at Western Port Bay). The School opened in July 1894 and closed in November 1959 when school became part of Pakenham Consolidated School.




Lang Lang Guardian June 9, 1915

Who were these soldiers who were honoured? I  have included their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full record in the National Archives of Australia (www.naa,gov.au)

Backhouse, Bert (Herbert Arthur Burder) (SN 612)  Bert was 23 when he enlisted on April 20, 1914. Bert is listed in the 1913 Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup. His next of kin on his enlistment paper was his father, Talworth Backhouse, whose address is listed as Metropolitan Board of Works, Melbourne. Bert's mother was Emily A'Beckett, a daughter of W.A.C A'Beckett of The Grange in Harkaway, so they were a well connected family, socially. He Returned to Australia on May 4, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds (septic knee)      

Bjurstrom,  Gustave Carl (SN 503)  I can only find one instance of a Bjurstrom enlisting and it is this one, so even though he is listed in the newspaper article as A. Bjurstrom I believe I have the right soldier.  Gustave was 19 when he enlisted on August 27, 1914 and his occupation was sawmill labourer and his next of kin was his father C.G Bjurstrom of Heyfield. Gustave Returned to Australia July 2, 1915. There are reports in various papers that he was wounded but we don't know the full story as we cannot access his service record as it has been combined with his World War Two record, as Gustave enlisted at the age of 42 in March 1940. His address at the time was Cora Lynn.  In the 1916 Electoral Rolls Charles and Agnes Bjurstrom are listed at Koo-Wee Rup, two years previously they were at Heyfield, so obviously moved after their son enlisted.

Burns, Joseph  (SN 1399)  Joseph enlisted on October 19, 1914 at the age of 33 and then was medically discharged in April 1916 due to receiving a Gun shot wound to the 'lower extremities' while fighting at Gallipoli. He rejoined April 27, 1917 and was discharged again in the May. Joseph was the son of Francis and Margaret Burns who are both listed as the next of kin, with an address in Moreland, however there was a Francis, Margaret and Joseph Burns in the Electoral Roll  at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1913.

Chippindall, Robert Arthur (SN 375) Robert was a 23 year old painter when he enlisted on August 15, 1914. His next of kin was his mother, Sarah, of  South Yarra. Robert died of wounds on May 17, 1915.  What was his connection to the Five Mile region? His father was the grandly named Giles Tatlock Chippindall and his mother was Sarah Isaac Dawson. When Giles died at the age of 57 in 1900 his death notice said that he lived at Bunyip and was employed by the Lands Department. Giles had various government positions in Victoria and Queensland  - in 1893 he was appointed as a Crowns Land Bailiff.  I have found the notice below so I presume he was the Lands Department Inspector in the region.  Giles and Sarah had fifteen children altogether and she died in 1932 aged 80. Another son of Giles and Sarah's was Thomas and he is listed in the Electoral Roll in 1908  at Garfield,  his occupation is also Crown Lands Bailiff.  Yet another son, Giles, was the Director General of Post Masters General Department and had also headed the Department of War Organisation of Industry and was knighted in 1950.


Warragul Guardian  June 12 1896


Denham, Robert Alexander  (SN 392) Robert was born in Koo-Wee-Rup  and was living in Carlton and was  a fireman when he enlisted at the age of 28 on February 17, 1915 (that's the date according to the Embarkation roll and July 17, 1915 is the date according to the Enlistment papers).  His next of kin was his friend Annie Ritchie. Robert Returned to Australia July 10 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds due to a form of rheumatism. Robert was the son of John and Janet Denham. John Denham was the Cranbourne Shire Secretary from 1909 to 1911 and the Rate collector for nine years, he also had a store at Yallock and  a dairy farm at Koo-Wee-Rup. Janet's father, Alexander Dunlop, had the Harewood Mains property at Tooradin and had a successful cheese making business.

Emmott, Robert Edmund  (SN 1083) Edmund enlisted at the age of 19 of September 12, 1914. His next of kin was his mother, no name was given, but later papers show it was Alphina Emmott and she was living at Red Hill.   Edmund was Killed in Action in France on April 15, 1918. There is a letter in his file from the AIF Base Records Office asking Alphina  if her son had 'any nearer blood relations than yourself, for instance, is his father still alive'  - he wasn't, his father Joseph had died in April 1914. Alphina and Joseph were listed in the Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1914.

Garbellini, George  (SN 378)  George enlisted on February 3, 1915 aged 23. He was the son of Peter and Jane (nee Crombie)  of 'Five Mile Drain', Koo-Wee-Rup. He was Killed in Action in France on May 3 1917.

Gray, William Albert  (SN 218)  William was 22 when he enlisted on January 22, 1915. His occupation was farm hand and his next of kin was his mother, Margaret Gray, of Koo-Wee-Rup.  he Returned to Australia April 27, 1919.

Jenkins, Thomas Edward   (SN 188)  Thomas was a bricklayer and 19 years old when he enlisted on January 11, 1915. His next of kin was his mother,  Annabel Jenkins, of Boundary Road, Koo-Wee-Rup. Thomas had been born in Koo-Wee-Rup.  He Returned to Australia on April 5 1918 and was discharged in the July on medical grounds due to a Gun shot wound to the right arm, received while fighting in France.

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

Killeen, Patrick (SN 772)  Patrick was 24, a farmer and he enlisted on October 1, 1914. His next of kin was his father of Koo-Wee-Rup.  Patrick was the son of Thomas and Maria Killeen. Patrick Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919.

Marshall, George  (SN 1780)  George enlisted on January 11, 1915 at the age of 31. He was a carpenter and his address was Cora Lynn and his next of kin was Samuel Marshall who lived at Koo-Wee-Rup (a later paper had the address as Phillips Drain, Five Mile) George sustained two gun shot wounds at Gallipoli -  one to the left side under his arm and one in his left arm. He Returned to Australia on October 13, 1915 and was discharged on medical grounds in January 1916. There is an Statuary Declaration in his file from 1942 saying that he lost his discharge papers in the 1934 flood at Cora Lynn, he was then living at Bullumwaal, north of Bairnsdale.

M'Gregor, Robert  I am unsure who this is, there is a John and Josephine McGregor on the Electoral Roll at Koo-Wee-Rup from 1903 to 1905 so they may have had a son who the attended the school but I don't know. If  you have more information on Robert,  I'd love to hear from you.

Scanlan, Thomas  Patrick (SN 505) Thomas Scanlon - his surname is spelt as both Scanlan and Scanlon on official documents - is  the son of William and Ellen Scanlon of Cora Lynn. Thomas was 21 when he enlisted on January 12, 1915. He was a farmer. Thomas was awarded the Military medal and he Returned to Australia  April 5, 1919.

Watson, Percy I am not sure who this is - my best bet going on enlistment date, enlistment place, birth place and occupation is that it is Percy Kennedy Watson (SN 926) Percy was 29 and  a labourer when he enlisted on December 7, 1914. He Returned to Australia March 11, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds (Asthma) in the November. Once again, if you can help identify Percy I would love to hear from you.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Knitting for the War effort

Australia entered the Great War on August 4, 1914 and it wasn't long before the local women began their work of supplying clothes and comforts for 'the use of our boys whilst doing their country's work' as Mrs Bickerdike wrote to the Lang Lang Guardian in August 11, 1914.



Lang Lang Guardian August 12, 1914



This was the 'list of articles most needed' that appeared in The Argus on August 11, 1914

There are a few unusual items on the list - a nightingale is presumably a night shirt; a Cholera belt is a band of flannel or silk worn around the waist supposedly to prevent gastrointestinal ailments.   A Crimean Shirt was a coloured flannel shirt.

A week later a 'successful sewing meeting' was held at the Yannathan Hall and the Lang Lang ladies also began organising sewing bees. 


Lang Lang Guardian August 19, 1914

By the end of the month the women and children of Yannathan and Lang Lang were well into the production of garments and supplies.


Lang Lang Guardian August 26, 1914

Elizabeth Alexina (nee Wastell) and her husband, Arthur Bickerdike had a farm at Yannathan and they left the area in September 1916 and moved to Hampton, according to a report in the Dandenong Advertiser of September 28, 1916. Mrs W. Currie was Annie Ellen (known as Nellie, nee Stillard) who was married to William Russell Currie, store keeper at Yannathan. Miss Hardy, Secretary of the Lang Lang guild, is possibly Elizabeth Charlotte Hardy who is listed in the Electoral Roll at Lang Lang in 1914, her occupation being dressmaker.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Patriotism and Nationalism at Emerald

This is an interesting article that encapsulates some of the underlying philosophies that the Great War brought to the fore. Clearly everyone mentioned here is patriotic, but some are more nationalistic than others and believe that an Honor Roll should only be made by a person of British birth or naturalisation. At this time all people who were Australian born were considered to be British subjects. I wonder who the 'local gentleman' was who was the first choice to manufacture the Honor Board?



Camberwell & Hawthorn Advertiser  December 15, 1916 


HONOR ROLL AT EMERALD
A Peculiar position has arisen in connection with the erection of a roll of honor at Emerald. At a meeting of the committee appointed by the subscribers held recently, Cr. Butcher Presiding, a motion was proposed that the board be made by British workmanship throughout. An amendment was carried by five votes to two, however, that the work be left in the hands of a local gentleman, who, it was alleged, was neither of British birth nor naturalization. This action caused considerable dissent in the township, with the result that the committee resigned in a body.  A meeting of the subscribers was then held, between 30 and 40 attending, when, after explanations, a new committee of nine was formed. Four of the old committee would not allow themselves to be nominated. Messrs Ferres, Stewart, Morgan, M'Gibbon, A. Nobelius and Davey and Mrs Mawlan were appointed. The Committee met subsequently and appointed Cr Ferres chairman and Mr M'Gibbon secretary. It was resolved that steps be taken to have the board made solely by British manufacture. A sum of about £25 is in hand for the purpose.

Who are these people mentioned in the article? Cr Butcher was Thomas William butcher, listed in the Electoral Roll as a Land Agent and he was a Emerald Riding Ward Councillor of the Shire of Fern Tree Gully from 1914 to 1928. Cr Ferres was Robert Ferres, whose occupation is listed as 'Gentleman' he was a Shire Councillor from 1915 to 1917. I don't know specifically who Mr Stewart was; Mr Morgan may have been Albert Morgan, a baker; Mr M'Gibbon was John Barker McGibbon, State School teacher; A. Nobelius was Archie Victor Nobelius, nurseryman, son of the founder of the Gembrook Nurseries, Carl Axel Nobelius and his wife Emily Brightwell;  Mr Davey may be George Davey, an orchardist. As for Mrs Mawlan, I believe that this is Margaret Ann Mowlan listed in the Electoral Rolls at Emerald in 1916 and 1917, her occupation was 'home duties' 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wanted - 100,000 pairs of socks!

Many women devoted themselves to the war effort and knitting was one thing they could do whilst still looking after their family and home. In June 1917, Mrs Chirnside of Edrington offered a prize of one pound for the best pair of knitted socks. Winifred Chirnside  was the daughter of Theodatus Sumner and Sarah Peers. Her sister, Alice, was the mother of Lady Casey,  another sister Annie was married to James Grice, brother of Richard Grice, after whom Grice's Road was named  and another sister, Mary, was married to Albert Nash, who owned Ballarto at Cranbourne. Mrs Nash helped establish the Cranbourne Red Cross. The Chirnside family had extensive landholdings including Werribee Park estate and it was Winifred and her husband, Andrew, who owned Edrington, They both died in 1934 and Edrington was left to Lady Casey and her brother, Rupert Ryan and their cousins Noel Sumner Nash and Doris Osborne.  I don't who won the prize for the best knitted socks.


Pakenham Gazette June 15, 1917

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Battle of Pozieres

The Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society had Mr Barry Gracey of the  Pozieres Remembrance Association as their guest speaker at their recent luncheon. Barry was a very passionate speaker and is devoting his life to gaining recognition for our Pozieres soldiers.  The Pozieres Battle took place between July 23 and August 7 in 1916 at the village of Pozieres in France. 6,848 men were killed and 16,000 wounded. Of the men killed over 4,000 were never found and still lie in the fields around Pozieres. Twelve percent of all Australian soldiers that were killed during the Great War died at Pozieres, and many of these men had survived the Gallipoli Campaign.

The Pozieres Remembrance Association believes these men are not adequately recognised and they have purchased some land that was central to the battle in Pozieres for a memorial garden and to help protect the resting place of the soldiers. To this end they are selling 7,000 bricks at $50.00 each to help raise money for the memorial.  If you are interested in supporting this cause then you can donate via their website http://www.pozieresremembered.com.au/

Some of our local men who were killed at Pozieres are John Leslie Christie, the son of William and Ada Christie of Beaconsfield (Service Number 3054).   John was Killed in Action on July 19 1917 and had no known grave. John has a tree in the Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour and is listed on the Beaconsfield War Memorial. Edward Francis Doherty (known as Frank, Service Number 1218)  was the son of John Doherty of Tynong.  Frank was Killed in Action on  August 4, 1916 and has no known grave. Frank is listed on the Cora Lynn War Memorial and the Bunyip War Memorial.


Pozieres - before and after the battle


Pozieres, c. 1910


Pozieres, France 1916. The main street of the town, now a mass of rubble,  destroyed during battle. 
Australian War Memorial image A057736    

Monday, May 1, 2017

Jack Morris - the Russian Finn of the Bunyip Swamp

It is not uncommon when researching First World War Soldiers to come across men  who enlisted in the Australian Army who were migrants from European countries. For instance, Nils Pederson was born in Norway and working at Cora Lynn when he enlisted. He was Killed in Action on September 1, 1918. Atolf Aleksanter Aalto is listed on the Nar Nar Goon Honour Roll and he was born in Finland.  Atolf  was awarded the Military Medal.

In this post we will look at John Morris (SN 1639) who was born on Odessa in Russia (now in Ukraine)  although when he was naturalized on August 8, 1937, his naturalization papers say he was born in Tobolsk, Siberia.  He has obviously selected an anglicised name - his real name is listed in the records as Alfronzia Morozoff. His next of kin is his mother Lokeria Oshipumna also of Odessa. Jack, as he was called, was a 37 year old bridge carpenter when he enlisted on May 8, 1915. His record said that he had spent seven years in the Russian Army.



Jack Morris' address on the Embarkation Rolls, 
Australian War Memorial www.awm.gov.au

The address on the Embarkation Rolls is listed as Scaple Simon, Russian Finn, Bunyip Swamp, Gippsland.  The Bunyip Swamp is the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and he no doubt lived at Bunyip (or more likely Bunyip South, the old name for Iona) I presume he was living with Scaple Simon - but was Scaple the Russian Finn or was John? What is a Russian Finn?  Finland was an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia from 1809 to 1917, so presumably it was a Finnish person who lived in the Russian Grand Duchy.

Jack Returned to Australia September 9, 1915 and was medically discharged on April 12, 1916. What happened to him after that? In 1933 he wrote  a  letter to the Army and his address was Goondiwindi in Queensland, the same address as his naturalization papers in 1936. There is a later letter, from 1955 saying that his three medals had been handed in to the Public Curator in Brisbane and they were forwarded to the Central Army Records Base in Melbourne. By this time he was deceased. The letter, as you can see below, lists his real name. Incidently, the Public Curator is responsible for administration of deceased estates, estates of persons in care or disadvantaged, intestacies and insolvencies according to the Queensland Public Curator Office website.


Letter about Jack's medals, from 1955.
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au 
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920

I cannot find a marriage record  for him or a death record for him. I found a Alfronzia Morozoff in the Electoral Roll in 1954 and 1958. The address is Eventide, Sandgate North, a suburb of Brisbane. Eventide sounds like a retirement village or nursing home. In 1954 he would have been 78, an appropriate age for a nursing home. Is this Jack Morris? If so, why is he listed in the Electoral Rolls in 1958 after he had died (according to the letter reproduced above he was dead in 1955). My feeling is that this is our man and he just wasn't taken off the Electoral Roll.

1954 Electoral Roll

So why wasn't Alfronzia on the Electoral Roll before 1954? This time I looked for Jack Morris and found him in 1928 living at Dirranbandi in Queensland (south of St George) - as his occupation is listed as 'bridge carpenter' the same occupation as Morris' enrolment papers I am sure we have the same man. There are  a few other listings of Jack Morris in the same area (southern Queensland) but none with the same occupation to be able to be sure this is our Jack Morris. This raises another question - why did Jack revert back to his original name in the 1950s?

1928 Electoral Roll

The next question is who is Scaple Simon and what is his connection to Jack / Alfronzia?  I do not know. I cannot find Scaple on the Electoral Roll, in the Rate Books or any record of his death, so he is  a bit of  a mystery.  If you have any answers to my many questions or mysteries I would love to hear from you.