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.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Men are needed - What the Women can do

In 1915 there were a series of articles in various local newspapers all throughout the State,  headed 'Recruiting Campaign: men are needed'  One of the articles covered the subject 'What the women can do'  It is an interesting look at the role of women in Society and at their perceived influence in modifying the behaviour of men. It is also very nationalistic, as you might expect. The author was clear that men who were able who hadn't enlisted were not doing their duty, they were 'skulking poltroons'  (a word I had never come across before, it means 'an abject or contemptible coward') but on the other hand he couldn't give the impression that all Australian men were like this as the virile Australian character discounts any such suspicion.For your interest, the article is transcribed, below.  You can see the original in the Berwick Shire News of July 28, 1915, here


Berwick Shire News July 28, 1915


Recruiting Campaign
MEN ARE NEEDED
WHAT THE WOMEN CAN DO
By A.W
Article no. 4

The women of Australia have already done, and are doing, much splendid work in the way of raising war funds for various kinds and of supplying valuable equipment to our boys' bound for the front. Now even greater and harder task faces them - to assist in stimulating enlistment. Yet that is what every woman of Victoria who realises her true duty to State and Empire must do today and do`quickly and unflinchingly. 

While there are many who have given their husbands and sons to the great cause, there are many who are either indifferent or who shrink from making the great sacrifice. Yet in this stupendous life or death struggle of the nations women have even more to lose than men. If they have any doubts, let them read even the most meagre records of the German Infamies In Belgium at the expense of women and their children. 

Would they keep their sons at home under pretence that it will be time enough to fight the German hordes when they reach Australia? Then it will be too late, because before that can happen Great Britain will have perished as a nation, and the Commonwealth will surely come under the German heel - the women of Australia, in such an event, will be the greatest sufferers. 

Yet the arguments some of our women are using are similar to those we are told some British women are using - that it will be time for their  sons to fight when the foe lands in England. They are apparently nursing the belief that the British Fleet will ever prevent any such result. But in war the unexpected is likely to happen at any time and some sudden disaster might give Germany at least temporary command of the seas, during which time she could work incalculable harm.

The women of Australia can serve as our most effective recruiting agents it they will. Their words can turn the path of duty many a shirker who would be deaf to all other argument or appeal. Many young men well fitted to serve are hanging back irresolute and doubtful and the women only can influence them for noble strife or ignoble peace. What every mother who has a son or sons fit to bear a rifle should ask herself is 'Shall I keep him at home while other mothers send their sons to fight for him and me, for his sisters and country? Shall I let my boy he regarded as a skulker and a shirker and a member of the White Feather Brigade or shall I send him to the front proud in the knowledge that I have a son prepared to assert the manhood of his country at the call of duty?' The answer of every mother with a real sense of duty should be very clear and definite, however personally distressing. 

The daughters of Victoria can do as much for the great cause as the mothers. They can urge their sweet hearts to play the man's part,  proud in the consciousness that not only will they be doing their duty to their country and the womanhood of the Commonwealth but will also be helping to redress the terrible wrongs of thousands of Belgian girls who have fallen victims to the bestiality of the German Invaders. They can turn contemptuously from all unmarried, shirkers of military age who refuse to respond to their country's call. They would do well to remember that such men would be poor protectors for women in any time of trouble, and that any high-spirited girl would disgrace herself by marriage with a skulking poltroon. 

This war will give our women a much clearer idea of the character of the young men of the Commonwealth. It will enable them to discriminate between the real men with whom our girls might be found to associate and the poor creatures who are hanging back in the rear. At the same time we cannot believe there are many of the latter - the virile Australian character discounts any such suspicion. There are, however, many who want a lead simply  because they do not realise the true condition of things. It is for the women of the State to help them to do so to see things in their true light and point out clearly for them the road of duty. We venture to believe the majority of them, however backward and slothful, will respond readily when they know what is really expected of them. 

Women's persuasion in this great cause is worth more than men's arguments - if they will only employ it.  It is their duty to do so, as it is the duty of the young men to answer the Empire's call - to give the only answer men should give to women's call in the hour of danger.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Great War Soldiers from Clematis

Clematis is a small town near Emerald. The town is on the Puffing Billy Railway line and the railway station was originally called Paradise Valley when it opened in 1902, the name was shortened to Paradise in 1908. According to Helen Coulson in the Story of the Dandenongs the area was known as Paradise until 1921 when a public meeting voted to change the name to Clematis, after the wild clematis creeper that grew prolifically in the area. An early settler, Michael O’Connor, named his farm Paradise  and his house Eden House, which became the Paradise Hotel  c.1926.   Having said all this, the area was clearly known as Clematis before 1921 as there are the five soldiers listed below, who all had that address on their enlistment papers, so I am unsure how that fits in with the other information on the Clematis name.

Here is a list of any soldiers I could find with a Clematis connection. There may be more, but as Clematis only had  a population of  94* in 1933 (the earliest population figure I can find) then it wasn't  a very large town. I have listed the Service Numbers (SN) so you can read their full service record on the National Archives of Australia website.

Boase, John (SN 6282)  John was 21 when he enlisted on October 24, 1916. He was a printer, even though another page of his military records has his occupation listed as poultry farmer, which more likely explains his Clematis address.  His next of kin was his father, also called John, of North Fitzroy.  John's address was Clematis Post Office, Paradise. John Returned to Australia on July 21, 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds on January 24, 1918, due to pulmonary tuberculosis.

Hanlon, James Joseph (SN 4911) James enlisted at the age of 42 on February 18, 1916, and was discharged as he was Absent Without Leave. He then re-enlisted on April 2, 1917 at the age of 43. His occupation was a groom and his address on the second enlistment was Clematis Post Office. James served in France and then Returned to Australia November 8, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds suffering from premature senility and rheumatism.

Holliday, Francis Bewley (SN 4732) Francis was a 34 year old labourer when he enlisted on February 17, 1916. His next of kin was his wife, Ethel, and their address was listed as Post Office, Clematis, Paradise.  Francis was Killed in Action in Belgium on April 6, 1918. Ethel was still living in Clematis in 1923, when she wrote a letter to the Army requesting Francis' medals (see below)


Letter from Ethel Holliday
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au 
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920

Rayson, Clem (SN 3143) Clem was 33 years old and a farmer when he enlisted on July 6, 1915. His next of kin was his wife, Agnes and their address was Clematis Post Office. Clem was Killed in Action in France on September 29, 1918.

Wendlandt,  Franz (SN 3524 and 21275) Franz enlisted as a 19 year old on July 12, 1915. He suffered from appendicitis and had to come back to Australia where he was discharged on August 5, 1916. Franz re-enlisted on June 24, 1918  at the age of 22 and his occupation was Orchardist.  Franz Returned to Australia on January 6, 1919. Franz's next of kin was his mother, Helen, Clematis Post Office, Paradise. On his first enlistment paper it said that his his mother was a naturalized British subject and his 'Father German left Country' On the second enlistment paper it said 'Fathers whereabouts unknown'

This is what I know about the family - according to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages Index Helen Janet Doswell married August Heinrich Wendlandt in 1886. In the 1912 Electoral Rolls there is an August Heinrich Bernard Wendlandt, Professor of Music, address Clematis; a Bernhardt Wendlandt, occupation Musician, address Menzies Creek and a Helen Janet Wendlandt, occupation home duties, address Menzies Creek. There is  a Naturalization paper for Helen at the National Archives - she was born in Sussex in England in 1861 and arrived in Australia April 5, 1886 and her Naturalization was confirmed on October 19, 1914. I don't know why she had to be naturalized as she was already a British subject, but her papers have the notation 'married to a German' so perhaps with the start of the War she wanted to make sure of  her citcizenship. Helen's occupation was listed as 'Proprietress of Convalescent Home' and the address was Paradise Valley.

As for her husband, a clue to his whereabouts can be found in a report in the Kyneton Guardian of April 11, 1914. There was a report on the Kyneton Musical and Elocutionary Competitions and it said that Herr Wendlandt was unexpectedly detained in Germany, whither during last year, he went on a short holiday.  I wonder what happened to him and whether he  survived the War?


Kyneton Guardian April 11, 1914

Adding to the mysteries surrounding this family is this one. There is a letter (see below) in Franz's file from Helen, dated July 12, 1915 giving permission for Franz to enlist. In the letter she calls him her 'adopted son'  and  it's hard to interpret her writing but it looks like his 'own name' or it may be 'born name' was Sydney McIntyre. It would be interesting to know the story behind this adoption.


Letter from Helen Wendlandt
National Archives of Australia www.naa.gov.au 
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920


* Victorian Places website http://www.victorianplaces.com.au

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Soldiers with a Dalmore connection

Dalmore is a small town on the Great Southern Railway Line, one stop past Tooradin. This section of line from  Tooradin to Koo-Wee-Rup opened August 19, 1889. The Dalmore Railway Station was originally called Peer’s Lane, then Koo-Wee-Rup West and then renamed Dalmore in 1909.  Here is a list of any soldiers I could find with a Dalmore connection - there may have been more but as Dalmore had a population of 173 in 1921*  it clearly wasn't  a very large town so this may be it. Feel free to contact me if you know of any others. I haven't included soldiers who moved into the area after the War onto the Gowan Lea Soldier Settlement Estate.  I have listed the Service Numbers (SN) so you can read their full service record on the National Archives of Australia website

Andrews, Cecil (SN 2123)  Cecil was a 26 year old farmer when he enlisted on May 1, 1916. His address on the Embarkation Roll was Dalmore and his next of kin was his mother, Emily of Mordialloc. Cecil was Killed in Action in France on October 16, 1917. There are six In Memorial notices for Cecil in The Argus from October 18, 1918, including this lovely notice from his nieces and nephews, including 'wee Cecil' obviously named in honour of his Uncle. The other notices were from his parents, his sister Alice, his brother Walter and his wife Ethel, who lived in Mordialloc; his brother Will and his wife Lydia - they lived in Dalmore; and his brothers Arthur and Charles and sister-in-law Nellie, who all lived in Dalmore.


The Argus October 18, 1918


Hardy, Horace Robert (SN 19995) Horace was the son of William Hardy of Dalmore and he enlisted on June 20, 1917 at the age of 21. He Returned to Australia July 13, 1919.

The following two grandly named men were the sons of Edward Simpson Hill and Charlotte Hill of Dalmore. Edward also enlisted.
Hill, Arthur George Leonard Curnow (SN 61869) was an 18 year old labourer when he enlisted on June 11, 1918. Arthur was born at Bunyip South, later called Iona. He was sent overseas to England, but was not involved in any fighting and Returned to Australia September 22, 1919.
Hill, Graham John Dudley Bowman (SN 1574) Graham  enlisted on September 6, 1915. He was  a 22 year old farmer. Graham Returned to Australia March 9, 1919. Graham was granted a Soldier Settlement farm after the War, you can read his file here, on the Battle to Farm website.
Hill, Edward Simpson (SN V21471) Edward, the father of the two men above, enlisted on February 16, 1916. His next of kin was naturally his wife, Charlotte. His occupation was Engine driver/Engineer. He was discharged on June 22, 1916 as he was unfit for service. He stated his age on enlistment as 44, but a notation on the file says 'is obviously very much over age' and lists his age as 56!

Kelly, Darcy (SN 5050) Darcy enlisted on October 3, 1917 at the age of 18 years and 4 months. He claimed to have been born in Dalmur, Gippsland which has been accepted as Dalmore.  Darcy Returned to Australia March 17, 1919. Darcy claimed that he had no next of kin. His file states This lad asserts he has no relatives, parents dying in infancy and has lost trace of his guardian. Was last employed by a travelling hawker names McFadzen and left him on the River Murray this week. The enlisting officer seemed to have sympathy for his plight and was asking permission to enlist him in loco parentis as Kelly is now without means. Kelly signed  a statuary declaration on December 21, 1918 saying that he was actually born June 26, 1900 and so was only 17 years old when he enlisted and then another Statuary declaration was signed in 1958, this time he said he was only 15 years old and born June 26, 1902.   The 1958 declaration also said his real name was Norman Hunt, not Darcy Kelly. This is most likely correct because a Miss O. Hunt from Malvern wrote to Base Records in 1918 asking for Darcy Kelly's address. The 1958 Declaration was made because Darcy/Norman wanted proof of his service to join the RSL in Iron Knob in South Australia where he was then living. So was Darcy Kelly / Norman Hunt really born in Dalmore? He may have been born in the area but, as we said before, Dalmore was known as Koo-Wee-Rup West until 1909, so he technically wasn't born there but either way  you have to admire the gumption of  a 15 year old boy enlisting and making up what seems to me to be  a very fanciful story about why his parents couldn't sign his enlistment papers, but who knows maybe that was true!

McNamara, Michael (SN 7532)  Michael enlisted on May 9 1917, he was  a labourer from Dalmore and his next of kin was listed as a friend, Amelia Sorensen of Richmond. Michael Returned to Australia on January 30, 1918 and was medically discharged in the April on the grounds of 'premature senility' Michael said he was 44 when he enlisted but this may have been a lie as a year later his medical reports listed his age at 52 so it appears he removed seven years from his age. 

Woods, William (SN 2728) William was 21 and  a farm labourer, when he enlisted on May 9, 1916. His address was care of William Hardy of Dalmore. His next of kin was his grandmother, Mary Woods, of Maribyrnong. He Returned to Australia January 25, 1919.  William also served in the Second World War, he enlisted at the age of  45 in January 1941 and was discharged in March 1944. William was granted a Soldier Settlement farm at Werrimull, south of Mildura, after the Great War and was living in Mildura when he enlisted in 1941.You can read his Soldier Settler file, here.


*Victorian Places website http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/




Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Harkaway Memorial Stone

A Memorial stone to the Great War personnel was unveiled at Harkaway on Anzac Day in 1959, by Cr George Rae. The stone is at the southern end of the Harkaway Avenue and was instigated by Army Nurse, Jessie Traill, who wanted a permanent memorial stone.  Over 100 people were in attendance to see the stone unveiled including two of the soldiers, Alf Edmonson, who was living in Cheltenham,  and Alex McNabb,  who was living in Berwick. (Information from  Early Days of Berwick)  This post is a list of the names on the Memorial stone, including their Service Number (SN) so you can read their full record on the National Archives of Australia website, www.naa.gov.au



This is the Harkaway Memorial Stone. 
Photograph courtesy of Casey Cardinia Remembers http://www.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au/



Traill, Jessie  When the War broke out, Jessie want to England and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and nursed in a military hospital in Rouen, France from 1915 until 1919. After the War, she lived in Harkaway and had a distinguished career as an artist. You can read my blog post on her here and her entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography here.

Coote, Thomas Hugh (SN 4999) Thomas was born in Ireland and enlisted on January 13, 1916 at the age of 19. He was a farmer and his next of kin was his father, James, of Harkaway. Thomas was Wounded in Action in April 1918 (gun shot wound in left shoulder, penetrating chest was the bland description in his file) and Returned to Australia July 31, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds on November 16, 1918. Thomas was granted  a Soldier Settlement farm at Rapanyup on his return. You can read about it here on the Battle to Farm: WW1 Soldier Settlement Records in Victoria website.

Cunningham, S - There is an S. Cunningham on the Memorial Stone, I am not sure who this is. It is possibly  Claude Sydney Cunningham (SN 1246) Claude was a 24 year old farmer and his next of kin was his mother, Emma, of Narre Warren sometimes listed as Narre Warren East. He enlisted on March 18, 1916 and Returned to Australia April 30, 1919.
The blog Noble Sons: Harkaway in the Great War suggests that S. Cunningham is Selwyn Bruce Cunningham (SN 7471) Selwyn enlisted on July 2, 1917 at the age of 19. He was  a farmer and his next of kin was his father, Reverend William Richard Cunningham, of The Manse, Korumburra. Selwyn Returned to Australia January 14, 1919. What is Selwyn's connection to Harkaway? There is a report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal in July 1920 that the Reverend Cunningham had purchased a property in Harkaway. A report in the Dandenong Advertiser of March 18 1937 on the 80th anniversary of the Berwick Presbyterian Church said that William was the Minister there from 1921 to 1925 and William and his wife Amy are listed  in the Electoral Rolls at Berwick in 1924.

Davidson, J  There is a J. Davidson listed on the Memorial Stone. We know that he had  a farewell at the Harkway Hall in August 1915, at the same time as  Robert Munro, Robert Haysey and one of the Fleer brothers (see article below under Robert Munro's entry) and we also know that he was sick in August 1915 (see article immediatley below). What I don't know is who he actually is. I can't find a J.W Davidson with a connection to Harkaway or any neighbouring area. If you know who is he, then I would love to hear from you.


Berwick Shire News September 1, 1915


Dean, Henry (SN 5585)  Henry enlisted at the age of 29 on February 26, 1916. He was a labourer and his next of kin was his father, Thomas, of Harkaway. In August 1918 he was wounded by machine gun fire - a gun shot wound to the left wrist, smashing several carpal bones and another gun shot wound to the buttock, penetrating the thigh - once again the bland description does not give any indication of the horror of the wound.  Henry Returned to Australia on November 20, 1918.
Dean, Herbert Leslie (SN 570)  Herbert was 23, a labourer, when he enlisted on February 22, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Sarah Dean of Harkaway. Lance Corporal Dean Returned to Australia on January 25, 1919.

Henry and Herbert were brothers, the sons of Thomas and Sarah (nee Meara) Dean. Sarah died  in April 1918 and a short obituary in the Dandenong Advertister (you can read it here) said that she was of an exceedingly kind and generous disposition and that she had two daughters and seven sons. Three of her sons are on active service abroad. The death notice of Thomas in The Argus of April 11, 1924 lists the family as Thomas (born 1874), Annie (1876), John, James (1882), Harry (Henry, 1885), Will (1887), Herbert (1892) Sydney (1894) and Ruby (1896).
 I can't work out who the other son was that enlisted, as there is also a J. Dean on the Memorial stone, it's possible that it was either John or James, but I can't find a matching record for them or any of the other sons.   I have found another possible candidate, a James Dean, born c. 1874, see below, so he was not the son of Thomas and Sarah, but he lived locally, so the address fits.
Dean, James (SN 2999)  James was 42 when he enlisted an May 31, 1916, he was a market gardener from Narre Warren North and his next of kin was his wife, Francis. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919.  James was granted a  Soldier Settlement farm after the War, you can read about it here.

Drummond, Daniel George (SN 3082)  Daniel enlisted on  July 12, 1915 at the age of 27, he was a farmer and his next of kin was his mother, Margaret,  of Officer.  He married Annie Hopkirk in Scotland before he Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.  Daniel was granted a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read about it here.
Drummond, William John (SN 2902)    William enlisted on January 31, 1916 at the age of 29. He was a baker and his next of kin was his father, William Peter Drummond of Harkaway. He Returned to Australia on September 5, 1919. William was also a Soldier Settlement farm, you can read his file here.

Daniel and William are the sons of William and Margaret (nee Duncan).  Daniel was born in Mitta Mitta and William, was born in the neighbouring town of Eskdale

Drummond, J  There is also a J. Drummond on the Memorial stone - not sure who he is. Daniel and William, also had another brother, Walter Neil Drummond (SN 2571) who enlisted at the age of 18 on June 28, 1915. He was a Blacksmith and had been born in Eskdale. His next of kin was listed as his father, William, of Officer. I presume that William and Margaret moved from Officer to Harkaway in 1916. Walter Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.

Edmondson, Alfred (SN 5493) Alfred enlisted on March 4, 1916, he was a 31 year old farmer and his next of kin was his father, John, of Harkaway.  Alfred Returned to Australia on July 22, 1917 and was medically discharged in November 1917. Alf was present at the unveiling of the Memorial stone in 1959.

Fleer, Cyril August (SN 6263) Cyril was an 18 year old farm hand when he enlisted on May 5, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Martha, of Harkaway.  Cyril suffered from trench feet, a condition caused by prolonged exposure to water in the trenches which led to swollen feet, blisters, ulcers and even gangrene. He Returned to Australia on April 5 1918.
Fleer, Harold Edward (SN 3112) Harold was Cyril's brother he was also 18 when he enlisted on July 12, 1915. His next of kin was his father Edward of Harkaway and both Edward and Martha gave consent for their son to sign up.  Harold Returned to Australia on April 13, 1919.
Cyril and Harold were descendants of German born pioneer, Carl Fleer, you can read more about him and the other German settlers at Harkaway, here.

Glover, Francis Robert Dean (SN 50059)  Francis enlisted on November 24, 1917. He was 19 and his  occupation was listed as Station hand and his next of kin was his uncle, George Lyon, of Harkaway. There is a letter in his file, from his mother, Edith Glover, who lived in Sydney asking why she was not listed as his next of kin. George Lyon had signed a paper saying that Francis was adopted by him when he was a child and that Francis' father was dead. Francis is the first cousin of Charles Lyon listed below. He served in France and Returned to Australia January 18, 1919. Correspondence in his file showed that in 1938 he was the Station Manager at Carriewerloo Station in Port Augusta, a long way from the rolling hills of Harkaway. As a matter of interest, Carriewerloo Station was where the 1975 film, Sunday too far away, starring Jack Thompson, was filmed.

Halleur, Clarence (SN 1026)  Clarence was 18 years old and a labourer when he enlisted on March 8, 1915. He was born in Harkaway and his next of kin was his mother, Christina of Harkaway. He Returned to Australia April 27, 1919. Clarence was a descendant of the early Harkaway pioneer, Rudolf Halleur, you can read about him here.

Haysey, Robert Ellsmere  (SN 2588) Robert enlisted on May 17, 1915, he was 20 years old and an orchardist. His next of kin was his mother, Anne, of Narre Warren North.  Robert was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the King of the Belgians in February 1918. He Returned to Australia May 30, 1919.

Irwin, James Purser (SN 5035)
Irwin, Horace Mark (SN 967)
Irwin,  Walter Gray (SN 968)
I have done a post on the Irwin brothers in this blog before, part of a series of Brothers who enlisted, you can read about them here.

Lyon, Charles Hugh (SN 412) Charles was the first cousin of Francis Glover, listed above. His  next of kin was his father, George, of Harkaway. He enlisted at the age of 26 on October 13, 1914 in Walebung in Western Australia. Lieutenant Lyon was Killed in Action in Palestine on November 7, 1917.  Charles' mother, Kate, wrote a letter to the Army on December 1, 1917  Lieutenant C.H Lyon is our  only son. The news of his being 'Killed in Action' came direct to me, according  to our dear sons own wish his father being over 70 we did not want him to hear the news unawares. Is it possible for us to ascertain where in Palestine he was killed?  We regret the  country has lost another  of its brave defenders but his place is already filled by our young nephew and adopted son who enlisted last week and hopes to be as true a soldier as his cousin has been since the beginning of the War. 
Charles attended Geelong College and they have  a tribute to him on their website, you can access it here.

McNabb, Alexander (SN 4166) Alexander  was a 25 year old Engineer and he enlisted on December 13, 1915. His next of kin was his father, Donald, of Harkaway. Alex Returned to Australia  December 22, 1918. Alex was present at the unveiling of the Memorial stone in 1959.

Munro, Robert (SN 6542, incorrectly listed as 65421 in the National Archives) Robert's occupation was Quarrry man  and he served as a Sapper, a military engineer, who constructed bridges, trenches, depots, roads etc.  He was 25 when he enlisted on June 5, 1915 and his next of kin was his wife, Ettie, of Berwick. Lance Corporal Munro Returned to Australia April 13, 1919.



The farewell to Robert Munro, Robert Haysey, J Davidson and either Cyril or Harold Fleer was held at the Harkaway Hall on Saturday, August 14, 1915.
 This report was in the Berwick Shire News of August 18, 1915. You can read the full article at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92090128


Wanke, Arthur Robert (SN 1427)  Arthur enlisted on March 11, 1916, he was a 27 year old carpenter. Arthur was Wounded in Action on three occasions - Gun shot wound left thigh, Gun shot wound hand and Gun shot wound right leg - as I have said before, the banal description of the wounds does nothing to indicate the severity of them.  He Returned to Australia December 12, 1918.
Wanke, Frederick William  (SN 6379)   Frederick enlisted on April 28, 1916, he was a 26 year old farmer. Frederick Died of Wounds, whilst  fighting in France on May 17, 1918.
Arthur and Fredrick were the sons of Emmanuel and Bertha  Wanke of Harkaway. Emmanuel (also spelt Immanuel) was the son of Ernst Gottlob Wanke and his wife Pauline (nee Schurmann) who settled in Harkaway in 1853. Bertha Wanke was an Aursich, and thus from another pioneering German Harkaway family. You can read more about these early German settlers, here.




Part of a tribute to Fred Wanke from the Dandenong Advertiser of July 4, 1918. 
You can read the full tribute at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88817395


Way, Leslie Gordon (SN 4547) Leslie enlisted on January 20, 1916, he was a 23 year old farmer and his next of kin was his father, Edward, of Harkaway. Leslie was gassed on two occasions and he Returned to Australia on March 31, 1919. Leslie was granted a Soldier Settlement farm at Derrinallum, you can read his file here on the Battle to Farm website.