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/




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