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