Monday, July 1, 2019

Soldiers with a connection to Bangholme

Bangholme is a small town near Dandenong - it used to be part of the Shire of Dandenong and then when the Shire of Springvale and Noble Park was created in 1955, it became part of this Shire. In 1961, the Shire became the City of Springvale and  the area is  now part of the City of Greater Dandenong. Bangholme, is just outside the City of Casey, and is a neighbour to Lyndhurst. Much of Bangholme is now covered by Melbourne Water's Eastern Treatment Plant. This plant covers 1,100 hectares and opened in 1975.

What was at Bangholme? Not a lot, it seems. The 1940 Victorian Municipal Directory had this to say - BANGHOLME - Agricultural district, with State School and tennis club. This wasn't quite correct as Bangholme also has a Soldiers Memorial Hall, in Worsley Road,  which was opened on August 19, 1931. One report said that the Hall was originally the old Dandenong Fire Station.

The State School had opened on January 23, 1915. There is a delightful account of the opening of the school in the Dandenong Advertiser of January 28, 1915 - which reads in part on Saturday afternoon the new State school, situated at the corner of Mr. S M.Keys' paddock, Harwood and Bangholme roads, was formally opened by Mr. W. S. Keast, M.LA. .....He had much pleasure in expressing his appreciation of the generosity of Mr S. M.Keys, (who was a bachelor in search of a wife) who gave the site for the school, and this was the only instance in Victoria where a landowner had contributed 2½ acres to the Education Department for school purposes...He hoped that in time to come Mr Keys would be the happy daddy of a large family, and they would learn the rudiments of their education at the Bangholme State School... Mr Scott proposed a vote of thanks to the ladies for the important and pleasing part they had taken in the good work. He said there were a number of married people in
the district who were not blessed with children, and he hoped now they had a fine free school they would help to fill it..... Miss Dorothy Field is in charge of the school, which will be attended by about 25 children to commence with. (Read the full report, here)

What follows is a list of soldiers with a connection to Bangholme. I got all the names from newspaper reports of the time, so there may be others and if you know of them,  I would be happy to hear from you. I have included their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full record on the National Archives of Australia,

Blackmore, Frederick William (SN 1825) Frederick was a 22 year old market gardener when he enlisted on May 31, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Christina, of Dandenong. Frederick Died of Wounds September 23, 1917.

A memorial service was held for Private Blackmore at a Methodist service at the Bangholme State School on October 14, 1917. 
The service was reported in the Spectator and Methodist Chronicle of November 28, 1917. It is a lovely tribute and well worth reading the full report, which you can do, here

Cameron, Dugald (SN 2839A) Dugald was 40 years old when he enlisted, on March 11, 1916.  He Returned to Australia January 16, 1919.
Cameron, George William (SN 4172) George was 32 years old when he enlisted on July 17, 1915. George was Killed in Action on September 20, 1917.
The Cameron boy's next of kin was their widowed mother, Hughina Cameron and they lived in Harwood Road, Bangholme. Mrs Cameron died in April 1921 and there are a series of letters between Agnes Cameron (Hughina's daughter) and the Army regarding George's medals. Agnes claimed them as next of kin as their older brother, John, was in 'Portuguese East Africa' and had been there since 'he went over to the Boer War.' John wrote a letter from  his home in Inchape, Mozambique, as Portuguese East Africa is now called, asking that the medals be given to Agnes. I don't know why Dugald could not claim the medals, I am not sure what happened to him, but there is a Dugald Cameron who was assigned a Soldier Settlement Farm in the Mildura region, who died in 1961, and that may be our Dugald.

George Cameron had been declared Missing, before it was confirmed that he was Killed in Action and the local papers reported on this. 
Dandenong Advertiser November 8, 1917

Gamble, John Clement (SN 1925) John enlisted on March 11, 1916, he was a 27 year old farmer. His next of kin was his mother,  Mrs Mary Wines, of Warrnambool. John Returned to Australia April 8, 1918 and was discharged on medical grounds - Trench Fever and Pleurisy. John's address is listed as Dandenong in the Embarkation Roll, his address in the 1919 Electoral Roll is Harwood Road and in 1921 he is listed at Clyde North.

Gambles,  William Denis  (SN 887) William was 19 when he enlisted on August 18, 1914.  His next of kin was his mother, who lived in York in England. William was Killed in Action on September 20, 1917 in Belgium. What was his connection to Bangholme? The Dandenong Advertiser of November 1, 1917 had the following report - which mentions that William was working for George Williams of Hammond Road. Was Hammond Road considered to be Bangholme? It does connect to Banghholme Road and there is a report that Mr Williams attended a function at the Bangholme Hall at the end of April in 1916, where local soldiers were given a presentation before they left the district, so that's enough of a connection to give William a place in this blog post.

Notice about the death of Private William Gambles
Dandenong Advertiser, November 1 1917

Giles - the papers report that A. Giles, along with other soldiers, was presented with a wristlet watch at  a function in April 1916; there is  also a report in July 1918 that Corporal Giles was welcomed home. The only Giles with a connection to Bangholme that I could find is John Giles (SN 16015) and he wasn't a Corporal. John enlisted January 19, 1916 and his address at enrollment was 'Boxleigh Farm, Dandenong' and his next of kin was his sister, Mrs George Taylor, of said 'Boxleigh Farm.  I found an advertisement for  a clearing sale at Boxleigh Farm in May 1914 and the address was Harwood Road, which is Bangholme.   John was  43 years old when he enlisted. John never reached Europe but was in India and South Africa where he was 'dangerously ill' with malaria and eventually returned to Australia in December 1917 where he was discharged on medical grounds on February 1, 1918.

Halshaw, J    There is a  J. Halshaw is listed, along with A Giles, whom I wrote about above, and others, as one of the men who would receive a wristlet watch at a send off on April 27, 1916 (see report, below)  You would think that he would be easy to find - but no. There are no soldiers who have a record at the National Archives called Halshaw, Halshore, Holshaw or Holshore. There is a Michael Holschier who enlisted (I have written about him, below) so was Halshaw a phonetic rendering of Holschier? I believe it was.

A report of a 'send off' to be held for Bangholme soldiers. 
South Bourke and Mornington Journal April 20, 1916

Hayes, Stanley William James (SN 2675)  I presume this man was known as James as he is listed as J. Hayes in the 'send off' function article, above, so that's what we will call him. James was born in Ireland and was a 23 year old labourer when he enlisted on March 1, 1916. He Returned to Australia April 1917 and was discharged on medical grounds in July 1917. His next of kin was his friend, Hettie Williams, of Willaura, Hammond Road, Dandenong. As a matter of interest, there is a document in his file from 1956  saying that the Imperial War Graves Commission was trying to locate a Stanley Alan Anderson, but that he had actually served as Stanley William James Hayes, so not sure whether he was really Mr Anderson or Mr Hayes.

Michael Holschier's death notice.
The Age October 20, 1917

Holschier, Michael Herman (SN 2638)  Michael enlisted on March 1, 1916 at the age of 21, he was a farmer and his next of kin was his widowed mother, Margaret Holschier, of Frankston Road, Dandenong. Michael Died of Wounds, received while fighting in Belgium, on September 30, 1917. The family put a death notice in the paper for Michael (see above) and it mentions that his brother, Harry, was also on active service, but I cannot find any record of him.

The report of the 'send off' held on April 27, 1916 where Corporal Holschier was present. I believe that Michael's name was incorrectly listed as Halshaw in an earlier report of this function (see newspaper report under Halshaw) 
Dandenong Advertiser, May 4 1916

Hume, William  Reports of the 'send off' function held on April 27, 1916 said that two recruits joined up on the night - 'Wm Hume and Smith.'  I cannot find a Hume, who enlisted,  with a connection to the Bangholme or Dandenong area.

Jamieson, Duncan (SN 1946)  Duncan was 35 years old when he enlisted on March 11, 1916. His occupation was farmer and his next of kin was John Jamieson, his parents were listed as deceased, so I presume John was his brother.  Duncan Returned to Australia June 10, 1919. Duncan was granted a Soldier Settlement farm in Lyndhurst, you can read his file, on the Battle to Farm website, here.

Keating, Thomas Francis (SN 6294)  There is a J. Keating listed in the 'send off' function of April 1916  referred to previously and at first I thought it might refer to William Joseph Keating (SN 3204 of Dandenong) but he enlisted in August 1918, so that wasn't him. Then I found  a listing of Dandenong Shire volunteers (see here) and it lists a T. Keating -  and I believe Thomas is the man referred to. Thomas enlisted on May 24, 1916 - he was 35 years old. He was born in Skipton and his next of kin was his mother, Matilda, of Skipton.  Thomas was Killed in Action on August 23, 1918. What was his connection to Bangholme?  His address on enlistment was Carrum. His Will lists his sister, Margaret Curley, of Carrum as his executor. The Electoral Roll in 1919  has Margaret Curley at Thompson Road, Carrum and her husband, Matthew Michael Curley,  at Thompson Road, Lyndhurst so in between Carrum and Lyndhurst is Bangholme.  I believe this discrepancy just reflects the fluidity of place names at the time.

Lewis, Albert Reginald (SN 83) Albert was a 25 year old farm worker from Dandenong when he enlisted on March 10, 1916. His next of kin was his father,  Samuel, who lived in England. Albert Returned to Australia June 12, 1919.

Pillar, George (SN 109) George enlisted on March 21, 1916. He was a 20 year old gardener, born in Carrum. George Returned to Australia May 27, 1919.  George was granted a Soldier Settlement farm in Lyndhurst, you can read his file on the Battle to Farm website, here.
Pillar, Harvey (SN 1968)  Harvey was 24 when he enlisted on March 2, 1916. He was a market gardener, born in Carrum and Returned to Australia June 2, 1919. Harvey was also granted a Soldier Settlement farm at Lyndhurst, read his file here.
Pillar, Stewart (SN 962) Stewart enlisted on March 1, 1915 at the age of 27, his occupation was Dairyman.  Stewart was award the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia May 15, 1919.  Stewart, was also granted  a Soldier Settlement farm, near Cobden, read his file, here.
The Pillar boys  all listed their mother, Catherine, as their next of kin. They had her address as Dandenong and once as Island Road, Keysborough. Island Road runs off Perry Road, and Keysborough also borders Bangholme.  Catherine (nee Thompson) married Thomas Pillar in 1874. Thomas died in 1911. There is a Pillars Road in Keysborough and Bangholme, which is named after the family.

Solley, Henry  Captain  Henry was 44 when he enlisted on February 23, 1916 as a Lieutenant. He had already served 21 years in the Army, including serving in India  and five years in the Civilian Military Force. His next of kin was his wife, Annie, they had three children and lived in Albert Park. Henry was promoted to Captain in October 1917. He Returned to Australia May 29, 1919. The connection to Bangholme came in June 1916, when Mrs Solley sent a letter to the Army saying that she had changed her address to Island Road, Dandenong. The family were obviously connected to the Methodist Church at Bangholme as Captain Solley was listed on their Honor Roll (see below).

A report on the first anniversary of the Bangholme Methodist Church and Sunday School, held on Janaury 14, 1917. It also mentioned that a Methodist Roll of Honor was unveiled. 
South Bourke & Mornington Journal  January 25, 1917

Smith  Reports of the 'send off' function held on April 27, 1916 said that two recruits joined up on the night - 'Wm Hume and Smith' The only Smith that I can find, with an enlistment date after April 1916 and a local connection is Frederick William Smith  (SN 7085), but I am not convinced that he is the same man who volunteered on the night of the 'send off' function. I have Frederick listed in my Lyndhurst soldiers list (see here)  but here is a short record of his service -   Frederick was born in Lyndhurst and was living in Dandenong when he enlisted on September 17, 1916. He was 24 and his occupation was listed as grocer.  He Returned to Australia on February 19, 1919.

Thompson, Middleton Cooper (SN 1948)  Middleton enlisted on March 2, 1916, he was a 29 year old market gardener - his address in the 1914 Electoral Roll was Main Drain Road in Carrum.  Middleton was awarded the Military Medal. Middleton's next of kin was his mother, Jane, of Richmond. He Returned to Australia July 4, 1919.

Turner, Francis Herbert Blackley (SN 32421) Francis enlisted on September 11, 1916;  he was a 26 year old grazier. His address on the Embarkation Roll was Glen Innes, Dandenong.  His next of kin was his mother, who lived in Kew.  The South Bourke and Mornington Journal of September 21, 1916 had this report of an event at the Bangholme State School where Cr Burden, on behalf of the residents, presented Private Turner (who will soon be leaving for the front) with a case of pipes, and in a few well chosen remarks expressed the pleasure it gave him to be present at such a gathering, it being the first since he became president of the shire, and concluded by wishing that Pvt. Turner would live long to enjoy a smoke out of the pipes he had the honor of presenting to him that evening. I am pleased to report that Lieutenant Turner did survive the War and  Returned to Australia May 22, 1919.

I have created a list of newspaper reports on Trove,  about soldiers who enlisted from the town of Bangholme,  in the First World War. There are also some articles on the Bangholme Memorial Hall, which was opened on August 19, 1931. The hall was originally the old Dandenong fire station. You can access the list, here. All the articles referenced here, are on the list.

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