Sunday, September 15, 2019

Phillip, Rupert and Robert Gay of Lang Lang

As part of our series of Brothers who enlisted, this post will look at the Gay brothers of Lang Lang. The three brothers - Phillip, Rupert and Robert - all enlisted and all returned. They were the sons of Robert and Alice Elizabeth (nee Bray) Gay of Lang Lang. Robert and Alice farmed at their property, Noorong, at Lang Lang and they had nine children - Phillip (born 1891), Rupert (1893), Susan (1895), Robert (1897),  Arthur (1899), Alice (known as Dot, 1902), Marjorie (1904), Sam (1908) and Gus (1910) and Keith (1912). I believe the family arrived  at Lang Lang in 1905 as the boys and their sister, Susan, are listed in the school roll for that year. The School roll is published in the book, Protector's Plains: history of Lang Lang Primary School, No. 2899 and district, compiled by Barbara Coghlan in 1988. Robert Gay died in February 1939 at the age of 79 and Alice died in June 1951 at the age of 84. They are both buried at the New Cheltenham Cemetery.

Alice Gay's death notice
The Argus, June 18, 1951

Here are the details of the War Service of the brothers. I have included their Service number (SN), so you can look up their full record on the National Archives,

Gay, John Phillip McCandlish (SN 1474) Phillip as he was known,  was 23 when he enlisted on July 31, 1915. He was a farm labourer, his next of kin was his mother, Alice, and he Returned to Australia April 12, 1919.

Gay, Rupert Alfred   (SN 1479)  Rupert was in the 1st ANZAC Cyclist Corp, and he enlisted on August 14, 1915 at the age of 21. He was labourer and his next of kin was his father, Robert. Rupert Returned to Australia June 12, 1919.

Gay, Robert  (SN 5356)  Robert enlisted on April 10, 1916 at the age of 18. His next of kin was his father, Robert, and his occupation was farm labourer. Robert Returned to Australia October 8, 1919. Robert was granted a soldier settler farm, you can read his file, here, on the Battle to Farm website.

A farewell was held at the Lang Lang Hall on August 30, 1915 to say goodbye to some of the local boys who had joined up - including Rupert Gay.
Lang Lang Guardian September 1, 1915.

This very nationalistic and patriotic poem, written by Robert Gay, was published in the Lang Lang Guardian, June 14, 1916. I don't know if it was Robert Gay, the father or Robert Gay, the son. I suspect  it was the father,  as Robert Junior was only 18 in 1916.

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