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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The establishment of some local Red Cross units

During the Great War, many of the women in the local community spent their time raising funds and working for the War Effort through organisations such as the Red Cross.  The Cranbourne Red Cross was established at  a meeting held on August 17 1914. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal of August 27 1914 reported on this meeting A meeting of the ladies of Cranbourne was convened by Mrs A. Nash...and it was decided to work for the Red Cross Society.  Mrs Nash had already collected 20 pounds in monetary donations and most of this had been spent on material that her 60 to 70 enthusiastic workers would make up into shirts and socks etc. The items were then forwarded to Red Cross Headquarters in Melbourne where they were shipped off  to the seat of war where they will be used for the benefit of Australian, British and troops of the allies. You can read the full article on Trove,  here.

Mrs A. Nash was Mary Maud Nash wife of Albert, who owned the grazing property Ballarto at Cranbourne. Maud was well connected. She was the daughter of  Theodotus Sumner and his wife Sarah (nee Peers). Her sister Annie was married to James Grice, who was the brother of Richard Grice, land owner in Berwick and Cranbourne, after whom Grice's Road is named - you can read about him here and another sister, Alice, married Charles Ryan - they were the parents of Lady Casey who owned Edrington at Berwick - you can read about Lady Casey here. In spite of being socially well connected it doesn't seem like it was  'happy families' all the time as there was a family dispute over Theodotus Sumner's will - you can read about this here.

Back to the Red Cross - the Berwick Red Cross was also established by the women who were socially prominent (or their husbands or fathers were).  I am not denigrating them at all by saying that, but the reality of life was that at the time, women who came from solid middle class households would likely to have had a good education, have good connections in the town and more spare time to devote to community causes than poorer women. The early records of the Berwick Red Cross were destroyed in a house fire, but I believe it started around September 1914 and it is still going, which is  a remarkable achievement. The Berwick Shire News has a report of the Berwick Shire Council meeting of  September 12 1914 and amongst the correspondence was a letter from Lady Stanley asking for the co-operation of the Council in forming a branch of the British Red Cross Society. The action was listed as 'Attended to'  [Lady Stanley was the wife of the Victorian Governor]

The original members of the Berwick Red Cross (pictured below in front of Kippenross House) were President Mrs Scott Sharp, Secretary Mrs A.E Thomas, Mrs L.D Beaumont, Mrs W. Wilson, Mrs C. Griffiths, Mrs J.B Pearson and Mrs John Brown. As is quite common in reporting from times past women were referred to by their husband's names - Scott Alexander Sharp is listed in the Electoral Rolls as a grazier and his wife is Beatrice May (nee Wimble); Mrs A.E Thomas is the wife of Albert Thomas the founder of the Berwick Shire News which later became the Pakenham Gazette, she was born Elizabeth Cox Southern.  Mrs Lewellyn David Beaumont was Ellie Buchanan, daughter of the Hon. James Buchanan, M.L.C. and his wife Anne (nee Wilson) The Buchanans lived at Ardblair in Berwick and their son Norman was one of the authors of Early Days of Berwick. He writes about his parents in the book.  Mrs W. Wilson was the wife of William Wilson (1860-1936) the owner of the Wilson Quarry. She was Anne Buchanan, a sister of Ellie Beaumont. Mrs C. Griffiths was the wife of Dr Christopher Griffiths and was born Annie Lawry Parkes. Mrs J.B Pearson was the wife of  John Benward Pearson, a grazier, who built Kippenross House  (now part of St Margarets School) in 1911. She was born Olive Gooch and married John, who was the son of William Pearson, M.L.C., in November 1895. Finally Mrs John Brown was the wife of the Berwick Shire Rate Collector. I believe she was Frances Elizabeth Barr, but that's all I know about her.



This fantastic photograph of the original seven members of the Berwick Red Cross comes from the book Berwick Nostalgia:  a pictorial history of Berwick, published by the Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society in 2001. 


The Pakenham Red Cross was formed at a  meeting held on November 26, 1915. You can read the report on the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of December 9, 1915 here. The meeting was convened by Cr Close who started the meeting by saying that all the other townships in the Shire of Berwick had their Red Cross branches and it was time for Pakenham to fall into line and do what it could, as a town, to help those who are so nobly serving their King and Country at the Front. Office bearers were Mrs Greenwood, President; Mrs Wilson, Secretary and Miss Cissie Hagens, Treasurer. The Committee were Mesdames Close, Chisholm, Maher, Ritchie, White and the Misses Thewlis and Mulcahey.

Once again I will try to give these women a name - Cr Close and Mrs Close were William and Agnes, he was a grazier. Mrs Alice Greenwood was the wife of Auctioneer, Arthur Greenwood. I don't know who Mrs Wilson was and Cissie Hagens may be the sister of Marie and Louise Hagens, both listed in the 1914 Electoral rolls as being teachers, or else Cissie might be her nick name and she may actually be either Marie or Louise. Mrs Chisholm is presumably Alice Chisholm, wife of James, a grazier. Mrs Maher is possibly Bridget Maher, the wife of local policeman, Stephen. The Mahers had three sons serving overseas - you can read about them here. Mrs Ritchie may be Elizabeth Ritchie, wife of William. I don't have any information on Mrs White. Miss Thewlis would be the daughter of James and Susannah Thewlis and the sister of Syd Thewlis, who was a Berwick Shire Councillor. Miss Mulcahey  (more likely spelt Mulcahy)  would be connected to early Pakenham landowner, Thomas Mulcahy.


The Koo-Wee-Rup Red Cross was formed on July 7, 1915. It is still going and you can read a history of the Unit, written by long serving member Don Jewell,  here.

 This is a Red Cross Rally in Koo-Wee-Rup, in front of the Royal Hotel which opened September 1915, so this is probably 1916 or 1917.
Photo: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society

I don't know when the Lang Lang Red Cross was established specifically but it was going strong in September 1915. There is an interesting article in the Lang Lang Guardian of September 15, 1915 about the activities of this branch - they are anxious to send Christmas cheer to our boys  and would be glad of donations of tobacco, tooth brushes, bought puddings (as these pack better), cake, biscuits, lollies, and games of any kind, handkerchiefs, or small presents for the boys of whom we are all so
proud.  They also wanted to fill some billies and send them to the soldiers with something to eat, something to smoke, something to use and something to amuse. 



Lang Lang Guardian  September 15, 1915

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered - now online

We have spoken about the book Beaconsfield Avenue of Honour: Servicemen remembered before in this blog (click here for the link) and the good news is that this book is now fully available on-line on the Beaconsfield Progress Association's new website - this is the direct link to the on-line version of the book http://beaconsfield.org.au/beaconsfield-avenue-of-honour/

The book covers the lives of  the 65 men who were honoured with trees in the Beaconsfield/Berwick Avenue of Honour which runs along High Street/Princes Highway, from the top of the hill down to the Cardinia Creek.  This on-line version makes this well researched information even more widely available and, like the trees in the Avenue, is another permanent reminder of the sacrifice that the 65 men and their families from the Beaconsfield area made one hundred years ago.

Some of the entries  have photographs of the soldiers - here are three  of them 


Private Alec May


Signaller James Adamson



Private Edward Dineley


Monday, December 5, 2016

Vincent Daly and his connection to Nar Nar Goon

This copy of  a post card of Vincent Daly was kindly donated to us from the Traralgon and District Historical Society*   We know from the verso of the card that Vincent was Killed in Action in 1916, that he was a  cousin of Tom Fitzgibbon** of Tyers (near Traralgon) and that he had a  connection to the Pakenham district.  Naturally I wanted to know what this connection to the local area was.




I started at the National Archives of Australia to discover the official information from his service record. His Service record (service number 2848) shows that Patrick Vincent Daly enlisted on July 2, 1915 at the age of 19. He was born in Dalyston and his next of kin was his father, also Patrick Daly, of Cloverdale, Dalyston. He had to get permission from his parents to enlist and this means we discovered his mother was Mrs E.C Daly.  Less than one year after he enlisted Vincent (it seems he was known to the family as Vincent rather than Patrick) was Killed in Action in France on May 15, 1916. 


Vincent's obituary from The Advocate of June 10, 1916

So now we know the official information what we need to discover is what his Pakenham District connection is.  I looked up the Index to the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriages (access this here) and found Vincent was born in 1896 to Patrick James Daly and Elizabeth Catherine Dore. Once I found this out I was pretty sure that Elizabeth must have been connected to the pioneering Dore family of Nar Nar Goon, so then I did a search in the on-line newspapers on Trove and found the article reproduced below about the Will of John Dore, which clearly links Elizabeth Daly to John Dore and thus makes young Vincent John Dore's grandson. Lucky for us that there was no privacy issues 100 years ago and newspapers regularly reported the contents of Wills! I also found the lovely obituary of Vincent in The Advocate, (reproduced above) which gives us a fuller picture of him. 

Elizabeth was the daughter of John and Betty (nee O'Connor) Dore of Mt Ararat at Nar Nar Goon. In 1844, John Dore and Michael Hennessey took up the Mount Ararat Run at Nar Nar Goon of 1,900 acres. The partnership existed until 1855 when Hennessey moved to Dandenong. In the 1860s, Dore purchased the 640 acre Mt Ararat pre-emptive right. He later purchased another 387 acres and his son Thomas 300 acres so they held a total of 1,300 acres. The property was later bisected by the railway line when it was built in 1877. You can read more about  the Dore family here.

When John Dore died in 1895, his son-in-law who was also Vincent's father, Patrick Daly was one of the executor's of his will. John Dore's estate was left as a life interest to his son Patrick and his wife Kate and then after their death to his four daughters including Vincent's mother, Elizabeth Daly. Elizabeth was also left a block of land (it was 26 acres) in the Parish of Wonthaggi, where Dalyston is located.


Table Talk May 24, 1895


*The post card of Vincent is part of the Eva West collection at the Traralgon & District Historical Society.  Eva (1888 - 1969)  became the Assistant Shire Secretary at Traralgon in 1924, and the Shire Secretary in 1935 and held this position until 1946.  She was awarded an MBE in 1958. I found this snippet of information on Trove from the Traralgon Record of December 29, 1916 -  At the Accountancy examinations  recently at the Melbourne University, Miss Eva West, of Traralgon, succeeded in passing  the last of the series of examinations necessary to qualify for admission to the Institute of Accountants, this being the first time that any lady in the State has obtained this qualification.....We heartily congratulate Miss West as right throughout the examination she maintained a position amongst the leading candidates. She was a real pioneer in her field.

**Thanks to Gippsland Historian, Linda Barraclough, for the following information - Tom Fitzgibbon of Tyers, who died in 1974 aged 90, is the son of the Ellen Fitzgibbon nee Dore, also mentioned in the will. A number of other photographs of soldiers in the collection appear to have originated from him, but seem more to be locals at Tyers, rather than family.