Many will be familiar with the name John Linton Treloar, who during the First World War took on the organisation of the fledgling Australian War Records Section that formed the basis of the Australian War Memorial’s WW1 collection. Perhaps not so well-known was his older brother William Harold Treloar, who became the first member of the Australian Flying Corps to be taken prisoner in WW1.
Harold, as he was known throughout his life, was one of Australia’s early aviators. He had b
Sister Cawood has for four years faced the perils of the deep and the dangers of field hospitals near to the firing-line, and has shown by her gallantry, heroism and self-sacrifice that she is worthy of the great honor and distinction which I am proud to know has been conferred upon her. We diggers all say, “God bless her and all the other brave Australian sisters who gave up everything to assist us when we badly required help.” We won’t forget them.
[Michael Adams, 1919 – late Pte 1129,
‘Do not pity the blinded soldiers, but try to understand them. Give them all the sympathy and help you possibly can. Encourage them in their growing spirit of
independence.’ [Sir Arthur Pearson, 1918]
“The gates to St Dunstan's Hospital, London. A charitable organisation established in 1914 by newspaper proprietor Arthur Pearson (later Sir Arthur Pearson G.B.E), St Dunstan's sought to assist blind ex-servicemen and women in attaining as normal a life as was pos
In one of London’s busiest streets you will always find the Blue Ensign with the Southern Cross floating in the breeze. On the double doors of the building where the flag of Australia flies proudly, you will read these words: “Open. Welcome to the Australian and New Zealand Troops.” It is well-known as the “Anzac Buffet,” or, as one of the boys called it, “The Dinkum Bit of Home, in Blighty.”
[The Anzac Buffet, 94 Victoria-street, 1917]
The Anzac Buffet first op
Built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff between August 1896 and February 1897, the SS Gascon was a Union Line ship until the merger with the Castle Line in 1900, resulting in the new company, Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co. Ltd. The company(s) operated between England and Cape Town, and South Africa and New York. “She is 430 ft. long, 52ft. wide, and 33ft. deep, and has a tonnage of 6,287. Her twin screws are driven by two sets of triple-expansion engines, the cylinders of which are 19, 31, and
Gordon was born on the 31st of May 1888 in St Kilda, Victoria. He was the youngest son of John Ross SODEN and Isabella Mary HALTON, who married in Vic in 1881.
His father, John, died in 1892, aged 44, and was buried in the St Kilda Cemetery.
Isabella, a beneficiary of the James Tyson millions, who became associated with all kinds of charitable and philanthropic work, died on the 21/11/1924 in London following an operation. Her remains were brought back to Australia and buried with he
Mary Elizabeth Maude CHOMLEY, O.B.E.
Australian Red Cross, Prisoners of War Department, London
[Note: In some sources Miss Chomley is referred to as Elizabeth Chomley, but as most of the information available on her in the newspapers uses her first name of Mary, I have chosen to stay with that. Photo courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.]
LONDON 1918: “Miss Mary Chomley, a daughter of the late Judge Chomley, of Melbourne, and head of the Prisoners
"AN ANZAC'S FAIR."
Have I been a soldier long sir? Aye, it
seems like twenty years
Since we sailed away from Melbourne
to the time we took Pozieres.
We lobbed at dirty Suez and entrained
for Mena Camp,
Right underneath the Pyramids, where
we soon got something damp.
We marched around the desert until our
feet were sore,
But soon took a jer
“She was endowed with a beautiful disposition, and was in every way suited for the noble profession she adopted.” [Rev P.J. Edwards, Benalla]
Hilda was born at her parent’s home at Benalla in country Victoria on the 29th December 1883.
Her father James Baldock KNOX was born in London, but had migrated to NZ, then to Australia, where he had been appointed Shire Secretary at Benalla in 1878. In 1882 he married Hilda’s mother Mary Isabella BARLOW, and they lost their first c
With war comes death – the ultimate understatement! Yet saturated by the carnage of man killing man, and of course the inevitable illness and disease that runs rife under such deplorable conditions – there is another form of death that can somehow appear fascinating – the accidental death.
What initially sparked this strange fascination in myself, many, many years ago, was while researching my Grandad’s war-mates, I came across the death notice of Alwyn Blake in 1922 – ‘resul
AWM Photo E02607: Officers of 5th Brigade HQ, near Amiens June 1918 – Harry Blunt standing back row, third from left.
The Great Australian Bight’s “Bottle Post” may be slower than the air mail but it is mighty interesting. [Western Mail, 2/6/1938]
Mighty interesting indeed! What an amazing tale; washed upon the shore of life over two decades after it began. 30th of October 1915, two young lads embarking on the big adventure, pen a final word to their sweethearts, seal the
Photo of Fred’s brother, Edgar
On his 32nd Birthday Fred Symonds (533) volunteered for active service with the 1st AIF – it was the 8th of August 1914, and that same day he began a diary which he kept until his birthday the following year. Ten days later he passed the medical in Bendigo, Victoria, and on the 21st of August he left his hometown of Inglewood for Melbourne, where he went into camp at Broadmeadows. Three days after his arrival, he was surprised to find his young brother
July 1st – Go on duty at 2p.m.
2nd – Quiet day. Went to beach for water after being relieved. Only doing 24 hours on at a time now; reinforcements make a difference, and a lot of them are arriving lately. Major Lockhart [sic – Flockart] brought me some cigarettes to-day; he was wounded, and has just returned; cigarettes are very acceptable. Very heavy firing at Cape this afternoon, they must be advancing.
3rd – Hear that Turks attacked in vast numbers at Cape on 30th and 1st, and were
.....from the Western Front in 1914 to the Balkans in 1915 to the High Seas 1916 to 1919 – Edith Amy Trebilcock – AVH, BRC, QAIMNSR, AANS
Although born in England in 1875, Edith migrated to Australia with her family late 1880, early 1881, and this was to be the first of her many sea voyages. After receiving her early education in Ballarat, she trained as a nurse at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne for 3 years between 1899 and 1902. Her training over, she left the Alfred and went into
She was ‘said to mark a new era in the Australian coastal trade’, a magnificent steamer with ‘superb accommodation for 270 passengers, and having a cargo-carrying capacity equal to 7,000 tons weight and measurement’. The SS Kanowna, built in 1902, was a sister ship to the SS Kyarra (1903); both having been built by Messrs W. Denny & Co of Dumbarton, for the A.U.S.N. Co, and both became popular, plying their trade along Australia’s coast in the decade to follow. Visiting Melbourne on the 15th
When war erupted across the world in August 1914, many Australian women visiting England, found they could ‘do their bit’ by joining the various aid organizations. Mrs Ada Hogg was one of these, although she was actually en-route to Paris as the news broke. Having been widowed the previous year, Ada had joined a round-the-world tourist party in May 1914, and parted from her tour group in Milan on the 1st of August to attend the International Esperanto Congress in Paris. Arriving to a city in tur
Although born and breed in the small Victorian country town of Rheola, Frank was living in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran when war broke out. Employed as a carrier and coach painter, in his leisure time he honed his skills with the Prahran Rifle Club and served as a Sergeant in the 78th Infantry.
Eager to be a part of it all, Frank was amongst the first to front up at the Prahran Drill Hall on the 17th August to sign up with the 5th Infantry Battalion. Two days later the men from Prahran s
One of only eight Australian nurses to be awarded the Military Medal in the First World War, Sister Eileen King stood alone in the fact that she wasn’t serving with the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). In early 1915, a request had come through from the Imperial Government for nurses to be sent to England to join Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve (QAIMNSR). Eileen was one of those selected by the Australian Department of Defence, and together with 28 other volunte
[Photo of Bill Macumber]
Inglewood in central Victoria sprung into existence during the gold rush in 1859 as the surrounding district provided rich pickings for many a determined prospector. The Macumber brothers, Bill and Sam were born in the area long after the gold had petered out, but that didn’t deter them from trying their luck. They also worked as timber-cutters, which probably supplemented their meager earnings from prospecting. Four years separated them in age, Bill being th
To many an Australian soldier she was simply ‘the girl with the flags’, but Miss Ethel Campbell was also known as the ‘Angel of Durban’, and by various other monikers. She was born in Scotland in 1886 but was living with her family in South Africa during the war years. After her fiancé was killed in the war, she devoted herself to caring for the troops who visited her city.
Working with the Y.M.C.A., Ethel, an expert signaler, began signaling to the troopships in 1915 as they arrived
The following is a snippet from ‘A DIGGER’S DIARY’ – a column in the Western Mail (Perth) – Conducted by “Non-Com” – which published brief accounts and reminisces from ex-service men:
Thur 1 Nov 1934:
Brevity of Service
Dear “Non-Com” – I left W.A. on October 9, 1917, having just turned 19 years of age the day before. Went over to Broadmeadows, Victoria, was there two weeks, embarked again and went via Panama Canal to England. Trained at Codford until the beginning of April
Among my list of things to see and do on the 2010 FFFAIF Tour of the Western Front, was to make sure I sighted and photographed the name of Alan James MATHER on the Menin Gate. A little sad that we’d be so close, and yet so far, and wouldn’t be able to attend his reburial on the 22nd of July – I whispered ‘welcome in from the cold’ to the eventually to be erased inscription.
Private Mather’s remains had been discovered at St Yvon (St Ives) in August 2008, during one of the ‘Plugstree
YOUNG MAN TAKES HIS LIFE
The quiet, old-fashioned home of Mr Daniel Woodfield, nestling snugly in a picturesque and fertile valley among the hills to the north of Rheola, was the scene of a distressing tragedy on Friday night, when the second-eldest son of the family, Andrew, took his own life without apparent cause or reason.
It was mid 1920 and Andrew Woodfield had just turned 30. A year had passed since his return from the war, and although he had not been his ‘old self’ sinc
Even when trawling through the death, destruction, and overwhelming sadness that was the Great War – occasionally you touch on something that brings a smile to your face and lightens your heart. This photo did this for me.
Immediately I wanted to know more about this happy foursome, and even though I read in the photo caption on the AWM website that they all returned safely home, I felt compelled to delve further.
The Malcolm siblings were four of five. The eldest being Norman (left of photo
Memorial to Francois Faber, inside the Basilica, Notre-Dame de Lorette
[Originally written early 2010 before my journey, the following has been slightly reworded today.]
July 2010 saw two European Tours that held great importance for me. Both began their journey in the Netherlands, traveling down through Belgium and France, where they culminated in the city of Paris.
The first began in Rotterdam on the 3rd July and was initially watched closely by myself, late at nig