It is with a lot of sadness that we advise the death of our Treasurer Karleen Reilly’s husband Don. A Vietnam Veteran who served his country well. We publicly offer our condolences to Karleen, Gary, Lisa and their families.
MEETINGS HELD: Third Thursday of each month – 10.30am (No Meetings January)
WHERE: Leeton Shire Library – Local History Room
MEMBERSHIP: Joining Fee: $5.00 Single – $15.00 Family – $20.00
President: Wendy Senti
Vice President: Margaret Knight
Secretary: Helen Anderson
Treasurer: Karleen Reilly
Librarian: Lyn Middleton
Public Officer: Lyn Middleton
Research Officers: Wendy and Karleen
Publicity/Newsletter: Wendy, and Others.
Committee: Executive plus others.
BDM’s Mary Williams
Only enquiries enclosing S.S.A.E. will be answered. A minimum charge of $15 for each enquiry.
Non Members may submit Research Inquiries to the Newsletter – cost $2.
The Newsletter is produced –May/June – cost $3.
Find us on Facebook: Leeton Family & Local History Society Inc.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES:
To Promote Family & Local History Research
To purchase materials to assist our members to trace their family trees.
To collect early records, photographs and information of Leeton Shire (and the surrounding irrigation area).
To assist in educating the public of the importance of preservation of early history.
Articles appearing in this Newsletter MUST NOT BE REPRODUCED without the written permission from the Leeton Family & Local History Society Inc.
LEETON FAMILY & LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY INC ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE INFORMATION PROVIDED OR THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS NEWSLETTER.
Leeton Farm Registers Microfiche – P O A
Irrigation Recorder Film – P O A
Index to BDM’s -(extracted from Murrumbidgee Irrigator)
1915-1950 $32-50 includes post & handling
1951-1975 $37.50 includes post & handling
1976-1999 $34.50 includes post & handling
All three Indexes posted together $90.
Applications for Employment W C & I C 1911-1922 $10 + P & H
Leeton–Whitton Cemetery Transcriptions & Burial Records 1913-2000 $30 + P & H
Leeton 100 Years – Thanks for the Memories (343 page pictorial book pub 2013) $35 + $15 P&H
Yearly Calendars (Current year $15 all others half price)
ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO POST OFFICE BOX 475 LEETON NSW 2705
Leeton Shire Council conducted an open day on 12 June to Celebrate 100 Years since Henry Lawson lived and worked at Leeton, and to unveil an Interpretative Sign telling of Henry’s stay in Leeton.
‘The Limping Poet’ Neil Smith, from Junee, entertained the visitors with his poetry and stories of Henry’s life.
Leeton CWA provided a very sumptuous afternoon tea at the conclusion of official proceedings.
Our group staged the cottage and showcased what life would have been like one hundred years ago. We displayed some of the information of Henry’s stay in Leeton and the poetry and prose he wrote while living in Leeton, as well as the Council’s plans when the cottage was restored.
Our rooms at the library are still being established with a few working bees required to digitise our collection. It will be great to finally have a permanent home for all our records and memorabilia.
During the year there will be several reunions from 1963-66 School Years at Leeton High School in October 2016, to Leeton Rugby League Club in July 2016, and Yanco Wamoon Rugby League Football Club.
Leeton’s World War One Heroes
We are continuing our theme of 1st World War heroes whose names appear on our local Memorial.
With just a surname and an initial of christian name it is often difficult to find a link. In many cases the names are duplicated in the Australian War Memorial files so many hours of research has gone into finding those that are linked to Leeton or the reason their names appear on our Monument.
Several are proving evasive but our search continues.
ALEXANDER Alexander FService No 2196
He was born in Shepparton c1896 and enlisted for active service on 16 March 1916 aged 19 years 7 months. He was in the 3rd Reinforcement 36th Battalion.
He stated on his enlistment paper that his father James Alexander of P O Leeton NSW was his next of kin and his mother had predeceased him. His occupation was stated as labourer.
He embarked on HMAT Anchises on 24 August 1916 from Sydney, arriving Devonport UK on 4th October and several days later was admitted to Military Hospital, where he was for ten days. Research indicates that many young soldiers spent time in hospital after undergoing long sea trips to the UK.
Alexander attended Durrington Camp for training and whilst there was AWOL and spent time in Bulford Infectious Disease Hospital. For the next six months he was with the 9th Training Battalion in and around Durrington Camp. He was in detention on numerous occasions for various misdemeanours.
He marched out for France on 17 June 1917 and was again disciplined for ‘Being away from forwarding area when battalion warned to be ready’. During July his battalion was in Belgium and was taken on strength. He again committed an offence using obscene language towards his Superior Officer and threatened to knock him out. He was apprehended on 18 November 1917 by Regimental Police and was awarded two years jail/imprisonment. He pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ but was found guilty at a Court Martial on 5/12/17 and imprisoned at No 5 Military Prison in Belgium to serve two years hard labour. He was released on 17 April after having been retrained for the front. A reminder that his sentence was suspended was instilled into him.
He rejoined the 36th Btn in France on 27 April 1918 and was then transferred to the 34th Btn where on 6 May he received wounds whilst in action. He died the same day as a result of a gunshot wound to the high chest area.
He is buried at Villiers Communal Cemetery Extension North of Corbie in France.
BAKER Charles WilliamService No 106
Gallipoli Veteran – Born 1895 London England. Labourer and son of Mrs C Baker. He was living at Farm 425 Leeton prior to enlistment. He enlisted on 3rd September 1914 at Randwick was of dark complexion with dark hair. He embarked on Europides on 20 October 1914 bound for Gallipoli.
In July 1915, whilst at Gallipoli, he suffered scalded feet and was sent to Casualty Clearing Station and then to hospital at Anzac. Early August he was transferred to Mudros to a Convalescent camp and by 10th he was discharged back to Anzac base. 5th February 1916 he was transferred to Tel-el-Kebir Egypt. He served at Serapeum and in March 1916 he was again in Egypt at Alexandria. He was then transferred to Marseilles, France at the end of March where he was AWOL on several occasions, forfeiting his pay as punishment.
He was Killed in Action on 3 July 1917 whilst serving at Flembaiz in France. During this action he, along with four comrades, were killed by bullets, with five other soldiers seriously injured.
He is buried in Rue-David Military Cemetery, Armentiers, France.
BARON Harley James Cpl Service No 2566
Gallipoli Veteran – Born 1893 Drummoyne NSW the son of H. A. J. Baron.
His stepmother was Florence M Baron and his sister, Emily D Baron. His occupation was stated as farmer and he was living on Farm 22 at Leeton.
He enlisted on 12th June 1915 at Liverpool and embarked for service in the 8th Regiment 36th Battalion on the Runic on 9thAugust 1915. Prior to enlisting he spent two years in cadets, so knew the discipline of the Army.
He served in Gallipoli before proceeding to France on 22 March 1916. He was appointed Lance Corporal at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, early in 1916 with another promotion in August 1916 to Sergeant.
By September his Battalion was transferred to Belgium where he suffered fatally in the field. He was officially Killed in Action on 2 September 1916 and is buried at the Railway cutting Larch Wood Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium.
BELLAM James CuthbertService No 6467
Born c1898 at Wyuna Vic, son of Robert C Bellam of Farm 429 Leeton.
At just over 18 years of age he enlisted into the 2nd Battalion 21st Reinforcements at Cootamundra on 2 June 1916, embarking overseas on the Ceramic on 7th October 1916, and proceeding to England for training before heading to the battlefields in France in February of 1917.
By April he was suffering with trench feet and was taken to a Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred to Clapton Military Hospital in London where he spent six months. He returned to France and rejoined his Battalion. He suffered with scabies and trench feet again and spent time in Camiers Hospital, in France before rejoining his unit. On June 26 he received a gunshot wound to his back penetrating to his abdomen and admitted to the Australian Casualty Clearing Station, where he Died of Wounds, on 28 June.
He is buried at St Omar Souvenir Cemetery Longuenese France.
BEST George W Lt. Service No 1010
Born in Claremont TAS, the son of William E & L J Best of the firm Best & Co Drapers of Elizabeth Street Hobart Tas. His occupation was stated as Draper.
He enlisted on 12 October 1916 and embarked on RMS Omrah on 17 January 1917, proceeding to France, as Signalman in the 4th Squadron Australian Flying Corps (AFC). On 2 April he transferred to the 71st Squadron and by July was on command at Cadet Battalion at Oxford. In August 1917 he transferred to the Training Squadron for Instruction where he graduated as Flying Officer (Pilot) on 4 November 1917 and was appointed Acting Corporal.
Whilst serving in France he was appointed Lieutenant on 4th April 1918 still serving with the 71st Squadron AFC. Several days later, while taking off for a mission, the plane had engine trouble on take-off, crashed, caught on fire, badly burning George who later died as a result of the burns.
He is buried in Vignacourt Military Cemetery France. His belongings were lost at sea as the ship SS Barunga was torpedoed en-route to Australia. Five thousand packages of other soldier’s belongings on their way home to families were also lost when this ship went down.
S.S BARUNGA SUNK ON WAY TO AUSTRALIA
Passengers and Crew Saved – LONDON, July 1917
The steamer Berunga has been sunk while on a voyage to Australia. Only one casualty has been reported.
Former German Steamer
The Navy Officer announced yesterday that the Barunga was torpedoed in English waters on July 16. The passengers and crew, it was added, have been landed, so far as we could ascertain, without casualties.
The Barunga was formally the Sumartra, a well-known unit of the German Australian Line. She was launched in June 1913 at Flensburg Germany, and was one of a group of steamers which, at that time were regarded as being unsurpassed in the world of cargo carriers, each of them having a capacity for 12,000 tons of general freight, and possessing engine capacity capable of developing a speed of over 13 knots. When the war broke out and the Sumatra was discharging at Sydney, and was seized by the Commonwealth authorities, she was renamed Barunga and since has been employed continuously as a transport and a cargo carrier.
BIAS John Victor Cpl Service No 1750
Gallipoli Veteran – Born in 1887 at Birsay, Orkney, Scotland the son of T Bias of Orkney, Scotland. He stated that he worked for A Oag, the bootmaker in Leeton. He also appears on the WC&IC Honour Roll.
He enlisted 8 September 1914 in the 8th Army Service Corps (ASC) as a Gunner. In April 1915 he fought with a heavy battery on the Gallipoli Peninsula before embarking to Alexandria on 14 May 1915. He was absorbed into the 9th Army Corps and promoted to Corporal, then reverted to Gunner before being reposted to the Dardenelles on 6th September 1915.
In February 1916 he transferred to 1st Field Artillery Battery in France. He was wounded on 16 August 1916 with a gunshot wound to the head. He was transferred to Kitchener Hospital at Brighton, England. He was granted furlough to further recover from injuries. On return from furlough he reported to Perham Downs, England then proceeded overseas to France on 7th December 1916, rejoining his unit.
He proceeded to the war front in Belgium in 1917 where on 21 July 1917 he was Killed in Action. He is buried at Reninghelst New Military Cemetery south of Ypres, Belgium.
BLACK William Service No 2591
He was born1889 in Seymour Vic, the son of Mary Ann Black who was living at Farm 53 Leeton when William enlisted at Cootamundra on 3 August 1915. He proceeded overseas on 1st November in the 6th Reinforcements of the 17th Battalion.
After suffering from diphtheria in February of 1916 he proceeded to France where he was wounded on 26th July 1916, with a shotgun wound to his face, back and hand. After treatment he rejoined his unit in France on 29th August 1916 before moving to Belgium in the September where his company was Taken on Strength. Here he remained with the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Coy. On 25 November 1916 he suffered shell shock and was sent on furlough to England to recover.
He rejoined his battalion in France in February 1917 and fought for his country for three months before being reported Missing in Action. On 22 November, after a report stated ‘Missing now reported as Killed in Action’ on 3rd May 1917 and buried in the vicinity of Bullecourt on the Hindenburg Line.
BRENNAN Anthony Patrick Service No 6704
He was born at Mooroopna Vic, brother of John James Brennan. He stated his occupation as ‘Teamster’.
He enlisted at Dubbo NSW on 31st July 1916 then embarked on the SS Port Nicholson on 8th November for England for further training in the 13th Battalion.
On 14 January 1917 he proceeded to France, where on 12th March, his unit was Taken on Strength before being reported Missing in Action on 11th April 1917. A Court of Enquiry held in October 1917, found that he was Killed in Action on 11 April and buried at Villers Bretonneux Memorial Cemetery MR 26.
He was survived by a sister Margaret and brother John J. There were enquiries on his welfare by the Postal Department and the PMG from Leeton, so assume he may have been employed by them at Leeton, hence his name on our monument.
BUTLER Henry George Service No 6718
Born at Whitton in c1891, son of Henry George & Catherine Ruth Butler. He worked as a Postal Assistant for two years before enlisting at Cootamundra on 26th May 1916.
After Training with the 22nd Reinforcements 8th Battalion he embarked on the SS Port Napier on 17th November 1916 bound for Devonport, England. After further training camps and time in Devonport Military Hospital, he proceeded overseas to France on 24th April 1917 and rejoined his Battalion in the field.
On 20th September whilst serving in Belgium, he was wounded by gunshot to the arm and hand. After treatment at Casualty Clearing Station, he was transferred to Camiers Hospital in France, then to England a week later. Whilst recovering, he came down with scabies, so was transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Weymouth, England, for an eight week period.
In January 1918 marched into Havre, France. He was wounded on a second occasion on 9th August, with gunshot wound to the stomach for which he succumbed and died two days later on 11th August 1918. He is buried in the Vignacourt British Cemetery Amiens Plot 6 Row A Grave 10.
CABLE James Troy Service No 1764
He was born in Woollahra to James & Mary Rebecca Cable of Randwick NSW. He stated he was a civil servant with WC&IC in Leeton prior to enlisting on 22 May 1916. After training at Cootamundra with the 5th Reinforcement, he was promoted to Bomber on 22 November in the 4th Trench Mortar Brigade at Menangle. He embarked on the HMAT Orsova on 2nd December 1916 with the 7th Light Trench Mortar Battery.
He proceeded to the front in France on 22nd September 1917. In February 1918 he attended 2nd Divisional Signal School for training, before returning to France on 4th March 1918 and rejoining the 7th Light Trench Mortar Battalion.
On 6th July 1918 the family were advised that he had been Killed in Action on the 4th and buried in an isolated grave, where his body was later exhumed and re-buried at the Crucifix Corner British Cemetery, South of Villers Bretonneux, France. In September of 1918 the WC&IC were notified of his death.
CAMERON Donald Service No 110
Gallipoli Veteran – Born in Benalla Vic c1892, the son of Charles Cameron, Blacksmith, whose address was shown as Post Office Leeton. His mother had been deceased for sixteen years prior to his enlistment on 3rd September 1914.
After enlisting in Sydney, he embarked on 5th April 1915 on SMS Derfflinger bound for ANZAC Cove. He was punished for AWOL several times when supposedly being sick. In October of 1916 was transferred to Kitchener hospital in London with an injured neck. From Jan-March 1917 he was in and out of hospitals suffering from influenza, nasal problems, VD and other problems.
In August 1917 he proceeded overseas to his unit, the 61st Battalion in Belgium, where they were Taken on Strength on 29 September. On 4th October 1917, he was Killed in Action whilst serving in Belgium and appears on the Memorial at Menin Gate Ypres, Belgium.
He was a brother to Mr T Cameron of Leeton.
CARR John William L/Cpl Service No 2756
Born in Sydney 1890. His mother Mary Carr had passed away prior to his enlistment at Cootamundra on 18th July 1916. On his enlistment forms he stated his occupation as Farmer and his address as Farm 737 Leeton and that he had served in the Volunteer Rifle Regiment for 2½ years in Sydney.
He embarked on the HMAT Ceramic on 7th October 1916, bound for Plymouth England. On 22nd November he proceeded to France and marched into the 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot (ADBD) 45th Battalion.
He returned to England to Brighton Military Hospital suffering Asthma and Bronchitis in March 1917 and again in April to Harefield Hospital with nasal problems. He was AWOL later in April but returned to 62nd Battalion at Windmill Hill Camp, England in May 1917. His battalion returned to the battlefields and on 2nd July 1917, John was promoted to Lance Corporal.
In July, he attended Musketry School as he had a fair working knowledge of the Lewis Gun. On completion of training he transferred to the 45th Battalion and marched out to France.
In April 1918 he was reported Missing in Action in the field and was thought to have been wounded and taken prisoner at Villers Bretonneux in France. It was reported later that he had been Killed in Action on 29th April 1918. There is no known grave as he is believed buried in the fields of war at Villers Bretonneux. He was survived by a brother Richard Carr of Strathfield NSW and formerly of Farm 737 Leeton.
In 1922 the St Peters Anglican Church Leeton requested a death certificate to prove his death during WW1 as he was listed as a Trustee to a Bank Account for the Church.
CONWAY Harold William L/ Sgt MM Service No 5060
He was born in 1896 at Adelong NSW the son of William F Conway, his grandmother, who was his next of kin, was Catherine Conway, who later married Mr. Dowdell in 1922.
He stated his occupation as grocer working for Sykes & Watson at Leeton when enlisting on 5th January 1916 at Liverpool NSW. He embarked on 30th March 1916, HMAT Star of Victoria A16, in the 16th Reinforcements 13th Battalion.
In February he was promoted to Lance Corporal and later attended a Course of Instruction at Gas School where he qualified as an instructor. By March 1916, he was promoted to a Temporary Corporal then Lance Corporal before being injured in April with gunshot wounds to the right shoulder and being transferred to Rouen, France for treatment.
Once he rejoined his battalion, he returned to the battlefield and was again promoted to Corporal. In October he spent duty with the Permanent Commander of the 4th Training Battalion in France and was appointed Acting Sergeant in December 1917.
He was again promoted on 20th July 1918 to Lance Sergeant and was reported to have been awarded the Military Medal on 21st July 1918, when in charge of authority of the 1st Infantry Brigade.
On 6th August 1918 he was Wounded in Action for the 2nd occasion, but died of multiple shell wounds the next day at the 5th Casualty Clearing Station in France. He is buried in Crony British Cemetery, North West of Amiens, France.
DAVIES Edwyn (Eowyn) Hugh Captain
He was born 1891 and stated he was a surveyor on enlistment papers. In our Applications for Employment with WC&IC there is an E H Davies seeking employment. Father was James, and mother Margaret Anne Davies of Maryborough Qld. His brother Bill worked in Leeton so assume his brother Ed may have been living and working in Leeton when he enlisted.
Reference of the E Davies on our monument can be found in the Murrumbidgee Irrigator telling us that he was Killed in Action in 1917and that he was referred to as Sapper Davies.
DE GARIS Harold Service No 2362
Born c1896 St Peter-in-the-Wood Guernsey, Channel Islands to John & Louise De Garis and, from records held, had two sisters Bertha & Marie. On his application form for enlistment, he stated his occupation as farmer and was of fair complexion and had blue eyes. In his file there is a telegram for permission to enlist from De Garis of Guernsey.
He enlisted on 6th June 1915 and embarked on HMAT Shropshire on 20 August 1915 bound for the ANZAC Peninsula arriving in mid-October. He served with the 7th Reinforcements 13th Battalion. He served in France from early January 1916 and was wounded by gunshot to the back and spine, and sadly died at the 1st Australian Field Ambulance (In the field depot) on 15th August 1916. He is buried in the Beaucourt Military Cemetery, France, Plot 1 Row V Grave 23.
We have found reference to a Mr Marshall of Leeton enquiring of his death date, etc. Mr Marshall was an Officer with the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) so we are assuming Harold may have been employed in some capacity by them. We are still researching this information for confirmation.
Harold appeared in the The Murrumbidgee Irrigator’s Roll of Honour in June 1915 which states of Farm 227 Leeton.
DIGBY Francis Dudley Maxted Service No 15557
He was born in Sydney c1897 to Frank S & Frances Julia Digby of Leeton via Yanco, enlisting on 8 November 1915, at just over eighteen years of age. He stated his occupation as Ledger Keeper/Farmer but was known to have worked at the WC&IC as his name appears on their Roll of Honour. He had experience with guns, as he was a member of the Yanco Rifle Club.
He embarked for the front on 14th April 1916 after training at Holsworthy with the 19th Battalion ‘B’ Company. On 1st January 1916 he joined the 5th Reinforcements of the 5th Field Artillery Brigade as Gunner, then joined the 16th Reinforcements.
In May 1916 he was admitted to hospital at Ras-el-tin then transferred to Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt for convalescence. He attended Officers School at Bulford, England, before proceeding back to France in April of 1917. On 29 July he received a gun shot wound to the neck and was sent to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital Colchester for treatment.
He returned to the war front and on 30 August 1918, was promoted to Bombardier after serving four months as temporary Bombardier.
On 28 September he was reported Missing in Action whilst serving with 10th Field Artillery Brigade. The day after, he was officially listed as Killed in Action. His body was exhumed and buried at Templeux Le-Guerard British Cemetery in the Somme area of France.
DIXON Ralph T SGT Service No 886
Gallipoli Veteran – Ralph, a carpenter by trade, was born in MacKay Qld c1897 the son of G H Dixon, builder of Narrandera NSW. He enlisted in Sydney on 12 September 1914 in the 3rd Battalion. On enlistment papers he quoted that he was of fair complexion with blue eyes, and that he completed two years training with the Citizens Forces.
He embarked for the Dardenelles on the HMAT Euripides from Sydney on 20 October 1914. He was promoted to Corporal one month prior to sailing. On entering the war he was slightly wounded on 1st March 1915, and was promoted again on 1st April as Lance Sergeant.
Then on 27th April he was fatally wounded while fighting at Lone Pine and was buried by Senior Chaplain Green in the Lone Pine Cemetery. His brother, William E Dixon was Killed in Action at Bullecourt, France in May of 1917. The family losing two sons to war.
His name may be on Narrandera’s Memorial as he worked for G H Dixon & Co builders of Narrandera.
DUTTON Frederick Service No 1652
He was born at Charters Towers Qld in 1895 the son of Frederick R (a carpenter) & Elizabeth Dutton of Farm 762 Leeton. Ted, as he was known, enlisted on 8 February 1916 into the 2nd Reinforcements 56th Battalion and on arriving at Alexandria on 29 July from South Hampton where they had trained, he joined his Battalion in the field.They marched to the battlefields in France on 9 September 1916, fighting in the trenches day and night.
He was admitted to hospital suffering tonsillitis in December 1916, and in the January of 1917 was transferred to England to recuperate and have some much needed furlough. He marched out again to France on 8th May 1918 but due to contracting scabies, spent most of his next months in and out of field hospitals in Camiers, France.
On 26th September he was Killed in Action in the field and his body was buried on 2nd October 1917 in the Menin Gate Memorial Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium .
A memorial service was held in the Methodist Church, Leeton on 2nd Dec 1917 in his honour.
EARL Arthur Service No 1160
He was born at Pambula the son of Arthur and Ellen Jane Earle. He was an Assistant Surveyor with the WC&IC at Leeton prior to his enlistment for WW1.
He embarked on 28th July 1915 in the 8th Reinforcement of the 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment. Unfortunately, he died as a result of a sickness he contracted at Suez, Egypt on 2nd September 1915 and is buried in the Suez Christian Military Cemetery.
EDWARDS William Oliver Service No 3527A / 2277
William was born c1896 at Lake Cargelligo, NSW to Henry D & Annie T Edwards of Leeton. He owned Farm 366 with his brother Charles H Edwards prior to them both enlisting. He enlisted for service on 1st August 1915 in the 11th reinforcements. He deserted on 15 October and there was a warrant out for his arrest on 13 November1915. He rejoined his unit 11th Reinforcements 4th Battalion, and by 16th February 1916 he was serving in Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, where he was Taken on Strength.
On 29 February he was Absent from Parade and refused duty so forfeited a day’s pay. He was allotted to and proceeded to join the 53rd battalion at Zeitoun where he was taken on strength.
In March he spent time in hospital at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt with tonsillitis. On 28 April he attended Garrison Camp and was posted to 1st Training Battalion before rejoining his unit and embarking to join the Brittish Expeditionary Forces at Alexandria in May bound for Marseilles, France.
On 19 July 1916 he was reported Missing in Action and after a Court of Enquiry it was found that he was Killed in Action on 19 July at Fleurs Bay, France. His memorial is at VC Corner Australian Cemetery & Memorial Fromelles. He has no known grave but Grave Reference 8 is mentioned in his war service papers.
ELRINGTON Albert L Service No 5811
The son of Gerard Sandy & Henrietta Jane Elrington of Farms 93 & 94 Leeton. Father & sons were contracted on building the Main Canal around Whitton and also worked building Berembed Weir. Albert stated his occupation as farmer. Family descendants lived on one of the farms up until early 2010’s.
At 23 years of age he enlisted for service on 21st March 1916. After attending AIF Training Camp in the D Coy 2nd Battalion at Cootamundra he embarked for Plymouth England in October 1916 on the HMAT Ceramic. Whilst training he was promoted to Lance Corporal (14 July) but reverted to rank of Private on arrival in England.
He embarked for overseas on 7th October 1916 where he served in France with the 17th Battalion. On 15 April 1917 he received a gun shot wound to the throat area. He was treated at the 49th Clearing Station but died of those wounds the next day. He is buried at Achiet Le Grande Communal Cemetery, France, Extension Plot 1 Row C Grave 6.
His brother William was also KIA during WW1 whilst his youngest brother Albert Francis, who was born whilst Albert L was overseas, served in New Guinea during the 2nd World War.
FARRAR Frank Service No 3635
He was born in 1896 at Kemps Creek to Robert & Ethel Annie Farrar who lived at North Gogelderie when Frank enlisted at Narrandera NSW on 7th July 1917 with the 10th Reinforcements of the 54th Battalion. He was a Dairyman by trade and was a single man.
He embarked on 31st October 1917 on HMAT Euripides, and trained in England with 14th battalion at a Training School. In January he contracted mumps and convalesced at Codford Clearing Station, England, until fully recovered. In early April he joined his unit the 54th Battalion at Beaumaraise, Calais in France.
Sadly on 7th September 1918 it was reported that Frank had been Killed in Action on 1st September and was buried in an isolated grave at St Radegonde West of Peronne, France. His body was later exhumed and interred at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension Plot 2 Row C.
FREWIN Edward Arthur Service No 678
He was born 1894 in Newcastle the son of Edwin Ernest Frewin, stating his occupation as Office Clerk. He enlisted at Newcastle NSW on 20th November 1916 in the 12th Reinforcements 1st Machine Gun Battery and embarked from Sydney on 9th May to the Darrington Base Training Camp in England.
He proceed to France on 1 January 1918 and marched out to 1st Machine Gun Company then on 1st April 1918, under orders from AIF 1151 designation, the Company changed its name to 1st Machine Gun Battalion. On 19th September 1918 Edward was Killed in Action while fighting in France. He is buried Templeux-le-Guerard British Cemetery, Picardie, France.
In 1928 his father was Chief Clerk of Railways at Newcastle.
GAVEL Sidney John L/ Cpl Service No 3502A
Sid was born in 1895 at Mathoura NSW to William Stillman Gavel & Margaret Gavel of Farm 177 Leeton. On his 28th July, 1915 enlistment papers, he quoted his occupation as Commission Agent. He joined the 11th Reinforcements of the 3rd Battalion but he failed to embark on 11 April 1915, so was sent back to training camp then sailed for Cairo on 16th August where upon arrival was admitted to hospital with mumps.
On 28th March 1916 he was transferred to France and was allotted to the 53rd Battalion. After serving in Cairo, Zeitoun, Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt and Marseilles, France, he was appointed Lance Corporal in mid 1916, before action in July when he was reported Missing in Action on 28th July. After a Court of Enquiry was held on 2 September 1916, it was assumed he was KIA 19 July 1916 in the field of action at Fromelles, France. His memorial is at V C Corner Fromelles, France.
Two of Sid’s brothers, Cpl William P Gavel & Pte Ralph Gavel also served during the 1st World War. They returned to Australia after the war taking up land in the Leeton area. There are relatives still living on the original Farm 177.
GIBBONS Thomas Walter Service No 2758
Thomas was born in Chelsea, England c1895, the son of Thomas Gibbons of Farm 58 Leeton. He enlisted at Cootamundra on 18 July 1916, and after training camp embarked from Sydney on HMAT Ceramic, bound for Plymouth, England and active service abroad. He joined the 45th Battalion and in November marched into Codfod, England before proceeding overseas to France the following January.
In April 1917 he was admitted to AFA hospital then transferred to 22nd General Hospital Camiere, France with chronic otorrhoea (ear infection), but three months later rejoined his unit in the field. He was granted leave on several occasions returning to England then rejoining his unit.
He returned to Australia in August of 1919 on the HMAT Miltiades disembarking in Sydney and discharged on 22 September 1919. We are not sure of his movements since then and whether he died of sickness/injuries from war time.
A T Gibbons appears on our monument and of all that have been researched, this one is the only one that has a link to Leeton. In newspaper articles in The Murrumbidgee Irrigator in ‘Names that went to war’ is a J Gibbons of Brobenah. We will continue our search.
GIBSON Bayliss Service No 2408
He was born in Sydney c1880 the son of Frederick & Mary Catherine Gibson of Yanco NSW and brother to Percival George also KIA in France. Two other brothers served and returned to Australia at the end of the war.
He enlisted on 24 July 1915 at Liverpool at 38 years of age and embarked on the HMAT Themistocles on 5th October 1915 en-route to England for training before embarking and travelling to France where he saw active service in the Canal Zone. He went AWOL in England in March of 1916, after spending a weeks furlough.
He returned to France where, on 26 July 1916, he was fatally injured at Bullecourt and is remembered at Villers-Brettoneux Memorial Cemetery, France, Part 111, the same memorial as his brother Percival.
GIBSON Percival George Lance CPL Service No 3103
He was born 1890 at Nambucca NSW, the son of Frederick & Mary Catherine Gibson of Yanco NSW. He enlisted at 24 yrs of age on 11 August 1915, and embarked for service overseas in the 4th Regiment 19th Battalion. His Battalion was Taken on Strength at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, on 19 February 1916, then proceeded onto Alexandria in late March to embark for France.
In May 1916 he was charged for ‘breaking away from fatigue party’ and forfeited seven days pay. He was Wounded in Action on 24 July 1916, and transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station before being transported to 2nd Field Ambulance suffering from shell shock. He was admitted to hospital in Rouen, France before being transferred back to Derby in England on the 30th July. He was transferred to several other hospitals and rehabilitation centres in England during his recovery. He was docked eight days pay after being AWOL for three days whilst in England. After a stay of six months he marched into D Camp at Woolwich before proceeding back to France mid January 1917. He was transferred to and promoted Lance Corporal of 4th Battalion on 26 January 1917.
Whilst serving in France he was killed during the Battle of Poziers on 5 May 1917. His body was buried in the vicinity of Norcuit, France but is remembered at Villers Bretonneux Memorial Cemetery France, Part 111, the same memorial as his brother Bayliss.
GILLESPIE John Service No 4193
He was born in 1877 at Nagambie Vic, a twin of Maggie before the family moved to Matong NSW, just north of the Leeton area. Other family members were living and working in the Leeton area.
He was a carpenter by trade and most probably had been working in the Leeton area prior to enlisting on 14 August 1915.
The story is told that his parents didn’t want him to enlist so he did so without their knowledge. He listed his sister Mrs A J Dooley of Matong as his next of kin.
After enlisting at 38 yrs of age, he trained at Holsworthy before embarking 23 August 1915 overseas in the 13th Reinforcements of the 4th Battalion. On 14 February 1916 he joined the 2nd Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt.
His unit then proceeded to Marseilles, France, where he was wounded on 4th July with a gun shot wound to the thigh. He was treated at No 44 Clearing Station before being transferred to the General Hospital at Etaples, France. He was then sent to England for recuperation and in November 1916, he Returned to the Field in France where, on 19 November, he was Taken on Strength.
On 4th May 1917 he was Killed in Action in France and is remembered at Villers Bretonneux Memorial Cemetery, France.
GRANT Alexander Service No 1693
He was born at Inverness in Scotland, and there is reference to his mother Mary McDonald and brothers James, John and Hector Grant in his paperwork. He was a plasterer by trade. Enlisting on 31st May 1915 at 28 yrs of age, he proceeded to Gallipoli on 18 August 1915, serving with the 2nd Reinforcements 18th Battalion.
He was reported to be severely wounded between 21-25 August and with no further report of his whereabouts it was reported that he was Killed in Action on 22nd August 1915. This became official at a Court of Enquiry in April of 1917.
His memorial is at Lone Pine, Gallipoli. His eldest brother James enlisted on 8th December 1915. (Still looking for the connection with Leeton)
HELSON Albert Percy Service No 1673
Percy was born in 1890 at Port Augusta SA, the brother of Thomas who resided in New Zealand. He stated that he was a farmer and owner of Farm 836 Leeton.
He enlisted at 25 years of age, on 7th January 1916 in the 2nd Reinforcements of 56th Battalion and trained at Cootamundra Training Camp and embarked for Port Said 14 April 1916, then to Alexandria, Egypt, before proceeding to the battlefields of France in June of 1916 where he was Taken on Strength.
On 22nd October he was posted as Missing by his unit and was later declared Killed in Action on 22 October 1916. He is remembered on the Memorial at Villers-Bretoneux in France.
His step father John Smith of Broken Hill had correspondence from the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) about the Farm which he had leased. His brother Charles F G Helson worked Farm 79 Leeton and the farm was still in family hands.
HUDSON Edwin Service No 6744
He was born in c1897 Oxford England the son of Edwin Hudson a Postman of Oxford Eng. On his enlistment papers he states his address as Leeton but to date no other connection is made.
He enlisted on 18 July 1916 and embarked on 17 November SS Port Napier to England for further training. He proceeded overseas to France on 13 March 1917 and was transferred to the 29th Battalion from the 22 Reinforcements of the14th Battalion.
On 23 November 1917 he was Killed in Action in the field under heavy fire, with ‘no trace on research’ as to his final resting place, noted on his war records but he is remembered at the Menin Gate Memorial, Messines Ridge, near Gapaard, Ypres, Belgium.
JONES Caradog Lloyd (Caradog Lloyd-Jones) Service No 3071
He was born 1891 in South America, a Welsh Patagonian the son of John Lloyd-Jones. He arrived in Australia, (Leeton) in 1911 with his brother David Lloyd-Jones and took up Farms 506 & 507 at Stoney Point.
At 24 years of age, he enlisted for service at Cootamundra on 5th August 1915 and embarked for England in the November with the 10th Reinforcements of the 13th Battalion. On arrival, he entered hospital suffering a severe case of mumps and it wasn’t until February 1916 that he rejoined his unit at Moascar, Egypt.
On 29th August 1916, he was listed as Wounded but this was revised to Killed in Action in the field on 29 August 1916 at a Court of Enquiry. His memorial is at Villers-Bretoneux Memorial Cemetery in France.
On his files there is correspondence from W R Cater Solicitor of Leeton in 1923 enquiring of a death certificate confirming his death as well as from WC&IC re his will.
KELLIHER John ‘Jack’ Service No 1489
He was born in 1885 in New Zealand the son of J Kelliher of Tarnaki NZ. He was living in Leeton when he enlisted at Warwick Farm on 16 August 1915. He stated his occupation as Farmer at Farm 306 Leeton when enlisting at 29 yrs.
He proceeded overseas to serve with the 11th Reinforcement of the 6th Light Horse Brigade at Maadi, south of Cairo, in December of 1915. In February 1916 he marched out to Serapeum, Egypt, still with the 6th Light Horse Brigade.
On 6th August he was fatally wounded and was buried where he fell in the field at Romani, Egypt, by Rev A H Teece. He is remembered at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.
In correspondence with Leeton Solicitor W R Cater, a fellow Trooper Brian Farley of the same unit as Jack, mentioned that he was killed on his horse.
Also other correspondence that links him with Leeton was from Mr H Webster acting Attorney of Farm 289 Leeton and a donation in the soldier’s memory from IOOF Lodge Leeton.
KNYVETT Reginald Hugh Captain Service No 4528
He was born in Brisbane c1889. His occupation was a Minister of Religion and he was Rector of Leeton Presbyterian Church. Prior to enlisting, at 29yrs of age for active service at Melbourne on 5 November 1915, he had been a Sergeant of the Senior Cadets for three years.
Posted to the 14th Reinforcements 7th Battalion, he embarked on 28 January 1916 arriving at Suez, Egypt 28 February. On 1st March, he transferred to the 57 Battalion and was promoted to Corporal several days later.
In June 1916, he proceeded to Alexandria, Egypt, to join the British Expeditionary Force heading for Marseilles, France. Early in August he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and transferred to the 59th Battalion.
He was Wounded in Action 22 November 1916, and invalided to England several days later. In January 1917 he embarked for Return to Australia disembarking Melbourne 8 March 1917. His appointment with the Australian Imperial Forces was terminated on 19th June 1917.
Army Headquarters were advised by Knyvettes mother, Sarah Jane, that he passed away in New York USA in April 1918 from wounds received during the war. He married his wife Lillian, an American, just after the war.
He wrote several books of his service during the war years as well as other books after he returned from the war.
MADDEN Francis W L/Cpl Service No 3821
He was born 1895 at Bulli NSW, the son of Mr W W & Rose Madden, and brother of Murt Edward Madden of Balgownie NSW. He was employed at the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) as a clerk prior to enlisting.
He enlisted on 7 August 1915 at 19 yrs of age, and trained at Cootamundra Infantry Depot before further training at Holsworthy Barracks in the 12th Reserves. He embarked on 17 January 1916 in the 12th Reinforcements, 4th Battalion bound for Alexandria, Egypt, where, on 27 March, he proceeded to join the British Expeditionary Forces. On 3 April he marched into Marseilles, France.
In June of 1916, he joined the 4th Battalion in France as a Private. Then on 4th August he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
Sadly this was a short stint as on 19th August he was ‘Killed in Action in the Field’ and was buried between Pozieres and Morquat Farm, France, in the field where he lay.
McKENZIE Norman Cpl Service No 1598
Norman was born in 1895 at Smeaton near Ballarat Vic the son of Murdock & Elizabeth (Robinson) McKenzie of Farm 203 Leeton.
At 21 years of age, he enlisted in Liverpool on 18 July 1915, into the 1st Reinforcements 30th Battalion. They embarked on HMAT Beltana on 9 November bound for the Suez. In February of 1916 he was Taken on Strength at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, before embarking on the HMAT Hororata, bound for France.
On 11 August he was wounded with gunshot shrapnel in his right thigh and was sent to the Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred to the Military Hospital to stabilize, then transferred to 3rd AA Hospital in Dartford, England.
After recuperating at Weymouth in England, he went AWOL whilst on Christmas furlough 1916. In February 1917 he returned to Etaples, France and rejoined his unit. On 12 April 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and by end of September that year was again promoted to Corporal.
Whilst on leave in February of 1918 in England and Scotland he suffered influenza and was hospitalised for over a month. He rejoined his unit from England on 8 March and whilst seeing action in France was Killed in Action in the field on 17th March 1918.
He is interred at La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery at Ypres, Belgium.
His brother Edmund enlisted August 1918 and served with the NSW 25th Reinforcements.
McMAHON John Thomas Lieutenant
He was born 1892 at Darlinghurst the son of Patrick & M J McMahon. He was an Engineering Draughtsman with the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) at Leeton when he enlisted on 31 December 1915. He was the acting Sgt Instructor with the Tunnelling Corps at Roseberry Park NSW when he enlisted.
He served with the18th Reinforcements of the 2nd Field Co, and prior to embarking was promoted on 16 May 1916 to 2nd Lieutenant. He embarked on the ‘Aragon’ for Alexandria on 11 June 1916.
After further training he proceeded to France and on 9th March 1917 was Taken on Strength with the 3rd Field Coy which was the ex 18th 2nd Reinforcements from Etaples, France. During many of the major battles whole CO’s were wiped out, and with many soldiers lost, many units were combined or disbanded.
At the Battle at Hermies in France on 9th April 1917, he was severely wounded with shellfire to his legs and shrapnel to his body but died en-route when being transferred to the Casualty Clearing Station.
He was buried at Morchies Australian Cemetery Bapaume, France.
McMAHON Randolph G Lt. MC Service No 1029
Born Newtown Sydney in 1886 the son of Jessie S McMahon, he enlisted at Randwick on 9th September 1914 at 28 years, unmarried and occupation stated as Farmer of Leeton Via Yanco.
He attended training camp with Transport Section of 4th Battalion and embarked 20 October 1914 on Euripides for Dardenelles, Gallipoli. Whilst serving at Gallipoli during August 1915 he was appointed Sergeant just prior to receiving a gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to the Clearing Station at Mudros, Greece, before being transferred to Wandsworth Hospital in England.
He returned to the battlefield and in January 1916 joined No 14 Draft to rejoin the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces (MEF) at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt. Later that month he suffered from heart troubles and was re-admitted to hospital at Helouan, Egypt.
It was during Randolph’s service in the field in Dardenelles that he was Mentioned in Despatches of 11 December 1915 by Sir Gen Sam Hamilton for ‘Services rendered in connection with operations at the Dardenelles’. In April 1916 he was employed as Line Sergeant and in May was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.
In August he transferred back to the 4th Battalion who were serving in France. He received a gunshot wound to the thigh on 19th August 1916 and transferred to England because of the severity of the wound. It took two months to recover and he was sent to Perham Downs, England for R & R before again proceeding to the front in France in the November and rejoining his unit.
He attended School of Instruction in January 1917, to be promoted to Lieutenant in March 1917.
In May 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for ‘Conspicious gallantry and devotion to duty. He organised and skilfully led a counter attack which drove the enemy back with heavy losses. He set a fine example of courage and initiative’.
Over the next few months he attended training camps, went on furlough and attended more training camps where he qualified to be a First Class Bomber. In October 1918 whilst serving in Havre, France, he relinquished his position as Bomber and reverted to 2nd Lt. During January 1919, he had leave in Brussels and on his return to the field, contracted pneumonia and died on 23rd February 1919 at the 1st Australian Clearing Station.
He was interred by Chaplain T D Reynolds at Hal Communal Cemetery South West of Brussels, Belgium.
MURPHY J A Still researching as we are unable to find which one is connected with this area.
NICOL Frank J Sgt Service No 2707
He was born 1888 at Campbelltown NSW the son of Elizabeth May Nicol. His wife Beatrice remarried a Mr Ross after Frank’s death. He stated his occupation as Carpenter. At 27 yrs, he enlisted at Liverpool on 13th June 1915 and embarked for the front on 9 August 1915. He landed at Gallipoli early in November in the 3rd Battalion and was taken on strength.
At the end of that month his battalion was transferred to Alexandria, Egypt en-route for Marseilles, France, where on 27 July 1916, he received gunshot wounds to his shoulder and face. After recuperating in England he rejoined his unit at the end of November 1916.
On 9th December he was transferred into the 1st Machine Gun Corps and was Taken on Strength the next day. In February of 1917, he attended Machine Gun School of Instruction. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 17 September 1917 in the field in France.
On 4th October, he received shrapnel wounds to his arm and neck and was transferred to England for treatment. He rejoined his unit on 6 December 1917. In February 1918 he attended another Machine Gun Training School and on returning to his unit was promoted to Corporal.
After being wounded for the third occasion he was evacuated from the fields in France for treatment. On 10 March 1918 he was appointed Sergeant after being Temporary Sergeant when his unit’s sergeant was wounded.
On 18 September 1918 he was Killed in Action.
He is buried in the Templeux Le Guerard Brittish Cemetery in North East France.
There is an enquiry from WC&IC re his service so he must have been employed by them at some stage before enlisting.
He was living on Farm 760 in Leeton at some stage as in his Will he mentions that the property was offered for sale to a Mr Miller. His wife received the proceeds from sale of his property as per his Will.
QUINTON Hugh Augustus Service No 2706
He was born at Cobram Vic in 1895 the son of Hugh A & Bridget T Quinton of Farm 589 Yanco, and stated he was a labourer. At 21 years, he enlisted with his younger brother on 4 August 1916 at Cootamundra, where they trained with the 1st Depot Battalion.
He was promoted to Private on the eve of embarkation on the HMAT Benalla on 9 November, 1916. He trained with the 10th Training Battalion at Durrington, England before proceeding overseas to France on 3 May 1917.
On 22 May he was Taken on Strength whilst serving in the 39th Battalion. He received a gunshot wound to his back and was in hospital for several weeks before rejoining his unit and moving to Belgium. On 15 July 1917, during a battle, he was Killed in Action and was buried in Kandahar Farm British Cemetery Belgium.
There is correspondence in his file from the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission (WC&IC) of Leeton, seeking copies of his death certificate and his length of army service, so we assume he was employed with them prior to enlisting.
His brother William J Quinton was also killed during WW1 at Corbie, France.
QUINTON William J Service No 2705
Born 1898 at Cobram Vic, the son of Hugh A & Bridget T Quinton of Farm 589 Yanco. At 18 years of age, he enlisted at Cootamundra on 4 August 1916, together with his older brother, Hugh A Quinton, who embarked on the same ship and served in the same regiment. On arrival in England he ended up in Fargo hospital before attending training in Durrington Training Camp in England. In September 1917 he proceeded overseas for active service.
On 6th April 1918, he received a severe gunshot wound to his back and was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station then transferred to England to various hospitals for rehabilitation. On 12th May 1918 he was transferred to 1st Australian Headquarters at Hurdcott, England, then in July he rejoined his unit at Rouelles in France.
On 31st August 1918 he was wounded on the second occasion with a gunshot wound to the chest through to the spine and sadly died the following day.
He is buried at Daours Communal Cemetery Extension near Corbie, France.
His parents received the sad news of another son lost in the war, his older brother having died 15 July 1917.
RENNIE David Service No 1619
He was born c1884 Antrim Ireland. His brother John D Rennie, Station Hand of Darlington Point, was stated as his next of kin on his enlistment papers when he enlisted at 30 years of age, on 30 November 1914, at Liverpool, stating he was also a Station Hand. He embarked for overseas service and in July 1915, was part of the Beach Party at the Dardenelles.
In December of 1915, after an absence from his unit he rejoined them at Lemnos, Greece. By February of 1916 he was a Baggage Escort attached to the 2nd Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, en-route to Marseilles in France. He was AWOL and charged with drinking and damage to his rifle.
In July 1916 he proceeded to England for R & R before joining 1st ADB Depot at Etaples, France. By mid September he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion in Belgium.
He was listed as Killed in Action on 9 April 1917 and is buried at Hermies British Cemetery- Bapaum, East of Peronne, France.
RICHARDS Clifford Sydney Cpl. Service No 18530
He was born in Narrandera in 1895 the son of Solomon (dec’d) & Julia Richards of S Richards & Co of Leeton & Narrandera who enlisted at 20 years of age on 20 October 1915, at Holsworthy Army Base and embarked with the 25th Battery, 7th Field Artillery Brigade.
He was promoted to Gunner on 1st January 1916, then Provisional Sergeant on 1st April proceeding overseas to France on 29 December 1916. He became a permanent Corporal on 2 January 1917, even though only 22 years of age.
He was detached from his Battalion to attend 2nd Army Artillery Instruction School and on his return proceeded to Belgium. It was here on 16 September 1917, that he was Killed in Action ending his brilliant career in the Army. He is buried in the Perth China Wall Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium Plot 1 Row E 6.
SIVES John Pauling 2nd/L MM Service No 2228
Gallipoli Veteran – Born 1894 in Manchester, England. His mother was Elsie and his Aunt Elizabeth Annabel Kellie. His mother passed away less than three months after JP was KIA.
On his enlistment 24 April 1915 at 21 years of age, he stated his occupation as a clerk. He embarked for Mudros, Lemnos Island in Greece, on 16 June 1915 in the 6th Reinforcements 4th Battalion.
He joined the Gallipoli campaign 4th August 1915 and between the 6th and 9th during heavy bombing was affected by shellshock. He was treated in the Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred to Wandsworth Military Hospital in London.
In January 1916 he rejoined his unit in Egypt at Tel-el-Kebir, and on 6th February attended School of Instruction at Zeitoun also in Egypt.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 8th May and at the end of July temporarily promoted to Sergeant due to the Battalion Sergeant being wounded. He was then promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 30th September 1916.
On 4th October 1916 he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field, the citation reading ‘For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty while serving with the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force. On 25th July 1916 Lt/Cpl Sives in an attack on a German trench did splendid service. He was extremely cool and courageous under fire and by his judicious and dashing handling of the Lewis Gun helped the bombers to gain and retain their positions.’
He was again Mentioned in Despatches in France with the 4th Battalion on 19 April 1917, when he was recommended to be mentioned for ‘His devotion to duty during enemy attack on Demicourt and Boursies on the 15 April 1917.’
Whilst serving in Bullecourt, France he was Killed in Action on 7th May 1917. His memorial is on the Villers Bretennoux Memorial Wall North of Ypres, Belgium.
SMITH Ernest Pte Service No 3439
He was born 1896 at Keighley, Yorkshire England the son of John W & Mary A Smith of Farm 173, Leeton, formally of California USA. Ernie came to Australia in 1914 with his parents after his father applied for work with the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Trust (MIT). He enlisted at 19 yrs of age in Cootamundra on 19th September 1915 in the 11th Reinforcements of 4th Battalion, embarking on 29 July en-route to the front.
In February 1916 he transferred to the 53rd Battalion and were he was Taken on Strength at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt with his battalion moving to Marseilles in France in June. When Ernie received gunshot wounds to the leg and shoulder on 19 July 1916, he was transferred to No 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital where he died on the 23rd. He was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France by Rev T S Goudge in Row A Plot 8.
There is reference of him and his family in the Book, Stoney Point Baptist Church via Leeton 1913-1939 by Barbara Coe, held in our Local History library.
SMITH Frederick B Service No 1724
Born was in 1888 in Essex England, the son of Annie Smith of Farm 516, Leeton, enlisting at 28 years, on 26th January 1916 at Cootamundra, where he attended camp in the 2nd Regiment of the 56th Battalion.
He was listed as Private when embarking on 14th April on HMAT Ceramic to join the British Expeditionary Forces at Alexandria in Egypt. His unit was Taken on Strength on 26 July 1916 whilst serving at Marseilles in France, with reinforcements called to form the 56th Infantry Battalion.
He was Killed in Action sometime on or about 13 August and reported on 30 August 1916. He is buried at Farm Military Cemetery, Armenieres in France.
His Probate Application was lodged 10 November 1916 through Leeton Solicitor, Mr W Rupert Cater with his Estate being granted to Edward H Smith.
SPEARS Walter Lieutenant
He was born 1882 at Manchester Lancashire, England, the son of Elizabeth Spears, husband of Phyllis and brother to Stanley, Harry, Edith and cousin to Frank and Florence. His occupation was Engineer at Yanco.
At 33 years of age, on 11 September 1915, he Enlisted at Cootamundra into the 59th Battalion and trained at Cootamundra and Holsworthy Depots before attending Officers School at Moorebank and Liverpool NSW. He embarked for Port Lincoln, Suez on 4th May 1916. On entering the war, his unit was Taken on Strength fighting at Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt.
After receiving concussion and sever ear damage from a shell explosion, he was taken to hospital in England on 31st December 1916, later re-joining his unit after spending time at Pernam Downs in England. When he was permanently invalided, he embarked on 5th November 1917, for his return to Australia onboard the ship HMAT Thermistocles.
Whilst the ship was en-route from Fremantle UK to Eastern Ports, Spears suffered fatal wounds shooting himself dead with his own gun. He sent a suicide note to his cousin Frank Spears, there is also a notation about his burial on 29 December 1917 in Adelaide SA.
He may have worked with the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission, as there is correspondence on his file from them asking for death certificates etc.
WATSON Humphrey J F 2nd Lieutenant
Born on 9th May 1881 in Leeds Yorkshire England, the brother of Thomas F Watson, Mosman and foster son of George Tolley of Wentworth NSW. When enlisting on 23 June 1915, he quoted as being a Civil Assistant Engineer-Surveyor with the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Commission.
He joined the 12th Reinforcements 3rd Battalion and embarked from Sydney to the Suez on 30th December 1915. He disembarked at Marseilles, France in April after attending training camps. On 22nd July he was wounded and evacuated to the Red Cross Hospital at Le Touguet in France.
In August he applied for a Commission in the A.I.F. stating his education qualifications and experience as attending St Andrew’s College, Rossall College, Manchester University, as a Lt in Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry and as Acting Sergeant in the 4th Reinforcements 17th Battalion in 1899-1900 War.
On 8th September 1916 he was promoted to Lieutenant whilst serving in Belgium and was absorbed into the Reinforcements of 3rd Battalion.
On 10th October he was wounded with a gunshot to left arm, thigh and head and was transferred to 3rd London General Hospital for treatment and recovery. He moved to Pernham Downs in England at end of January 1917 before proceeding to France to rejoin his unit. He attended 1st Australian Division Gas School in March and again in April, before returning to France and transferring into the 3rd Battalion from the reinforcements.
On 4th October 1917 he was Killed in Action in Belgium. He is remembered in the Memorial Cross Aeroplane British Cemetery at Ypes, Belgium.
His brother was Retired British Army Officer Captain Thomas F Watson.
At this stage we have been unable to identify the G Ward who has connections to Leeton.
WHEELER Francis H C Cpl Service No 1038
He was born at Daylesford Vic, the son of H S Wheeler of Warragul Vic. At 31 years of age, he enlisted at Liverpool NSW on 19 February 1915 into the 5th Brigade of the 17th Battalion. He proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces at Gallipoli on 16th August, after training camp at Liverpool.
On 6 October he was hospitalised with dysentery and sent to the Hospital Ship at Gallipoli before transferring to Hospital at Gibraltar on HS Caledonian, then to England for further treatment and rehabilitation. He rejoined his battalion at Moascar, Egypt in March 1916 after R & R in February in Egypt. In January 1917, he was promoted Temporary Corporal, then in March promoted to Corporal. Suffering from trench feet in April, he was admitted to hospital and a month later marched from convalescent to camp Adjutant for Police Duty.In August he rejoined his unit in France and became Lt Sergeant on 25th September 1917.
By October 9th he was reported Missing in Action, last being seen in the support lines at Zonnebeke Ridge in Belgium, on his way to ration camp.
It was recognised that he was Killed in Action on 9th October 1917.
His name appears on the WC&IC (Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission) Honour Roll.
WILLIAMS ELLIS E Service No 2998A
He was born 1879 in Wales, a sister to Phoebe Hughes, brother of Joseph and nephew Arvon Williams of New York USA. He stated his address as Farm 509 of Leeton, occupation as farmer and he left a Will at the Bank of NSW Leeton, prior to enlisting on 25 July 1916 at Goulburn NSW.
He embarked on the HMAT Ascanius on 25th October with the 7th Reinforcements of the 56th Battalion en-route to Devonport where they arrived into the 14th Training Camp on 28th December 1916.
He proceeded overseas to France in February and transferred firstly to the 19th Battalion then to the 20th Battalion in the field.
On 6 August he attended the Field Ambulance Hospital then admitted to 58th General Hospital St Omer where he stayed for ten weeks before rejoining his battalion late in October.
After furlough in England in February of 1918 he returned to the battlefields in Belgium before he was Killed in Action in the fields in France on 7th April 1918.
He is buried at Hangard Wood British Cemetery South of Corbie in France.
In 2006, a film crew from S4C, the national Welsh-language broadcaster, traced his footsteps for a dramatised documentary of his life, visiting Leeton and the site of his Farm 509 for their story.
His life is also documented in the book Remembrance – 100 years 100 Memorials 100 Stories by Atkins, Hocking and Millowick published in 2014 .
WILSON Ronald Stewart Service No 1137
Ronald was born in Wagga NSW 1896, the son of Susan Wilson. He states his occupation as Station Hand. He enlisted on 9 April 1915 and after a month in Training Camp with the 21st Battalion, he embarked on HMAT Ulysses from Melbourne for the Gallipoli Peninsula.
On 29 August he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces (MEF) at Gallipoli and by December had moved to Mudros in Greece. On 2nd January 1916, suffering bronchitis, he was hospitalised and transferred to Cairo General Hospital. He rejoined his unit for duty on 15th and was taken on strength at Ghizerah, Egypt.
After several stints in hospital with bronchitis, on 12 August 1916 he rejoined his 21st Battalion in France where he was wounded with gunshot to the wrist on 26th August. He was transferred to England for treatment. By mid December 1917 he marched back into the field in France after having been AWOL for four days after leaving hospital in England. But on 3rd May 1917 he was Killed in Action at Bullecourt in France, and is remembered at Villers Bretonneux Memorial Cemetery in France.
His brother Stanley Maurice Wilson was also KIA during WW1.
Battle of the Western Front
July this year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and The Battle of Poziers. These battles resulted in over five thousand casualties in the first month including a twenty four hour period regarded as Australia’s worst one day loss in history, more casualties than the Korean & Vietnam wars combined.
By the time the Australians were relieved from Poziers and Mouquet Farm in September of 1916 the army had suffered over twenty five thousand casualties in just over seven weeks of fighting. This included several of our local soldiers whose names appear on Leeton’s War Memorial.
By the end of the war, almost three hundred thousand Australians had served on the Western Front in France & Belgium.
Many were Missing in Action and never found during and after the war ended. In 2008 the Unrecovered War Casualty section of the Australian Army began work on identifying remains found in mass graves discovered where the Germans had buried the remains of British & Australian soldiers found on the battlefields.
The Fromelles Project encouraged families of Missing in Action soldiers to submit samples of their DNA to be stored in the Fromelles Relatives Database. Using this modern technology, over one hundred and forty remains have been identified and given official burials at Pheasant Wood Memorial Cemetery, Fromelles in France.
Our Society has been offered a room at the library to establish our Local History Room. We will be moving into this room as soon as we can move our collection and once it is organised we will open for the general public for a couple of hours each week at an agreeable time with the library.
We have several organisations celebrated or are going to celebrate 100 years of existence during 2015.
The St Josephs Catholic Church held a dinner to celebrate their centenary whilst the St Peter’s Anglican Church held a bell ringing to reign in their 100 year celebration of services held in Leeton.
The local Show Society will be celebrating their 100th show in October as well as Wamoon Public School holding a Reunion weekend over the long weekend in October for past and present students.
LEETON’S HIGHEST DECORATED SERVICEMAN
Walter Ernest Brown VC DCM
Service No 1689A + NX35492
Born 3 July 1895 New Norfolk Tasmania the son of Sydney F & Agnes M (Carney) Brown. After attending school inTasmania he worked as a grocer until 1911 when the family moved to Petersham NSW where he remained in similar type of work until enlisting on 11 July 1915.
He served in the 1st and 2nd Field Butcheries in May 1917 when again the unit was taken on strength. His transfer back to the 20th Battalion took place in July 1917 and he joined them in Belgium while they were stationed in the line around St Omer. During September and October 1917, Brown took part in the fighting around Passchendale and it was for his actions during this time that he was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
On 19 October he was promoted to Lance Corporal and was later wounded with slight gunshot wound to the head. He was transferred to the clearing centre at Calais and on his return to his unit shortly after on 7 April 1918 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.
On 6 July 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France he performed the deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross: ‘Brown had rushed a machine-gun post armed with a hand grenade, taking one officer and 11 men prisoner under heavy machine-gun fire’.
In August 1918 he was wounded and attended the clearing centre at Rouen for treatment before being transferred to a Repat Hospital in England to convalesce.
After this incident Brown remained at the front until the end of the war, and despite being wounded again in August for the second time with a gunshot wound to the knee, he attended the clearing centre at Rouen for treatment. On his return to the unit on 13 September 1918 he was promoted to sergeant. In October he returned home to Australia on furlough. After non Military employment leave in England for the Bioscope Operating training he rejoined his 20th Battalion in France.
He returned on the ‘Nestor’, was repatriated before being discharged on medical grounds in February 1920 where he returned to civilian life. Brown went to live in Sydney, New South Wales and during this time undertook a number of different lines of work up until 1930 when he moved to Leeton to take up a position as a water-bailiff in the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission until he re-enlisted in the 2nd WW in 1940.
Brown lied about his age claiming to be born 1900; enlisted as a gunner under his real name in the 2/15th Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery and declared he had no previous military experience hoping to avoid attention as he wanted to be in action on the front line. Although his identity became public knowledge, the military authorities allowed him to continue serving. He was briefly promoted to lance-sergeant, but requested to revert to the rank of gunner. His unit was sent to Malaya in August 1941 where they were attached to the Australian 27th Brigade, and then to Singapore in February 1942 following the Japanese attack on Malaya where he was reported missing on 28th. He is believed to have been killed in action on that date, although his body has never been recovered.
His Memorial is at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore.
Leeton Veterans who appear on our War Memorial and were lost during WW1 while serving at Gallipoli
Ralph Ernest BAILEY Service No 248
Born c1892, Winchester Hampshire England.
Son of W C Bailey Hampshire England (and later Bendigo Vic).
On 18 August 1914 he enlisted in the 4th Btn Ambulance Imperial Force ‘C’ Co. and Embarked for duty overseas on Euripides on 20 October 1914.
On 4 April 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
On 25 April 1915 he was wounded in action near the Dardanells.
From wounds received in action at Gallipoli, Ralph died on 27 April 1915 on board HMTS Lutzow.
Commemorated at Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
Lone Pine Memorial
Charles F R BOSWARD Service No 958
Born c1889 Sydney. Father W G Bosward of Paddington.
Occupation – Clerk with WC&IC
He served with the 4th Btn ‘C’ & ‘F’ Company’s.
Enlisted 2/9/1914 and embarking on 20 October on ‘Europides’ the same year for service abroad.
He was promoted to Corporal on 4 April 1915 then Lance Sergeant on 4thAugust 1915 a few days before being wounded at ANZAC Cove on 13th August. He died the next day at the 3rd Field Ambulance station at Beach Base from his wounds, a compound fracture of the left leg received as his Btn was being relieved from the trenches by the 2nd Btn. He was buried in the Beach Cemetery at the Southern Point of ANZAC Cove by Rev J C McPhee.
Before enlisting he worked as an Officer with the WC&IC in Leeton.
Memorial plaque for Bosward at Anzac Cove. (D Pluis)
Beach Cemetery Anzac Cove.
494 Sgt John Alexander DIGBY Service No 494
Worked as an Officer in WC&IC Leeton Office.
Son of F S Digby who was Sub Manager & Clerk in Charge of Records in the Irrigation Commission in Leeton.
He enlisted in the 13th Battalion ‘E’ Company.
He was promoted to Sergeant on 2 October 1914 and was killed in action at Gallipoli on 3 May 1915.
His bodied was recovered and buried on 24.5.1915 in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsular by Chaplain W Grant.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
959 Campbell James DITCHBURN Service No 959
Brother to William S Ditchburn who worked together at WC&IC Leeton.
Campbell enlisted on 2 September 1914 and embarked on the ‘Euripides’ on 20 October 1914 for active service at Gallipoli.
On 5 May 1915 he was killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsular.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
1940 Vernon Robert DOBBIE Service No 1940
b c1890 Brunswick Vic
He enlisted at Liverpool on 26 January 1915 and gave his NOK as his brother S E Dobbie of Farm 309 Leeton. He had served for eighteen months in the Wellington Engineers in NZ prior to enlisting .
He embarked on 25 June 1915 and served with the 1st Btn 1st Australian Division and transferred on 5 August to the 5th Reinforcements
He was severely wounded and died on 9th May 1915 and is buried at sea between Anzac Cove Alexandria and Malta.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
1209 Morton Osborne DOUGLAS Service No 1209
Wife Susanna E H Douglas and they had two known children. Occupation stated as labourer.
He enlisted on 21 September 1914 and embarked to the war front on the ‘Europides’ on 19 October 1914.
On 11 May 1915 he was admitted to 4th Field Ambulance sick and when discharged 12th May he marched in for service in the Dardenelles.
He was serving with the 4th Btn ‘H’ Co when he was killed in action sometime between 6th and 9th August 1915 at Gallipoli.
He is buried in Lone Pine Memorial Cemetery.
He appears on Leeton’s Honor Roll published in the Murrumbidgee Irrigator of 11 June 1915 as being a recruit despatched from Leeton between the dates of 1/10/14 and 31/12/14.
Beach at Gallipoli
517 Hedley Vernon George KITCHIN Service No 517
Born in Tasmania
He enlisted on 17 September 1914 and embarked on 5 April 1915 on Troopship Galeka to the Gallipoli campaign.
He was a Lance Corporal when reported wounded on 25 April 1915, which was revised to wounded and missing the next day.
A Court of Enquiry held on 24.4.1916 found that Vernon Kitchin was Killed in Action on 25 April 1915 at Gallipoli.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
761 Albert Edward MEGGY Service No 761
b 1894 Paddington NSW the son of Percy & S M Meggy
He enlisted at Kensington NSW on 24 August 1914 and after training in Australia embarked for Gallipoli on 5 April 1915.
On 19 May he received gunshot wounds to his thigh and admitted to hospital in Mustapha. He rejoined his unit on 20 June on the Gallipoli Peninsular and sometime between 6th and 12th August was reported missing in action during the Lone Pine charge. At an enquiry he was found to have been killed during this time.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
Alberts brother Douglas Acland Meggy who enlisted in June of 1915 and embarked to France was wounded and reported missing in July 1916.
At a Court of Enquiry he was found to have died in the field (KIA) between 22nd – 27th July 1916. He is buried at Pozieres British Cemetery.
White Cross at British Cemetery Pozieres
1631 Roy Gough SHEARER Service No 1631
He was born Jamestown SA.
He enlisted at Liverpool on 16 December 1914 and stated his next of kin as Sybil Shearer.
He embarked on 11 February 1915 for Gallipoli joining the 4th Btn 3rd Reinforcements on 25 May. Early in August he was wounded with gunshot wounds to his face, abdomen and arm. He was transported to the Hospital Military Ship ‘Delta’ at sea where he died on 7th August. He was buried at sea.
Lone Pine Memorial Gallipoli.
353 Eric Allan VANCE Service No 353
Clerk at C B C Bank of Sydney Leeton Branch. He enlisted at Randwick on 5 August 1914 the son of Captain E B M & J B Vance. He embarked 5th April for the Gallipoli campaign.
On 1 March he was promoted to Lance Corporal. By early May 1915 he was reported missing.
At a Court of Enquiry held on 24 March 1916 he was pronounced killed in action on or around 2nd May 1915.
His bodied was recovered and buried at Baby 700 Cemetery North East of ANZAC cove.
Eric’s father Capt EBM Vance (who was the first Doctor in Leeton)
Baby 700 Cemetery Anzac Cove
1295 Clement Wallace WALTER Service No 1295
b Candelo NSW the son of George C & Jessie J Walter of Moruya and Condobolin.
He enlisted at Randwick on 1 September 1914 and embarked on 20 October to the Gallipoli Peninsular serving in the 3rd Btn ‘B’& ‘G’ Co’s.
On 1st May 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corporal and whilst serving on the Dardenelles 19th May was killed in action.
He was buried in 22nd Parade Ground Cemetery by Rev W McKenzie. Later the body was exhumed and reburied at 4th Btn Parade Ground, a half mile to the east of Anzac Cove Gallipoli.
4th Btn Parade Ground Cemetery
343 Thomas WILLOUGHBY Service No 343
b Myrtleford Vic the son of John Willoughby.
On his enlistment papers he stated his occupation as butcher. He enlisted at Rand SA.
After Training in the Military Forces he joined the 1st Btn, was posted as Private and embarked for service overseas.
On 21 May 1915 he received a gunshot wound to the skull and died as a result of the wounds on the Hospital Ship Galeka positioned off the cove. He was buried at sea by Chaplain F J Mills.
Hospital ship ‘Galeka’
(Acknowledgement: Several photos in this article from various online sites)
Known Leeton Veterans That Came Home from Gallipoli
Arthur T Adams ‘MM’ Service No 752
Henry Jack Aliendi Service No 641
Kenneth Bain Armstrong Service No 339 WC&IC employee
Richard Earl Barker Service No 679
Frederick P H Barrett Service No 1383
Olaf Murray Barker Service No 467
John Victor Bias Service No 1750 WC&IC Employee
Michael J Broadhurst Service No 252 Farm 1088, 1921-28 & Farm 1031, 1927-37
Roderick C Brown Service No 1021
Angus B Bullock Service No 853
L/Cpl James R Browne Service No 1323 WC&IC employee Farm 1157, 1922-37
Lt Col William T Charley Farm 137
Marcus R Clarke Service No 582 Farm 1224 1922-40
Joseph Coelli Service No 1820
John Croll MM DCM Service No 3609
Richard Parker Crozier Service No 1506 Farm 1100 1921-29 then to Griffith
Gustaff (George) Dahlstrom Service No 1322
Gideon F Dare Service No 1507
Robert T Davidson Service No 657 WC&IC employee
Reginald E Dexter Service No 548
William E (Bert) Ekin Service No 1132
Oliver C Freudenstein Service No 6754 Farm 1701 1930-37
Archie L Fullgrabe Service No 3523
Herbert A Gaynor Service No 1671
Cpt Walter Richard Gilchrist Service No 208 WC&IC employee
Harold G Hansen Service No 1334
Tpr. William Joseph Hazleton Service No 328 Farm 1051 1922-37
William Thomas Henham Service No 2621
Cpl. Christopher Holt Service No 730 Farm 1451 1922-56
Dvr. Hugh Mack Jenkins Service No 2438 Farm 1441 1922-36
Hugh P McElvogue Service No 552
Lt Randolph G F McMahon Service No 1029
John Maley Service No 44
Hector Markey Service No 3207 Farm 968 1921-26
Frank H Marks Service No 32321
John Innes Noad Service 67443 Farm 1118
Harry Paine Service No 1169 Farm 1119, 1922
Sydney Thomas Randall Service No 4883
Sgt Kenneth B Rogers-Harrison Service No 181 Farm 1132, 1921
Thomas Roycroft Service No 2012
William H Sayers Service No 1099 Farm 929, 1920-28 & Farm 1468, 1930-47
Henry L Shea Service No 331
William R Simpson Service No 374
Pt John Alex Stewart Service No 2679
1208 Alfred S West Service No 1208
Herbert West Service No 662 Farm 1575
Sgt Roy I Wunsch Service No 918
Other known Gallipoli Veterans who lost their lives during WW1 who had some association with Leeton.
Charles W Baker Service No 106 KIA France
John V Bias Service No1750 KIA France
George Melrose Service No 2035 KIAGallipoli
Following two are probably on Narrandera Monument although listed in Murrumbidgee Irrigator Roll Of Honour 1916
Sgt Frank J Nicol ServiceNo 2707 KIA France
John P Sives ServiceNo 2228 KIA France
During Heritage Week we conducted a special event with the unveiling of a memorial for Herbert Fanstone the first Director of Naval Works for the Australian Government and a cemetery walk featuring WW1 veterans.
We liaised with the Navy who made funding available and along with a donation from our Society and family members, a fitting memorial has been erected on the unmarked grave.
Cmdr Desmond Woods and his wife represented the Navy, Rev Father Robert Murphy of St Peter’s Anglican Church, John Power representing Leeton RSL, Mayor Paul Maytom, Deputy Mayor George Weston, Rod Steedman ex Navy who liaised with the Navy on our behalf, members of our Society and some seventy visitors from many parts of the state gathered for the ceremony to bless the newly erected memorial.
Leeton RSL Sub Branch President, John Power laid a poppy on each of the veteran’s graves while Leeton RSL Sub Branch Women’s Auxiliary President, Heather Whittaker laid rosemary.
Information on Herbert H FANSTONE
Herbert Fanstone was born c1873 at Salisbury England the son of George & Elizabeth (nee Crooke) Fanstone.
After leaving school he was articled at Portsmouth, Hampshire as an Architect, Civil Engineer & Surveyor. He completed his five-year indenture in 1896.
He married Annie Lavinia Ursell at Gosport UK and they had one son – Douglas.
Prior to coming to Australia in 1910 he designed dockyards for the British Navy at Bermuda and Kingston in Jamaica before transferring to the Rosyth Naval Works on the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
Soon after arriving in Australia he was one of twenty in 1911, who applied for a position in the Naval Scheme within the Commonwealth Government. He was the successful applicant and was appointed as the first Director of Naval Works for the Commonwealth Government; thus the commencement of Naval activity in Australia. During his term he designed the Henderson Naval Base on Cockburn Sound Fremantle in 1913, extensions to the Flinders Naval Base at Western Port Bay, Melbourne & the Naval Base in Brisbane.
His career ended in 1916 as the result of an accident on Sydney Harbour when travelling in a motor launch travelling from Garden Island to Cockatoo dock yard when the launch collided with a vehicle ferry. As he was stooped over plans on a table in the launch the cabin came crashing down on his back and he and the coxswain, the only two on the launch, were thrown into the water. After they were rescued it was found that Fanstone had suffered damage to his spine which made him a semi-invalid so ending his career.
After his wife died he moved to the Leeton area in the early 1950’s living with his son and daughter in law but despite his injury got around until blindness forced him to become housebound.
He was an artist in water colours and some of his favourites were of the West Indies where he had worked prior to coming to Australia.
He died in 1964 at the grand age of ninety one years.
(A little bit of repetition but would like to include Commander’s address in full.)
Address given by CMDR Desmond Woods:
Unveiling Ceremony at Leeton Cemetery NSW – Sunday 26 April
Herbert Fanstone: Navy’s First Director of Works
Herbert Fanstone was born in Salisbury in Wiltshire in 1873. He completed his five years of indentured articles in 1896 and qualified as a Civil Engineer. He worked on the development of naval dockyards in Scotland, at Rosyth and in Jamaica. It would be hard to imagine two more different climates than the Firth of Forth and the Caribbean. Perhaps he enjoyed the warmth of the West Indies because in 1910 he migrated to Australia. His dockyard engineering expertise and experience were quickly made use of by the Commonwealth Naval Board who appointed him as a probationary Director of Naval Works in August 1911. He was the first to hold such a Commonwealth Government appointment in Australia.
His first project was the expansion of the old Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour. This was urgently needed because it was to become the maintenance repair dock for Australia’s first torpedo boat destroyers. One of these was built in UK, disassembled and shipped to Australia, partly to train dockyard men in how to assemble one. This new naval capacity was a nation building project of great significance to the young Commonwealth and the Navy. Two hundred thousand pounds was allocated for this new construction work at Cockatoo; an enormous sum in 1912.
Fanstone’s work at Cockatoo was supplemented by his designing of the Henderson Naval Base, Cockburn Sound, Fremantle. Admiral Henderson identified Australia’s need for a naval base in the West and it was Fanstone’s job to design one. He and Henderson confirmed the best location on Cockburn Sound. The Australian Marine Complex is now located there in the suburb named Henderson and is one of the largest ship building precincts in Australia.
Fanstone was also engaged in preparing the designs for what would become Flinders Naval Depot at Westernport Bay in Victoria. In winter this bleak location may have reminded him of his days in Scotland. The naval base at Westernport is now HMAS Cerberus the new entry training establishment for the RAN. It has been the front door of the Navy for generations of our sailors. He also did the preliminary work for a naval base at Brisbane. Clearly he was a man who was making a major contribution to the future of the RAN. He would have been reporting directly to Admiral William Creswell, the First Naval Member of the Commonwealth Naval Board of Administration. We now consider Creswell to have been the father of the RAN and Fanstone was a key member of his team.
His tenure was cut short due to a serious accident in April 1916 when the naval motor launch in which he was travelling between Garden Island and Cockatoo Dockyard collided with a vehicle ferry. The cabin of the launch crashed down on his back as he was examining maps. The resulting spinal injuries left him a semi-invalid and his career with Navy was over. His job required him to inspect the works that he was designing and planning and at a time when assistance with restricted mobility was not available he was unable to continue in his post.
The reputation of pioneers is often overtaken by those who come after them and enlarge on the work that they started. This seems to have been what happened to Fanstone. Because his career was cut short he did not receive due recognition that he was the guiding hand behind the Navy’s future dockyards and bases. Perhaps this would have been different if is he had been able to complete the work that he had started so well.
In this centenary period, 2014 – 2018, when we are remembering the RAN’s operations in WW1, we should remember that an Australian fleet needs dockyards and trained and dedicated workers. Our dockyards are strategic national assets in peace and war. Particularly during the Second World War in the Pacific 1942 – 45 our ships, and those of our allies, depended on Cockatoo dockyard where their battle damage was repaired so that they could return ready to renew the fight.
Herbert Fanstone made his contribution to preparing Australia for the wars at sea of the twentieth century. He lived long enough to have the satisfaction of seeing that he had laid the foundations of the Navy’s ability to do its job, which is now, as it always has been – to Fight and Win at Sea.
Navy is pleased to have been able to assist family and friends with overdue recognition of Herbert Fanstone’s work and a headstone for his hitherto unmarked grave.”
Unveiling ceremony. L-r Rev Father Robert Murphy, LF&LHS President Wendy Senti, John Power RSL, Rod Steedman, members public, Mrs Woods and Cmdr Desmond Woods (in uniform) and Fanstone family members.
Following this ceremony, members of LF&LHS conducted their cemetery walk featuring servicemen and women who served their country, returned to our shores and are now buried in Leeton cemetery.
Family members present were invited to step forward and place small posies in remembrance of their loved ones.
The posies contained: a sprig of Pine to represent the Lone Pine, Gum Leaves for Australiana, Fern for New Zealand, Wheat a symbol of Australia, Rosemary for remembrance, Red Poppy for Flanders poppy found in the fields where our soldiers fought and Rice as our local symbol.
The following are excerpts of stories from each of the graves we visited.
Alfred Richard W BALDING
Service No 95400 (WW2 NX36632) Born 1899
He was only nineteen years old in 1918 when he enlisted at Narrandera. He trained for several months at the Recruits Depot at Broadmeadows in the 1st Depot Battalion. He embarked for the front but the ship was recalled due to the war ending and he was discharged on 29 December 1918.
After the war he leased Farm 133 where he had a dairy cow and grew things to become self sufficient. He sold milk to his neighbours to earn money to buy other things he couldn’t grow. He married Myra Wall and they had a large family. He was granted Farm 272 Leeton.
He re-enlisted for service in the WW 2 at Wagga in 1940 and served overseas and was known to be in the Middle East in 1941. He died in 1963 aged 64 years.
Bernard Leonard ‘Len’ REILLY
Service No 11527
He was born 1893 Newmarket, Cambridge England to parents Edward John Reilly (hotel keeper) and Edith Emily Blanch Reilly (nee Chapman). He had two brothers, Harold & Cliff who both served in the navy and a sister Gladys.
At 15 he joined the Merchant Navy travelling around the world twice. He was on the Royal Mail Ship Tahiti a 7,585 ton ocean liner built in 1908 to carry mail as well as over 500 passengers and cargo. When war broke out it became a troopship. He always told everyone he jumped ship in Sydney to see a world champion boxing fight, so his story goes.
Len enlisted in the Australian Army on 6 October 1915 at Holsworthy at the age of 23yrs, listing his occupation as seaman.
Two months later, he embarked at Sydney per HMAT ‘OSTERLEY’ on 15 January 1916 for service overseas with the 5th Australian Field Artillery Brigade.
During his service he was kicked by a horse in 1917 at Somme River, suffered Trench fever while serving in France, which at one stage landed him in Kitchener Hospital, Brighton UK for a month.
He also served at Ypres in France 1918.
He returned to Australia on the ‘Nestor’ on 20/3/1919 and Discharged medically unfit on 15 September 1919.
The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area was being established when Len moved to the area to work for C R McKenzie & Co, widening the main canal in the early 1920’s. It was while he was working on the canal, that he met the lovely Edith Bessie Pepper who lived at Fivebough. They were married in Sydney, and had five children: Harold (Hal) WW11 veteran, Bernie (deceased), June (now McGregor), Ray (deceased) and Don (Vietnam veteran).
On returning to the area they purchased Farm 277 Yate Rd. Work for Len was at the WC&IC (Water conservation & Irrigation Commission) on ‘the gang’ maintaining the irrigation channels supplying the water to the farmers.
Following retirement from the WC&IC, Len sought ‘employment’ at Lanham’s garage keeping the workshop floors clean. Many stories were told, many yarns believed. He remained there until his late 80’s when ill health resulted in his second retirement. He died in Leeton Hospital in 1986 aged 93 years.
Private Thomas Darchy
Service No 4072
He was born in 1880 at Tarcoola Station on the Darling River, Pooncarie NSW.
The Darchy family managed Tarcoola Station of some one million acres for the Phelph brothers & Australian Mortgage, Land & Finance Company from 1881-1918 until the lease ran out. The property was then divided up.
Thomas was the son of Michel & Fanny (Nee Moore) Darchy.
At 36 years of age, Thomas enlisted on 8/2/1917 in Sydney and embarked 16/5/1917 on the steamship ‘Beltana’ bound for the front arriving in Durban, South Africa on 13 July 1917.
He served with the 1st Pioneer Battalion 11th Reinforcements.
He received gunshot wounds to his right hand and his right leg twice whilst serving in France during 1918.
He returned to Australia in April 1919 and was discharged 9 June 1919.
The State Library of NSW holds Thomas’s war diary, describing his journey through the war from Jan 1917 to May 1919.
After Thomas came to Leeton from Deniliquin in the early 1920’s he took up Farm 504 at Murrami which he continued to work until his retirement to Wamoon where he died in 1952.
He lived an active life and was associated with many organisations connected with public life of the community and advancement and welfare of the district. He became a Director of the Leeton District Hospital, he served as Director on the Narrandera Pastures Protection Board, and was a Shire Councillor for ten years. He organised the Murrami Golf Club picnic tournaments and was involved with the Show Society donating a trophy for the sheep section in 1937. He was an active member of the Rice Growing Organisations holding various executive positions.
Thomas was a keen Anthropologist from the time he lived up the Darling and had met Mr R L Black a well known Leeton identity and fellow anthropologist who had visited stations along the river searching for Aboriginal artefacts. Tom collected many artefacts on R L Black’s behalf.
Thomas died in 1952 aged 72 years.
Lieut Colonel William T CHARLEY
Gallipoli Veteran -Being a Commissioned Officer no numbers were allotted
He was born Ballarat, Vic c1871 His first wife was Mary Elizabeth Charley (d1925). His second Wife who he married in 1929 was May W Moggridge (Widow of late JWA Moggridge)
He attended Roseworthy Agricultural College SA where he was Dux in his final year. He moved to NSW where he lectured at Hawkesbury Agricultural College and worked on his brother’s Richmond property , Major Phillip Charley’s ‘Belmont Park Estate’.
He served in the South African Boer War.
Before enlisting in WW1 he was a founding member of the Hawkesbury Squadron of the NSW Lancers and was elevated to the rank of Captain.
He enlisted on 1st October 1914 at Liverpool and was to command A Squadron 6th Light Horse Brigade as Captain.
He sailed for Egypt with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade where he gained rapid promotion from rank of Captain to that of Lieutenant Colonel. He saw action in Gallipoli in 1915 and while there he invented an apparatus, known as the kangaroo rifle plate, which enabled riflemen to easily gauge the angle for firing at night. After attending the Imperial Inventions Board in England and explaining how to use it, his invention was adopted and used extensively. He also served in Palestine during 1916 and Egypt in 1918. In December 1918 he embarked from the Suez per H T Argyllshire bound for Australia.
On returning to the MIA from the war he took up Farm 137 ‘Merlegrove’ in the Stony Point area where he grew fruit trees as well as growing and harvesting fruit. He was involved in local organisations, as a Fruit-grower Representative on the Yanco Settlers Executive Board and was Vice President of the RS&SIL of A in 1922. He attended the local dances and was involved in fundraising for different organisations until his death in 1932 aged 64 years. He is buried beside his first wife Mary Elizabeth who died in 1925.
Service No 6804 POW
born Albury NSW 1887 son of Henry F C Nolte(of German Descent) & Mary (nee Heffernan)Nolte of Farm 36 Leeton.
He enlisted on 2nd November 1916 at Cootamundra and embarked on 17th November with the 7th Battalion 22nd Reinforcements and proceeded overseas to France.
He was posted in the 67th Battalion in France on 28/4/1917 where they were taken on strength. He served with the 37th Battalion 3rd Division, and the 7th Btn.
On 30th August 1918 he was reported missing while in France. On the Frankfurt List it stated that he was wounded and was being held as a ‘Prisioner of War’. Whilst in Germany he had shrapnel removed from his body. By the end of November he was repatriated to England and returned to Australia on 16 March 1919. He had only limited flexibility in his arm from the gunshot wound that he suffered.
On his return to the MIA area he worked on his father’s property as a labourer.
He married Isabel Sangster in 1920 at Narrandera. They took up Farm 1176 but due to war injuries he was unable to carry on and was admitted to Randwick Repatriation Hospital where he passed away in September 1921 aged 34 years. The farm was forfeited in 1922.
Henry’s brother who was named Hans, had to produce five letters from various sources stating his loyalty to Australia because of his German name before he could enlist in the Army. He enlisted at Narrandera on 15 March 1918 at 19 years of age after first trying in May 1917. He served as a Gunman in the Trench Mortar Battery.
Sydney Thomas (Tom) RANDALL
Service No 4883 Gallipoli Veteran
Born on 28.4.1892 at Sittingborne, in Kent, England the son of Thomas & Annie (Fryer) Randall. His occupation was listed as Hospital orderly.
Before coming to Australia, Syd spent two years in the Kent Cyclist Battalion.
He enlisted in Perth on the 18 June 1915 and embarked on 25 June with the Australian Army Medical Corp.
On 30 August 1915 he transferred to Gallipoli where he served in the 1st Casualty Clearing Station (ACCS) between August and December of 1915 at Anzac Cove before the Gallipoli evacuations took place.
He transferred to the 1st Australian General Field Hospital in September 1915.
During his time working at the Military Hospitals he met Dr Alan F. Jolley who served as Colonel-in-Charge of the 9th Field Ambulance Brigade and when Syd returned to Australia to take up farming, who should his Doctor be, but Dr Jolley who started a practice in Leeton in 1920 soon after returning from the war. Dr Jolley went on to become the Government Medical Officer & Repatriation Officer until 1940. He also enlisted for WW2.
In March 1916 whilst serving in Northern France, Syd’s unit was taken on strength. He then proceeded from the 1st Australian General Hospital to Australian Casualty Clearing Station (ACCS) and served in the field at Armentieres, the Somme & Flanders.
In July 1917 whilst on furlough in England he transferred back to the 1st Aust Gen Hosp. During 1918 he continued working in the 1st Aus Gen Hosp but now at Rouen in France. Here they dealt with the general battle casualties.
In November, he was transferred to London for duty at the Luton Wardown VAD Hospital to assist with severely injured soldiers. The war casualties were bad with eight deaths in several days during his time there.
On 3rd December he was ordered to report to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford which was used as a casualty clearing station with some 1400 beds. The twenty-four nurses cared for some 1800 patients—many of whom were badly wounded.
Sister Jean Nellie M Walker of Tasmania acted as Matron when the hospital opened in 1916. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross (RRC) for her services to nursing. Grace Wilson from Qld was also Matron there for a time, she is also a very well decorated Sister receiving the RRC as well as in December 1918 she received the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to nursing, hospitals and the war effort.
After spending time in hospital at Fovant in Wiltshire England, Tom marched out to the field on the 24 March 1919.
On his return to Australia on the troopship ‘China’, in May 1919 he was on the Medical Core Staff. He was discharged on 31 July 1919.
When Tom returned to Australia he was living at Drummoyne NSW and worked in a Munitions factory.
On moving to Leeton in 1923 he was granted Farm 1183 which proved to be too small and was deemed to be less than Home Maintenance size by 1938.
On 7th May 1938 Tom was granted Farm 1177 which had had a part surrendered and added to Farm 1195. Part of Farm 1176 had been added to 1177 in 1930 when owned by R A Struck who had lots of problems with seepage and frost destroying his vines.
In 1960 Tom purchased Farm 1173 near the Merungle Hill School which is still owned by a grandson to this day.
In Leeton in 1926, Tom married Mary Keely who was born in Wigan Lancashire Eng in 21.5.1901. The first Yanco Agricultural High School Headmaster Ernest Breakwell (1922-28) employed her to care for his three children as his wife was Matron and Supervisor of meals for students and teachers at the school.
He died in 1977 aged 85 years.
Herbert Henry ‘Harry’ SHELTON
Service No 3477
Born 1893 Westminster London England. He married Dorothy M Cadman in 1926 and they had seven children. His mother was Jessie Shelton of Battersea England.
He came to Australia in 1909 as a Barnardo Boy with Wally Burnard, a well known Murrami relic.
Harry was working in the Old Junee area prior to his enlistment.
He enlisted 13 November 1916 aged 23 years and trained in ‘A’ Company 2nd Btn, as well as in 54th Battery C Coy & B Coy at Liverpool, prior to Embarking on the ‘Anchises’ in January 1917 for England.
He marched into Hurdcott Training Camp in England before proceeding to France in March 1917. In December his unit was taken on strength. In April 1918 he was sick and in hospital suffering from shell shock after a shell exploded close by while he was asleep in the trenches. He was in and out of field hospitals and finally admitted to Fulham Military Hospital in March 1918. From there he went to the 1st Australia General Hospital for recuperation.
In May 1918 he was discharged back to his unit and the following year returned to Australia on the ‘Leicestershire’ arriving at Domain Anzac Buffet Sydney 3rd May 1919.
He took up Farm 979 in 1922 after returning from the war then had Farm 1091, 1930-31 and Farm 1075 from 1935.
Though he and fellow Barnardo boy Wally Burnard lived and worked in different parts of the state and served in different battalions they ended up fifteen years later being neighbours at Murrami.
Harry died in 1969 aged 75 years.
His son was present to lay flowers of remembrance.
SGT Roy I WUNSCH
Service No 918 Gallipoli Veteran
b 1893 Son of E Lewis Wunsch of Wagga. His occupation on enlistment was listed as Grocer.
Whilst at school he served in the School Cadets and after war was declared he was one of the first volunteers to enlist on 12 August 1914 at Randwick.
He embarked on 18th October 1914, en-route to the Gallipoli Peninsular. He was one of the original ANZACS landing at Mena camp before moving to Lemnos Island prior to the landing on Gallipoli.
Whilst fighting the Turks at the landing, he was wounded with shrapnel to the shoulder and he suffered a perforated eardrum. After treatment and a fortnight at Mena Camp he returned to the trenches in Gallipoli and on a charge to Lone Pine he was wounded in the left knee. He was admitted to No2 General Hospital in August of 1915 before being transferred to St Patrick’s Hospital in Malta. On 18 October 1915 he went to England to a convalescent camp at Epsom as the gunshot wound to the left knee was severe.
By February 1916 he returned to the field in France and in the July was promoted to Lance Corporal whilst in the Expeditionary Force. He was again wounded at Pozieres not long after his promotion and was transferred to hospital back in England where he spent five weeks recuperating.
He returned to the firing line in Broadseine Ridge at Ypres in October 1916.
In January 1917 he was promoted to Corporal then five months later to Sergeant.
He was wounded for the fourth occasion with shrapnel wounds to the right shoulder and again went to England to recover. He didn’t have much luck as he was injured for the fifth time in May of 1918 at Strazeele, Hazebrouck near Armentieres in France, this time in the leg by a high explosive shell. He was treated at Great Worley Hospital near London and was not allowed to return to France, so being invalided he returned to Australia in December 1918 on the hospital transport ship ‘Leicestershire’ and was discharged on 24 March 1919.
He returned to Wagga where his family lived where he was a keen fisherman and shooter.
He was the Manager of Trims Leeton until sometime in the 1950’s when he was replaced by Mr Hurst of Griffith. In the 1960’s when the Golden Apple opened their bigger store he worked as a cleaner until his retirement.
He was married and had a son (Qld) and a daughter who is now a Lawyer in Canada. ( His grandson Ken – who served in the Navy keeps in touch with Bill Barwick who placed flowers on the grave.)
He died in 1977 aged 83 years.
A copy of a letter written by Roy from his hospital bed at Mena Camp describing his time at the landing on Gallipoli Penninsular published in a Wagga Historical Society book.
Richard Earl BARKER
Service No 679 Gallipoli Veteran
Born in 1896 in Sydney. His parents were Edwin George & Sarah Barker who lived at ‘Euraba’ Farm 170 Stoney Point Leeton NSW.
He enlisted on 22 August 1914 and posted as Private Barker in the 1st Battalion. He embarked on HMAT Afric landing in England on 18 October where he contracted measles and was in isolation at No 2 General Hospital to recover.
After training in England he sailed in ‘Minnewaska’ on 5th April 1915 in the first contingent to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Between 25th and 29th April of 1915 he was severely wounded receiving a bullet to the chest fighting at Gallipoli. He was admitted to the Military Hospital at Ras-el-Tin Alexandria then transferred on 16 May to hospital ship ‘Goorkha’ then to 2nd Western General Hospital in Manchester England for further treatment to his war wounds.
After recovering in hospital he was discharged for service on 15 July 1915 only to return to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, Middlesex England the next day with heart problems.
On 14th August 1915 he was discharged from hospital and on the 8th October, having been declared unfit for duty was sent home to Australia. He was discharged from the Army on 6 April 1916 and granted a War Pension of £26 pa.
He was living on Farm 170 in 1918 in the Stoney Point area and our records show he was still there in 1942.
In 1924 he married Alison Thompson.
In the late 1930’s he took on the position of Honorary Inspector of Fisheries patrolling the Murrumbidgee River from Narrandera and downstream from Yanco for illegal fishing and catches as well as checking places that sold fish.
He was Secretary of the Stoney Point P & C Association in the 1930’s.
He enlisted for service in the 2nd World War having the rank of craftsman in No 3 Workshop Company, Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers from February 1942 till April 1944.
He passed away in 1967, 72 years old, survived by his wife Alison and children Bruce & Rosemary. Rosemary was present to lay flowers on his grave.
Cpt Sydney J HINTON MC Ex Imperial Soldier
Service No WW2 NX70873
He was born at Lewisham England in 1893 the son of Herbert D & Eliza R (nee Allen) Hinton. He was educated at St Dunstan’s College in London.
Before coming to Australia Syd was employed at Lloyd’s Bank London. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1912 and was called up in 1914 and was at the relief of Antwerp.
In 1916 he transferred to the Royal Field Artillary.
In 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry at Nieuport’ during service at Flanders, Belgium.
He married Winifred in 1919 in England before migrating to Australia in 1920 with her and their first child, settling first in Tumut then in 1922 settled on Farm 369 in the Wamoon area where he stayed until 1929. With the reconstruction of farms in the late 1920’s he took up Farm 1700 Gogelderie.
Syd & Win had three children in total with one being well known author ‘Pat’ Burge present here with us today.
Prior to the outbreak of WW2, with Alec Johnston, he formed the Leeton Militia Group. In 1940 he spent time on the AIF Instructional Staff and also in 1941 time as an AIF Transport Officer escorting troops to the Middle East and Singapore He then assisted with Repatriation and Legacy.
Syd’s son, Reginald P Hinton, also enlisted in WW2 and paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving with the RAAF losing his life in 1942.
At the ‘fall of Singapore’ Syd was picked up at sea and transported to Ceylon.
He was an original Director of the Rice-Grower’s Co-operative Mills and was President of the Leeton RSL Sub Branch for many years and often led marches for Anzac Day. He was elected Director of the MID Co-operative in 1954. He supported the Leeton Town Band and other community organisations.
He died in 1958 at the age of 65 years.
His daughter & grandson were present to lay flowers.
John C CROLLMM DCM
Service No 3609 Gallipoli Veteran
He was born 9 April 1895 in Adelaide SA and he stated his occupation as farm labourer.
He enlisted at Woomerlang Vic on 16 September 1914 at 19½ years old. He embarked on 2nd February 1915 after training with 11th Field Artillery Brigade.
He served in Gallipoli in 1915 with the 1st Divisional Ammunitions Column and the 3rd Field Artillery Battery.
On 14th July he was injured and taken to the Military Hospital in Cairo. He rejoined his unit in October at Alexandria.
In March 1916 his unit was taken on strength and he was transferred to the 43rd Battery and promoted to Sergeant. He was promoted again on 22 October 1916 to Corporal.
In August 1917 whilst serving at Ruined Farm in France he was awarded the Military Medal for ‘Bravery in the Field’ the Citation reads ‘At Ruined Farm in the St Eloi Sector he at great personal risk unhesitatingly and successfully assisted in extinguishing four dumps of ammunition set alight by hostile shell-fire on the morning of 17th July 1917’.
On 8 October he received a gunshot wound to the hand and evacuated to Boulogne. He recovered quickly and proceeded to Belgium a week later. In December of 1917 he joined the 11th Field Artillery Brigade and was slightly wounded.
In October 1918 whilst fighting in France he was gassed and to recover was sent to Ipswich, England from where he was transferred to Suffolk Military Hospital.
On 22 November 1918 whilst serving in France he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal ‘for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack of the Hindenburg Line South of Vendeuille in Northern France on 29 September 1918’.
He returned to Australia in January of 1919 and was discharged 28 April 1919.
He purchased Farm 321 Wamoon from Alfred Pascoe in 1919 where he grew forty acres prunes. He was successful in the Leeton Agricultural Shows with his dried prunes receiving first prize on a number of occasions.
He was involved with local organisations and was Vice President of the local Leeton Branch of the RSSILA .
He married Dorothy R Hewton in April 1933.
He died in Leeton in 1959 aged 64 years. (submitted by J C Croll)
R Charles ‘Charlie’ RUNGAMM
Service No 5476
Born at Naracoorte in 1889 the son of Charles and Eliza (nee Bourne) Runga. He had two brothers Arthur & Frederick.
Charlie was a fine cyclist and he worked as a farm labourer before enlisting at Mildura Vic on 28 February 1916. He embarked on the Europides on 4th April 1916 with the 17th Reinforcements 6th Battalion.
After extensive training in England he embarked for France on 22nd October 1916 reaching his 6th Btn at the end of December where it was performing rear area fatigues near Albert.
In late January 1917 Charlie experienced action for the first time when he entered the trenches and his battalion rotated in and out of the front line until early March. Later the battalion spent time in the trenches near Fremicourt (France) after which his battalion participated in the Second Battle of Bullecourt in May and the Battle of the Menin Road in September.
On 26th October 1917 he was wounded in both arms at the Second Battle of Passchendale in Belgium and was sent to England to recover his injuries which took six months. He also participated in the Battle of Amiens then was again wounded this time in a gas attack on 23 August 1918 in the battalions attack near Herleville Wood as part of the Second Battle of Bapaume. It was whilst recovering in England he heard that he had been recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal but was awarded the higher Military Medal .
His citation read:
‘Forconspicuous Gallantry at Herleville where he came under heavy fire when he dashed forward with a small party and succeeded in capturing two hostile machine guns and sixteen men. Later that day he again dashed forward alone over seventy yards of open ground under extreme enemy point blank fire and succeeded in bombing the enemy from a communication trench and enabling the remainder of his platoon to continue their advance. The latter feat was a heroic example of utter disregard of personal safety and the desire at all costs to worst the enemy’. He was one of two servicemen of aboriginal descent chosen to serve as the Kings Guard at a Ceremonial Parade prior to returning to Australia in July 1919. He was discharged in October 1919. After receiving his Military Medal Award at Government House in January of 1920 he was passing the medal around a group of men in Swanston Street when the medal was not returned. It is not known if it was ever returned to Charlie. After the war Charlie returned to the Wimmera district for a time before travelling widely around NSW.
In 1937 he was Church Deacon and treasurer of the Darlington Point Mission Church which he had helped construct at ‘Warangesda’. In the late 1930’s he married Emily Glass (nee Kennedy) a Wiradjuri woman who already had several children.
Charlie helped at other missions and built and maintained churches at Cowra and at Moonahcullah Mission near Deniliquin in the 1940’s.
He passed away at Leeton on 21 March 1956 aged 66 years.
RSL representative John Power laid flowers of remembrance.
Henry William G BENNETT
Service No 6951
He was born in 1895 at Narrandera, the son of George & Philadelphia Bennett. He was the brother-in-law of G McEachern of Farm 766 a well known Leeton name in the early days.
He was a labourer with the WC&IC for two years prior to enlisting.
He enlisted for service on 18 October 1916 as a twenty year old. He embarked on the ‘Benalla’ on 9th November 1916 bound for France. He served with the 1st Battalion 23rd Reinforcements.
When he first served in France in 1917 he was in and out of hospital with influenza and scabies.
He was wounded with a gun-shot to his right hand in April 1918 and was invalided to England for four months. On his return to France he again spent time in hospital for another month.
In November of 1918 he transferred from the 1st battalion to the AIF Depot Head Quarters.
On 12 April 1919 whilst on furlough in England he married Olive Mary Short the daughter of Walter James Short of Tidworth England.
He returned to Australia in September 1919 and was discharged on 3 November 1919.
He was granted Farm 1151 in 1921 and in 1927 his house on the farm was destroyed by fire.
The farm was badly affected by seepage which affected his fruit trees. He sold the farm to K R Tully as it was not suitable for growing fruit and after this found employment with the Leeton Shire Council.
He passed away in 1952 aged 57 years. His wife remarried several years later.
The press reported that in 1958 his WW1 badges were found in a bag of clothes at a second hand store in Sydney.
His great granddaughters were present to lay flowers of remembrance.
Lance Corporal Charles W PIKE
Service No 1602
He was born in 1877 at Campbell’s Creek, Castlemaine Vic the son of George M and Annie M (nee Bramley) Pike.
He was a blade sheep shearer, had an interest in Corriedale sheep and was also a cycle champion of Victoria winning a race between Ballarat and Melbourne. He rode his bike to the wool sheds when he was a contractor shearer.
He arrived in Leeton in 1912 from Dookie Vic. He held Farm 58 Fivebough from 1912-1930.
He served in the Boer War and was in the Infantry for two years prior to enlisting in July of 1915. On his forms he stated his occupation as a clerk.
He embarked on 9 November 1915 on the ‘Wandilla’ bound for Suez. On arrival he discovered he had mumps so was hospitalised for two weeks. He rejoined his unit in January 1916 at Serapeum, Egypt.
Serapeum Camp on Sinai Dessert
By June 1916 he transferred from Alexandria with his unit to Marseilles.
On 1 October 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal while serving in France.
In August of 1918 he was wounded by gunshot to his ankle and feet and spent time in Norfolk War Hospital in England to recover. By December he was still recovering in the Auxiliary Hospital at Barefield.
On16 March 1919 he embarked on ‘Creritza’ but got transhipped at Alexandria onto the ship ‘Dunluce Castle’ heading for Australia. He was discharged 5th August 1919 unfit with a disability due to gunshot wounds to his feet.
He took up Farm 1697 in 1930 which he share-farmed for a short period. The farm is still run by family members to this day. Charles’s interest in Corriedale sheep continued and he was a breeder of good quality Border Collie sheep dogs which he trained and sold.
He played Aussie Rules Football for Fivebough and played tennis and cricket for the South Gogelderie teams.
He supported the Leeton Agricultural Show as a member and as a steward.
He passed away in 1951 aged 74 years.
His daughter Ida joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in 2nd WW and was mentioned in despatches to the South West Pacific Region. She later enlisted for a further two years serving with the Occupational Forces in Japan.
His son was present to lay flowers on his grave.
Service No 4823
Daniel was born 1888 in Ranock, Scotland migrating to Australia c1908 and believed to be on the ship ‘Waratah’ with his father Peter Downie.
He married Leah Guest in 1933 the daughter of John & Hannah (nee Shannon) Guest.
His trade was listed as a stonemason.
He enlisted in the Australian Army 8th September 1915 at Holdsworthy as a 27 year old and trained with the 10th & 18th Battalions.
He embarked for overseas on 14 April 1916 on HMAT Ceramic A 40 and in September of that year joined his battalion in the fields of France. After succumbing to trench feet he spent some time in hospital and then at the Perham Downs Training camp. In 1917 he also spent time in Hurdcott Military Hospital which was staffed by Australian Medical Services.
In November 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal for ‘conspicuous good service, bravery in the field and devotion to duty in the field near Joncourt, north of St Quentin’.
The citation reads: ‘On the night of 3 October 1918 a new Head Quarters was being established at Joncourt . Downie, a signaller, was laying cables to it and under heavy artillery fire mended the lines spending at least fifteen minutes doing so with twenty shells bursting within metres of him.’
After his return to Australia (on the ‘Ajana’ on 19 August 1919) and being discharged on 2nd December 1919 he took up Farm 1081 in 1921 which he held for three years before selling to H L Tooth to go back to fruit picking. For a time he was living on Farm 261 Leeton.
He was appointed ‘Small Debts & District Court Bailiff’ in 1925, a position which he held for four years. He used his talents to help re-establish the Leeton Town Band and for a period was secretary, establishing the Band Hall and also helped raise funds for the local hospital and the Catholic Church. He was also involved in the Riverina Amateur Swimming Association.
It wasn’t long after his marriage to Leah that he took sick and after spending time in Leeton Hospital made a partial recovery. Later as a last resort he was taken to Narrandera hospital, where despite the close attention of the nursing staff and his wife, his health gradually declined and he passed away on 11th December 1933 aged 45 years.
Sapper HERBERT WEST
Service No 662 Gallipoli Veteran
He was born at Mordiallic Vic on 25 May 1888.
He enlisted at Colac Vic 22 February 1915 at 27 years of age. He embarked on 8th May 1915 and proceeded to join the MEF at Gallipoli 30 August 1915. His Regiment, the 23rd Battalion were in the thick of the fighting. At the end of 1915 he was transferred from Gallipoli to Alexandria on the sick list suffering from pneumonia. In January 1916 he proceeded to Ghezireh Egypt where the wounded from Gallipoli were sent to recover.
On 24 March 1917 he received gunshot wound to his left arm and was invalided to England at 3rd General Hospital at Wadsworth. He transferred to 67th Battalion while at Perham Downs recovering.
On 16 August 1917 he rejoined his unit 23rd Battalion and embarked overseas to France.
He was a bit of a rebel according to his file, drunkenness and away without leave and other demeanours for which he had his pay deducted.
During 1918 he served with his battalion in France and on 7th December went to England for his leave break.
He returned to Australia in August of 1919 and was discharged on 13 October 1919.
He applied for his war medals while working for Tully Bros of Tootool NSW. The medals went missing in the post. He was living at Farm 1575 in 1927.
In his Obituary it states he worked on several stations in the Carrathool area, also that he worked at Griffith Base Hospital as a wards man before coming to Leeton and served in the Garrison Battalion.
In 1948 there is a letter on his War file addressed to him c/- Leeton District Hospital
He died in Leeton in January 1950 aged 62 years.
His Granddaughter & Great granddaughter laid flowers in memory.
Martin Clement DUNBAR
Service No 1466
He was born 1896 Horsham Vic the son of Arthur and Annie (nee Williams) Dunbar of Bendigo Vic.
He married Lynette E Skeers of Wagga in 1927 and they had five children.
He enlisted at Holsworthy NSW on 24th August 1915 at 21 years old and embarked on 1st November 1915 to France
19/2/16 he marched out to Serapeum, Maadi in France and in March of 1917 he suffered with ulcers in his eyes and was in and out of hospital for months. In July 1918 he contracted Malaria and was in Gaza to re-cooperate.
3rd August 1917 he rejoined unit and transferred to Cairo where his unit was taken on strength and he was admitted to hospital at Kantara.
On 10 August he was with the Divisional Training Unit and were again taken on strength at Moascar. Three days later his rank was changed to Trooper – Driver.
In November he was temporarily promoted to Corporal in the field.
In April 1919 his rank reverted to Driver on evacuation to hospital as he suffered another casualty in the field.
On 2nd May he entered the Rest Camp before marching out to the Australian Base Depot at Port Said.
As there were not enough ships bringing servicemen home, Martin and his brother, who, incidentally was in the same regiment, got caught up in a rebellion in Egypt.
On 17 July Martin embarked on the ‘Dunluce Castle’ at Suez for return to Australia.
He was discharged on 10 November 1919.
He was a labourer for a time after the war at Ganmain.
In 1925 he came to Leeton and found employment with the WC&IC at their workshop as a truck driver. After twelve years he took up farming at Murrami. He was on Farm 416 1939-47 then Farm 1735.
During 1940 he together with W Henham, T Darchy, H Shelton, Taylor and others enrolled in the local Defence Corp.
He died in 1960 aged 65 years
His Son laid flowers and other family members were present.
Joseph Clement COELLI
Service No 1820 Gallipoli Veteran
Born c1895 at Mooroopna Vic.
On his enlistment papers he states he was a farm labourer and owing to the account of his parents predeceasing him at this time, his two brothers gave consent for him to enlist. His next of kin was listed as his brother Peter Coelli of Coolamon.
He enlisted on 27 January 1915 at 19½ years old.
He embarked for the front on 17 March 1915 serving in the 1st Btn 4th Reinforcements.
By May he transferred to the 13th Btn 4th Reinforcements at Gallipoli.
On 17 July he was unwell and was transferred to hospital. He was again transferred to hospital in Mudros in September suffering from foot problems
On December 2nd suffering from jaundice he was again hospitalised.
On 5th February 1917 he was wounded in the field on the second occasion, suffering from shell shock when serving with the 13th Btn.
On 24 May he was accused of being disobedient by appearing on parade unshaven so lost two days pay. He was also penalised for other demeanours during the next few months.
On 29 October 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
Early in 1918 he had several stints in hospital on sick leave.
On 29 April 1918 he transferred to the Machine Gun Corp and attended machine gun training at Grantham Depot in England.
After returning to the battlefront he was again injured in November of 1918 and was sent to Weymouth Military Hospital in England for treatment.
On 12 December 1918 he boarded the ‘Nestor’ and returned to Australia.
He was discharged on 19 April 1919.
His son Bede enlisted at Leeton for service during WW2.
On his return from the war he took up a Soldier Settler property at Weja in the West Wyalong district. Joseph married Malvena Heidtmann in 1922 and they were very involved in the community and Jo played most sports. During the depression the family suffered financial difficulty and they moved to Farm 138 Leeton where Joseph grew vegetables which he sold to the Fiumara family for their roadside stall now known as the Golden Apple Supermarket.
He was also a woodcutter and spent a lot of his time collecting and cutting timber into blocks which he sold on to his local customers.
He had two grandsons called up for the Vietnam War.
He died in 1968 aged 73 years.
Family members were present to lay flowers of remembrance.