Leeton Family & Local History Society Inc
MEETINGS HELD: Third Thursday of each month – 10.30 am (No Meetings January)
WHERE: Leeton Shire Library – Local History Room
MEMBERSHIP: Joining Fee $5.00
RESEARCH ENQUIRIES: Only enquiries enclosing S.S.A.E. will be answered. A minimum charge of $20 for each enquiry.
Non Members may submit Research Inquiries to the Newsletter – cost $2.
The Newsletter is produced –May/June – cost $3.
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.
To digitize our collection so it can be shared.
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.
- 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 + p & h.
- Leeton Cemetery records up till 2000 (price on application as we are updating records)
- 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) $35 + $15 P&H
- PICTORIAL CALENDARS – 2017 @ $15 2016 – 2011 @ $5 2010 – 2000 @ $2
ALL CORRESPONDENCE TO POST OFFICE BOX 475 LEETON NSW 2705
We acknowledge our Logo has been adapted from a © design by Don Graham
This past year has seen our Society progress and we now have a permanent home in our own room at the Library. We were lucky to be able to purchase a large compactus from a local Building Society and have it installed in our rooms. Gradually we are filling it up with our collection.
With a new President, Don Graham, at the helm, we are moving towards finally having our collection digitised. We were lucky to receive grants from various fields to help us purchase digital equipment to make it easier for us. There is still plenty to be done but being involved in ‘Work for the Dole’ program we have had extra help with our computer work.
We will be open to the public each week with a member present to help with Research, days and times will be posted on our website as soon as they are approved with the library.
We are hoping to attract new members to share our collection and help with the digitising program.
We have had a busy year with Research Enquiries from many fields. We spend a lot of time searching through files manually and now with the digitising underway our job will be much easier.
. . . . . . . .
During Heritage month and on Anzac Day we conducted our cemetery walk featuring Veterans who returned from service overseas during WW1 and returned to Leeton or settled in the area and made their homes here. After many hours research, we were able to put small biographies together telling stories of their service overseas and their eventual settlement and service in the area.
We thank those that were able to supply us with photos of some of the veterans and pictures brought back from the front showing the conditions when our soldiers fought the enemy.
Pt Harold Raymond Watters Service No 6797 WW2 N42130
Born 1883 Moonee Ponds Vic
Died Leeton 29 October 1936 at the young age of 53 years.
He enlisted on 8 August 1916 at Dubbo NSW where he stated his occupation as Station hand and that his sister Hannah Vale of Broken Hill was his next of Kin.
After training with the 1st Battalion at Liverpool Military Camp he embarked on the 8th November 1916 on the ‘Port Nicholson’ bound for abroad.
In January 1917 after arriving at Devonport Training Camp in England and the usual training, in May of that year, he proceeded to France for active service.
At the end of May, he was taken on strength with the 1st Battalion.
In August, due to some unknown complaint he attended 53rd Casualty Clearing Station before being transferred to the 54th General Hospital then being admitted to North-Hampton Military Hospital in England suffering from ‘Trench Feet’.
After treatment for gassing he had three weeks furlough before reporting to Weymouth in October 1917 to return to No 1 Command Depot Sutton Veny in Wiltshire England where he attended training camp.
In December 1918, he again embarked for overseas service.
By March 1919 he had left England on the “Durham Castle’ for his return to Australia via Capetown where he transferred to the ship ‘Orontes’ disembarking on 12th May at Sydney.
By November he was discharged from the Australian Imperial Forces due to being medically unfit for Active Service from the effects of being gassed.
On arriving in Leeton with his second wife Mary Rita and living at 21 Acacia Ave he commenced a business collecting bottles. Articles in the Murrumbidgee Irrigator during the 1930’s show him to be a busy man collecting bottles from all around the area and at one stage returned over twenty-three thousand collected bottles to various companies including beer and soft drink businesses. Bottles in those days had the name of the manufacturer imbedded in the glass so it was easy for their return.
He supported the local Returned Servicemen’s Association being a regular member at their meetings. He was also a keen follower of the local Australian Rules Football Club being elected to the committee for a time.
He had a son, also called Harry, from his first marriage, who we believe worked at Williams Reliance garage in Leeton.
Pt Peter William Sieben Service No 2242 Correct name being William Peter Seaburn.
Born 21 February 1901 at Newtown the son of Peter & Emma Seaburn.
Died 11 January 1973 at Uralla and buried at Leeton.
When enlisting on 24 February 1916 at the age of 15 he changed the spelling of his surname and raised his age to 18 years 7 months so that he could join the Army.
He enlisted at Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Sydney stating his occupation as Pattern Maker, previous service for four plus years in 38th Infantry Battalion in the Citizens Services and listed his father Peter as his next of kin.
He embarked for overseas from Sydney on ‘A 44’ arriving in Devonport 17th March 1916, and was then sent to Home Service Company with the 45th Battalion at Hurdcott.
After training he had several days furlough where he contracted a disease and spent nearly three months having treatment at Hurdcott V D Hospital.
On 20th November, he proceeded overseas to France transferring to the 4th Reinforcements of the 53rd Battalion filling the position of bugler.
On 30 April 1918 after discovering he was under age he was summoned to return to England and to report to the No 2 Command Depot at Weymouth. While here he went AWOL for two days and was charged and ordered to lose eight days pay.
On 7th June, he returned to Australia on the ‘D12’. On his discharge paper’s it was noted that due to his service in France he was Not to forfeit his pay.
Before he left for the war he was learning Engineering with the Public Works Department while working at a dairy farm at Tom Ugly Point.
In an article in the local paper it states that Peter was the bugler for the Anzac Day Service in 1925.
As a Returned Soldier, he was granted Farm 1195 at Corbie Hill in 1933 where he grew peaches and sultanas. He also bred pigs for the bacon factory. The farm was sold in 1943.
He served during the second world war in Tobruk, Benghazi, Radia, Greece and Crete.
He was a member of the Yanco Soldier Settlement Association and the local Patriotic Committee.
He married Nellie Davis in 1924 and they had a family of four boys.
Lance Corporal Clarence Cecil TAYT MM Service No 2843
Born in 1888 at Manly the son of Albert A & Rachel Tayt (Nee Harrison). His father was a leading Sydney Architect.
He died in 1980 at Leeton. He married Linda Thompson in 1923 and they had three children, one son and two daughters.
He enlisted at Victoria Barracks, Sydney on 1 November 1915 with the 7th Field Company Engineers.
On his enlistment papers, he states he was an Architectural Draughtsman possibly working for or with his father.
After being promoted to Sapper he embarked for overseas service on 30 November 1915 and was taken on strength with the 13th Field Company Engineers.
In July 1916, he was treated at a Medical Station in France for slight wounds then in September for gas poisoning before returning to the field.
On 9th November 1917, he was awarded the Military Medal for Bravery in the Field.
On 19th December, he was promoted to Lance Corporal.
In January 1918, he attended Officers Cadet School and by March he was temporarily promoted to 2nd Corporal to complete an establishment. In April, after suffering gas poisoning and being admitted to Hospital he was demobilised after leaving Haylesbury on his return from hospital at Colchester.
In January 1919, he marched in to Haylesbury Training Depot before being advised of his return to Australia mid-February on the ‘ORCA’ arriving in Sydney on 9th April. He was finally discharged on 2nd June 1919.
On his return from the war he took up a position with the WC & IC with the clearing gangs in the area.
He took up Farm 953 in 1920 then Farm 969 the following year and was known for the high standard of his horse teams.
The family moved away but he later returned to live with his daughter and family at Murrami.
Sgt Angus Benjamin Bullock Service No 853 He was born in 1891 at Tumbarumba, the husband of Sylvia Elizabeth REED. His occupation was stated as Farmer and he worked at Mannus Station.
He enlisted on 9 November 1914 with the 4th Reinforcements of the 1st Light Horse Regiment and after training joined the unit at Gallipoli in July 1915 where he fought in the battle at Popes Hill. He was a casualty and after hospital treatment re-joined his unit at Mudros.
In January 1916, he was promoted to driver and after attending Training he proceeded to the Western Front. Due to the extremes in weather he spent time at Rest Camps suffering influenza & Bronchitis.
On 16th November 1918, he was promoted to Troup Transport Sergeant.
In March 1919, he returned to Australia on ‘Ulimaroa’ disembarking 19th April before being discharged 23 June.
He served with the Home Defence Force during WW2 and acted as a sergeant at the POW camps in Yanco & Hay.
His son Angus who also enlisted for WW2 was reported Missing- In- Action in Malaya.
Angus lived at Yanco and was a keen follower and player of football and cricket.
There is a reference to him in 1939 in the local press where he failed to register his dog thereby receiving a small fine.
He died in September 1978.
Pt John Innes NOAD Service No 67443
John was born at Woollahra in 1898 the son of David Innes & Grace Lina (Rogers-Harrison) Noad.
On his enlistment papers 26.8.1918, he states his occupation & address as Station-hand on ‘Balarang’ Garah NSW (near Moree).
He spent two and a half years as a School Cadet before enlisting and training with the G S Regiment.
He embarked on ‘S S Carpentaria’ on 7 November 1918 but the ship was recalled and John after disembarking on 28 November was transhipped back to the Riverina. He was discharged on 15 April 1919. Although he didn’t serve overseas he was trained ready for action.
He married Joyce Doyle in 1942 and they had three sons, David, William & James.
He farmed on Farm 1118 from 1921 later moving to town and living at 141 Palm Ave until his death in 1955.
He was a good sportsman representing Leeton in cricket where he was a handy bowler, played a good game of tennis and played billiards and snooker. He was a member of the Wade Club for many years.
Sgt Hedley MALLABY Service No 2920
Born 1892 Armidale the son of George C & Alice (Darwell) Mallaby
Growing up in Armidale he spent three years in the cadet unit reaching the position of Corporal. He then attended & graduated from Hawkesbury Agricultural College.
When enlisting for WW1 in June of 1916 in the Armidale Depot Battalion he stated his occupation as Grazier…. daresay having returned to the family home and working in the area.
He was promoted to Corporal of the 5th Reinforcements of the 33rd Battalion while attending Musketry & Bombing school for a period of two months prior to embarking on the ‘Beltana’ 25th November 1916 bound for active service abroad. He disembarked at Devonport England and marched into 9th Training Battalion at Sutton Manderville and by the end of March 1917 was on command at Jellalabad School then moving to School of Instruction at Tidworth by May.
By July he was in Rouelles in France, being promoted to Sergeant of the 33rd Battalion. By October, and suffering from Trench Feet, he transferred to the Military Hospital at Boulogne before evacuating to Eastbourne in England for treatment; he then went on furlough before returning to No 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs early in 1918.
He returned to the battlefields re-joining his battalion in France before being wounded in action April 1918.
He was admitted to the 5th Clearing Station before being transferred to hospital in Rouen then to 1st Australian Convalescing Depot at Trouvelle. At the end of June, he returned to his battalion but again suffered from Trench Fever and was transferred back to England seeking attention at Bath War Hospital.
He was declared unfit for service, so returned to Australia per ‘Karala’ on 2 January 1919 and was discharged on 3rd April. He returned to Armidale with many other servicemen to a rousing welcome home, many showing the battle scars of their service during the war.
He came to the Leeton area in 1920 firstly taking up a property at Wumbulgal then held Farm 1865 at Lake Wyangan until 1947.
He was a keen musician playing at socials, balls, church functions as well as joining the Musical & Dramatic Society and performing violin solos in their shows.
He took up the position of Lands Officer with WC&IC at Griffith in 1934, relieving the Accountant at Leeton at the end of that year. He became the field officer from 1940-44 and was then promoted to Research Officer in 1946 where he penned an article in the Farmers Newsletter of ‘The Story of the Main Canal’. He also addressed the Irrigation Extension Committee on Water Supply.
In January 1947, he was appointed acting Manager of Murrumbidgee Irrigation then took over the position when J G Youll retired in the April.
He was a member of Leeton Golf Club, vice President of Leeton Rotary Club in 1952, on the committee of the Far West Children’s Home, District Commissioner of Scouts, and a leader of the Presbyterian Scout Group. His wife joined the local branch of CWA.
As well as being a handy golfer and lawn bowler, he was also a good marksman presenting the Mallaby Shield to the local Rifle Club. He was patron of Leeton Chess Club & Master of Lodge Leeton during the 1950’s prior to his death in 1955.
Pt Frederick Edgar Aston BOURNE Service No 2448 A
He was born 1888 Hunters Hill Sydney the son of Francis W & Kate A Bourne.
On his enlistment papers in May 1916 he states his occupation as Motor Mechanic.
He joined the Pioneers Regiment and proceeded overseas on the ‘Wiltshire’ in August 1916 and on arrival marched into No 3 Camp at Parkhouse.
After attending mechanic training camps in Folkestone, he proceeded to France in January 1917 joining with the 4th Pioneer Regiment as a mechanic and transferred to the Australian Flying Corps in the field in March.
In June, he was attached to the 30th Training Squadron at Shrewsberry and was appointed 1st Class Clerk.
In October, he was promoted to acting Corporal Clerk at Leighterton.
In April of 1919 he marched out to Tetbury.
In May, he returned to Australia and en-route he was appointed Corporal at sea, arriving in Australia on 19th June 1919 per the ‘Kaiserihind’.
He was discharged on 27 July 1919.
After the war ended he married Doris Taylor and they had one son Kenneth.
He was granted Farm 1232 at Corbie Hill in 1922 gaining experience in the compulsory three- month farming training with the Yanco Experimental Farm.
He also gained further experience working on a property in the Griffith area when he took up part time ploughing.
He was involved in the Yanco Settlers Association and was an exhibitor at the local Agricultural show as part of the Corbie Hill growers verses the Merungle Hill growers in the F H Barrett Cup during the mid-1930’s.
He passed away in 1946.
Cpl Arthur William ECKLEY Service No 6005
Arthur was born in 1894 at Nelligen the son of George P & Fanny Eckley.
The family came to live in Leeton in 1916 and Arthur worked as a carpenter’s labourer.
He enlisted at Cootamundra on 14 March 1916 with the 19th Reinforcements of the 2nd Battalion. He embarked on the ‘Wiltshire’ 22 August 1916 and spent time in hospital from sea sickness. On 18th December, he proceeded to France and taken on strength of the 2nd Battalion.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal in April of 1917 and after attending Brigade School of Instruction was promoted Corporal in November 1917.
In April of 1918 he was detached from field duty and marched in from France to attend Musketry Training School at Tidsworth, England. After furlough from 17 December to 18 January 1918 he transferred to 1st Training Battalion as Captain on Command where he attended the 22nd Rifle course –on the ‘Lewis Gun’ where he qualified as 1st class with working knowledge of the ‘Gun’. In September 1918, he was promoted to L/Sergeant.
By the end of November his rank reverted back to Corporal when he marched out to England in readiness for his return to Australia on the ‘Saxon’ 31st December of 1918.
He was discharged on 30 March 1919 medically unfit for active service.
In July 1921, he married Elsie Williams the daughter of James & Emily Williams of Farm 56 at Fivebough. They had a family of four sons and two daughters with one son still living in the area.
During the early years he was a traveller for Massey Harris firstly in Ardlethan then for nine years worked at S Richards & Co, then five years with Allen & Wright before branching out with his own business as a mechanic attending to farm machinery such as rice headers and the like.
He was a keen fisherman and liked to relax at the river. Three sons and a daughter served during WW 2.
He died in 1945 a relatively young man aged 51 years.
Sapper George ROBERTSON Service No 17708 George was born in 1877 at North Sydney to Captain William R & Ann Robertson. His mother opened a Millinery & Frock Shop in Pine Ave in 1928.
He was thirty-nine years of age when he enlisted on 11 December 1916 at Moore Park with the Engineers Depot. He stated his occupation as Boat builder/Painter & Council Traveller.
He embarked for overseas in May of 1917 on the ‘Marathon’ bound firstly to Devonport Eng then to France where he joined the 2nd Field Co of Engineers.
In April 1918, he received shrapnel wounds to his head then on 7th May received severe gunshot wounds to his right knee and leg. After initial treatment at 1st Southern General Hospital he was transferred Harefield Military Hospital then to 1st Australian General Hospital in Birmingham England for further treatment and recuperation
He attended various rehabilitation centres during those next seven months where he met a special nurse Rosemary Buxton who was serving with the Australian Army Nursing Service and later became Mrs Robertson.
He was invalided due to the severe wounds and returned to Australia per ‘Kanowna’ arriving back in Australia on 7 March 1919 where he received further repatriation at Randwick Hospital. He was discharged 7 May 1920.
He married Rosemary Buxton the daughter of James & Mary Buxton of South Yarra Vic. in September 1919 and they had two sons.
He attended Yanco Experiment Farm for the compulsory farming training and worked for E Durez on Farm 7 for further experience. It is reported that George was the first soldier to take up a Soldier Settler Farm being Farm 1141 at Merungle Hill in 1921.
He was employed with the WC&IC for many years in the Electrical Branch and after retiring was coaxed back to work due to the Commission’s staff shortage due to the onset of WW2.
He supported the Leeton Sub Branch of RSL and was an active member of the Merungle Hill P & C Association. He was a delegate representing the NSW Fruit-grower’s Federation Leeton Branch at the Dried Fruits Association Conference in 1927. He was honorary secretary for the Yanco Soldier Settlers Association in 1928, a local agent for the Public Trustee Sydney during 1928 and a Director on the Leeton Fruit Growers Co-op Society Ltd 1935-37.
He was one of two soldier settlers who obtained plans of the baths at Charlton Vic and presented them to Leeton’s Shire Clerk and suggested that Leeton needed a public swimming pool. Although council declined due to the cost, the local P& C Associations took up the challenge and the baths came into being with a lot of voluntary labourers doing most of the work.
His son Ken served with the R A A F during WW2, George died in 1945.
Rosemary ROBERTSON Staff Nurse Australian Army Nursing Service She was born in South Yarra c1887 the daughter of James & Mary Buxton.
She was schooled in Melbourne attending Melbourne University for two years studying medicine. She trained as a nurse and later became sub Matron at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
She took up private nursing in New Zealand and after the outbreak of WW1 enlisted on 31 July 1917 into the Australia Army Nursing Service. She embarked on 2 August 1917 for service with the AANS firstly at Admin Headquarters in Dartford before service in Palestine, Egypt, Belgium, France and England. She also worked on the troopships and hospital ships and whilst she was onboard one of the ships it was torpedoed with the survivors picked up by a Japanese ship.
Her service saw her nursing skills used at various tent hospitals, Clearing Stations, Military Hospitals in England and at one stage on a troop ship returning to Australia with injured soldiers. She returned to Australia on the ‘Delta’ in January of 1919.
She met her husband while working at Harefield Military Hospital while he was recovering from war wounds while serving in France. She married in September 1919, after George had recuperated from his war wounds.
Together they were said to be one of the first couples to take up a farm under the Soldier Settler Scheme in Leeton.
Rosemary endured the hardships associated with the pioneering days, although suffering a war related condition she was never one to complain.
She was involved with different organisations and was made ‘Honorary Life Member of the Ladies Auxiliary of RSL’, supported the Far West Children’s Home, Merungle Hill P & C Association, Red Cross, C W A, and Yanco Agricultural High School Council. She was President of Merungle Hill branch of the Hospital Auxiliary.
George & Rosemary had two sons Ken & Don. She died in August 1957.
Mildred Irene LOCOCK Military Nurse UK She was born 1897 Western-Super-Mare in England the daughter of George & Alice Burg.
She served as a Military nurse during WW1 and would have met her future husband, James, while he was recuperating in one of the hospitals that she worked in.
James enlisted in WW1 in November of 1916 and saw service in France serving with the 10th Light Horse Regiment. He also served as an acting Sergeant during WW2.
Information of her service is scarce due to her being attached to the British Nursing Service.
She married Albert James Locock in Weymouth England on July 26th 1919 and came to the Leeton area February 1920.
James was born in the Whitton area and the family worked at Murrami during the war.
Mildred was an active member of the Church of England Ladies Guild. Her father in law lived on the property where Fackender’s Dam was. This is in the Petersham Road area.
Her town address was 44 Wade Avenue when she passed away in 1946.
Some years later, 1961, her husband when applying for his Military Medals stated his address as Western Australia.
Their son Cpl Ross Locock was a prisoner of war in Thailand during WW 2. Their daughter also served with the Australian Women’s Army Service during WW 2.
It is noted that her Grandfather Dr George H Bruhn was an early miner discovering gold in the Clunes area of Victoria in the 1850’s. He received £500 as a reward for his discovery.
Mildred passed away on 30 March 1946 at the young age of 49 years.
Pt Archie Louis FULLGRABE Service No 3523 Archie was born at Kadina South Australia in 1885 to Henreich W L & Louise S Fullgrabe.
Due to the fact that Louise had married her husband, a German subject, she was also classed as a German and had to apply for Naturalisation in 1915 so her son could enlist in the war.
The family of seven children all became Australian citizens when their mother was naturalised.
Archie at 30 years old enlisted in WW1 on 12 July 1915 and was appointed to the 23rd Reinforcement Depot Battalion at Royal Park SA.
In December, he was taken on strength of the 2nd Pioneers Battalion before embarking on the journey to the France.
In March, he joined the British Expeditionary Forces in the field in France.
On 5 May, he accidently injured his finger and went to No 2 Australian Clearing Station for treatment.
In June he marched out to Havre for further treatment and a week later re-joined his unit the 2nd Pioneer Battalion in the field.
By September he was due for furlough so marched out to England for four weeks of R & R. On his return, he was promoted to L/Corporal but at his own request he was reverted to Private.
In April 1919 marched out from France to No 1 Command Post at Sutton Veny, England for the return to Australia on the ‘Nestor’ arriving back in Australia 2nd July 1919. He was discharged 24.8.1919.
He returned to the area c1921 and farmed at Fivebridges. He was an avid supporter of the Patriotic Fund and with his brother donated half the proceeds of the sale of two draught geldings to the fund.
He was also in the fund raising at the Hospital Ambulance Carnival manning a stall on behalf of the Fivebridges’ growers selling their product.
He married Violet M Duffy of Fitzroy Melbourne in May 1924.
They lived for a time at 59 Acacia Ave before Archie passed away in Wagga in 1961 and was buried at Leeton.
Pt Richard Clarence KEAST Service No 4251 He was born 1889 at Hay NSW the son of John & Jane Keast.
As a youth, he was a good cross-country runner, played cricket and had a calling to be a lay preacher for the Methodist Church. He attended Leigh Theological College but before being ordained war broke out so he and several other students enlisted for service.
Clarence as he was known enlisted at Warwick Farm on 29 August 1915 into the 1st Battalion. He embarked from Sydney on 20 December on the ship ‘Aeneas’ bound for Zeitoun, Egypt.
In February of 1916 he transferred from the 1st Battalion and became a founding member of the 54th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir where he was part of the Tel-el-Kebir to Perry’s Point march.
He later sailed to France and was badly wounded on 18 July 1917 in the Battle of Fromelles receiving extensive injuries to both legs from a high explosive shell blast.
His mother now living in Junee received that dreaded telegram advising of her son’s injuries and that he was dangerously ill.
By the end of July, he had been transferred to England to the Northern General Hospital in Lincoln for treatment. With further treatment at various hospitals in England over the next twelve months he was left with little use in his knees and had to use crutches for the rest of his life.
He returned to Australia November 1917 on ‘Anchises arriving back early January 1918.
He was discharged on 3 July 1918.
For a while he took up a clerical position with his brother at Junee before taking up a position at Sydney Children’s Hospital until ill health caused his early retirement. While in Junee he was interested in the local RSL club becoming their first treasurer.
He moved to Leeton with his mother to stay with his sister Mrs Lily McNee of Farm 444.
He was interested in Public Speaking and became a noted debater in the Leeton club. He excelled as an after-dinner speaker. He was an avid reader and contributor of stories to many journals. He renewed his interest in the local RSL club. He followed his family’s interests and supported the YAHS Empire Day celebrations.
In 1968 his Victory Medal was found in a shop in Leeton and returned to his nephew W C Keast.
He lost a brother on the War Front.
He died in 1957 aged 66 years.
Driver Thomas Harold Parkhill Service No 8991 This soldier is a long way from home and I felt we needed to recognise him. He was born at Wodonga 1897 the son of Mr & Mrs John Parkhill of Bethangra Vic.
In November 1945 coming from Eskdale Victoria he was visiting his sister Mrs Ida Retallick and family of Wilga Street, Leeton.
He was helping hand spray fruit trees for his niece and nephew ‘the Blacks’ on Farm 32 Corbie Hill when he collapsed and passed away of natural causes.
His service records show that he enlisted 23 July 1915 at 18 years old into No 3 Section of the Divisional Ammunition Column 2nd Division before embarking on 11 November bound for Suez where he arrived 18 December 1915.
After service in Alexandria he spent two years 1916-18 serving in various areas of France with the 22nd Howitzer Brigade and the 6th Australian Field Artillery Brigade.
After enjoying furlough in England early in 1919 he returned to Australia on the ‘Runic’ arriving 27 April 1919.
One brother also served with the AIF.
Passed away 18 November 1945 at 48 years old and buried in Leeton Cemetery.
Pt Cyril Francis MANUEL Service No 6783
Cyril was born in Moonta South Australia in 1880 the son of Samuel & Elizabeth Manuel.
He moved to Western Australia in 1898 to work in the mines and whilst there he married Mary H Woodrow the daughter of Benjamin & Esther Woodrow in 1904.
They had a family of four daughters. The family moved to Broken Hill for eight years working at Silverton Mine before arriving in the Leeton area in 1914 and living on Farm 472.
He worked with the WC&IC gangs as a channel constructor.
He enlisted at Cootamundra on 6 July 1916 into the 3rd Battalion Clearing Company.
He embarked from Sydney on the ‘Port Napier’ on 17 November 1916 bound for Devonport, England attending the Training Camps at Codford & Folkstone in the 54th Training Battalion before marching out March 1917 to Etaples France and transferring to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station.
In April 1917, he was allotted and proceeded to join the 29th Battalion for service in the field where he served for most of that year. He had several stays in hospital suffering from scabies, gastro fevers and a hernia.
Early in 1918 after convalescing from a gastro outbreak at a Rest Camp, he returned to the field for more action.
In June, he was discovered in Rouelles town without a pass and was out of bounds and for this he forfeited ten days pay for the demeanour.
In July, he marched out to England in preparation to his return to Australia. Here he again went AWOL for thirty-two hours and for this he forfeited five day’s pay. He embarked per Hospital Ship ‘Medic’ bound for Sydney arriving 24 August 1918. He was classed as having Chronic Bronchitis.
He was discharged 27 June 1920.
He returned to Leeton where he was granted Soldier Settler Farm 1267 at Corbie Hill.
According to the local press, in 1931, goods and chattels were being sold up to reimburse the MID Co-op for outstanding debts incurred by Cyril. He was also fined for not controlling Bathurst burrs on his property.
Cyril passed away 1940.
Pt Ernest Stanley Dunn Service No 6733
He was born at Wagga in 1898 the son of Henry & Anne E (Clear) Dunn and passed away in 1959.
The family moved to Narrandera in 1908 as Henry was working on the construction of the Berembed Weir and irrigation canals along with Ernie’s brother T H Dunn.
Ernie attended Narrandera Public School before the family moved to Leeton to Farm 444 in 1910 as his father and brother’s work with Lane & Peter’s Construction gangs moved along the Canal.
He enlisted on 4 October 1916 at Cootamundra with the 2nd Battalion. Prior to his departure, he attended Yenda Barracks with his brother John.
He embarked on S S Port Nicholson arriving in Devonport England on 10 January 1917. He gained his parent’s consent as he was only 18 years old.
After training at Durrington, England he proceeded to France in the July. In September 1917, he was wounded in action and after treatment in the field hospital from a gunshot wound to his back, he embarked for England on ’Hospital Ship Warilda’ and admitted to Bath War Hospital.
After recovering and having some R & R he ended back in 2nd Scott’s General Hospital in Edinburgh with bronchitis. After being transferred to 1st Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield and rehabilitated he proceeded back to France and re-joined 2nd Infantry Battalion early 1918.
In May, he was apprehended by the Military Police for overstaying his leave by ten hours and forfeited one day’s pay.
While in the field on 25th June he was gassed by a shell and admitted to hospital in Boulogne. After overcoming the injury, on his discharge from No 10 Convalescent Depot he was again reprimanded with not removing his puttees (the leather wraps on lower legs) when ordered to do so and forfeited seven day’s leave.
At the end of September, he re-joined his unit in the field in France until May of 1919 when his unit was recalled and he marched out to England for his return to Australia.
Embarking on the ‘Boorana’ from Southampton on 6th July bound for Sydney disembarking 26 August 1919.
Ernie was granted Soldier Settler Farm 1142 at Merungle Hill in 1921 which he farmed until he sold it in 1936 and moved into Waratah Street. He was working with the WC & IC at this time.
He married Catherine Hazelwood and they had three sons and one daughter.
In his earlier days, he enjoyed competition boxing and in later years supported the Yanco Show Society and Patriotic Fund.
Letter to Overseas Forces from King George 5th in 1919
Remains after a bloody battle in France
12th Battery Social Committee Invitation to Ball in Thuin, Belgium 1918