Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Sportsmen's Thousand recruit

Artist Will Dyson: 22nd Battalion men awaiting relief, near
Ville sur Ancre, 1918. (AWM ART 19603)
Benjamin Phillip James, a 40 year old labourer, was inspired to enlist in the Sportsman's Thousand in July 1917.    Rod Martin has taken up his pen again to relate the story of Private James from Broadmeadows to France.  Read Private James' story here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Irish Rising: 'A terrible beauty is born'

The State Library of Victoria has a free exhibition about the uprising which occurred in Dublin during Easter 1916.  See their website for associated events.

You can explore Stories from 1916   which is a Living History Project from Ireland.

Local boy Charlie Wright ended up in Dublin after being wounded in France in 1916, and wrote a postcard to his mother from the hospital.  He wasn't there during the uprising, but there must have been plenty of signs of it a few months afterwards.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Woman Haters' Club go to war

This photo shows members of the Women Haters' Club at their Dromana Camp.  The soldier in the centre is wearing sergeants' stripes on his sleeve.  The history of the club says that no camping was done on this campsite until the end of the war, so this may represent a Welcome Home by members.

The Honour Roll for the club had 32 names on it, reproduced in their history, Woman Haters' Club, Essendon - Dromana.  One Hundred Years, 1902-2002. 

Photos of members can be and the Roll of Honour can be seen on the Empire Called website, and also on the Time Travellers blog

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Wilsons of Moonee Ponds

Emily, Daisy and John Wilson, Leighton Studios, circa 1917. Courtesy of Nereda Shute.
Private John Wilson and his wife Emily took their little daughter Daisy to the Leighton Photographic Studio in Margaret St, Moonee Ponds, opposite the Moonee Ponds station.  They had this keepsake photo taken prior to John embarking with the 10 Machine Gun Company in June 1917.  After a period of training in England, John was transferred to the 37 Infantry Battalion and embarked for France. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Welcome Home digger!

Roland Ransome in the car on the right, 1918. Courtesy of Bronwyn Reid.
Returning convoys were met at the docks and volunteers came with their polished and decorated vehicles to convey the men through the city to receptions.  Roland Keen Ransom arrived back in Melbourne in November 1918 on special 1914 leave.   You can see the excitement as the cars push through crowded city streets.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gunner Lundmark of Kensington

A crew of the 3st Battery, Australian Field Artillery at Seymour in 1914.
Gunner John Patrick Lundmark of Kensington had been part of the compulsory Universal Training Scheme since its inception in 1912, his service record showing one and a half years in Senior Cadets and three years in the Royal Australian Field Artillery.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

From the Suburbs to the Trenches

I was  recently pleased to discover this book which describes the war service of two young fellows, one of them, Cecil Seccombe of Ascot Vale who served with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion, and the other Ralph Berryman of Hawthorn who served with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade.  The author, Ralph Seccombe, is a relative of both young men, and relates his own thoughts and impressions as he traces their movements in Gallipoli and France.  The book is available through Amazon.  See also this webpage.