Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unknown soldier - Mrs D Croft's donation

This photograph of an unnamed soldier was donated to the Essendon Historical Society in 1981.  The donor was a Mrs D Croft of Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, whom I am unable to identify in postal directories.  Another item which she donated has her address recorded as Queensland, so she may have donated material prior to moving interstate.

The back of the photo records the date "April 1915", presumably when the photo was framed.

If I could identify Mrs D Croft it might help in identifying the soldier, who might be a relative of hers or her husband's.    Can anyone help with this? Or recognise the soldier?


Kim of the Spirits of Gallipoli website feels that the photo resembles one she has for a James Henry Croft who died at Gallipoli on 28 April 1915 and is buried or commemorated at the Lone Pine Cemetery.

James had a brother John William Croft who married in 1913 and had children, but I just can't make out a possible Mrs D Croft - yet.  Still looking.   While James was born in Ballarat and enlisted in Kyneton, his brother was living in Kensington in the 1950s, according to the electoral roll, so it does bring them into the local area.


  1. Look at those eyebrows - has to be him. (Not much of a helpful comment, I know, but just had to say it!)

  2. Yes, but look at the sticky-out ear. I have a feeling maybe he tucked it under his hat for the newspaper shot. The hat seems a lot lower.

  3. Yes but .....

    If he had the hat over the ear in the top photo (that is one low ear), the hat would be across his eye. Although it does slope more to the back in the newspaper pic ....

  4. Late note. Libby and I from Old Gippstown need to say a very grateful "Thank You to Lenore" for posting about this website. We notified that we had material about two Gallipoli casualties in our collection. Back came the information on them, including photographs, which allowed us to identify a large, framed photograph of one of them, that was previously listed as "Unknown Soldier".

    Thank You Kim and Lenore

  5. Isn't that wonderful! There are so many "Unknown Soldier" photos out there.

  6. Just one more thing - Old Gippstown also has the National Bank "Record of War Service of Bank and Staff 1914-1919". It also has photographs of all who served, and when those who returned resumed with the bank. The problem is - it does not give their service numbers, and only their state - not what bank they were at when they enlisted, or what bank they returned to. And it is Australia-wide. So you nearly need to be sitting with the book beside you as you go through your database, then do a lot of cross-checking. The National Bank historian tells me it is not rare, and there are a lot of copies around.

    Have you seen it?

  7. No I haven't - and it turns out to be about as common as the Gas Company book - I've spotted 3 copies thus far, and one in the antiquarian trade for $355. I'd be calling it rare.

  8. Well, I think we have two, and I can find them both....

    They cannot leave the property though. If I get a chance. I will index the Victorian ones.

    Although I should index all who are "Killed at Gallipoli" for Kim....

  9. I was just having a look at the entry I have for one of our local nurses. She married while in England to Sergt William Kinglake de Boos, late of the National Bank. He was from Euroa.