The congregation of StThomas;s Church of England in Moonee Ponds determined to establish a memorial to the men of the parish who lost their lives in the Great War. The Soldiers' Memorial Hall was opened in October 1920 and was intended to provide for billiard facilities for young men, and a kindergarten space on Sundays. The young men are long gone, but the hall forms part of a kindergarten.
The hall also housed an honour board naming each of the men who had died. This can now be seen in St Thomas's Anglican Church, Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds. Further information about the hall can be found here
This photo was taken by Gordon Anderson of the 10th ASC in Codford, England, in 1917. If anyone thinks they might be able to identify a relative in that unit from a higher res photo, please let me know.
"Going into action tomorrow. I shall be among the first fifty to land. This will probably prove to be one of hardest fights in history. We land under fire. Perhaps long before you get this you will have read all about the fight and the result. I wrote this last note so that you should see I was thinking of home at the last. Whatever happens you may be confident that I shall do my job properly. The boys are singing away, just as if nothing was about to happen. I'll go and join them. Hope you are all well and happy. Don't worry about me".
479 Pte Charly Bale, Napier St, Essendon, 24 April 1915
Cousins Albert and Alfred Galbraith lived a few doors from each other in Mackay Street, Essendon. Alfred Galbraith, 21, died of wounds in 1916, and his cousin, Albert Galbraith, 23, died on the last day of the war - Armistice Day 1918. Rod Martin tells their stories.
Conditions on the front during the Third Battle of Ypres, November 1917(Wilkins, G.H. (ed.): Australian War Photographs, A.I.F Publications, London, 1919)
Driver Albert David Galbraith of Essendon survived two and a half years of war in France, but died of illness on the day the guns stopped firing. Read Rod Martin's account of Galbraith's service in the AIF on The Empire Called and I Answered website.