No 2915 Private Ernest (Ern) Edward Warry is standing in the back row, fourth from the left. Ern left Australia in September 1915 on the Hororata with the 9th Reinforcements of the 14th Infantry Battalion. Working on the theory that recruits tended to stay in the group with which they originally enlisted, I had a look at the Embarkation Nominal Roll (AWM) on which Ern appeared, to see if I could recognise any names, and in particular whether anyone in that group came from Kensington. If you look carefully at the fellow on the far right of the middle row you will see that he inscribed "Kensington" on his hatband. Sure enough, there was a young fellow from Kensington - a William Henry Webster, 19, a jeweller from Kensington. This identification is not certain, but it is worth considering. A name I actually did recognise was No 2911 Henry Leonard Wallis, a young fellow from Moonee Ponds, photos of whom I have at my disposal. I am confident that the young man seated in the middle row, second from the right, is Leonard Wallis. If anyone has a relative in this Embarkation Nominal Roll, it is possible that they may be in this photo. Please get in touch if you can identify anyone. Needless to say, most of them are not local to Essendon and Flemington, but from right round Victoria.
Private Edwin James George Pitman of Smith Street, Kensington, departed for the war on the Barambah in August 1918. At the time of his enlistment in January 1918 he was one of the top maths student in the state. He had previously served four years with the 53rd (Albert Park) Battalion senor cadets, and with the Melbourne University Rifles during his period at the University. Was the Army protecting him by sending him to the Pay Corps? Any other volunteer of his age and previous military training might have expected to have been on a ship and heading towards France within weeks of his enlistment. He could have spent months in France in 1918 dodging shells - instead of which he arrived in London three days after the Armistice. Sheila Byard tells the story of this brilliant student.
Ross McMullin explores the legend in The Age today.
Elliott was highly regarded by residents in the Essendon area. He had been the commanding officer of the 58th Infantry Battalion (Essendon Rifles) at the outbreak of the war. When he returned he was a frequent visitor to the area, invited to preside over the unveiling of many local war memorials. The local Citizens' Military Association presented the City of Essendon with an individual memorial for Pompey Elliott.
Greg was aged 33 when he enlisted, employed as an accountant, and a well-known amateur athlete, having competed in the 1908 Olympic Games held in Athens.
Despite having no prior military training, either as a cadet or in the Citizens Military Forces (according to his service record) his mature years, his professional occupation, his tall stature and his reputation as an athlete singled him out from the general run of recruits, and he was immediately sent to train to be a Sergeant. Before the end of the war he was commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, later confirmed as a Lieutenant.
An unusual feature of his overseas service was a temporary transfer from his unit to the 8th Brigade Sports Unit in February 1918.
On Friday I was very kindly nominated for a "One Lovely Blog Award" by Deb Ruth of the Adventures in Genealogy blog. It's a lovely thought, and very encouraging, so thank you, Deb.
To accept the award the rules are as followed:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted the award and their blog link.
2. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. (alphabetical)
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
This is perhaps the best part of the award - finding new blogs to pass on the encouragement. The ones I have chosen are those blogs which pass on their learning and passion to others.
This photo shows St Thomas' Harriers, Moonee Ponds, just prior to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Many of these young men enlisted. We can identify some of them, have tentative identifications for others, and would appreciate some assistance in identifying others, and confirming our tentative identifications. Click on the photo for a larger version. See the names on this page.
Lieutenant Leonard Waller Heathcote of the Australian Flying Corps became a prisoner of war of the Turks when his biplane, a B3.2e as picture above, developed engine problems and came down in the desert near Gaza. Read Rod Martin's story here.
I have created a number of local history projects for which you will find links on this blog. I am a community historian (ie, not paid) living in Essendon. The content of my Empire Called database (see the link to the PBWorks website) is the result of nearly 25 years' research. I began collecting material for the database of local WW1 volunteers in the early 1990s, beginning with hand transcriptions of Honour Boards in local schools, churches, clubs and so on. It was after this that the National Archives of Australia began making digitised service records available online, followed by the Australian War Memorial uploading Embarkation Rolls of the Australian Imperial Force. The Empire Called blog is a companion for the PBWorks website of the same name.
Time Travellers in Essendon and Flemington is set up in the same way, with a website and a blog to report additions to the website. The website is a vehicle to publish longer pieces of research that are too long for newsletters. It also includes various indexes I have worked on for many years, plus photos from various sources which I date and describe in greater detail. You may find something of use for your research.