Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Len McKay, groom from Moonee Ponds

Len McKay joined up in July 1915 and found himself in the fleshpots of Cairo before a more serious engagement in France with the 14th Infantry Battalion.    Read Rod Martin's story of Len's service here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

2nd Lieut Viv Garner, 14th Infantry Bn

Fellow officer Lieutenant Ted Rule remarked of Viv Garner that "the boys were closely attached to him" and that "he was not one to squib it; in fact, he was too much the other way".  Rod Martin tells the story of this popular young officer, who didn't "squib it", here.

RAN exercises Freedom of Entry to Melbourne

Today the Royal Australian Navy exercised its Freedom of Entry with 'Swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, bands playing and colours flying' to the City of Melbourne.  The parade commemorates the century of the granting of Royal Assent by King George V to the Navy, and mark the important contrubution that Melbourne and the State of Victoria continues to provide to the Royal Australian Navy.

About 1,300 RAN personnel took part in the march past the Melbourne Town Hall, most of whom are currently serving at HMAS Cerberus at Flinders.  HMAS Cerberus this year celebrates 90 years of training officers and sailers to serve at sea, having Commissioned in 1911.

The RAN first came into being as the Commonwealth Naval Forces on 1 March 1901 as a small coastal defence force.  In 1909, in response to increasing international tensions and the recognition that Australia needed to assume full responsibility for its broader maritime defence, the nation embarked on a significant naval expansion program.  Its aim was to created a national navy capable of both defending Australia's maritime interests and contribute to regional defence.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Company Quartermaster Sergeant Joel Reginald Eade

Private Joel Eade of Edward St, Essendon, soon impressed the AIF with his physical attributes, education and training and was promoted quickly to Company Quartermaster Sergeant.  He embarked for Egypt early in 1916, but things began to go wrong.  Read Rod Martin's account here.

A 1915 recruitment poster from the
Australian War Memorial Collection.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

He answered to the Empire's call

JUNIER. -Whose death has been officially con-
firmed, previously reported wounded and missing,
Pte. Edward Wilfred (463, "Dolph"), youngest
beloved son of Mrs. Junier, 73 Hall street,
Moonee Ponds, and the late C. A. Junier, formerly
of Morwell, Gippsland, who fell at Gallipoli on the
25th April, 1915, loved brother of Ernest, Elsie
(Mrs. Fordred), Albert, Gus, and Ethel, aged 23

Buried in a nameless grave
Laid aside with other brave,   
His life for King and country gave -
My youngest son.
He answered to the Empire's call;
We ill could spare him, one and all, 
And prayed God would not let him fall -
My dearly loved son. 
But all should fight, and some must die,  
He took his chance - my youngest son;
And I can only grieve and say -
Thy will be done.
I kept the home fire burning, but the lad I've  
waited and yearned for will speak to me never  
Family Notices. (1917, October 6). The Argus ), p. 11.