Friday, April 27, 2012

Ivers of 1 Divisional Ammunition Column

Australian War Memorial Collection.  EOO733

Driver Sydney John Ivers of Ascot Vale worked in a mule train like this one, carrying ammunition to the guns on the front lines.  He received a wound from an exploding shell in Belgium in October 1917 and was evacuated to England.  The injury to his hand resulted in some fingers being amputated, but his problems did not end there.   See Rod Martin's story of his service here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Invitation to a booklaunch

John Vosti is the father of a large family living in the western suburbs of Melbourne during the Great War.   In 1917 he is working at the Cordite Factory, Maribyrnong, and playing with the Essendon City Council Band.  His eldest son, Les, is in France with the AIF as a bandsman/stretcher-bearer.

John Vosti’s diaries, covering  1917 to 1920, give a detailed account of  the daily life of a working family caught up in the struggle of a nation at war. Anxiously awaiting news from their soldier son, they participate in pro-Conscription rallies and patriotic events.  At the war’s end the struggle continues with industrial disputes affecting their jobs, while the Spanish flu epidemic rages through the district.

These unique diaries offer a special insight into the life of an ordinary working family in a difficult period in Australia’s history.

Moonee Valley Brass, the former Essendon City Brass Band, will very kindly launch this book at a concert to be held at the Gannawarra Centre, 132 Keilor Rd, Essendon North, on Saturday 5 May at 2.30 pm.  Cost $10 per adult, $6 concession.

All welcome.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

With gleaming teeth, Private Smith boards the Aeneas, 1916

Troops board HMAT Aeneas at Port Melbourne on 3 October 1916.
Fresh from the dentist's chair, Private Walter George Smith was amongst the troops boarding HMAT Aeneas at Port Melbourne on 3 October 1916.  Rod Martin tells the story of Walter's service in the 106, and later the 118 Howitzer Battery, and the role of the batteries in the last battles of the war.  Walter was wounded by shell fragments in the shoulder and head not long before the Armistice, so his war did not end with the Peace.  Read his story here.