Chenhall family members at 27 Byron Street, Moonee Ponds, early 1916. Back row from left: Gordon McRae (Elsie’s fiancé), Elsie, Ida Chenhall nee Morell, Sergeant Cecil Chenhall, Ethel, Ruby Chenhall, Charles Clayton. Front row, seated: Leura, Mrs Morrell, Mary with Bob on her knee, Ruby, Howard Trathan, Clarence Clayton Chenhall (son of Ethel and Charles). Ruby married Howard Trathan. Photo courtesy of the Chenhall family collection.
Cecil Chenhall, a 21 year old salesman, had trained with the 58 Infantry (Essendon Rifles). In January 1916 he enlisted in the AIF and embarked as a Sergeant with the 39 Infantry Battalion. This interesting photo shows the family gathered, possibly to farewell the soldier. Cecil embarked on 27 May 1916, and on the same day, Gordon McRae, picture above at the far right, enlisted. Howard Trathan, sitting cross-legged on the right, enlisted later in October 1916. One of the three did not return.
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.