This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Private Langham and the South Australian Red Cross

Private Langham taken at Broadmeadows in 1915, from the Australian War Memorial Collection.

Having another look at the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau files, I decided to do a search based on military units, so tried the 7th Infantry Battalion as a unit closely associated with the local area. Doing this I came upon a file mentioning Joseph Oswill Langham, a horse-trainer who gave his Next of Kin as his sister in Grafton New South Wales, and no particular address for himself.  However, his presence on the Essendon Town Hall Roll of Honour and various other local references made it clear that he was resident in the local area prior to the war.

Some small items of correspondence in the files for a Sergeant Pyke Evans of Adelaide gave some shape to Langham's pre-war activities.   He and Evans, a jockey,  had enlisted in the 7th Infantry Battalion together, having previously known each other at Scobie's Stables in Ascot Vale Rd, Flemington. They went into camp together at Seymour.  Evans had originally come from Adelaide, and Langham was attempting to discover Evans' mother's address as he wanted to write to her.  This caused a file to be raised in the South Australian branch of the Australian Red Cross.

We also learn from the letters that Langham was a 'cot case' on returning to Australia, that in June 1917 he was in the Caulfield Hospital, and that his mail address was care of G Jobson, Charles St, Ascot Vale.  George Jobson of Doncaster St, Ascot Vale was a horsetrainer.  No Jobson had a street address of Charles St in the Electoral Rolls during the war, but to throw another address into the confusion, a George Jobson was listed in the 1917 Sands & Mcdougall Directories in Morphett St, Ascot Vale and another at Charles St, Footscray.

Langham's informant of Evans' death was Mrs Power of 4 Newtown Pde, Moonee Ponds.  In the 1915 Electoral Roll Jeanie Power lived at 4 Newtown Parade.   The another resident at the address was Charles Power, jockey.

The Red Cross files from South Australia together with the Electoral Rolls, Victorian marriage index and the Sands & McDougall directories have enabled me to give a broader picture of Langham's life before and after the war, though there is no doubt plenty more to learn.

Another couple of men associate with the racing industry in Flemington also mentioned James Scobie in their records.  These can be found by clicking on the tags in Langham's pbworks file.

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