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

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tribute to Plucky RN Midshipman

View from the Promenade deck of the Galeka, off Anzac Cove, looking to Sea. In the background are other troop transports and warships. In the foreground are four of the Galeka's boats, loaded with Australians of the 6th and 7th Battalions  being towed by a steam-pinnace to Fisherman's Hut, North Beach, Gallipoli Peninsula.
A youthful Royal Navy Midshipman without the white uniform, but with the accoutrements of a dandy.  Photo source:

Signaller H. O'Neill, of the 7th Battalion, who is a son of Mr H. J. O'Neill, clerk of courts at Essendon, writes to a friend regarding a visit he and some comrades paid to a troopship after the Lone Pine fight, when they had a good dinner, and, metaphorically, took their hats off to a conceited middy, as Australians now admire all British seamen.

"We were given a holiday to get some stores," he writes, "and visited the vessel. After some trouble we got luncheon passes from the purser".
"We then strolled into the officers' mess and had soup, roast mutton and baked potatoes, cold tongue and mashed potatoes, and Snowden pudding and cheese. This, you must remember, after we had been for 24 hours in trenches, where we had 340 killed and wounded". 
"We were greatly amused at the awful 'dog' which a middy, aged 17, put on. The way he walked through about 40 'non-coms., looking over their heads, is hard to describe. He resembled a conceited girl, with his white shoes and white duck uniform. But we thought of those kids in charge of the pinnaces who ran us ashore that morning at Anzac, and recalled their marvellous coolness under the hot fire. They might be dandies, but you can't beat those English kids for pluck. Two of them won Victoria Crosses in the Anzac landing."
"DANDIES, BUT BRAVE KIDS" (1916, January 7). The Herald
(Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), p. 7.

No comments:

Post a Comment