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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

St Thomas' Church Soldiers' Memorial Hall

The congregation of StThomas;s Church of England in Moonee Ponds determined to establish a memorial to the men of the parish who lost their lives in the Great War.  The Soldiers' Memorial Hall was opened in October 1920 and was intended to provide for billiard facilities for young men, and a kindergarten space on Sundays.  The young men are long gone, but the hall forms part of a kindergarten.

The hall also housed an honour board naming each of the men who had died.  This can now be seen in St Thomas's Anglican Church, Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds.  Further information about the hall can be found here

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace on Earth

 A page from the St Thomas' Church of England Parish Magazine, January 1916.

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ammunition mules, 1917

This photo was taken by Gordon Anderson of the 10th ASC in Codford, England, in 1917.  If anyone thinks they might be able to identify a relative in that unit from a higher res photo, please let me know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

"I was thinking of home at the last"

"Going into action tomorrow.  I shall be among the first fifty  to land.  This will probably prove to be one of hardest fights in history. We land under fire.  Perhaps long before you get this you will have read all about the fight and the result. I wrote this last note so that you should see I was thinking of home at the last.  Whatever happens you may be confident that I shall do my job properly.  The boys are singing away, just as if nothing was about to happen.  I'll go and join them.  Hope you are all well and happy.  Don't worry about me".

479 Pte Charly Bale, Napier St, Essendon, 24 April 1915

What happened to Charly Bale?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Galbraith cousins fall in France

Cousins Albert and Alfred Galbraith lived a few doors from each other in Mackay Street, Essendon.  Alfred Galbraith, 21, died of wounds in 1916, and his cousin, Albert Galbraith, 23, died on the last day of the war - Armistice Day 1918.  Rod Martin tells their stories.

Mementos of Alfred have been lodged at Museum Victoria.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Major William Bernard Ryan, AAMC

Captain, later Major William Bernard Ryan, enlisted in the AAMC in 1915, and travelled with the Sea Transport Service as Medical Officer several times before being stationed in England.

He took advantage of the opportunity for further study in psychiatry while in England, and put this to use in his later career.

Peter Ryan tells the story of Major Ryan on The Empire Called website.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Died on Armistice Day 1918 - Driver A D Galbraith

Conditions on the front during the Third Battle of Ypres, November 1917 (Wilkins, G.H. (ed.): Australian War Photographs, A.I.F Publications, London, 1919)

Driver Albert David Galbraith of Essendon survived two and a half years of war in France, but died of illness on the day the guns stopped firing.  Read Rod Martin's account of Galbraith's service in the AIF on The Empire Called and I Answered  website.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lieutenant Harold Harthacnut Herbert Locke

Harold Locke, a veteran of the South African War, enlisted with the 4th Light Horse Regiment in 1915.  His story is told by Rod Martin, and can be found on The Empire Calls website here

Friday, October 15, 2010

St Thomas Grammarians and Carlton Collegians Honour Board

This board records the "Old Boys" of St Thomas' Grammar and Carlton College.  It is now located in the junior school of Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, Raleigh St, Essendon.   The names on the board are listed here, and identifications are being made progressively.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Khaki Girls

This interesting photo shows a group of women from the Commonwealth Clothing Factory who had formed a patriotic organisation known as the Khaki Girls.  Presumably they sewed their own uniforms at the Factory.  The sign indicates that the photo was taken on the occasion of the "Our Boys' Day" in March 1918.  This Day was held annually from 1916 to raise funds to provide comforts to the men in the trenches and in hospital.  
The Khaki Girls performed both in displays and in ceremonial duties - the latter being Welcome Homes at the docks and forming guards of honour.  They did displays of marching, physical culture, and they had a bugle band.

The photo belonged to Pte Julius Rudolph (Ru) Jacobsohn of Moonee Ponds, who is standing in the centre row at the right. Jacobsohn was an original Anzac, invalided home and discharged in 1916.  

Identifying the other men in the group is a challenge, but the man seated on the left of the front row with the cane is probably Thomas Trumble, the Secretary for the Defence Department.  The man to his left is Senator George Foster Pearce, the Minister for Defence.  The man in the centre is unknown, but the next two men appear in an AWM photo of the manager and office staff from the Commonwealth Government Clothing Factory.

The sergeant seated second from the right in the front row may be Sergeant E C Perkins, whose name is mentioned in an Argus report as being in charge on the occasion of a fete at the Exhibition Building in September 1918.    This same man is in a SLV photograph of the Commonwealth Clothing Factory Personnel in 1918.

The biggest challenge is to identify the women of the Commonwealth Clothing Factory.  If you had a nanna or great aunt who worked at the Factory in World War 1, have a look and see if you can identify her.

Diggers - Report in the Commonwealth Gazette, Jan 1916

This edition of the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette contains an interesting report on the tunnel diggers at Gallipoli and France.  Despite the peculiar numbering of the editions, this series of Gazettes seems to contain reports on the situation at Gallipoli.

Friday, October 1, 2010

7th Battalion, Headquarters Detail, Broadmeadows 1914

This photo was taken at Broadmeadows Camp in 1914, and has the label on the back "Headquarters Detail 7th Battalion 1st AIF". The men would roughly speaking be identifiable at the top of the first embarkation list of the 7th Battalion Headquarters personnel, but some changes occurred in those personnel between the photo and the embarkation roll. For instance, the owner of the photo is in the photo, but had been transferred to the Machine Gun section prior to embarkation.  I would be grateful for any help with further identifications than the ones I have here

Click on the photo for a larger version.  (And it's ok, I know Pompey Elliott is there.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

North Essendon Methodist Church Roll of Honour

This board hung in a church in Mt Alexander Rd, North Essendon, now closed.

See identifications here (progressively putting up individual pages for these volunteers).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bert and Ernie Manderson occupy the camel on the right of the picture, taken in Egypt in 1915.  Courtesy of Greg Manderson. Click to get the larger picture

Northern Golf Club, Glenroy

It turns out that the Northern Golf Club in Glenroy has or had an honour board with many Essendon members included. The list was included in the back of their history.  If anyone knows if the board is hanging at the Golf Club I would be glad to know.  A photograph of it would be even better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Captain James Bowtell-Harris, 7th Battalion

Hello folks,

I would like to draw your attention to a wonderful article on the service career of Captain James Frederic Bowtell-Harris by Rod Martin.  It has been loaded onto the Empire Called website.

Thanks Rod.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Beersheba, 1918

Just to prove I always had a strong interest in military history, albeit a slender grasp of the actual events, here is my Grade 6 interpretation of the events at Beersheba.

Click on the image to enlarge.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Roll of Honour for the Cordite Factory is now stored at Melbourne's Living Museum of the West.  Many of themen listed on the board lived in Ascot Vale, across the river from the Factory.

The board has some incredibly detailed wood carving.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

State Library of Victoria

This board is located in the enquiry area of the La Trobe Library of the State Library of Victoria.

Not strictly relevant to my own line of enquiry, but I was there, the board was there, the camera was in my bag- so here it is.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

St Thomas' Anglican Church, Essendon, Roll of Honour

An example of the opus sectile style of Honour Roll at St Thomas' Anglican Church, Essendon.

Other examples can be seen at the Maffra Library, and also the former Teachers' College, previously discussed here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Employees of the Metropolitan Gas Co who served in the Great War

Linda Barraclough has located a copy of this very rare book down at Old Gippstown, and has very kindly decided to scan the whole book, and make it available for those who wish to have access to it - and as a continuing record of the service of the men involved.

Linda says: " Accordingly, I am slowly scanning the 62 pages, usually over coffee, and will make it available over the next few weeks. I am hoping that those who access it (and you are welcome to download), will respect my request that is not be otherwise reproduced without further discussion with me. I would be fairly angry is anyone thought it appropriate to lift to sell, as I do not believe money should be made from what is basically a war memorial.

Family history groups / libraries etc are welcome to download to place on CD in appropriate collections. Those wishing to record it on webpages are invited to link to the URL below".

Friday, July 16, 2010

Centenary of Anzac

Liz Pidgeon of the Yarra Plenty Genealogy blog has drawn attention to calls for ideas and suggestions on how to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac.  Public submissions will be received until 17 September 2010.

Lone Pine, 2008.

Essendon Baptist Church Roll of Honour

This singularly unattractive Honour Board turned up as a postcard on eBay a year or so ago.  The seller managed to identify it as an Essendon board, presumably having looked at the service records of several of the volunteers to see where they were from.  From my own database I could see that they were all baptists, and they lived in the vicinity of the Baptist Church in Buckley Street, Essendon.  An enquiry at that church revealed that the board was removed some years ago, current whereabouts not known.  I believe this board belonged to that church.
The names have been transcribed and linked to service records (where I have got to that section of the alphabet) on the Empire Called website.

As you can see there is nothing connecting the board to the Essendon Baptist Church, so do let me know if you think it belonged to another church.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Harold Brocklebank Herbert

Popping into the Royal Historical Society of Victoria  recently this book, Harold Herbert: Convivial Artist,  on the 'for sale' rack struck my eye, and seizing it to investigate further it turned out to be a brief biography of Harold Brocklebank Herbert by John C Trinca.  Herbert has been mentioned previously in this blog as the artist who designed the MMTB Roll of Honour.  The book has colour plates of a range of his watercolours, including some made during his sojourn in the Middle East as a War Artist in WW2.

Herbert had a range of interests outside his art, including membership of the Savage Club, and also the Cormorant Club, dedicated to preserving trout by eradication of Cormorants - though apparently Herbert seldom despatched a cormorant himself. 

A steal at only $10!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Before the Dawn - an Entirely Original Australian Comedy in Three Acts

In October 1916 a comedy in three acts, written and performed by Joseph (Jo) Smith, was put on at the Essendon Town Hall, Moonee Ponds, to raise funds for YMCA huts to serve the men on the front line.   A description of the play and the playwright can be found here, and a more complete version , with colour plates,  of the program, can be seen at the State Library of Victoria here.  There is apparently a copy of the play lodged for copyright purposes held by the National Archives of Australia.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Royal Australian Field Artillery Barracks, West's Road, Maribyrnong

This turned out to be more difficult to photograph than I envisaged.  The building is set back from West's Road.  Quite a few of the local volunteers were either stationed here with the Australian Field Artillery, or trained here after volunteering.   Built in 1911, it is on the Victorian Heritage Database.      A very interesting heritage study of the Maribyrnong Defence Industries sites can be downloaded in pdf format from here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Caring for your wartime memorabilia

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a very useful looking online book about caring for wartime memorabilia.

Printed copies are available, apparently, but it doesn't spell out whether there is a cost for that, or who is eligible to apply, but there's an email address for enquiries.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tramways Board, Melbourne, Employees Died on Active Service

The following pages show the Tramways Board, Melbourne Employees who enlisted for Active Service.

The pages are taken from the Tramways Board, Melbourne Annual Report to 30th June, 1919.  Thank to Warren Doubleday for scanning the pages.

Tramways Board, Melbourne, Roll of Honour, A - D

Tramways Board, Melbourne, Roll of Honour, E - L

Tramways Board, Melbourne, Roll of Honour, L-S

Tramways Board, Melbourne, Roll of Honour, S - Y

The Tramways Board, Melbourne, the precursor to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board, carried a Roll of Honour in its Annual Report to 30th June 1919.  Occupations such as "gripman" indicated the extent to which the tram system was still operating cable-trams.

I will post the pages beginning at the end of the Roll of Honour so the first page will be at the top of the blog. 

This is a little off-topic for my Essendon and Flemington focus, but it is valuable information not readily accessible and my thanks to Warren Doubleday for arranging copies.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Teachers College Rolls of Honour

The Teachers College recognised the service of their teacher trainees with three wonderful leadlight windows and two astonishing tiled memorials

Two of the leadlight windows carry the names of those who served , and those who died in World War 1, while the third features an AIF serviceman.  The tiled memorials have been re-established in the building which is now the School of Graduate Studies, University of Melbourne, in Grattan St, Carlton.

The tiled memorials carry portraits of those who died.  I've been comparing this memorial with the one at Maffra, which Linda on the Maffra and District Historical Society blog describes as an opus sectile work.

Six names from the Essendon and Flemington database appear in the leadlight window memorial:

E C Holmes *
B J Keddie
G R Scott *
R G Scott
C F Sullivan *
F H McNamara

(* those who died)

An article by Jay Miller in 2006 explains the rediscovery if the memorials and the research on them, 'We shall not wholly die'  can be downloaded from the Ian Potter Museum website - a special issue of their Magazine "The Trainee" containing all the names of those who enlisted.

A brochure on the memorials can be downloaded from here

And last, but by no means least, a pdf version of "The Trainee: special War number 1919", which contains the names and portraits of the volunteers.

NOTE:  Some six years after the event the Ian Potter Museum has removed the items to which I linked (in bold above).   The best I can do to cover the subject is to provide a link to a webpage on the Teachers' Memorial Window on The Empire Called website, and you can download a copy of The Trainee from here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Patriotic Concert, 8th September 1914

The departure of a contingent of young men with the Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force was a cause for celebration in Essendon, and the volunteers were treated to a concert in the Town Hall, and presented with a program recording their names.

The program features the badge and colours of the local Citizens Military Force Battalion, the 58th Battalion.  The artwork may have been prepared by Mayor Goldsworthy himself, who was a graphic artist.  Goldsworthy designed, made and presented the first Honour Boards honouring the "Boys of Essendon" which were hung in the Essendon Town Hall.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Opus sectile Rolls of Honour

Linda down at the Maffra Historical Society blog has put up some very beautiful examples of the mosaic style of Honour Roll to be found at the Maffra Library.  These memorials Linda believes are by the Melbourne company Brooks, Robinson & Co which advertised in Anglican newsletters.  It is possible that the Roll of Honour at St Thomas' Anglican Church in Moonee Ponds is this sort of thing - I do remember it having tiles with names inscribed but can't quite recall the rest.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Harold Brocklebank Herbert, artist and designer

It appears that the designer of the MMTB Roll of Honour was a young artist of growing reputation, who became well-known as a water-colourist and draughtsman.  In 1922 he toured abroad, including the Middle East, and his art shows were well-patronised.  In 1941 he was appointed as a War Artist to accompany troops to the Middle East. The illustration above dates from that appointment, and was included in the book Active Service: with Australia in the Middle East. He returned after a few months saying that he felt younger artists would be more suitable.  He had struggled in the hot temperatures with the heat drying out his water-colours too quickly.  Herbert died in 1945 aged only 52 "after a long illness", so one might surmise that he had been unwell during his time with the 2nd AIF.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board Roll of Honour 2

Recourse to the online Argus has revealed that the M&MTB Roll of Honour was unveiled in 1921, as below:

Unveiled by the Premier.
The Premier (Mr. Lawson) unveiled yesterday
the board at the offices of the Melbourne and
Metropolitan Tramway Board erected in honour
of 518 tramway men who enlisted, 71 of whom
fell on service abroad, and 18 of whom received
awards for conspicuous gallantry.
The board is of artistic design in black-
wood, and is erected on the main stair
way to the administrative offices.
It was designed by Mr. H. B. Herbert

In the presence of members of the board
and officers of the administrative staff, Mr.
Lawson unveiled the memorial. The
record of their services, he said, showed
that tram waymen, who spent their lives
in giving public service, had done valiantly in ren-
dering the greatest of all services on foreign fields.
The memorial would stand for all time to remind
us that only by living up to the ideals for which
these brave men died could we achieve the fruits
of the victory they had won. Germany had lost
the war, but stood to win the subsequent eco-  
nomic conflict if we by our indifference and
neglect, and our division into sects and factions,
failed to remain steadfast to those ideals of
courage, loyalty, and truth.  

The Argus 9 November 1921

See the board referred to here.

It seems likely that H B Herbert was the Melbourne artist Harold Brocklebank Herbert.  The MMTB offices in 1921 were at 673 Bourke St (south side) between Godfrey and King Street. (Thanks to Jenny Coates for her kind assistance.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Newmarket Reserve, Smithfield Road

The photo to the left shows the south end of the Newmarket Reserve on Smithfield Road.  It has been suggested that the conifers along Smithfield Road, some of which are now gone,  were planted as an Avenue of Honour with seedlings from the Lone Pine.  Can anyone shed any light on this?  I can't find any references in the online Argus.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Essendon Tram Depot WW1 Roll of Honour

At present the whereabouts of the Roll of Honour which is presumed to have existed at the Depot of the North Melbourne and Essendon Tramways and Electric Light Company is not known.

I have attempted to re-create that Roll of Honour with the names of the men in my database who had tramways related occupations.

If any other local men are known to have worked with the NMET& EL Co, I would be very interested to hear of it.

UPDATE:  Information from a reliable source suggests that some of the occupations - gripman and motorman - related to cable trams, which in 1915 were still operating between the city and Flemington Bridge, where they met the NMET&L trams.  The list on the website is therefore probably not exclusive to the NMET&L Co.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Essendon Tram Depot WW2 Roll of Honour

This board is also located at the Malvern Tramways Museum.  There did not appear to be an Essendon WW1 Board, but I would think there was one. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of an Essendon WW1 board, I would be pleased to know - maybe it got overlooked and is still at the Essendon Depot?

Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board

The Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board was formed in 1919 and began taking over the several private tramway companies operating in Melbourne.  Each of the private tram depots appears to have had a depot-based Honour Board.  This one commemorates those that died, presumably across the various tramway companies.  I don't know anything of the history of this Honour Board, but it is located in the museum next to the Malvern Depot.  I don't know where it originally hung, but would be pleased to hear from anyone that does know.  I haven't checked all the names yet for my particular interests, but I see that an Essendon lad, Roy Gordon Sumner, a tramways employee, is included

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Associated Stock and Station Agents Roll of Honour

This honour board once hung in the foyer of the Administration building at Newmarket saleyards.  When the market closed in 1987 the board was removed.  In 1995 Keith Vincent (who wrote On the fall of the hammer) assisted in recovering the board from the City of Melbourne, and it now hangs in the foyer of the Victorian Livestock Exchange, Pakenham.  The board was kindly photographed by Jenny Coates.  For further information about the stockmen go here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flemington ANA Honour Board

Another Board from the Lodge Room of the Kensington Town Hall is the Flemington Branch of the Australian Natives Association.  I will also be adding this to the wiki webpage in due course.  Click on the photo to receive a larger version.  Thanks are due to the Melbourne City Council for allowing us access to photograph the boards.

Flemington PAFS Honour Board

I'm pleased to relate that with the wonderful assistance of Sheila Byard I was able to access the Kensington Town Hall to photograph the various boards in the Lodge Room upstairs.  This one is the Flemington branch of the Protestant Alliance Friendly society, mentioned in an earlier post.  I will be attempting to match them up with my database on the wiki website.  I'll load up the picture there in the next day or so.  The Kensington Town Hall has suffered significant structural damage, but I am pleased to report that remedial work is being undertaken as funds are allocated.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Broadmeadows Camp Aug 1914

I would be grateful if someone could elucidate what this photo shows.  On the back is the above title in what is probably contemporary writing, and a later hand has added "Friends and relations 7th Btn Machine Gun Section".  Pte Julius Rudolph "Ru" Jacobsohn is in the back row fifth from left.  

I am wondering whether this photo shows a last militia camp prior to enlistment in August 1914, or did they report in (with friends and family) wearing their militia kit? Jacobsohn enlisted at Essendon on 17 August 1914, and his regimental number is 48.  By 1914 Jacobsohn was a  Lieutenant in the Victorian Rifles, but is not wearing officer's uniform in this photo.  At least I don't think he is.
Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Unknown soldier - Mrs D Croft's donation

This photograph of an unnamed soldier was donated to the Essendon Historical Society in 1981.  The donor was a Mrs D Croft of Mt Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds, whom I am unable to identify in postal directories.  Another item which she donated has her address recorded as Queensland, so she may have donated material prior to moving interstate.

The back of the photo records the date "April 1915", presumably when the photo was framed.

If I could identify Mrs D Croft it might help in identifying the soldier, who might be a relative of hers or her husband's.    Can anyone help with this? Or recognise the soldier?


Kim of the Spirits of Gallipoli website feels that the photo resembles one she has for a James Henry Croft who died at Gallipoli on 28 April 1915 and is buried or commemorated at the Lone Pine Cemetery.

James had a brother John William Croft who married in 1913 and had children, but I just can't make out a possible Mrs D Croft - yet.  Still looking.   While James was born in Ballarat and enlisted in Kyneton, his brother was living in Kensington in the 1950s, according to the electoral roll, so it does bring them into the local area.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Cenotaph Database

This very useful database has an "Advanced Search" option which allows you to search by keywords, including the addresses of the Next of Kin - handy for those who came across from Australia and served with New Zealand Forces.  Thanks to Jenny for that little tip.  I've found some  interesting records by putting Essendon or Flemington in the advanced search.

Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph Database

Monday, April 26, 2010

Great War Honour Boards in Kensington Town Hall

Hello Folks,

There are several World War 1 Honour Boards hanging in the Kensington Town Hall, in the upstairs area which has now been boarded off  for safety reasons.  I was unable to get a photograph of these boards before access was closed.  I have been unable to track down any photos through the Moonee Valley Council, Melbourne City Council, Australian War Memorial, RSL, or by relentless Googling.

Is is possible that anyone may have taken a photo of these boards - even accidentally at a 21st birthday party - that I could use to extract names for my database of Essendon and Flemington volunteers, and/or use to illustrate my website

The Moonee Valley Council did have the boards photographed to record their Community Art Collection, but the thumbnails used on the website are too small to read, and they cannot now locate the original photos. 
 Source:  Moonee Valley Council website - Arts and Culture - Community Art Collection: If you click on the image you can see the whole thing

The boards originated with various Friendly Societies, and two commemorating the Great War are from the PAFS (Protestant Alliance Friendly Society) and ANA (Australian Natives Association).

Another source of the same information might be a pamphlet printed for the unveiling of the boards, should anyone have one in a bottom drawer.

I would be very grateful if someone could come up with some photos or the information contained on the boards.