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

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.