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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Returning by the Boorara, 1919

 Sergeants on the A Troop Deck of the Boorara, 1919.  Sergt Cyril Rae of the 1st Field Artillery Brigade is standing on the right in jodhpurs an spurs.

Living the good life.  This group of returning soldiers appear to have a little trouble doing up their jacket buttons. 

Can anyone identify any of them?  They come from the album of  Sergeant George Paton Wilson of the Veterinary Section.  He was assigned to an Artillery Brigade, and these men may have served with an Artillery Brigade.

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Prize for Australian history winner

Farewell, dear people: biographies of Australia's lost generation, by Ross McMullin, is the 2013 winner of the Australian History prize in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Congratulations to Ross, well-deserved recognition.

Lost Digger - Jack of the 20th Battalion - Updated

 Photo courtesy of Isabelle Godard, Vignacourt.

"Jack" on the left of the picture, had this photo taken in Montigny-le-Tilleul (Belgium) in 1919 and sent it to a French family in Vignacourt with his first name and his Battalion - the 20th - written on the back.  The family have kept that photo for all these years, and now would like to identify him.  Their enquiry ended up with The Lost Diggers volunteers to attempt to identify him.    

Volunteers Alison McCallum, Tim Lycett and Sandra Playle have identified the clues in the photo - his appearance fair, light coloured eyes, average stature, probably aged in his early thirties, late twenties  WW1 uniform, three overseas service chevrons on his right sleeve, and a wedding ring on his left hand.

After detailed research, Alison says "Jack had posted the photo to Vignacourt (Somme, France) from Montigny-le-Tilleul (Belgium) where he was stationed with 20th Battalion. Based on a search of the 20th Battalion War Diaries and the Quota lists and staff movement lists for 20th Battalion found in the diaries for 6 Feb - 30 April 1919, locating men with J as an initial, I started with a list of 90 surnames and initials. That was then narrowed down to any with Jack or John as given names. Finally further refined list working from clues in the photo, cross-checking with Embarkation Rolls, and Service Files and narrowed it to one soldier as a POSSIBLE."

I haven't included all of Alison's research here, but John Howarth Blythe served with a number of battalions, the 24th, 23rd, 17th, 19th, and in 1919 the 20th Battalion. 

Alison believes the soldier may be John Howarth BLYTHE of 27 Parsons St, Kensington who enlisted in 1916.  We would be very glad to hear from anyone who believes they can identify the man in the photo above, or confirm or otherwise his possible identification with Private 4622 J H Howarth.  PLEASE PHONE Alison McCallum  0400 063 718 OR E-MAIL

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Melbourne GPO Roll of Honour - updated

This gorgeous marble roll of honour is in the Bourke Street entrance foyer of the Melbourne General Post Office.

Updated:  Locals included on this roll of honour include E W Junier,   C P G Kaighin, and W E Wilson.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Military periodicals online

There is an extremely useful list of Military periodicals online at the Fibiwiki website - a website  of the Families in British India Society.  It covers many periods of the British Army, not particularly the Indian Army, and also the Royal Navy, and Air Force.  Definitely worth a look if you have British military ancestors.

Essendon Avenue of Honour

The Avenue of Honour on The Boulevard, from the western end.

A plaque at the beginning of the Avenue giving the background of the creation of the Avenue.  References to the 'Essendon League' should read 'Essendon River League'.

A plaque at the end of the Avenue, giving details of the Battle of Jutland.

One of the plaques installed at the replanting and re-dedication of the Avenue in 1999.  Each plaque commemorates a Royal Naval vessel which fought at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
See the full range of plaques in the Essendon Avenue of Honour.

Friday, August 2, 2013

58th Infantry Battalion (Essendon Rifles)

Only two people have been identified in this photo of members of the Essendon Rifles - Ru Jacobsohn and Captain R W Wells. Any further identifications are welcome.  Please see a larger version of the photo here.   Both Ru Jacosohn and Richard Wells volunteered in September 1914 and served on Gallipoli.   Wells was killed, which means the photo dates to pre September 1914.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Williams Bros Album

“Back from the line unwashed, unshaved.  The brothers Williams, both as fit as fiddles, France 8/5/17”. 
It has taken a while to load up the photos from the album of Gordon and Harold Williams, but they are finally on the website, and you can scroll through the photos, commencing from here.  The album covers the embarkation and journey to the Middle East of Gordon with 6 Field Ambulance, and a later period with 12 Field Ambulance in Belgium and France, where Gordon's brother Harold joined him in 1916.  The photos were scanned courtesy of Robin Benjamin.