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

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sister Emily Clare of Kensington died on Active Service

Sister Emily Clare, AANS, AIF
Trained nurse Emily Clare joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in November 1917, and was appointed a Staff Nurse.  Her training had consisted of 3 years at the Stawell Hospital.  There is insufficient evidence available at present to say whether she had begun her training before the war in 1914, or whether the war had been the impetus for her training. 

Staff Nurse Clare embarked on the SS Canberra from Sydney on 16 November 1918 - nine days after joining the AIF.  She was posted to the Victoria War Hospital in Bombay, India, where she nursed Turkish and German prisoners of war.   She was later transferred to the 34th (Welsh) Hospital in Deolali where she succumbed to pneumonia after catching influenza.  Her death occurred on 17 October 1918, less than a month before the end of the war.
Further details of Emily Clare's service can be seen here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

2nd Lt Henry Campbell Brady NOT awarded the Albert Medal

Originally the Albert Medal was created to recognise life saving at sea, but a number of mine disasters led to a medal for life saving on land, as shown above.    It was not a military medal, but during the Great War a number of awards of the Albert Medal were made to soldiers who risked life and limb to save others.  A common reason for awarding an Albert Medal during the war was for what was described as a "grenade incident".  The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918  webpage describes Albert Medals awarded to soldiers and sailors during the war, including three Australians.

2nd Lieutenant Henry Campbell Brady of the 29 Inf Bn was recommended for the award  in late 1917.  The recommendation read:

At DEVRES on 29th December 1917, Lieut BRADY WAS superintending live bombing practice.  Snow was on the ground, and men waiting for their turn to throw got very cold in the hands. As a result of this, men on three occasions, after extracting the safety pin dropped their grenades in the trench from which they were throwing.  On each occasion Lieut BRADY coolly picked the grenades up and, with only a couple of seconds to spare threw them out of the trench.  By his quick action and coolness he undoubtedly saved several lives. 

 By the end of 1917 grenade incidents had been ridiculously common, and in this case Brady was not awarded the medal.  The fact that no-one died, and the rescuer was not injured may have played a part.

Whether anyone in authority was criticised for allowing men in very cold conditions to practise with live bombs is unknown.  No medals earned there for common sense.

You can learn a little more about 2/Lt Brady here.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sydney Buckley, Harrier and Army Chaplain

Reverend Captain S L Buckley, chaplain.
A recent enquiry about the founder of the Ivanhoe Harriers had me hunting around for an image of the Rev. Sydney Buckley, who had also been a member of the St Thomas' Harriers while living in Moonee Ponds.  The above portrait turned up on the website of Ivanhoe Grammar School, as Buckley was also a founder of that institution. The webpage is no longer on the school website (3/10/16).

Sydney Buckley, harrier.

The Ivanhoe Grammar website also has this image of Buckley with pupils, taken in the 1920s.   He is wearing his Returned from Active Service badge on his lapel.

National Anzac Centre and Pat Dooley

Norval 'Pat' Dooley from the National Anzac Centre story on Sister Olive Haynes.
While having yet another look around for an image of Pat Dooley who married the Anzac Girl Olive Haynes, an interesting website unknown turned up an image of him, along with a story and immages illustrating the service of Olive Haynes.   The National Anzac Centre is based in Albany, the departure point for the First Convoy in 1914, but the stories are from other states of Australia and New Zealand.   

I have to conclude, after having found that photo of Pat, that he is not pictured in the photo of the St Thomas' Harriers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

100 Stories from Monash University

One Hundred Stories
The One Hundred Stories remember not just the men and women who lost their lives but also those who returned to Australia, the gassed, the crippled, the insane, all those irreparably damaged by war. The Great War shaped the world as well as the nation. Its memory belongs to us all.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Memories Dear - Stanley Vaughan

Private Stanley Paul Vaughan's memorial stone, Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli.  Courtesy of Kim Phillips, The Spiritis of Gallipoli website. 

Stanley Vaughan, 6 Inf Bn, was lost at German Officers Trench in one of the several badly planned attacks at Gallipoli.  Rod Martin tells the story.    

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Applications to Enlist in the AIF MT1486/1

An example of an application to re-enlist in the AIF, in this case ruled unfit.
NAA series  MT1486/1 includes Applications to Enlist.  Some of these forms are for men rejected on health grounds, some appear to have been accepted, and some appear to be from men who had not chance whatever of being accepted because of their health, but very likely wanted to qualify for a badge to show that they had tried to enlist.

In the case of Ru Jacobsohn, above, he had served in the Middle East, and on Gallipoli, with the 7th Infantry Battalion, and the above form reveals that he had been discharged with a gastric ulcer, though his B2455 also shows a wound to the shoulder and dysentery.  He attempted to re-enlist in 1916 and was found to be unfit for the AIF, but fit for Home Service. 

Not many of these applications have been digitised at the moment - the ones that are there may have been requested by researchers, perhaps.  Search them at the National Australian Archives. 

Melbourne Cup Day

Nursing sisters at 3 Australian General Hospital, Abbassia, lining up for a donkey race at a sports meeting,. 

 Good luck with your pick for today's Cup. Let's hope it isn't a donkey!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The YMCA at the front line

It's wonderful what you can find at the local fete.  Last week I picked up a little cloth-covered book called A Rough Y.M. Bloke by Frank Grose, without any idea of what it was likely to be about. I discovered an interesting tale by Grose who embarked as a YMCA representative with the honorary rank of 2nd Lieutenant on the Marathon on 9 May 1917.    Above is an illustration for the book by Daryl Lindsay, depicting the proximity to the front line of the YMCA support services.

This further drawing used in the book depicts Frank Grose pushing up to the Field Artillery emplacements fully laden with cigarettes, matches and newspapers to keep up the morale of the troops.  The bad roads made pedalling very hard work.    Supporting the troops with warm drinks as they came out of the trenches was much appreciated by them.  YMCA canteens could also be found in Paris and France for troops on leave to get a drink, read a newspaper, or write letters home.  James Anderson wrote a letter to his little daughter on YMCA notepaper.

The little book by Grose gives a useful account of the sort of work done by YMCA blokes both close to the front line, and behind the lines in France and England, particularly after the Armistice.

The book also contains a roll of honour of the Officers, NCOs and men of the 1st Divisional Artillery AIF who fell in the war, but it appears to include only enlistees from New South Wales.