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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Percy Fallshaw of the 39th Battalion

Crozier, Frank: The sinking of the Ballarat, 25 April 1917  (AWM ART 13329)
Joiner Percy Fallshaw was 24 and married when he joined up in January 1917.   He and his comrades in the 39th Infantry Battalion might not have made it to the charnel-house of Europe when their troopship, the Ballarat, took a German torpedo in the English Channel. The men were all successfully taken off the ship, and the 39th continued on its way.  Rod Martin takes up the story of the 39th Battalion's engagement at Broodseinde Ridge in September 1917, the Third Battle of Ypres towards the end of 1917, and then the hard slog of 1918 leading to the end of the war.  The Battalion was pitilessly worn down to a meagre 368 men, but Percy Fallshaw was one of those who came home.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

'WW1 - Love and Sorrow' Exhibition at Museum Victoria

The honour board at Museum Victoria, originally from the Newmarket Saleyards.
 Last week I visited Museum Victoria to see the two WW1 Exhibitions showing there - 'WW1 -Love and Sorrow', which is the Museum's own exhibition, and the one from the Imperial War Museum, the 'WW1 Centenary Exhibition'.  The latter will close on 4 October.

The Love and Sorrow exhibition is the story of eight individuals, told most poignantly with photographs, documents and relics. 
The honour board at the Pakenham Saleyards.
On the way out of the exhibition I was quite surprised to see the memorial board for the Stock and Station Agents of Melbourne, which I had thought to be located at the Pakenham Saleyards.  But on further enquiry it turns out that there were two honour boards.  The board that used to be at Newmarket Saleyards is the one now held at Museum Victoria. 

Deborah Tout-Smith, a senior curator at Museum Victoria, has pointed out that the ram's head at the top of each board appears to have been carved by a different artist.

The Museum is seeking further information on this board, and is also collaborating with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) to seek out further information about honour boards commemorating the Public Sector.  See the Museum website for a more detailed request for help from the public.

The men named on the Associated Stock & Station Agents of Melbourne board who lived in Essendon and Flemington are detailed on the Empire Called and I Answered wepage.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

38th Battalion on the spot

A machine-gun post on the Somme Canal - deceptively quiet in 1918. 

 Private William James Bale enlisted on Anzac Day 1917.  Once in England for training he became ill and spent some time in hospital and convalescing.  He did not arrive in France until February 1918.  Intended for the 59th Battalion, he was transferred as soon as he arrived in France to the 38th Battalion.  

Rod Martin outlines the Australians' campaign of 1918 that contributed to the end of the war, and William's part in it.