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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

"This is my last goodbye to you...."

In December 1915 as 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Beaumont Mills steamed away from Australia and all he held dear, he prepared a letter for his wife Effie (or Fairy as he called her), to be handed to her three  months after his death was reported.  Effie received this loving letter after Cecil fell, and disappeared forever, at Pozieres in August 1916.

Letters written by Cecil to his wife Effie, and other memorabilia, were donated to the Australian War Memorial by their only child, John Mills.  They have lately been digitised and can be seen on the AWM website here. This letter starts at page 16.

Originally from NSW, Cecil was a bank manager with the ES&A Bank in Mt Alexander Rd, Ascot Vale when he enlisted.  He and his wife were living at "Gowrie", Ardmillan Rd, Moonee Ponds with a Mrs Wragge when Cecil enlisted and went to Broadmeadows camp for training.  Their little boy was only a few months old, when Cecil felt compelled to do what he considered 'a man's work' in the great trial of war.

Although the Mills had probably not been in Moonee Ponds for more than a couple of years, Cecil had begun to immerse himself in the local community, and was recorded on several honour boards in the district, as well as his school, the Glenbrook Public School in NSW.  These honour boards are listed on Cecil's webpage at The Empire Called here.


  1. Congratulations! Your blog is included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thank you, Chris

    As hard as it must have been for his wife and family to read that letter, I'm sure that it was treasured always.