Saturday, October 18, 2014

Researching your Australian WW1 relatives

Photographic Records and Classification Subsection of the Australian War Records Section, June 1919, London

To be presented by Lenore Frost.  This talk will give you an expert overview of resources held at the RHSV and elsewhere to help you research your WW1 relatives.  Participants will gain insights and techniques at finding information and evidence of WW1 servicemen and women.

At the Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A Beckett St, Melbourne 
2 pm on Wednesday 22 October.  

Members Free, Non members $10.

Bookings essential on 9326 9288  or email office@historyvictoria.org.au  



9326 9288  or email office@historyvictoria.org.au
To be presented by Lenore Frost.  This talk will give you an expert overview of resources held at the RHSV and elsewhere to help you research your WW1 relatives.  Participants will gain insights and techniques at finding information and evidence of WW1 servicemen and women. - See more at: http://www.historyvictoria.org.au/events/researching-your-world-war-1-australian-relatives#sthash.hpu3BTS7.dpuf
To be presented by Lenore Frost.  This talk will give you an expert overview of resources held at the RHSV and elsewhere to help you research your WW1 relatives.  Participants will gain insights and techniques at finding information and evidence of WW1 servicemen and women. - See more at: http://www.historyvictoria.org.au/events/researching-your-world-war-1-australian-relatives#sthash.hpu3BTS7.dpuf

Departure of the first Victorian convoy, 1914



Infantry boarding the Hororata  at Prince's Pier, October 1914.
Tomorrow, 19 October 2014, is the centenary of the day that the first troops from Essendon and Flemington of the 6th and 7th Battalions departed Port Melbourne  on the Hororata to join the first convoy assembling in Albany, WA.    It was one of 17 troop ships that left Victoria in october 1914.

A commemoration will be held tomorrow at Prince's Pier.  You can see the program, which commences at 4 pm,  at the Anzac Commemoration website.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stories from the Supreme Court of Victoria Memorial Board

In the entrance to the Supreme Court in William Street Melbourne, there is a memorial board commemorating 158 lawyers and solicitors who served in the Great War.  In a commemorative project, the stories of those men have been put together in an online memorial.  The names are from right round Victoria as well as metropolitan Melbourne.  It includes, for instance,  Hugh Gordon Morrow of Ballarat and an old school friend Lt Col Harold  E Elliott.

Not many Essendonians are included, but one local on the board is  William Thomas Snowden.

There are many well-known names on the board, and a browse through them may be rewarding.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sgt James Grant Anderson's war

Driver Rupert Clive Jones, left, and Lance Corporal James Grant Anderson at the Alexandria Military Cemetery,  c 1915.

James Grant Anderson, on the right, a farmer of Essendon and Keilor, married Elsie Dixon in October 1913.  In September 1914 James stepped forward to do what he considered to be his duty as a citizen, and in October 1914 he left his expectant bride to do his earnest best in service of the Empire for the next four years.

Lovingly kept in the family, Jim's photos, letters, telegrams and souvenirs tell the story of his service, of his eventual longing to be home, and his attempts to be a father to the daughter he had yet to meet.   Three of Jim's brothers were also on active service.  Gordon Anderson's photo albums were posted about a few weeks ago.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lance Sergeant Fish, 2nd Field Ambulance

Souvenir in the Australian War Memorial Collection REL31249

This souvenir was carried by one of three people, brothers Lance Sergeant George Melrose and Private Charles Vivian Fish or their brother-in-law Private Walter Harold Brentnall. All three, from Melbourne, Victoria, served in 2 Field Ambulance, AIF. Brentnall returned to Australia in 1917 after he was wounded. The brothers, however, both died of wounds, George on 24 July 1916 and Charles on 17 April 1918. Their effects were sent home to their family. .... it is thought that this matchbox may have been picked up on Gallipoli and filled with pebbles and a shell from Anzac Cove......(Australian War Memorial)

Pte Charles Fish's personal effects were lost in the sinking of the Barunga while being returned to Australia.  Brentnall served on Gallipoli, and George Fish on Lemnos. This and other mementos were together with an identity disc belonging to G M Fish, and may well have been shells and stones George picked up at Lemnos.

George had been a 23 year old salesmen living in Mackay St, Essendon, when he enlisted in 1914.

Rod Martin brings us George Fish's story.

Friday, October 3, 2014

RSL Virtual War Memorial

Here's an interesting new website from the South Australian Branch of the RSL. 

http://www.rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/

Amongst other features is what appears to be nominal rolls for the different battalions (not only South Australian), for instance here is  one for the previously mentioned 58th Infantry Battalion:

http://www.rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/units/216/people

The list does not include the men who transferred in from the 6th Inf Bn, because it would take too long to go through individual files to work out who transferred.   It would have been compiled from Embarkation Nominal Rolls.


You can also search for individuals, and upload details of your relatives.

58th Infantry Battalion AIF Memorial Book

Detail from image in the Moonee Valley Leader 24 Sep 2014. The Memorial Book is on permanent loan to the Essendon Historical Society.
There has been some confusion between the 58th Infantry Battalion AIF, which created the Memorial Book, and the local 58th Infantry (Essendon Rifles), a Citizens Military Force which did not serve overseas, though many of its members did when they joined AIF battalions.

The 58th Infantry Bn AIF was formed in Egypt in 1916, after the Gallipoli campaign. The AWM website says that it was formed in part from fresh recruits from Australia, and veterans from the 6th Infantry Bn which had served on Gallipoli.
https://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11245.asp

Some Essendon/Flemington men served in the 6th Battalion and probably transferred to the 58th Infantry Bn in 1916, but it is not clear how many, nor how many subsequently died. The is not likely to be a very large number of local men included in the Memorial Book.

The 58th Infantry (Essendon Rifles) CMF provided many recruits for the 7th Infantry Battalion AIF which did serve in Gallipoli, and suffered grievous losses. After troops were evacuated to Egypt, half of the 7th Infantry Battalion were transferred to the new 59th Infantry Battalion AIF, not the 58th.

My research into the local AIF volunteers shows that only 32 locals joined the 58th Infantry AIF directly from Australia, though others will have transferred from the 6th Infantry Battalion in Egypt. The numbers would not have been very large, as only 100 locals embarked with the 6th Inf Bn in time to be involved in the transfers in 1916 – and not all of those would have transferred.

The association of the 58th Infantry Bn AIF with Essendon occurred after the war when the Citizen Military Forces were re-organised.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/58th_Battalion_%28Australia%29


The book memorializes men from all over Victoria.