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Sept – LEST WE FORGET – Rev George Allen Stewart

Mt Duneed State School Honour Board

Mt Duneed State School Honour Board

George, was born at Mt Duneed and attended Mt Duneed State School before completing his education at Theological Hall, Ormond College, Melbourne. Prior to enlisting he had been a Presbyterian clergyman at Boort, his first ministry, for four years. He joined the AIF at the rank of Private on 8 January 1915 having had 3 years’ experience at the Rifle Club. He was attached to the 14th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements and trained at the Broadmeadows camp during which time he was promoted to Acting Corporal. The unit embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT A62 Wandilla on 17 June 1915 bound for Egypt then the Gallipoli Peninsula joining the rest of the battalion at Reserve Gully on 2 August. By this time the 14th Battalion had become known as “Jacka’s Mob” –  being led by Albert Jacka (Modewarre birth place and first Victoria Cross recipient). They spent the next few days preparing for the next offensive which was to become known as the Battle of Lone Pine. As well as supplies and sharpening of bayonets the troops were ordered to wear white bands on both arms and a white patch on their backs near right shoulder as distinguishing marks. Four days later the offensive started and the 14th Battalion moved with difficulty off the hill and down the gully to Beach Road. There were some casualties during the move. On 8 August, the 14th Battalion moved out in single file in the rear of the 15th Battalion and crossed Kaiajik Dere and then deployed in lines across the ridge in the attack of Hill 971 as part of the Lone Pine offensive. An advance was made under heavy rifle and machine gun fire consequently there were many causalities. George was one of 128 men who were missing from the 14th Battalion as a result of this offensive. The hill was taken at great cost, although Turkish reinforcements forced the Australians to withdraw. Five days later 6 men rejoined the unit, one of which may have been George as he did make it back to his unit some time before the next big offensive.

During the attack on Hill 60 on 27 August George was in the fighting line. His service record indicates he was wounded in the back, arm and foot subsequently admitted to hospital in Alexandria on 30 August. Five days later he succumbed to the wounds he received in action and was buried at Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria.

The Bendigonian (18 May 1916) reports that two of George’s comrades Corporal O’Cain, and Private Woistenholme who held George in high esteem sought to catch up with his brother Rev. John A Stewart to give him details of his brother’s fatal wounding at Gallipoli. “During the attack on Hill 60 on the 27th August, Corporal Stewart was in the fighting line. He was fifty yards from the Turkish trench when he was wounded with shrapnel on the body and with a bullet in the right foot. After being wounded, Corporal Stewart was seen praying with a dying comrade, and whilst in this act he met with the wounds that proved fatal. After Major Gillison’s death an application was made that Corporal Stewart be appointed a chaplain, but before a decision could be reached to this appeal of the captain, the attack on Hill 60 was made, with fatal results to the brave soldier, Corporal Stewart. During the attack on Hill 971, on 8th August, Corporal Stewart was seen helping to bring in the wounded, getting water from a well, and praying with the dying, being unarmed at the time. Corporal. Stewart reached Alexandria on 30th August, and was admitted into the General Hospital there. He was attended-by Chaplain Rankin. He was extremely weak, as three of his wounds were severe, the left arm and right foot being badly shattered. He lived for six days in the hospital, but suddenly collapsed on 5th September, 1915.”

 

 

 

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August – Lest We Forget – Battle for Lone Pine

LEST WE FORGET

The battle for Lone Pine, originally intended as a diversion, began on 6 August 1915, involving 22 soldiers from the Surf Coast attached to the Australian 2nd and 4th Infantry Brigades and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. While it was a victory for the Australians it came at a horrendous cost to both sides. Soldiers who died during the attack included:

contributed by  Winchelsea RSL

• George ANDERSON (Winchelsea) 8th Light Horse Regiment
• Leo DWYER (Winchelsea) 8th Light Horse Regiment
• Harry HOSKIN (Winchelsea) 8th Light Horse Regiment
• Roger PALMER (Winchelsea) 8th Light Horse Regiment
• Albert TOWNSEND (Moriac) 7th Infantry Battalion
• Edmund WHITTERON (Anglesea) 14th Infantry Battalion, 4th Brigade attack on Hill 971

Of all the stories of battles at Gallipoli the one of Lone Pine stands out. The ridge line was given its name because when the Turks were making roofs for their trenches, they chopped down every tree except one. The Lone Pine attack, launched by the 1st Brigade AIF in the late afternoon of 6 August 1915 was planned as a diversion for the Australian and New Zealand units that were to breakout from the Anzac perimeter by capturing the heights of Chunuk Bair and Hill 971. The Lone Pine attack pitched Australian forces against formidable entrenched Turkish positions. The 8th Light Horse Regiment who were deployed without their horses at Gallipoli, formed the first two waves, which was just a prelude to 4 days of intense hand-to-hand fighting, resulting in over 2,000 Australian casualties. The battle area itself was on an area the size of two soccer fields.

August – Don’t Forget Me Cobber

It has become known as Australia’s blackest night.

On 19 July 1916, the troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions attacked a strong German position, at the centre of which stood the Sugar Loaf salient, near the small French village of Fromelles. The overnight assault – the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front – was mainly intended as a diversion to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive further south.  The full story…  https://www.awm.gov.au/blog/2011/07/19/dont-forget-me-cobber-the-battle-of-fromelles/

DON’T FORGET ME COBBER – LEST WE FORGET

From the Surf Coast those Killed in Action at Fromelles 99 years ago are –

  • CLERY, Albert
  • SMITH, Charles Henry
  • LAMB, John James

Fromelles was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front. Directed against a strong German position known as the Sugar Loaf salient, the attack was intended primarily as a feint to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive then being pursued further to the south. A seven-hour preparatory bombardment deprived the attack of any hope of surprise, and ultimately proved ineffective in subduing the well-entrenched defenders. When the troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions attacked at 6 pm on 19 July 1916, they suffered heavily at the hands of German machine-gunners. Small parts of the German trenches were captured by the 8th and 14th Australian Brigades, but, devoid of flanking support and subjected to fierce counter-attacks, they were forced to withdraw. By 8am on 20 July 1916, the battle was over. The 5th Australian Division suffered 5,533 casualties, rendering it incapable of offensive action for many months; the 61st British Division suffered 1,547. The German casualties were little more than 1,000. The attack was a complete failure as the Germans realised within a few hours it was merely a feint. It therefore had no impact whatsoever upon the progress of the Somme offensive.    https://www.awm.gov.au/military-event/E159/

July – Lest We Forget: Charles Lyle Young

Today we remember and pay tribute to Trooper CHARLES LYLE YOUNG.

Charles Lyle Young was born on 12 March 1893 in Barnawartha, Victoria. He attended Geelong College as a border in 1909 and 1910 where he was part of the 1st VIII rowing team. After leaving school he worked as a station overseer at Bell Plains Station, Corowa where his father was the station manager. He also worked in a stock and station agent’s office and was a station manager when he enlisted as a single man on 29 January 1915. Prior to enlistment he had 4 years military experience with the Senior Cadets and was well-known throughout the Riverina as a good horseman and cricket and tennis player. He was assigned to the 8th Light Horse Regiment embarking for Egypt on 25 February 1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A16 ‘Star of Victoria’.

The 8th Light Horse arrived in Egypt after the bulk of the AIF had sailed for the landing on Gallipoli. It underwent an intense training regime over the next few weeks and, where possible, the men took in the local sights.

Following the Gallipoli landings, it was decided to send the light horse regiments to the peninsula, unmounted, to reinforce the infantry battalions there. In May the 8th Light Horse embarked for Anzac Cove, where it moved up to Walker’s Ridge into front-line positions opposite the Nek, and spent the following months rotating between front-line duty, supports, and rear areas. On June 27, 40 days before Birdwood began his August offensive, the Turks began shelling the trenches at Walker’s Ridge held by the 8th Light Horse Regiment. The Turkish barrage was part of a softening up of the Australian line for a frontal attack. Three days later, the Turks came hurtling down the hill from the Nek but were repulsed by the 8th and 9th Light Horse. A few days later, Charles was killed on 3 July. He is buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery.

May – Lest We Forget: John Alex MCDONALD

Web Conne-McDonald JA 2145John enlisted on 17 September 1914 a week after his older brother at the beginning of the war. He was attached to the 6th Battalion, 1st Reinforcements and training at Broadmeadows. On 22 December 1914 he embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Themistocles. The ship sailed in across the Indian Ocean, bound for Egypt arriving early February.

After intense training the 6th Battalion landed at Gallipoli as part of the 2nd wave on the 25th April 1915. While attempting to hold back the Turks John was reported on 8 May 1915 as being wounded, then reported as wounded and missing. He was pronounced killed in action by a Court of Enquiry held on 24 April 1916. In 1920 his body was found in a Turkish Cemetery at Pine Ridge, exhumed and re-interred in the Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli.

May – Lest We Forget Percy Graham

Courtesy Aunty Grace via Jen Graham

Courtesy Aunty Grace via Jen Graham

Nineteen year old Percy was one of the first from the Shire to enlist after volunteer recruiting began in Australia enlisting on 10 August 2014. He was allocated to the 8th Infantry Battalion embarking from Melbourne on board HMAT Benalla on 19 October 1914. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. Percy spent most the entire trip in hospital with piles and later in isolation because of measles. Percy took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave. Ten days after the landing, the 2nd Brigade was transferred from ANZAC to Cape Helles to help in the attack on the village of Krithia. The attack captured little ground but cost the brigade almost a third of its strength. Percy was one of the casualties of this campaign, he was killed in action on 2 May 1915.

Anzac Day

LEST WE FORGET – ANZAC DAY

Today we commemorate the ‘Landing at Gallipoli’ when 24 servicemen from the Surf Coast Shire went ashore at the Gallipoli Peninsula. They fought the soldiers of the Ottoman Army, mainly up on the ridges well beyond the beaches. The first group ashore landed at dawn; they were the so-called ‘covering force’ whose task was to drive the Turkish defenders into the hills. These men were from the other States. The men from the Shire were part of the main force that went ashore later. 

Anzac hat KIA Lest We Forget

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pte. Leslie Charles BAILEY (Torquay Improvement Association) and Pte. William Jacob FULLER (Connewarre) both from the 5th Battalion died at the landing on this day 100 years ago. LEST WE FORGET.
Their bodies were never recovered for burial, or, if recovered were not identifiable. They are commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 24), Gallipoli, Turkey.

Lest We Forget – April

remembrance

 

Private Leslie Charles BAILEY, Apollo Bay was Killed in Action, Gallipoli Pensinsula on 25/04/1915. He is remembered at The Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli

Private William Jacob FULLER, Connewarre was Killed in Action, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey on 25/04/1915. He is remembered at The Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli

 

Private  Alfred Ernest GREEN, Deans Marsh was Killed in Action, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial

Private Charles Leslie Wallace ANDERSON, Ceres was Killed in action, Ballecomt, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial

Private Sydney Gordon CHALLIS, Connewarre was Killed in Action, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial

Private Henry Donald McLEAN, Jan Juc was Killed in Action, France on 18/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Trooper George Thomas CLARK, Modewarre was Killed in Action, Gaza, Palestine on 19/04/1917. He is remembered at Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine

 

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Private Richard Thomas Henry STRIPLING, Freshwater Creek died as a result of illness while a prisoner of war, in Turkey on 30/04/1918. He is remembered at The Basra Memorial, Iraq

 

 

 

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Private Noel James BLACK, Wurdale died as a result of disease, in the Langnicourt sector, France on 26/04/1919. He is buried at Grevillers British Cemetery

 

 


 

 

 

On this day….. April 1915

On 4 April 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) received orders to hold itself in readiness to leave Egypt.  The forces departed Egypt in early April, assembling on the island of Lemnos in Greece, where a small garrison had been established in early March. After arriving on 12 April a number of basic practice landings were undertaken. During the Gallipoli campaign 97 residents left for overseas with 89 of them landing at Gallipoli / Dardanelles, with 21 of these in the initial landings. There were two soldiers killed in action at the initial landing. Overall 26 residents died as a result of the fighting on this peninsula from being a POW (1), killed in action, died of their wounds or died as a result of disease.

Practising for the Landing, Lemnos with 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade.     AWM PS1447

Practising for the Landing, Lemnos with 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade. AWM PS1447

OFF LEMNOS ISLAND, 1915-04-24. COLONEL ROSENTHAL SPEAKING TO 7TH BATTERY, 3 BRIGADE ARTILLERY COLUMN, ABOARD SHIP JUST BEFORE LEAVING LEMNOS ISLAND FOR THE DARDANELLES AND THE GALLIPOLI LANDING. (DONOR: P. SMITH, ESTATE OF R.C.N. SMITH) AWM P00821.004

OFF LEMNOS ISLAND, 1915-04-24. COLONEL ROSENTHAL SPEAKING TO 7TH BATTERY, 3 BRIGADE ARTILLERY COLUMN, ABOARD SHIP JUST BEFORE LEAVING LEMNOS ISLAND FOR THE DARDANELLES AND THE GALLIPOLI LANDING. (DONOR: P. SMITH, ESTATE OF R.C.N. SMITH) AWM P00821.004

Troopships in Mudros Harbour.    AWM H00205

Troopships in Mudros Harbour. AWM H00205