Surf Coast

Website becomes a book

It has been five years since the research began on the men and women from the Surf Coast Shire who enlisted in World War One.

The results of the research into the honour boards and memorials that identified some of their community members has been published on this website in the early stages of the research. Since then over one hundred more names have been found and yet to be added to the website.

Now the research has been exhausted, the information has now been compiled into a book due to be launched next week. I would like to thank the supporters of the website and Facebook page who have contributed to extending the knowledge of one or more veterans and also for your support and encouragement of the research.

Through Torquay Museum Without Walls this comprehensive 460 page book, covering the 700 men and women from the Surf Coast Shire who enlisted will be distributed to local schools, public libraries, history groups, RSLs, as well as to families who assisted in providing details of family members who fought in the Great War or helped with relevant photographs and artefacts.

The book is abundantly illustrated. Seventeen short historical chapters deal with different aspects of the war, recognizing local veterans experience over those five years. The chapters discuss how they prepared for war, their experience at Gallipoli, the Western Front, the sinking of HMAT Ballarat, being part of the Charge of the Light Horse Brigade and the experiences of those left behind. There are letters from home and messages in bottles thrown overboard by those leaving our shores. The core of the book is the investigation into the location of the local memorials and honour boards, their history and who the men and women identified on these honour boards and memorials are. Wonderful photographs accompany each story.

Details of purchasing a printed or digital copy will be available soon.


On this day…..1914

August 4, 1914

Britain declares war on Germany
Australia pledged a force of 20,000 to be placed at Britain’s disposal.

August 10

Volunteer recruiting begins in Australia

August 17 – 26

Within a week of recruitment opening 13 young men with a connection to the Surf Coast signed up for what they believed to be an adventure and service to the country. Aurthur Reginald Taylor (Torquay); William Richard Grant (Deans Marsh); Murray Charles Storrer (Torquay, Anglesea); William McAdam (Modewarre); Albert Edmonds (Bannockburn); Edward Vienet (Ceres); Thomas Doyle (Connewarre); Herbert Marendaz (Mt Duneed); Percy Graham (Connewarre); John Cantwell (Freshwater Creek); Leslie Bailey (Torquay)

August 21

Rupert Vance Moon enlisted in the AIF

September 5

Albert Jacka travelled to Melbourne and enlisted after his initial enlistment papers were lost.

September 11

The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) seized German New Guinea and nearby German-ruled island territories

October 19

The first soldiers from the Surf Coast embarked from Melbourne aboard –
HMAT A24 Benalla – John Cantwell, Percy Graham, Thomas Doyle, William McAdam, Albert Edmonds, William Grant
HMAT A20 Hororata – Edward Vienet
HMAT A18 Wiltshire – Murray Storrer, Herbert Marendaz

November 1

The First Division of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) sailed from Albany, Western Australia, for Egypt.

November 9

HMAS Sydney destroys the German raider SMS Emden at the Cocos Islands, Indian Ocean.

November 26

Australian troops in Egypt