Torquay Names

Anzac hat KIACharles ALTMANN

Service No:    1134
Rank:            Private
Unit:             24th Infantry Battalion

Born 1892, Mt Duneed
Son of John and Helena Altman from Mt Duneed
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Charles enlisted 6/03/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 10/05/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A14 Euripides
Served in Gallipoli
Killed in Action 29/11/1915
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool
– Sth Barwon
– Mt Duneed State School

Charles was 23 years old when he enlisted on 8 March 1915 and was appointed to complete basic training at Broadmeadows attached to the 24th Battalion. This unit had been raised in a hurry because of a surplus of recruits at the Broadmeadows training camp and a need to clear a few of them out to make more space. The battalion officially came into existence during the first week of May 1915, and the men sailed on HMAT Euripides on the tenth of that month.

The men arrived in Egypt sometime in July, and then spent the next two months catching up on the training they had missed at Broadmeadows. Then, on 28 August, they proceeded to Alexandria, boarded a ship and headed for Gallipoli, arriving there on 6 September.  Once having disembarked, the men were ordered to move to Courtney’s Post, one of the furthest advance points on the heights of Anzac Cove.

Life at Courtney’s Post had been precarious from the start of the campaign, the Turkish trenches being in very close proximity. The men at the post had already repelled one large attack in May.  24 Battalion was subjected to sniper fire very quickly and the new troops hurriedly learned to duck their heads.  Their stay at Courtney’s was to be short, however.  Two days later, they were ordered to withdraw, occupy White’s Valley and hold the garrison position at Lone Pine.

The position at Lone Pine had been captured by Australian troops on 6 August.  On a day when a number of feints were carried out (including the infamous and murderous one at The Nek) to distract the Turks from British reinforcements landing at Suvla Bay, the capture of Lone Pine stood out as a solitary victory – although at a horrendous cost in life and limb.  Naturally, the Turks wanted it back, and carried out regular sniping, bombardments and attacks on the position.  When it took over the garrison along with 23 Battalion, 24 Battalion was subjected to sixteen weeks of fighting that the Australian War Memorial tells us was so dangerous and exhausting that the battalions rotated between the valley and the garrison every day.

By 29 September, in addition to a significant number of casualties, the battalion diary indicated that 112 men were sick in hospital, suffering from afflictions such as dysentery. typhus and general debilitation.  When October began, the remaining troops were still rotating between White’s Valley and the garrison.  Even in the valley, however, they were not safe.  On 10 and 11 October, the diary recorded that shrapnel and shells were continually falling on them.  The men returned to the garrison on the twelfth and were subjected to continual bombing and sniping, and an enemy advance on one of their positions that was successfully repulsed.  The diary indicated that the enemy fire that day was heavier than usual. The battalion spent most of November at Lone Pine with only a week relief at White’s Valley. On 29 November the temperature was freezing, lots of shells falling at Lone Pine resulting in heavy causalities for both the 23rd and 24th battalions – totaling over 100 across all ranks – Charles was one of those killed in action on 29 November.


Anzac hatAlbert Leslie BACKWELL

Service No:    3478
Rank:            Driver
Unit:             22nd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement

Born 1896, Geelong
Son of Albert and Elizabeth Backwell from Newtown
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a stovemaker

Albert enlisted 18/07/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 5/01/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A19 Afric
Served in France, Western Front
Returned to Australia 21/3/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Albert, known as ‘Les’ was a stove maker working at the family firm of Backwell IXL Pty. Ltd. when he enlisted on 9 July 1915 at the age of 19 years. Les was attached to the 8th Reinforcements of the 22nd Battalion. The experience of serving with the 69th Infantry Battalion (Militia) prior to enlistment meant he was quickly appointed to the temporary rank of Corporal while training at Geelong.

The unit embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Afric on 5 January 1916 and on arrival in Egypt (23/2/1916) Les was transferred to the 57th Battalion and reverted to the rank of Private. Within two months he was transferred to the 10th Divisional Army Service Corps (AASC) and like many soldiers before him Les presented with repeated bouts of dysentery for the first seven months.

He landed in France on 19 June 1916 and later in the year transferred to the 5th Divisional Train Headquarters attached to the 1st Division Supply Column. He returned to Australia embarking on 21 March 1919 aboard HMT Kildonian.

As a grandson of the founder, ‘Les’ return to work as a fitter at the family firm of Backwell IXL Pty. Ltd., which has manufactured metal products in Geelong continuously since 1858. Les and Jessie (Williams) married in 1922 and lived in Newtown, then Geelong. He became a director in 1938 and was Executive Chairman for 34 of the 37 years he held Directorship of the Company.

Les became Mayor of Geelong from 1956 to 1959 and on 1 January 1960 was awarded The Order of the British Empire – Officer (Civil) [OBE] for his services as Councillor of the Geelong Council. He died on 10 April, 1983.

 

Anzac hat KIALeslie Charles BAILEY

Service No:    401
Rank:            Private
Unit:             5th Battalion, C Company

Born 1892, Geelong
Son of Isaac and Emma Bailey from Newtown
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a grocer’s salesman

Leslie enlisted 26/08/1914 at Broadmeadows as a single man
He embarked for overseas 21/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A3 Orvieto
Served in Gallipoli
Killed in Action 25/4/1915
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association

Leslie was a 22 year old grocer’s salesman when he enlisted on 26th August 1914, when the first call for volunteers was made. He had prior military experience with Senior Cadets and Garrison Artillery in the militia. He was attached to C Coy, 5th Battalion at the rank of Lance Corporal. They embarked two months later from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Ovrieto on 21 October 1914. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December for further training. The unit then embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign) on 5 April.

On the morning of 25 April at Anzac, the unit came ashore as part of the second wave. Leslie with four others under Captain Clement went out to the second ridge to capture the guns on the extreme left and none returned. While Captain Clement’s body was found just over the second ridge, Leslie’s body was never identified. It appears that some soldiers who found his body had cleared the pockets and taken the id tags which were lost.

Leslie is remembered at The Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 24), Gallipoli, Turkey.

 

Anzac hatSydney Harold BARKER

Service No:    3117
Rank:            Private
Unit:             57th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement

Born 26/5/1893, Jan Juc
Son of William and Ellen Barker from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a laborer – cleaner – trapper

Sydney enlisted 24/10/1916 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 16/12/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A7 Medic
Served in France
Returned to Australia 1/4/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Freshwater Creek
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool
– Sth Barwon

Sydney completed his basic training at Royal Park with the 1st Battalion Reinforcements. During his training he was transferred a couple of times finally being attached to the 57th Battalion, 8th Reinforcements. They embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Medic on 16 December 1916 arriving in England on 18 February 1917. He joined the 57th Battalion in France on 14 May as they were defending gains made at the Second Battle of Bullecourt. Later in the year, the AIF’s focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 57th’s major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September. During the battle on 29 September, Sydney was wounded in action with a gunshot wound to his right eye and jaw. He was invalided back to England returning to Australia on 1 April 1919.

Sydney returned to Torquay continuing to work as a trapper. In 1923 he married Elizabeth Drew and they continued to live at Torquay until the mid 1930s when they moved to Queenscliff and Sydney worked as a labourer. He died at Geelong in 1974.

 

Anzac hat KIAHarold George BELL

Service No:    20118
Rank:            Driver
Unit:             11th Field Artillery Brigade

Born 1891, Mt Duneed
Son of John and Ellen Bell from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a station overseer

Harold enlisted 24/11/1915 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 20/05/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A7 Medic
Served in France, Belgium
Killed in Action 8/10/1917
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool

Leaving his work as a station overseer Harold enlisted at Melbourne on 24 November 1915. He was initially appointed to the 19th Depot Battalion at Geelong at the rank of Private, transferring to Broadmeadows in January 1916 to complete his basic training. The following month at the rank of Gunner Harold was attached to the Field Artillery Reinforcements, and transferred to the 8th Field Artillery Brigade, 32nd Battery as Driver in April.

Harold (aka Sonny) embarked for Plymouth, England from Melbourne on board HMAT Medic on 20 May 1916. The convoy sailed via the Cape of Good Hope in order to avoid German submarines in the Mediterranean and arrived at Plymouth on the south coast of England on 18 July.

Further training was undertaken while in England, interrupted by a short stay in hospital with influenza and an absence due to Harold being AWL for which he was awarded 7 days forfeiture of pay. The 32nd Field Artillery Battery was reassigned to 23rd Field Artillery Brigade during the year. On 31 December he proceeded overseas to the Western Front with the Third Division, 23rd Field Artillery Brigade, the last division to do so, taking over part of the “nursery” sector near Armentieres.

With the reorganisation of the AIF units, early in 1917 Harold was transferred across different units before finally being attached to the 111th Howitzer Battery, 11th Field Artillery Battalion, a sub unit of the 4th Division Artillery on 11 April. Howitzers are designed to fire shells over high trajectories, providing steep angles of descent and usually operate from fixed positions. Because of their size, they are less mobile than the eighteen-pound field guns that were the mainstay of the Australian artillery. A typical artillery brigade usually contained four eighteen-pounder batteries, each possessing four guns, and one howitzer one. On 11 April 1917 the division assaulted the Hindenburg Line in the First Battle of Bullecourt. The battle was a disaster and 1170 Australian prisoners were taken by the Germans. In June it participated in the Battle of Messines. In September it participated in the Battle of Polygon Wood. After capturing Broodseinde Ridge, the unit moved forward to Zillebeke. In the second week of October the unit experienced heavy rains, forming a ‘sea of mud’, further exhausting already tired men and horses. They continued to repel the German advances. On 8 October with hostile artillery active on all roads and battery positions, Harold was killed in action. He was in a forward gun position along Menin Road taking ammunition up to the guns and while going up was wounded with a piece of shell. He stopped, had his wounds dressed and while doing so a high explosive shell landed into the position killing him instantly. There is no known grave for him. While he was buried at the location all forms of identification on the body had been removed presumably to send back home. A cross was erected at the site which was destroyed during the war. He is remembered at The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium – Panel 7

 

Anzac hatHerbert Victor BENSCH

Service No:    1720
Rank:            Corporal
Unit:             5th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement

Born 5/4/1893, Geelong
Son of George and Emma Bensch from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Herbert enlisted 12/02/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 14/04/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A18 Wiltshire
Served at Gallipoli
Returned to Australia 3/3/1916
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon
– Barrabool

Herbert enlisted on 5 January 1915 at Geelong assigned to the 4th Reinforcements to the 5th Battalion. He embarked for combat from Melbourne on board HMAT Wiltshire on 14 April along with 900 others. The following month he embarked for the Dardanelles from Egypt. They landed at Anzac as part of the second wave on 25 April. Shortly after landing Herbert with a strained back from a fall was also diagnosed with Myopia and was transferred to hospital subsequently transferred to Lemnos returning two months later to join his Battalion at Lone Pine. While fighting in this battle Herbert suffered shell shock and was admitted to hospital once again. While there he was diagnosed with Neurasthenia and a stigmatism resulting in him returning home on 2 March 1916.

Two years after returning home Herbert married Elsie Robinson, they had five children. Herbert was working as a linesman at Torquay before moving to Auburn where Herbert worked as an electrical mechanic. They moved around the Melbourne suburbs over the years, Herbert died in 1981 at Clayton.

 

Anzac hatAlbert BROWN

Service No:    3114
Rank:            Private
Unit:             58th Battallion, 8th Reinforcements

Born 1890, Geelong
Son of James and Francis Brown from Korrumburra
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Albert enlisted 24/10/1916 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 16/12/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A7 Medic
Served in France
Returned to Australia 21/4/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Sth Barwon
– Barrabool

Albert enlisted on 24 October 1916 while working as a labourer in Jan Juc. He was assigned to the 1st [Depot] Battalion at Royal Park. While training there he was transferred to the 8th Reinforcements, 58th Battalion. Albert embarked from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Medic on 16 December arriving at Plymouth on 18 February 1917. He was stationed at Hurdcott for further training before proceeding overseas to France on 14 May. Once in France he joined the 58th Battalion in the field at Biefvillers Camp. Later in the year the AIF’s focus of operation had switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 58th’s major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September. Albert was wounded during this battle and evacuated to hospital in England with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder and back. He was discharged in November and assigned to Depot’s in Hurdcott, Longbridge and Sutton Veny. The harsh English winter made it difficult to fight off chest infections and Albert was back in hospital during February 1918 eventually returning to Australia a couple of months later.

After the death of his brother John, Albert was living with his sister-in-law Olive at Dandenong with the occupation of foreman. He died in 1955 at Dandenong.

 

Anzac hatPhilip Percival BUCKLAND

ANZACS Online

ANZACS Online

Service No:    102
Rank:            Hon-Major Q.M.
Unit:             10th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron

Born 1881, Shelbourne/Maldon
Son of Charles and Margaret Buckland from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a stock salesman

Philip enlisted 25/09/1914 at Guildford, WA as a single man
He embarked for overseas 8/02/1915 from Freemantle on HMAT A41 Mashobra
Served in Gallipoli, Egypt
Awards included being Mentioned in Dispatches on 22/1/1919 and the Order of British Empire – 23/5/1919
Discharged in Egypt 13/11/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association

At the turn of the century, Philip Percival Buckland, at the age of nineteen enlisted for service in the Colonial Army to fight against the Boers in South Africa. He joined the ‘Victorian Imperial Bushmen’ even though he had little bush experience and was given the rank of Private, with service number 292. During the campaign Philip was wounded and invalided back to Australia arriving on 3 March, 1901.

With his prior 12 months war experience, he enlisted with the Light Horse just after volunteers were called for to fight in WW1. At the time he was a 33 year old Stock salesman living at Claremont, Western Australia. His parents had moved to their holiday house at Torquay from Geelong around this time. Philip was educated at Central College. They also had strong ties with Torquay. His brother was with a prominent Geelong legal firm and was secretary of the Torquay Improvement Association for many of its early years, he resigned from that role on becoming Secretary of the Shire of South Barwon.

He was initially appointed as Trooper to the 10th Light Horse Regiment (unit of 3rd Light Horse Brigade) moving through the ranks very quickly. By the end of the first month he was promoted to Squadron Quarter Mater Sergeant – a non-commissioned officer in charge of supplies.

On 8 February 1915 Philip embarked with the Light Horse for Gallipoli from Freemantle aboard HMAT Mashobra. This was with the first force dispatched from Western Australia and the only Light Horse Regiment raised there. The Gallipoli campaign saw the men’s introduction to war, albeit without their horses, and where the Regiment sustained heavy casualties, especially in the actions at The Nek and Hill 60 in August 1915.

He wrote in a letter home on June 9, 1915 “In places the trenches are only 12 yards apart and both sides keep on throwing bombs made out of jam tins filled with anything that is most likely to kill one. Our fellows are quite expert in catching these and throwing them back again. Our boys are splendid. They walk about with death hurtling round them in all sorts of fantastic shapes, just as if they were at a football match. The climate is ideal – bright sunny days like our spring, and little if any, rain. Tell anyone you know that everything you knit and send along is a kindness of God. If the people would only see the self-sacrifice of all these men there would be no theatres or dances, or so forth. They would just stay at home and knit and sew for the poor devils who are giving their lives and their all for their country, and the existence of the nation for generations to come. There are no heroes about the blessed thing, just a silent and grim determination to win through it all.

There are a lot of Geelong boys here – some old school chums. Dr. Finn, George Sandford, Austins, Armytages, Munday, Storrer, Monty Douglass and a host of others, even old Marshall Fox’s son, a mere lad, but a good one. Lots of our pals, and good ones, have gone and there are lots more to go. I am afraid, for the war must last a long while yet.”

During June the 10th Light Horse were positioned at Walkers Ridge. On the left flank of the Anzac position, Walker’s Ridge was of vital tactical importance. With the Turks making a determined effort to gain the ridge It was here a couple of days after writing the letter Philip was wounded with shrapnel wound to stomach, he returned to duty on 5th August.

On 1 August 1915, just prior to 10th Light Horse taking part in the action at the Nek, Philip was appointed temporary 2nd Lieutenant and Quartermaster appointment confirmed as 2nd Lieutenant on 7 August the day the battle started. For more information on this battle http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/2visiting/walk_12nek.html

The 10th went forward to meet death instantly, as the 8th had done, the men running as swiftly and as straight as they could at the Turkish rifles. With that regiment went the flower of the youth of Western Australia …   [Bean, Story of Anzac, Vol 2, p 617]

In September, what was left of the Regiment went on to Rhododendron Spur. The next couple of months there were more men being shipped to hospital because of illness than wounded. Philip too was sent back to Egypt, just prior to the Gallipoli evacuation, to recover from jaundice.

Following the Gallipoli campaign the regiment was bought up to strength and reorganised in Egypt, the men were reunited with their horses. Philip returned to his unit and with the rest of the Australian light horse they defended Egypt from the Ottoman Army advancing on the Suez Canal.

Through 1916 they drove the Turks across the deserts of Sinai, participating in the battles of Romani and Magdhaba. Philip was promoted to Quarter Master and ended the year back in hospital for two with a septic hand.

In 1917 Philip assigned to the 10th Light Horse was part of the Desert Column that advanced into Palestine. The regiment participated in the bloody battles to break the Gaza– Beersheba line and helped capture Jerusalem. 1 August 1917 seconded to Desert mounted corps rest camp, Port Said for a short period.

He returned to his unit and participated in the Es Salt Raid in May 1918. In August they were one of the regiments reequipped with swords and rifle boots, and retrained to take a more orthodox cavalry role. In their new role they took part in the rout of the Ottoman army in the Jordan Valley, a campaign the light horse referred to as “The Great Ride”. In September the 10th was the first formed regiment to enter Damascus. For his actions in these battles (March – September) Philip was mentioned in dispatched by General Sir EEH Allenby on 23 October 1918. Published in the London Gazette: 22 January 1919, then Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 23 May 1919

Turkey surrendered on 30 October 1918. After the end of the war, elements of the regiment saw action in putting down the Egyptian uprising of 1919. Philip was awarded the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1919

The King has been pleased to appoint to the most excellent order of the British Empire for valuable services rendered in connection with Military Operations in Egypt. To be Member of the Military Division of the said most excellent order. 1/1/1919 LP 8542 DO 5 287

His appointment with the AIF was concluded in Egypt on 30 August 1919.

In June 1927 Philip returned to Australia from Egypt a married man arriving at Freemantle.

By 1936 Philip and Kate were living in Torquay, then they moved to Malvern in 1937 where Philip was working as a stock agent / broker. In 1943 Philip was an invalid, possibly due to the injuries sustained in the war and they were living in Kew later moving to Carrum. Philip died at Cheltenham in 1957.


Anzac hat KIAMichael Philip CAHIR

Service No:    1634
Rank:            Private
Unit:             7th Battalion

Born 1891, Tungamah
Son of Thomas and Margaret Cahir from Elaine, Via Ballarat
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Michael enlisted 18/01/1916 at Ballarat as a single man
He embarked for overseas 27/05/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A11 Ascanius
Served in France
Killed in Action 16/12/1916
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon
– Barrabool

Michael, a resident of Elaine via Ballarat, had spent about eight months with Mr. J. Charles becoming very popular before he enlisted. His brother lived in the area, his parents in Malvern. Michael enlisted on 18 January 1916 at Ballarat attached to the 1st Reinforcements of the 39th Battalion.

Following a brief period of training in Ballarat, the 39th Battalion marched through Melbourne on 15 May as the city farewelled the unit and they subsequently embarked upon HMAT Ascanius on 27 May 1916, bound for the United Kingdom. Sailing via Cape Town, the battalion landed at Plymouth on 18 July 1916, and moved by train to Amesbury, before marching to Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. While undertaking the training the training here Michael was transferred to the 7th Battalion on 9 September proceeding overseas to France a week later. He caught up with his unit in the field on 29 September. The next day, the 7th Battalion, along with its sister battalion, the 8th Battalion, mounted a raid on the German line at Hollebeke with a force roughly equivalent to two platoons The raid was a great success, with the Australians overwhelming the defenders and capturing a section of the German line and killing up to 13 Germans, before withdrawing.

In October, the battalion returned to the Gueudecourt, Somme where they spent the winter months training and manning trenches. On 16 December, work in the front trenches pushed ahead through mud 4 ft deep in some places. Gueudecourt was heavily shelled at intervals during the day and enemy artillery fire was active. Michael was one of two men killed on this day.

 

Anzac hatJames William COOTSweb--Torquay-Coots-JW

Service No:    2808
Rank:            Lance Corporal
Unit:             14th Field Ambulance

Born 1892, Ballarat
Son of James and Mary Coots from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

James enlisted 28/06/1915 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 10/09/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A16 Star of Victoria
Served in France
He was decorated with the Military Medal
Returned to Australia 28/3/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

James enlisted on 28 June 1915 to join 9th Reinforcements of the 5th Infantry Battalion embarking from Melbourne on 10 September 1915 aboard HMAT Star of Victoria arriving at Egypt 7 January 1916.

By the time 9th Reinforcements arrived in Egypt, the decision had been made to evacuate Gallipoli. As a result, James and his compatriots remained at the Australian base at Tel el Kebir, training for the conflict on the Western Front. In February James was transferred to the 57th Battalion joining them as they sailed for Marseilles on 17 June, arriving on 23 June. Two weeks after arriving he was diagnosed with diphtheria and transferred to an infectious disease hospital in Boulogne, subsequently transferred to England. Healthy again, James arrived back in France on 1 December and was subsequently attached to the 14th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps which was assigned to the Fourth Division

Early in 1917 the unit spent much of its time around Vignacourt by October they had made their way up the Western Front to Reningelst in Belgium. At the start of the Third Battle of Ypres, James tended to wounded soldiers in the front line. On 26 October they were at Hooge Tunnel on the other side of Flanders Field, Ypres. During an extremely heavy barrage a shell landed near a group of 15 men about 250 yards away. The sergeant called to the bearers that some of the men were hit. James and 3 other men ran out of their dug out and helped the men back to the dugout. They carried the wounded to safety whilst under fire. For his actions that evening James was awarded the Military Medal on 20 November 1917.

The following March he was promoted to Lance Corporal. After participating in a number of other battles James returned to England for a well earned break and by the time he returned back to France the war was over. On 28 March 1919 he left England for return to Australia per Hospital Transport ‘Karoa’ as part of the nursing staff. They reached Melbourne on 8 May 1919.

Initially James returned to the family home in Geelong with his parents and brothers before marrying Rita Barwise in 1923. They moved to a farm at Nar-Nar-Goon and raised six children. When the Second World War broke out James was an unemployed farm hand living in Brunswick with the family. He once again enlisted in 1941 at the rank of Corporal and was discharged in 1947. He died nine months later.

 

Anzac hatClement Francis COOTS

Service No:    7222
Rank:            Private
Unit:             Anzac Cyclist Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements

Born 1895, Berrumbroke, Ballarat
Son of James and Mary Coots from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Clement enlisted 24/10/1916 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 19/02/1917 from Melbourne on HMAT A70 Ballarat
Served in France
Returned to Australia 26/9/1917
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

Clement enlisted on 24 October 1916 for a second time after his first application had been rejected because of poor eye sight. He did his initial training at Royal Park assigned initially to the 59th Battalion then transferred to the 5th Infantry Battalion, 25th Reinforcements. On 19 February 1917 Clement embarked with his unit from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Ballarat arriving in England on 25 April 1917. He was assigned duties in the depots at Larkhill and Wymouth before returning home in September.

He returned home to live with his parents in Geelong and working as a labourer. He continued to live in Geelong working as a labourer. Clement died in 1980.

 

Anzac hatJohn Rupert COOTS

Service No:    551
Rank:            Private
Unit:             2nd Machine Gun Battalion

Born 1899, Northcote
Son of James and Mary Coots from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

John enlisted 25/04/1916 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 1/08/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A67 Orsova
Served in France
Returned to Australia 1/11/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

John enlisted with the 3rd Reinforcements to the 2nd Cyclist Battalion at the age of 19 years on 25 April 1916. After his initial training at Geelong John embarked at Melbourne on board HMAT Orsova on 1 August 1916 reaching England in September. He proceeded to the training battalion at Chiseldon Camp. The cyclists were mainly used as despatch riders, they were also invaluable for reconnaissance and communications work, being lighter, quieter, and logistically much easier to support than horses. After a year training with the Cyclist Battalion John was transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion for further training. All companies were equipped with Vickers medium machine-guns.

On 12 October John proceeded overseas to France to join the battalion fighting in increasingly horrendous conditions around Ypres.

In 1918 the battalion returned to the Somme valley and helped to stop the German spring offensive in March and April. The battalion subsequently participated in the Allies’ own offensive, launched to the east of Amiens on 8 August 1918. This advance by British and Empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front, one that German General Erich Ludendorff described as “the black day of the German Army in this war”. Influenza overcame John and he was hospitalized in October then continuing to work at the base depots until he re-joined his unit on 22 January 1919. By this time guns had fallen silent and there was only the clean up to do. John arrived back in Australia on 12 December 1919.

On returning from the war John lived with his parents and brothers in Geelong and worked as a labourer. He enlisted in World War Two and still continued to live at the same house until his death in 1969.

 

Anzac hat KIAFrank Stanley DAVIDSON

Service No:    2961
Rank:            Captain
Unit:             5th Field Company Engineers

Born 1892, Ascot Vale
Son of Frank and Ellen Davidson from Newtown
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a architect

Frank enlisted 24/08/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 24/11/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A40 Ceramic
Served in Egypt, France
Killed in Action 15/9/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Frank Stanley Davidson went to school at Geelong College. On enlistment he was an architect who had done his 4 year apprenticeship with Messrs Laird and Buchan, Architects. The family had a holiday house in Torquay and his father Frank Lindsay Davidson appears to have been involved in community matters and possibly the Torquay Improvement Association, he was Vice President of the Torquay Life Saving Club in 1923.

Frank had previous 3 years military experience with the Public School Cadets when he joined the AIF at the rank of Corporal on 24 August 1915. During basic training he was assigned to the 5th Field Company Engineers embarking from Melbourne aboard HMAT Ceramic on 23 November. They arrived in Egypt and were stationed there as the AIF reorganised its structure.

In March 1916 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant attached to the 4th Division Company Engineers leaving for France. In June 1916 it moved to France, taking over part of the “nursery” sector near Armentieres. Its stay there was brief and soon it was accompanying the First and Second Divisions to the Somme sector. Frank was promoted to Lieutenant.

In August 1916 the 4th Division relieved the Second Division on the Pozieres Heights and repulsed a major German counterattack. It then drove north to the outskirts of Mouquet Farm. A second tour of the Somme at Mouquet Farm followed in September and a third at Flers in October.

On 11 April 1917 the Fourth Division assaulted the Hindenburg Line in the First Battle of Bullecourt. The battle was a disaster and 1170 Australian prisoners were taken by the Germans. In June it participated in the Battle of Messines. In September it participated in the Battle of Polygon Wood. Frank spent the remainder of the year going back and forth for further training including attendance at Bridging School at Aired in December.

The English winter affected his health and he was admitted to Didworth Military Hospital with influenza in web--Torquay-Davidson-FSJanuary 1918. The following month he was given command (temporarily) of the 1st Army Troop Company Engineers and granted temporary rank of Captain whilst in command. In May he was transferred to the 1st Division Engineers temporarily retaining the rank of Captain then in July transferred to the 2nd Field Company Engineers. He went on two week leave to the United Kingdom returning to his unit on 15 September 1918. Whilst he was in the Officers Mess at Rosiel a shell fell into the Mess. Frank was buried beneath the debris and was dug out but he died a few minutes later without regaining consciousness. The wound that caused his death was through the right temple and besides this wound there were numerous guns shot wounds to his body. He was buried at the Military Cemetery at Tincourt, France.

 

 

Anzac hatJohn Harold DAVIDSON

Service No:    2338
Rank:            Lieutenant
Unit:             7th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement

Born 1895, Ascot Vale
Son of Frank and Ellen Davidson from Newtown
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a telephone Engineer

John enlisted 27/04/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 16/07/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A64 Demosthenes
Served in Egypt, France
Returned to Australia 21/3/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

John attended Geelong College where he excelled at sport. The family holidayed in Torquay from Newtown, and his father was involved in the community. On enlistment John was a nineteen year old telephone engineer. He had prior experience as a Lieutenant in the Cadets and was attached to the 7th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements. He embarked for active service abroad on 16 July from Melbourne on board HMAT Demosthenes later arriving at Egypt. He served briefly in Gallipoli before being transferred to signal school at Lemnos returning to Anzac again briefly. In November John transferred to the 1st Divisional Signal Company followed by another transfer in March 1916 to the 4th Divisional Signal Company. Finally in April he was transferred to the 5th Pioneer Battalion and appointed 2nd Lieutenant from the rank of Sergeant. He embarked for France in June and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. His first major action in France was at Pozieres in the Somme valley in July 1916. After Pozieres the battalion fought at Ypres in Flanders then returning to the Somme for winter.

In 1917, the battalion participated in the operations that followed-up the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, and then returned to Belgium to join the great offensive launched to the east of Ypres.

In August 1917 John returned to England to the Pioneer Training Battalion for six months rejoining his unit in March 1918. Arriving in time for the battalion’s next battle, helping to stop the German spring offensive. It subsequently participated in the great Allied offensive launched near Amiens on 8 August 1918. Two months later John was assigned to be Assistant Adjutant before returning to Australia on 21 March 1919.

 

Thomas Brown Davies EDWARDS

Service No:
Rank:            Private
Unit:            New Zealand Army Reseserve, 1st Division

Born 1890, Rochford, Victoria
Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Edwards from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a linesman

Thomas enlisted 1916 at Napier, New Zealand as a single man
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Tom, son of prominent Torquay Edward’s family – Joseph Edwards and Elizabeth (later Mrs Woolf owner of Melba House & St. Heliers), was living in New Zealand when the war broke out. He enlisted in 1916 with the New Zealand Army Reserve, 1st Division. He married Gladys Dimant in 1919 and they shifted to West Perth. In 1925 Thomas was working as a supervisor. In the 1930’s they were living in Java where Thomas worked as the Manager at the Eastern Telephone Exchange. By 1943 they had returned to Victoria living in St. Kilda East, Thomas was a sub manager. After spending a few more years (1969-72) in New Zealand Thomas and Gladys retired to Torquay. Thomas died in 1975.

 

Anzac hatColin Ernest FOLLETT

Service No:    4036
Rank:            Private
Unit:             29th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement

Born 10/10/1879, Mt Duneed
Son of James and Anna Follett from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Colin enlisted 19/09/1916 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 21/10/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A16 Port Melbourne
Served in France
Returned to Australia 7/2/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Bellbrae
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

After the war Colin returned home to Torquay where he worked as a labourer. He died at Torquay in 1955.

 

Anzac hatJohn HARCOMBEWeb---Toquay-harcombe-J

Service No:    7015
Rank:            Private
Unit:             5th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcements

Born 1894, North Melbourne
Son of John and Harriet Harcombe from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a brass Finisher

John enlisted 11/09/1916 at Melbourne as a married man
He embarked for overseas 23/11/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A20 Hororata
Served in France
Returned to Australia 15/2/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

John junior, son of John Harcombe, owner of Melba House, initially enlisted on 12 July 1915. While in training he married Olive Uren. He had 3 years military experience with the Junior Cadets but was discharged in September due to Rheumatism. A year later, just after becoming a father, he enlisted again on 11 September 1916 with the 5th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement embarking with his unit from Melbourne on board HMAT Hororata on 23 November 1916. They disembarked at Plymouth on 29 January 1917.

The English winter brought on the Rheumatism and John was hospitalized for two weeks. After attending a little more training he proceeded overseas to France on 25 April 1917. The unit was thrown into the closing stages of the Second Battle of Bullecourt which had begun on 3 May 1917. The division was mainly responsible for holding on against German counter-attacks. After the Bullecourt fighting subsided on 17 May 1917, the 5th Division, along with the rest of 1st Anzac, was withdrawn for a long rest.

The 5th Division took over from the 1st Division following the Battle of Menin Road on 20 September, which was the start of a phase of “bite-and-hold” limited-objective attacks in the Third Battle of Ypres. During this battle John was wounded in action – he received a gunshot wound to the right ankle and thigh and was evacuated to hospital in England.

On 15 February 1918 he was invalided to Australia. John returned to his wife Olive and son living in South Melbourne. John gained employment as an electrician and the family moved to Alphington, they had another child. John died in 1963.

 

Anzac hatGeorge Alfred HOME

Service No:    33415
Rank:            Gunner
Unit:             12th Army A.F.A.

Born 1899, Violet Town
Son of George and Ruth Home from Wangaratta
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a student

George enlisted 17/02/1917 at Wangaratta as a single man
He embarked for overseas 11/05/1917 from Melbourne on HMAT A9 Shropshire
Served in France, Belgium
Returned to Australia 6/6/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

George, a student had just turned eighteen when he enlisted in the AIF on 17 February 1917. He had 4 years military experience as a Junior Cadet before being assigned to the 6th Field Artillery Brigade, 14th Reinforcements. He was given the rank of Gunner when training at Maribyrnong. He embarked from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Shropshire on 11 May 1917 to arrive at Plymouth on the 19 July 1917. Three months later he was proceeding overseas to The Western Front arriving on 13 October. Immediately George was posted to the 12th Army Brigade A.F.A, and in four weeks later George was hospitalized with P.O.U.O (Pyrexia of Unknown Origin – pyrexia being a fever). He was transferred to England, diagnosis was Trench Fever. Having recovered enough from his illness for furlo, he enjoyed New Years Eve and was AWL until late the next day, which he repeated two weeks later this time he was AWL for one week. He was awarded a total forfeiture of 24 days pay. In June George returned home for a medical discharge.

The Geelong Advertiser (6/8/1918) reports a cheery welcome home for him with the Torquay post-office all dressed up, students greeting him and singing ‘God Save Our Splendid Men”. His father who is now living on an extended holiday in Torquay responded on behalf of his son. Once recovered George returned to his study, becoming an articled clerk at Kilmore. He married Kathleen Turnbull in 1927 and in 1931 George was a solicitor living at Nyah West, Swan Hill with Kathleen. They separated and in 1938 he married Joyce Weir in 1938. They had four children and lived in Hampton. George died in 1978.

 

Anzac hatThomas Keddie MACFARLANE

Service No:    1910
Rank:            Lance Corporal
Unit:             4th Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement

Born 1889, Collingwood
Son of Thomas and Jane Macfarlane from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a electrical engineer (Mechanic)

Thomas enlisted 9/10/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 20/01/1916 from Sydney on HMAT A54 Runic
Served in France
Returned to Australia 23/7/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

Thomas was working as an electrical engineer before he enlisted on 9 October 1915. He was a single man, 26 years old when he was assigned to the 4th Light Horse Regiment, 13th Reinforcement; proceeding overseas on board HMAT Runic on 20 January 1916.

Thomas arrived in Egypt in February and underwent further training there at the Australian base at Tel el Kebir. The regiment spent 1916 engaged on rear area security tasks in the Suez Canal Zone. During this time Thomas was promoted to Lance Corporal and he was transferred to the 2nd Anzac Light Horse in July. Thomas was attached to the Commander, Royal Engineers at divisional headquarters in September. The 2nd Light Horse Regiment participated the Allied advance across the Sinai in November and was subsequently involved in the fighting to secure the Turkish outposts on the Palestine frontier – Maghdaba on 23 December 1916. Just after this battle Thomas contracted bronchial pneumonia and was invalided back to England on 28 December.

It wasn’t until April 1917 that he was well enough to march into the command centre in London where he remained for the rest of the war. During his time at London he was charged with crimes of being AWL a couple of times in June and July. Then in 1918 from April until July he was granted leave without pay for family reasons. He was discharged in London at the end of July as medically unfit and with the intention of living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

It appears he started to make his way home in August 1919 travelling from London to Hong Kong, China listed as his intended permanent address. By 1931 Thomas is listed in the electoral roll as an engineer living at Dandenong with the family Schnaars. He married Clara Schnaars in 1935. They moved to Warrnambool where Thomas worked as a labourer before moving to Canterbury as an engineer. Thomas died at Caulfield in 1952.

 

Anzac hatFrank MACFARLANE

Service No:    1748
Rank:            Private
Unit:             21st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement

Born 1892, Edinburgh, Scotland
Son of Thomas and Jane Macfarlane from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Frank enlisted 18/01/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 16/07/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A64 Demoathenes
Served in Gallipoli, Egypt
Returned to Australia 8/4/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Sth Barwon

Frank enlisted on 18 January 1915 at Geelong. He left Australia on the HMAT Demosthenes as part of the 21st Reinforcements for the 21st Battalion on 22 July 1915 and disembarked in Suez. The unit quickly moved to proceed to Gallipoli. It was an eventful trip, the battalion’s transport was torpedoed near the island of Lemnos and had to be abandoned. The battalion finally landed at ANZAC Cove on 7 September. It had a relatively quiet time at Gallipoli, as the last major Allied offensives had been defeated in August.

After evacuation from Gallipoli in December 1915, Frank with the 21st Battalion arrived in France on 26 March 1916. In April, it was the first Australian battalion to commence active operations on the Western Front. During the battle of Pozieres it was engaged mainly on carrying duties, but suffered its heaviest casualties of the war during the fighting around Mouquet Farm.

On 1 March 1917 Frank transferred to the 24th Battalion working as a cook for the unit. In May the battalion participated in the successful, but costly, second battle of Bullecourt. It was involved for only a single day ‘ 3 May ‘ but suffered almost 80 per cent casualties. The AIF’s focus for the rest of the year was the Ypres sector in Belgium, and the 24th’s major engagement was the seizure of Broodseinde Ridge.

Like many AIF battalions, the 24th was very weak at the beginning of 1918, but still played its part in turning back the German offensive in April. When the Allies took to the offensive, the 24th fulfilled supporting roles during the battles of Hamel and Amiens. At Mont St Quentin, however, it played a major role by recapturing the main German strong point atop the summit on 1 September.

The battalion’s last battles of the war were at Beaurevoir on 3 October and Montbrehain on 5 October. It left the front line for the last time on 6 October 1918 and Frank left France at the end of January 1919 marching into the 3rd Training Brigade at Hurdcott before embarking for Australia and disembarking on 22 May 1919. Once home, in August he applied to the AIF for free passage for his wife Margaret from Scotland to Australia.

In 1924 Frank and Margaret were living in Belmont. They moved to Celebration, Hampton Plains near Kalgoorlie, Western Australia the following year living near his brother John and his wife Emma. Frank was working in the mines.

 

 

Anzac hatStanley Randolph MACFARLANE

Service No:    3577
Rank:            Private
Unit:             29th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement

Born 1892, Malvern
Son of Thomas and Jane Macfarlane from Breakwater
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Stanley enlisted 3/03/1916 at Geelong as a married man
He embarked for overseas 1/08/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A67 Orsova
Served in France
Returned to Australia 17/3/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Sth Barwon

Stanley, a married man from Breakwater enlisted in the AIF on 3 March 1916 attached to the 29th Battalion, 8th Reinforcements. He completed his basic training at Geelong with the rank of Private. He left for overseas from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Orsova on 1 August 1916 arriving at Plymouth in September. The Battalion proceeded overseas to France in December.

In early 1917, the German Army withdrew to the Hindenburg Line, allowing the British front to be advanced. The Germans, however, made selected stands to delay this advance and the 28th Battalion was involved in defeating a counter-attack at Beaumetz on 23 March.

Stanley was charged with disobedience of orders on 24 July 1917 when he ate his emergency ration without authority and was awarded 2 days loss of pay. The only large battle in 1917 in which the 29th Battalion played a major role was Polygon Wood, fought in the Ypres sector in Belgium on 26 September.

In January 1918 Stanley returned to England on leave and while there became ill spending the next five months in and out of hospital re-joining his unit in France in June. On 27 July while in the trenches at Le Treport he was wounded in action with a gunshot wound which fractured his right forearm and consequently Stanley was transported back to England for treatment. By the time he recovered the war was over. Stanley arrived back in Australia on 30 April 1919.

He returned home to Kate living in Belmont and obtained work as a labourer. They had a daughter in 1922 and moved to Whittington shortly after. There were a couple more moves for the family –  to Corio, Geelong West and Belmont as Stanley tried other occupations such as basil worker and wool worker. He died in 1966.

 

 

Anzac hatNeil Joseph MUNDAY

Service No:    225
Rank:            Company Quartermaster Sergeant
Unit:             8th Battalion, B Company

Born 1890, Corio
Son of James and Teresa Munday from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Neil enlisted 17/08/1914 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 19/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A24 Benalla
Served in Gallipoli
Returned to Australia 13/12/1915
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Neil was working as an engineer having served an apprenticeship with Humble & Sons when Australia called for volunteers to enlist with the First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) for active service overseas. It was formed on 15 August 1914, following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. Four days later James joined the AIF and was attached to B Company, 8th Battalion. He entered with the rank of Private and trained at Broadmeadows with his brother James. After just a couple of months training Neil embarked from Melbourne on 19 October 1914 aboard HMAT Benalla. After a stopover in Albany, Western Australia, they arrived in Egypt on 2 December 1914. His brother James who enlisted at Melbourne the day before Neil embarked the same day on HMAT Wiltshire arriving a week later in Egypt.

HMAT Bennalla was one of the ships of the First Contingent to carry Australian and New Zealand forces to Europe. The troops were moved as a convoy due to reports of German armed cruisers lurking along the transport routes. The troopships sailed unprotected to Albany and from there moved out in one large convoy across the Indian Ocean on 19 October 1914. The light cruisers HMAS Sydney and Melbourne formed part of the armed escort. The convoy travelled under a cloak of darkness with just a hooded stern light and no radio. The voyage of the First Contingent was not without incident. HMAS Sydney left the convoy and headed towards the Cocos Islands to investigate news of the enemy close by. They engaged in battle resulting in the destruction of the SMS Emden.

Neil took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave. Ten days after the landing, his unit 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. His battalion returned to ANZAC to help defend the beachhead, and in August the 8th Infantry Battalion fought at the battle of Lone Pine. On 28 August Neil was promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant, the next day he was admitted to No 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station with entric. He was transferred to Mudros, Greece then a week later back to Heliopolis, Egypt before returning to Australia on 13 December for further medical treatment, arriving in Melbourne on 14 January with Enteric Hepatitis. He was sent to Australian Intermediate Base (Hospital) and placed on the 8th Battalion supplementary list with the expectation he would return in 3 months. Medical reports from February 1916 indicate he was fit to return to duty. He was given a week’s leave and instructed to report for duty on 4 March 1916. He continued on duty in Australia until his request for discharge was accepted on 3 August 1916.

Back in civilian life Neil resumed his occupation as an engineer and lived in Geelong. In 1922 he was living in Freemantle, Western Australia working as an engineer. Neil died 21 July 1925 and was buried at Busselton.

 

Anzac hatJames Joseph MUNDAY

Service No:    142
Rank:            Lieutenant
Unit:             4th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron

Born 7/7/1887, Geelong
Son of James and Teresa Munday from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a accountant

James enlisted 18/08/1914 at Broadmeadows as a single man
He embarked for overseas 19/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A18 Wiltshire
Served in Gallipoli, England, France
Returned to Australia 6/11/1918

His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

James was working as an accountant when Australia called for volunteers to enlist with the First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) for active service overseas. It was formed on 15 August 1914, following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. Three days later James joined the AIF and was attached to A Squadron as part of the 4th Light Horse Brigade. He entered with the rank of Private and trained at Broadmeadows. After just a couple of months training they embarked from Melbourne on 19 October 1914 aboard HMAT Wiltshire arriving in Egypt on 10 December 1914. His brother Neil who enlisted at Geelong the day after James embarked the same day on HMAT Benalla.

HMAT Wiltshire was one of the ships of the First Contingent to carry Australian and New Zealand forces to Europe. The troops were moved as a convoy due to reports of German armed cruisers lurking along the transport routes. The troopships sailed unprotected to Albany and from there moved out in one large convoy across the Indian Ocean on 19 October 1914. The light cruisers HMAS Sydney and Melbourne formed part of the armed escort. The convoy travelled under a cloak of darkness with just a hooded stern light and no radio. The voyage of the First Contingent was not without incident. HMAS Sydney left the convoy and headed towards the Cocos Islands to investigate news of the enemy close by. They engaged in battle resulting in the destruction of the SMS Emden.

Private Munday with his Regiment saw service at Gallipoli where much of their time was spent defending the precarious ANZAC position, most frequently around Ryrie’s Post, but its squadrons were involved in several minor attacks. While there, he was promoted to Armourer Sergeant. Illness such as septic hands and Enteric saw him admitted to hospital a few times late in the Campaign. The 4th Light Horse Regiment left the peninsula on the 15th December 1915 while James was in England recovering. James returned to his unit which had been reduced to two squadrons, one in France the other in Egypt. His unit was in France on 15 September 1916 but not involved in any major battles.

James returned to England in February 1917 to join the Cadet Battalion England at 1st Anzac headquarters. While there he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in June, returning a few weeks later to France. He was attached to the 38th Battalion who were involved in the battle at Messines, Belgium. It fought in another two major attacks in this sector – the battle of Broodseinde on 4 October, and the battle of Passchendaele on 12 October. Broodseinde was a success, reflecting careful planning and preparation, but the 38th still suffered 29 per cent casualties. Passchendaele, however, was a disaster, executed in haste amidst horrendous conditions brought on by torrential rain. On 29 November James was transferred to the 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar (A.L.T.M) Battery just after the transfer his Court Martial was held for the charge of ‘While on Active Service (W.O.A.S.) absenting himself without leave” for 27 hours. He pleaded guilty and was charged with 19 hours AWL, the sentence was to start his appointment as Lieutenant a month later. This sentence was quashed in February 1918.

In March 1918 the James still attached to the 10th ALTM as part of the Third Division was rushed to the Somme region to stem the German Offensive there. It clashed repeatedly with the advancing Germans, halting their advance at Morlancourt and Villers Bretonneux. James was promoted to temporary Captain in May and was in this role during the Battle of Hamel. His rank of temporary Captain was relinquished in August when he ceased to command the 10th ALTM after he was accidentally injured resulting in a contusion to his left foot and sent to hospital, first France then England. He returned home to Australia in November.

In 1926 he married Marion Johnson and they lived in Geelong with James working as a clerk. In 1933 Marion died, James changed his occupation to traveller and moved to Hawthorn. He married Ermyn Singleton in 1935. In the late 1940s James moved back to the Geelong area working as a manager. He died in 1955.

 

Anzac hatClove  MYERS

Service No:    72222
Rank:
Unit:             Recruit Depot Battalion

Born 5/4/1900, Geelong
Son of Clove and Mary Myers from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a clerk

Clove enlisted 7/05/1918 at Geelong as a single man
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Two days before his eighteenth birthday Clove enlisted in the AIF on 5 April 1918. He was working as a clerk in Geelong. He undertook basic training with the Recruit Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows Camp. While in training the war was coming to an end so he never embarked for overseas duty. He was discharged because of the AIF demobilisation on 24 December 1918 after having served 264 days service.

 

Anzac hatClive Austen RICHARDSON

Service No:    14124
Rank:            Driver
Unit:             Australian Army Service Corps

Born 1891, Geelong
Son of Austen and Laura Richardson from Newtown
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a clerk

Clive enlisted 4/10/1916 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 11/05/1917 from Melbourne on HMAT A9 Shropshire
Served in France
Returned to Australia 13/7/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Clive, the son of Austin Richardson, Torquay Improvement Association member and one time Vice Treasurer enlisted on 27 September 1916. He trained at Broadmeadows attached to the Australian Army Service Corps (AASC) Reinforcements. He embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT Shropshire on 11 May 1917 disembarking at Devonport on 20 July 1917. A week after arriving he was sent to hospital with the mumps discharged two weeks later. He continued to be stationed in England for another 12 months.

On 15 September 1918 Clive proceeded overseas to France and posted to the No 1 Coy AASC, then the No 3 Coy. He left France in June 1919 for return to Australia the following month.

Clive returned to work as a produce broker working at Dalgety’s, living in Newtown. He had an active role in the Barwon Regatta becoming treasurer in 1922, Geelong Hospital Gala Ball committee 1920. He married Edith Dunoon in 1932, they continued to live at Newtown where Clive worked as a clerk. He died at Geelong in 1982.

 

Anzac hatLyall RICHARDSON

Rank:             Lieutenant
Unit:              8th Light Horse Regiment

Born 28/6/1896, Victoria
Austen and Laura Richardson from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a permanent soldier

Lyall enlisted 1/01/1918 at  as a single man
He embarked for overseas 7/03/1918 from Melbourne on Ormonde
Served in Middle East
Returned to Australia 3/7/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Lyall became a career soldier after attending the Royal Military College, Duntroon from 1915 until his graduation in 1918. He was, the third son of Austin Richardson, Torquay Improvement Association member and one time Vice Treasurer. Lyall enlisted in the AIF on 1 January 1918 and was immediately promoted to Lieutenant based on his prior training. He embarked at Melbourne aboard SS Ormonde on 7 March 1918 with Special Draft, Royal Military College Graduates. They arrived at Suez in April and marched into the Isolation Camp, Moascar. A week later Lyall was posted to the 8th Light Horse Regiment. The focus of British operations at the time was in the Jordan Valley. In early May 1918 the 8th was involved in the Es Salt raid. It was a tactical failure but did help to convince the Turks that the next offensive would be launched across the Jordan. Instead, the offensive was launched along the coast on 19 September 1918. The mounted forces penetrated deep into the Turkish rear areas severing roads, railways and communications links. The 8th Light Horse took part in the capture of Tiberius on 25 September and Sasa on 29 September. During this time Lyall was in the role of Assistant Adjutant. He was admitted to hospital on 29 September with Pyrexia and was discharged on 1 October. The same day the regiment entered Damascus, and was resting in Homs when the Turks surrendered on 31 October. While waiting to embark for home, the regiment was called back to operational duty to quell the Egyptian revolt that erupted in March 1919 midway through this engagement Lyall joined the 3rd Light Horse Brigade for six weeks seconded as a staff trainee. Lyall and the 8th sailed for home on 3 July 1919.

After returning to Australia Lyall was initially stationed at Seymour. He married Constance McIver in 1920. They remained in Seymour for another four years before shifting to Ulverstone, Tasmania, then Randwick, NSW and Malvern, Victoria. He served as part of the Armed Forces in WW2 returning to Victoria. He retired from the AIF on 15 August 1947, holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Lyall died on 23 July 1963 at Parkville.

 

Anzac hatRoy Arthur RICHARDSON

Service No:    6572
Rank:            Lance Corporal
Unit:             5th Battalion, 21st Reinforcement

Born 1895, Geelong
Son of Austen and Laura White from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a bank official

Roy enlisted 19/07/1916 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 2/10/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A71 Nestor
Served in France
Returned to Australia 16/1/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Roy, the son of Austin Richardson, Torquay Improvement Association member and one time Vice Treasurer enlisted on 10 July 1916. He trained at Broadmeadows attached initially to the Signal School, then to the 21st Reinforcement of the 5th Battalion. He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Nestor on 2 October 1916 disembarking at Plymouth in November.

In January 1917 Roy went to France becoming ill and going to hospital for a week shortly after landing. He re-joined the battalion which was participating in the operations that followed-up the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, and then they returned to Belgium to join the great offensive launched to the east of Ypres. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in October.

In March and April 1918, the battalion helped to stop the German spring offensive. During the offensive Roy was hospitalized with scabies when he was discharged in May the battalion was providing working parties in the defence of Strazeele. They continued these operations until late September. However on 25 August, during the advance at Harbonniers the battalion was in the front line being subjected to Gas Shell (Mustard) bombardment. Roy was one of the 40 causalities from the unit on this day. He was evacuated to hospital in England and subsequently returned to Australia. He disembarked at Melbourne in March.

Roy returned to a role as clerk with the Bank of NSW and moved to Creswick where he stayed for a few years. In 1924 he was a teller for the bank in Hamilton and married Jean Sinclair in 1928. They moved to Deniliquin and across different towns in NSW as Roy was promoted through the bank to become Bank Manager. Roy died in 1957.

 

Anzac hat KIAHarold Leslie ROSSERweb--Torquay-Rosser-HL

Service No:    2989
Rank:            Private
Unit:             29th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement

Born 1898, Torquay
Son of Felix and Florence Rosser from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Harold enlisted 21/01/1916 at Ballarat as a single man
He embarked for overseas 4/04/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A14 Euripides
Served in France
Killed in Action 9/8/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Sth Barwon

Harold was a labourer from Geelong, possibly working at Ballarat where he enlisted prior signing up on 21 January 1916. He was initially attached to the 19th Training Depot at Ballarat before transferring to Broadmeadows and the 29th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements. Harold embarked with the 6th Reinforcements from Melbourne on HMAT Euripides on 4 April 1916 disembarking Suez, 12 May before heading across to England in June spending time with the 8th Training Battalion.

In September he joined the 29th Battalion in France and was wounded in action in November with a gunshot wound to the hand and knee consequently evacuated to England with those injuries and trench feet in December. Harold appeared not to be one to keep family and friends at home up to date about his health. From London in September Harold sent a letter home in response to an instruction from a superior officer. “I got rather a surprise today to receive word from you as to someone enquiring news of me. I have had late mail from Australia and my people had received my letters up to date. As regards to how I am getting on: I left France last November 25 and at present stationed at the above address and enjoying the best of health. Thanks for the trouble you have taken to find me”. Following his recovery, he transferred to the 65th Battalion in England before rejoining the 29th Battalion overseas in October 1917.

During 1918, the 29th fought in a minor attack at Morlancourt on 29 July, and then during the Allied Hundred Days Offensive that was launched on 8 August 1918, the battalion took part in the 8th Brigade’s advance up the treacherous Morcourt Valley, subsequently achieving a considerable feat by capturing the town of Vauvillers. Harold’s unit had reached their objective North of Harbonnieres and were holding position. The next day at 11:42 am the battalion moved forward to attack from the left of Harbonnieres under heavy machine gun fire. No other troops were moving on the right flank leaving the battalion open to heavy fire. Tanks that were supposed to support them had been put out of action early in the advance. There were heavy casualties being caused by machine guns firing from in and around Vauvillers. An order arrived to stay in position until it was possible to move without heavy casualties. The Coys marched by short rushes towards the objective and engaged the enemy machine guns with Lewis Gun and rifle fire. After a series of short rushes of crawling they achieved the objective, though one company had advanced through and beyond Vauvillers succeed to establish Lewis Gun Posts to cover the village. The new front line was established as a series of posts. The Commanding Officer noted in his diary that “Great bravery was exhibited by all ranks in advancing against extremely heavy enemy M.G. fire and ultimately silencing all opposition.”  AWM  29th Battalion War Diary 9/8/18 On this day 3 officers and 14 other ranks were killed from the battalion. After the morning advance, Harold a stretcher bearer approached some men who were with some German Prisoners thinking there was a wounded man amongst them. He was wounded at first by a pieced of shell in the arm and while he was being attended to another piece of shell hit him in the back and came out the front cutting a piece off his pay book which he had in his pocket. He and many of the prisoners died instantly. He was initially buried three-quarters of a mile North East of Harbonnieres, on the left of road to Rainecourt. A Chaplain officiated at his burial. He is now buried nearby at Heath Cemetery, Harbonnieres, France.

 

Anzac hatLawrence Henry RUDD

Service No:    6569
Rank:            Lieutenant
Unit:             Field Artillery Brigade 4, Battery 11

Born 8/1/1894, Ascot Vale
Son of John and Annie Rudd from Heidelberg
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a draughtsman

Lawrence enlisted 10/05/1915 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 18/11/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A18 Wiltshire
Served in France, Belgium, Egypt
Returned to Australia 6/5/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Lawrence, a draughtsman from Heidelberg enlisted on 10 May 1915. His father was Harry Rudd, member of the Torquay Improvement Association. Credit has been given to Harry Rudd for the foundation of the township. He would come from Geelong by horse or on foot on Friday nights for the weekend to fish in Spring Creek. He pushed for land sales and was the first to erect a house in Torquay. His son Lawrence was 21 years old when he enlisted with military experience in Cadets, (two years with the 55th Infantry). He trained at Albert Park and was attached to the 11th Battery, 4th Field Artillery Brigade with the rank of Gunner. Laurence embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Wiltshire on 18 November 1915 arriving in Egypt just before Christmas.

After three months in Egypt, he was shipped to Marseille, France, arriving 19 March 1916. Laurence was attached to the 2nd Division Artillery headquarters for three months. The Second Division was the first division to move to France, taking over part of the “nursery” sector around Armentieres. On 27 July 1916, it relieved the First Division at Pozieres and captured the Pozieres Heights at great cost. Another tour of the Somme followed in August. In September Laurence was attached to Brigade Headquarters in Belgium before embarking for England to attend the Royal Flying School. He graduated in May 1917 as a pilot and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He was then attached to 2nd Australian Depot with General Officer Commanding, Royal Flying Corps and promoted to Lieutenant. The following month Laurence was diagnosed with catarrhal appendicitis and transferred to England. He was discharged in September proceeding overseas to Egypt on 21 November.

He was now attached to the 67 squad AFC but he was transferred to Port Said hospital because of bronchitis. He had further bouts of debility over the next couple of months before embarking to France on 23 May 1918. However influenza recurred and he was taken off duties until he recovered. He returned to Australia on 16 June 1919.

After returning from overseas Laurence lived in Heidelberg working as an architect. He married Emma Edwards in 1923. They moved to Canberra in the late 1920s, then to Sydney two years later. Lawrence died at Chatswood in 1940.

 

Anzac hatVictor Franklyn SMITH

Service No:    3640
Rank:            Corporal
Unit:             58th Battalion

Born 1896, Jan Juc
Son of Robert and Christina Crompton (foster) from Geelong West
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a carpenter

Victor enlisted 11/08/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 5/01/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A19 Afric
Served in France
Three times he was mentioned in dispatches and was decorated with the Military Medal as well as the Bar to Military Medal
Returned to Australia 12/7/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Victor had previously applied to the AIF to enlist but was rejected on medical grounds – a hernia. His second application as a nineteen year old on 11 August 1915 at Geelong was more successful. He was attached to the 22nd Battalion, 8th Reinforcements to train firstly at Geelong then at Broadmeadows. He embarked with his unit from Melbourne aboard HMAT Afric on 5 January 1916. On arrival in Egypt (23/2/1916) Victor was transferred to the 57th Battalion. Two weeks after arriving at Tel-el-Keber Victor was admitted to hospital with Syncope, Hernia and later developing Pneumonia. He reported back to his unit in April which embarked from Alexandria for France arriving on 30 June. He joined the battalion in the field three weeks later at the time it was involved in the campaign of the Fromelles sector. Shortly after arriving he was admitted to hospital again with tonsillitis followed by the mumps.

Early in 1917 Victor suffered PUO [pyrexia of unknown (or uncertain) origin] and was again hospitalized and transferred to England. After recovery he was assigned to duty in England where he trained as a signaller at Windmill Hill Camp, just outside Ludgershall. At the completion of the training he was promoted to Lance Corporal in August. In September he re-joined his unit in the field. By this time they were in the Ypres sector in Belgium. Victor was awarded the Bar to the Military Medal for his “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on Peronne on 2 September 1918. This N.C.O. although a signaller took a very active part in organising and leading men in the attack on enemy posts. He showed great dash in leadership and greatly inspired men near him with his bold and offensive spirit. On one occasion he chased a part of the enemy single handed and succeeded in capturing them. As soon as the final objectives were gained under extremely heavy shell fire he established a signalling relay post and kept up communication between Coy and Battn H.Q. under very difficult circumstances. His splendid example of gallantry, determination and devotion to duty are worthy of recognition.”  E.Tivy Brig-General, Commanding 5th Aust Division

Victor then participated in the battle of Polygon Wood on 26 September. A couple of days later he went to the UK on furlough for three weeks.

With the collapse of Russia in October 1917, a major German offensive on the Western Front was expected in early 1918. This came in late March and the 5th Division moved to defend the sector around Corbie; the 58th Battalion was the 15th Brigade’s reserve during its now legendary counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April. For his actions on this day Victor was recommended to be awarded Military Medal “On the morning of 25 April 1918 near Villers-Bretonneux, East of Amiens the battalion had moved into the reserve line. An attack was expected at any moment on the front line and the whole line was subjected to heavy bombardments. There was no telephonic communication with the front line and the lines from Reserve Trench to Battalion Headquarters were repeatedly cut. Lance Corporal Smith again and again restored communication under very heavy fire. On the morning of the 27th the Battalion moved to the front line. Shortly afterwards the enemy put down a heavy barrage and the lines were cut to pieces. Lance Corporal Smith ran an entirely new line and again restored communication. It was mainly owing to the efforts of this man that information was got back in time to enable the artillery to do great execution among advancing Germans, breaking up the threatened attack.” J.T. Hobbs, Major-General, Commanding 5th Australian Division.

When the Allies launched their own offensive around Amiens on 8 August, the 58th Battalion was amongst the units in action, although its role in the subsequent advance was limited. The battalion was involved in the fighting to secure Peronne at the beginning of September and entered its last major battle of the war on 29 September 1918. This operation was mounted by the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions, in co-operation with American forces, to break through the formidable German defences along the St Quentin Canal.

On 25 December Victor returned to London. While in London at the end of the war Victor married Ethel Robinson and returned to Australia with her on board transport ‘Indarra’ which left England on 12 July 1919 arriving in Melbourne on 6 September 1919.

 

 

Anzac hat KIAMurray Charles STORRERweb--Torquay-Storrer-CM

Service No:    180
Rank:            Sergeant
Unit:             4th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron

Born 1894, Geelong
Son of Henry and Margaret Storrer from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a wool clerk

Murray enlisted 18/08/1914 at Broadmeadows as a single man
He embarked for overseas 19/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A18 Wiltshire
Served in Gallipoli
Killed in Action 5/6/1915
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Anglesea

Charles, the son of H.J.H Storrer, house owner and member of the Torquay Improvement Association, was a wool clerk working for Dalgety & Company, Geelong when he enlisted on 18 August 1914. He was a prominent member of the Barwon Rowing Club and Geelong Swimming Club. Charles had prior military experience with the Geelong College cadets and two years in the Cavalry with the 29th Light Horse. On enlistment he was attached to the 4th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron at the rank of Sergeant at Broadmeadows training depot. He embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Wiltshire on 19 October 1914 arriving in Egypt on 10 December 1914.

HMAT Wiltshire was one of the ships of the First Contingent to carry Australian and New Zealand forces to Europe. The troops were moved as a convoy due to reports of German armed cruisers lurking along the transport routes. The troopships sailed unprotected to Albany and from there moved out in one large convoy across the Indian Ocean on 19 October 1914. The light cruisers HMAS Sydney and Melbourne formed part of the armed escort. The convoy travelled under a cloak of darkness with just a hooded stern light and no radio. The voyage of the First Contingent was not without incident. HMAS Sydney left the convoy and headed towards the Cocos Islands to investigate news of the enemy close by. They engaged in battle resulting in the destruction of the SMS Emden.

The light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, and were subsequently deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. The 4th Light Horse Regiment landed on 22 and 24 May and its squadrons were initially scattered to reinforce the infantry battalions already ashore. Sergeant Storrer with his Regiment saw service at Gallipoli defending the precarious ANZAC position, most frequently around Ryrie’s Post, but its squadrons were involved in several minor attacks.

Neil Smith confirmed this in his book, Men of Beersheba:

‘On 1st June 1915 C Squadron was attached to the 4th Battalion and four days later supported an attack on German Officer’s Trench at which time the Regiment incurred further battle casualties. These included Pte William McGregor from Mitiamo and Pte Arthur Paulet from Traralgon who were both killed in action and Sergeant Murray Storrer, a 20 year old wool clerk from Geelong, who died of wounds. On this occasion the Turks poured shrapnel into the trenches for over three hours from 5.00 am. McGregor was observing at the time while sitting on the side of a dugout when a shell came through the bags on the parapet and blew the top of his head off. McGregor had not moved and still held his rifle firmly between his legs.Storrer too was hit in the head and lingered two hours before passing away. Next was Charlie Phillips who was just a few yards away from Storrer and having his breakfast, he too was hit in the stomach with a piece of shrapnel which came out near his spine causing him dreadful pain. Phillips gave up his struggle for life almost two weeks later’

Charles died at Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli from wounds on 5 June 1915. He is buried in Beach Cemetery, Anzac – Grave I.J.25, his epitaph reads simply ‘Beloved Son of Mr. & Mrs. H J H Storrer, of Geelong, Victoria.

 

 

Anzac hat KIAHenry Haigh STORRERweb--Torquay-Storrer-HH

Rank:             Lt (Hon Captain)
Unit:              Australian Flying Corps, No 2 Squadron, HQ

Born 3/9/1888, Geelong
Son of Henry and Margaret Storrer from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a accountant

Henry enlisted 1/10/1916 at Laverton as a single man
He embarked for overseas 25/10/1916 from Melbourne on HMAT A38 Ulysses
Served in France
Killed in Action 2/12/1917
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Anglesea

Henry, the son of H.J.H Storrer, house owner and member of the Torquay Improvement Association, was working as shipping clerk/manager at Mota Garage while in his final year at Victorian Institute of Accountants when he enlisted on 15 November 1915. He had prior experience in the military through his commissioned service in the 8th Australian Garrison Artillery. He was assigned to the 2nd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps at Laverton. He embarked for overseas service from Melbourne aboard HMAT Ulysses on 25 October 1916. Having applied to be commissioned officer in the Australian Flying Corps and the application granted on 1 October to the rank of Lieutenant. Henry arrived at Plymouth on 28 December 1916.

The following week Henry transferred to Carlton for higher instruction in Aviation re-joining his unit on 24 March 1917. Another course of instruction was undertaken at 22nd Squadron, Harlaxton. This was immediately followed by attendance at the serial gunnery school Turnbeery and wireless/observers school Brooklands. Finally arriving back at his unit in July he was promoted to Captain, graded as Flight Commander in August. Henry arrived in France on 25 August attached to the 69th Squadron. Then on 2 December 1917 Henry died as a result of a freak twist of fate. Henry and his observer (Lt. William Scott) had just taken off and turned to avoid a line of trees, when a sudden squall turned the plane upside down and brought it down onto the stone wall of Bailleul Cemetery. The two airmen were buried side-by-side in the cemetery

 

Anzac hatJames Dudley TASSELLweb--Torquay-J-Tassell

Service No:    8223
Rank:            Private
Unit:             2nd Australian General Hospital, Special Reinforcements

Born 1886, Gisborne
Son of Henry and Susan Tassell from Hawksburn
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a accountant

James enlisted 9/07/1915 at Ballarat as a single man
He embarked for overseas 18/10/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A17 Port Lincoln
Served in France
He was decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal
Returned to Australia 6/5/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association
– Barrabool & Sth Barwon Shire

James (Jack), an accountant and son of Henry and Susan Tassell, prior owners of ‘Tassell’s Hotel’ (Palace Hotel) in Torquay. Henry was an active member of the TIA. Jack was a day student at the Geelong College from 1901 to 1902. Jack enlisted on 20 July 1915 and was attached to the Depot & Clearing Hospital Reinforcements for the 2nd Australian General Hospital. He had 4 years military experience with Senior Cadets in Geelong. Jack embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Port Lincoln on 18 October bound for Egypt.

After arriving in Egypt, James spent his time performing battalion drills and route marches. In December he was transferred to 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance, Aerodrome camp just outside Heliopolis. Not long after in February 1916 he found himself sick with meningitis after working with patients with the disease. Jack re-joined his unit in March working at the base hospital until October when he reported for a trade test in Kantara. After this he was sent to London attached to 68th Australian Squadron Royal Flying Corps. He was to remain there for twelve months. On 1 September Jack was promoted to corporal and later that month was deployed for operations over the Western Front.

The unit was equipped initially with DH-5 aircraft, was a “scout” squadron, the main role of which was to escort larger, slower aircraft, seek out and destroy the enemy’s aircraft, and provide support for ground troops. In France, the squadron joined the 13th Army Wing, RFC, at Baizieux and its aircraft were involved in their first engagement on 2 October 1917. The squadron was soon drawn into the ongoing operations that constituted the third battle of Ypres, and was heavily involved in ground attack operations. This role continued during the battle of Cambrai (20 November – 7 December 1917). On the first day of the battle the Squadron losses were considerable.

In December 1917, the Squadron was re-equipped with SE-5 aircraft but its operations throughout the winter of 1917-18 were hampered by bad weather. The squadron was redesignated 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, on 4 January 1918. Early 1918 saw the squadron operate from a succession of airfields under the command of several RAF wings – 10th, 22nd and then 51st. Like much of the Allied air forces, the squadron operated at fever pitch during the German spring offensive to regain the initiative in the air and support the troops on the ground. In March Jack was appointed action sergeant and June, the squadron played a similar role in support of French forces when the Germans launched their Marne offensive.

The squadron’s last major operation of the war was flown on 9 November 1918. After the Armistice, squadron personnel were involved in evaluating captured German aircraft. The squadron relinquished its own aircraft and returned to the United Kingdom in February 1919, in May sailing for Australia aboard the Kaisar-i-Hind. On 3 June 1919 Jack was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, gazetted 3 June 1919.

 

Anzac hatArthur Reginald TAYLOR

Service No:    530
Rank:            Corporal
Unit:             5th Battalion, F Company

Born 1894, Corio
Son of Henry and Mary Taylor from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a joiner

Arthur enlisted 17/08/1914 at Prahran as a single man
He embarked for overseas 21/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A3 Orvieto
Served in Egypt
Returned to Australia 13/10/1918
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

Arthur, son of Harry Taylor, prominent member of the Torquay community and Torquay Improvement Association, was one of the first men from the Surf Coast Shire to enlist on 17 August 1914. He was attached to the 5th Battalion Infantry AIF ‘D’ Coy embarking from Melbourne aboard HMAT Orvieto on 21 October 1914. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December.

After some further training Arthur and the 5th Battalion embarked to join M.E.F. (Gallipoli Campaign) from Alexandria on 5 April 1915 aboard SS Novian. It later 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. The Victorian battalions forming the 2nd Brigade returned to ANZAC to help defend the beachhead, and in August the 2nd Brigade fought at the battle of Lone Pine. In October Arthur was sent to hospital at Lemnos with ‘gastric’ and influenza, a few weeks later he was transferred to Mudros.

Albert re-joined his unit on 7 January 1916 at Tel-el-Kebir and was promoted to Lance Corporal. Subsequently he was attached to the new Imperial Camel Corps (ICC) at Abbascus at the end of January. The Camel Corps role was to deal with the revolt of pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen in Egypt’s Western Desert. Arthur endured many long patrols and brief skirmishes with the Senussi. British commanders were impressed by the fighting qualities of the ICC and transferred them to the Sinai desert later in the year to deal with the Turkish army. Arthur was promoted to Corporal as the ICC fought alongside Australian light horse units at Romani. They were also together in the battles at Magdhaba and Rafa.

Advancing through Palestine the Camel Corps played an integral role. It suffered particularly heavily during the Second Battle of Gaza on 19 April 1917, when Albert was wounded in action with a gunshot wound to his right hand and consequently admitted to hospital. He had his right hand little finger removed. It was October before he was discharged. With weakness now in his hand he was assigned light duties. After the medical board hearing and reorganisation of the Camel Corps in December Arthur was transferred to the Light Horse in July 1918. He embarked from Suez on 13 October for his journey home.

Once home Arthur returned to Geelong to live working as a carpenter. He married Alice Jenkins in 1922 and they moved to Bendigo where Arthur was working as an inspector of public works. A further move to Malvern where he worked as a draughtsman, then architect. Arthur enlisted in WW2 in 1941 and was discharged in 1944. Arthur died in 1958 at Heidelberg.

 

Anzac hatJames Gordon TYLER

BillionGraves.com

BillionGraves.com

Service No:    3225
Rank:            Private
Unit:             6th Field Ambulance, Section A

Born 1891, Ballarat
Son of James and Emma Tyler from Ballarat
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a draper

James enlisted 10/03/1915 at Ballarat as a single man
He embarked for overseas 4/06/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A31 Ajana
Served in France
Returned to Australia 2/1/1919
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Torquay Improvement Association

A draper prior to enlistment on 10 March 1915 James trained at Broadmeadows with the 6th Field Ambulance. They were the Field Ambulance Company of the 6th Brigade, which was based on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th Battalions, all recruited from Victoria. They embarked at Melbourne aboard HMAT Ajana on 4 June 1915 arriving at Gallipoli on 30 August, 1915. They landed as the last Allied offensive had just come to an end, from then up until December 1915 when the Anzacs were evacuated from the peninsula, the brigade was not involved in any significant engagements.

After a rest and further training the 6th Field Ambulance left Alexandria on 19 March 1916 arriving in France on 27 March 1916. During their time on the Western Front, the 6th Brigade was involved in a number of major battles. James was in England during some of the battles but had returned to his unit to be involved in the Battle of Mouquet Farm during August and September. In December he was transferred initially to the 8th Field Ambulance then a week later 1st Division Supply Column.

In 1917 the 1st Division was involved in the pursuit of the Germans to the Hindenburg Line maintaining outposts close to that line around Lagnicourt. On 30 March James was attached to ‘K’ Supply Column, part the mechanical transport column. The 1st Division was involved in the Battle of Bullecourt at Legnicourt. The next offensive was the Battle of Menin Road which started in September. On 13 November James was transferred to 2nd Divisional Supply Column, then early in 1918 he was transferred to the 2nd Australian Mechanical Transport Company. The Division was taking part in the Battles of the Somme when James was wounded severely by a gunshot wound to his right arm and hand on 20 May. He was evacuated to England where he stayed attached to different training brigades until after the war. He returned to Australia on 2 January 1919.and to the drapery business in Ballarat, marrying Nell Heintz that same year. They had seven children and continued to live in Ballarat, James working as a draper. He died in 1943.

 

Anzac hat KIAAlan Brook WILSONweb--Torquay-AB-Wilson

Service No:    1922
Rank:            Lance Corporal
Unit:             46th Battalion

Born 1895, Geelong
Son of Donald and Wilhelmina Wilson from Newton
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a mechanic

Alan enlisted 5/07/1915 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 3/01/1916 from Brisbane on HMAT A55 Kyarra
Served in France, Belgium
Killed in Action 1/10/1917
His name is listed on the following memorials / honour boards:
– Puebla
– Torquay Improvement Association

Alan Brook Wilson, known as ‘Brook’, was managing his father’s property when he enlisted on 5 July 1915 at the age of nineteen. He trained at Seymour and Geelong until his embarkation at Melbourne on HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29 December 1915 attached to the 31st Battalion. They arrived at Suez on 31 January 1916. While training in Egypt he was transferred to the 46th Battalion, 12th Infantry Brigade and promoted to the rank of Corporal. After four months’ service in Egypt he embarked from Alexandria on the Huntspill, destined for the Western Front, landing at Marseilles on 14 June 1916. In July his unit participated in its first major battle at Pozieres. Initially, the battalion provided carrying parties for supplies and ammunition during the 2nd Division’s attack on 4 August, and then, with its own division, defended the ground that had been captured. The 46th endured two stints in the heavily contested trenches of Pozieres, as well as a period in reserve. In December Brook requested that he revert back to the rank of Private.

At the beginning of 1917 the battalion alternated between duty in the trenches and rest behind the lines. On 17 February Brook was wounded in action and admitted to hospital with a gunshot wound to his right leg and left arm and consequently transferred to England. He was discharged on 4 May and reported to Training Depot Wareham spending sixteen there before proceeding back overseas to France to rejoin his unit. At the end of July he was appointed to Lance Corporal, the same month the unit had become involved in the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres 8km from a railway junction at Roulers which was vital to the supply system of the German 4th Army. At the end of September the battalion had relieved the 13th Brigade at the front line. On 1 October Brook was killed in action while he was in a trench at Zonnebeke, Ypres and on a machine gun post when a shell landed, a piece entering his back severely wounding his shoulder just above his heart, he died half an hour later.

It was reported that Brook was buried about 1800 yards S.W. of Zonnebeke, just north of the Zonnebeke and Westhoek Road, 5,000 yards East of Ypres, Belgioum. Although a number of soldiers were found in that vicinity and re-interred in several adjacent cemeteries Brook’s remains were never identified. Though they could have been found, but with no identification it would have been impossible to establish his identity as was the case with hundreds’ of soldiers. Unidentified remains were interned as the “Unknown Australian Soldier”.

 


Names on on Honour Boards


 

Anzac hatCyril Ernest BENSCH

Service No:    81072
Rank:             Private
Unit:               Recruit Depot Battalion

Born 7/7/1899, Geelong
Son of Lydia Bensch and foster son to Samuel Bensch from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Cyril enlisted 22/10/1918 at Melbourne as a single man
Served in Australia

Cyril grew up in Torquay and was the nephew of Gustave Bensch who returned from the Western Front the previous year. He enlisted on 21 September 1918. After passing his medical examination and some investigation by the AIF into his German background, he was accepted into the AIF. The war looked like it was coming to a close so he stayed attached to the Recruitment Depot at Broadmeadows where he served 64 days before being discharged with the demobilisation of the AIF.

 

Anzac hatWalter James GRANT

Service No:    1051
Rank:             Gunner
Unit:               2nd Field Artillery Brigade, Battery 5

Born 1890, Fitzroy Sth
Son of Walter and Jane Grant from Geelong
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a farmer

Walter enlisted 28/08/1914 at Broadmeadows as a single man
He embarked for overseas 20/10/1914 from Melbourne on HMAT A9 Shropshire
Served in Gallipoli, France
Returned to Australia 31/12/1918

 

Anzac hat KIAArchibald Leslie McLEAN

Service No:    3202
Rank:             Private
Unit:               8th Battalion

Born 26/1/1888, Colac
Son of Robert and Susan McLean from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Archibald enlisted 12/07/1915 at Melbourne as a single man
He embarked for overseas 18/11/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A18 Wiltshire
Served in France
Killed in Action 18/8/1916

Archibald was born in Colac, grew up on the Bellarine Peninsula and lived at Warracknabeal when he left home. His parents had died before he enlisted at Melbourne on 12 July 1915. He listed his sister, Margaret Duffield as his next of kin.

Archibald completed his training at Seymour and was subsequently assigned to the 7th Reinforcements to the 24th Battalion. He embarked for service abroad from Melbourne on board HMAT A73 Commonwealth on 26 November 1915 destined for Egypt. They arrived around the end of January joining the rest of the Battalion which had recently been evacuated from Gallipoli. Archibald was then transferred to 8th Battalion on 24 February 1916. In March they sailed for France and the Western Front.

While in the trenches at Fleurbaix on 17 May 1916 Archibald was wounded by a bomb that landed at midnight killing 2 and wounding 1 other. Archibald suffered contusion of the eyes – particles in cornea and was evacuated to hospital for treatment. Archibald rejoined his unit from hospital on 29 July 1916 during the battle at Poziers in the Somme valley. A few days later the battalion moved to Canaples for a rest before moving forward again on 7 August. They had made their way to Sausage Valley located between Albert “Brickfields” and Poziers. Here was the scene of desperate fighting in the opening stages of the Somme battle in 1916, and became famous as the main avenue of communications with the Australian zone during the fighting at Pozieres, when it was regarded as one of the busiest thoroughfares on the whole Western Front. Such was the traffic that by July 1916 the valley had lost its covering of grass and become criss-crossed by hundreds of dusty tracks, along which constantly moved troops and transport of all kinds; reserve battalions bivouacked in old trenches and shell-holes; there were dumps of ammunition, rations and engineer’s stores…and in the shelter of the valley many British and Australian dead were laid to rest. While at Sausage Valley they fixed trenches and improved the communication lines often under heavy fire. On the 17 August the battalion received orders to relieve the 5th Battalion in the front line from Munster Alley to Tramline in preparation for an attack on the German trenches. They started their move at 0700. With everyone in place the barrage timetable arrived at 2030 too late to be communicated to the attacking Coys. As the barrage lifted the attacking Coys moved forward but came under heavy fire from bombs and machine guns. The line withdrew, reformed and attacked again with the same result. A third attempt was made with little success. It was during this battle that Archibald was killed in action on 18 August 1916.

 

 

Anzac hatIvan James McLEAN enlisted as John McCallam

Service No:    1587
Rank:             Private
Unit:               3rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement

Born 17/11/1889, Mount Moriac
Son of Robert and Susan McLean from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a station hand

Ivan (John) enlisted 10/12/1914 at Sydney NSW as a single man
He embarked for overseas 11/02/1915 from Sydney on HMAT A49 Seang Choon
Served in Gallipoli, France, Belgium
Returned to Australia 4/12/1918

Ivan James McLean a station hand and resident of Mt Moriac enlisted under the alias of John McCallam on 10 December 1914 at Liverpool, NSW. His sister Margaret Duffield was living in Torquay. While in training there was a court of Inquiry held into an alleged illegal absence for a day and removing articles from his kit. After training for eight weeks he embarked from Sydney with the 3rd Battalion aboard HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 11 February 1915. They disembarked in Egypt on 23 March 1915 after a voyage via Brisbane, Thursday Island, Colombo and Aden. He proceeded overseas to France in September 1916.

A court of Inquiry accepted that he was accidently wounded July 1917 resulting in him being invalided back to England for six months.

On 24 June 1918 Ivan was wounded in the thigh and foot by a bomb while defending the area of Strazeele Station and was subsequently admitted to hospital and transferred to England for recovery. Ivan returned home to Australia in December. He enlisted again when WW2 broke out but this time under his own name.

 

 

Anzac hatPercy Oliver MUSGROVE

Service No:    2731
Rank:             Driver
Unit:               23rd Ballalion, 6th Reinforcement

Born 1894, Meredith
Son of James and Hannah Musgrove from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a labourer

Percy enlisted 2/08/1915 at Geelong as a single man
He embarked for overseas 27/10/1915 from Melbourne on HMAT A38 Ulysses
Served in France
Returned to Australia 6/9/1919

Percy, a labourer from Torquay enlisted at Geelong just a few weeks after he turned 21 in August 1915. He was initially attached to the 23rd Battalion and embarked with them at Melbourne aboard HMAT Ulysses on 27 July 1915. While training in Egypt he was transferred to the 58th Battalion in February 1916 before they embarked for France in June. Not long after arriving in France, the 58th became embroiled in its first major battle on the Western Front at Fromelles on 19 July. The battle was a disaster. The 58th had the dual role of providing carrying parties and a reserve force. The reserve force (approximately half of the battalion) was ordered to attack late in the battle and was virtually annihilated by machine-gun fire; as a whole, the 58th suffered casualties equal to almost a third of its strength. Despite the grievous losses in its battalions, the 5th Division continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months.

Early in 1917 the 58th battalion participated in the advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, but it was spared from the assault. It did, however, defend gains made during the second battle of Bullecourt, between 9 and 12 May. Later in the year, the AIF’s focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 58th’s major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September. With the collapse of Russia in October 1917, a major German offensive on the Western Front was expected in early 1918. This came in late March and the 5th Division moved to defend the sector around Corbie; the 58th Battalion was the 15th Brigade’s reserve during its now legendary counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April. When the Allies launched their own offensive around Amiens on 8 August, the 58th Battalion was amongst the units in action, although its role in the subsequent advance was limited. The battalion was involved in the fighting to secure Peronne at the beginning of September and entered its last major battle of the war on 29 September 1918. This operation was mounted by the 5th and 3rd Australian Divisions, in co-operation with American forces, to break through the formidable German defences along the St Quentin Canal. The battalion withdrew to rest on 2 October 1918 and was still doing so when the war ended.

Percy returned to Australia on 7 September 1919.

 

 

volunteered badgeVictor George ROSSER

Service No:    52767
Rank:             Private
Unit:               Depot

Born 1896, Mt Duneed
Son of Felix and Florence Rosser from Torquay
His occupation prior to enlistment was as a fisherman

Victor enlisted 19/09/1916 at Melbourne as a single man
He served in Australia.

Victor, a fisherman from Torquay, having served some time with the Citizens Forces enlisted on 9th September 1916 not long after his 21st birthday. He passed the initial medical testing, however further medical investigation discovered he had a Tachycardia tremor and enlargement of the thyroid gland. The medical board found that Victor was not fit for active service. He was discharged on 26 September 1916.

 

 

 

 

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