The AIF’s 8th Light Horse Regiment (LHR) formed in September 1914, had among its ranks many Western District men. It was for that reason I was recently contacted by Dean Noske who is currently researching the 8th LHR in particular B Squadron. As I’m familiar with the 8th LHR, mostly due to the involvement of Edward Ellis Henty of The Caves Hamilton, grandson of Stephen G. Henty, I was keen to help Dean reach out to family members of the Western District men.
The following photo has been a favourite of mine, found among the Australian War Memorial‘s collection. Pictured are four Western District officers of the 8th LHR, Lieutenants Edward Ellis Henty, Eliot Gratton Wilson, Robert Ernest Baker and Major Thomas Redford. Also joining them in the photo was Lieutenant Borthwick of Melbourne. The relaxed nature of their poses and uniforms, the mateship and the baby face of Eliot Wilson have intrigued me since I first saw it.
The photograph is also one of the most poignant I have found, once one considers that within months of the sitting, four of the five soldiers were dead. They did not see service beyond Gallipoli, as they were all killed at the “charge at The Nek” on August 7, 1915. Only Robert Baker survived. Further reading about The Nek and the 8th LHR’s involvement is available on the following link – http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/2visiting/walk_12nek.html
A photograph in full uniform was also taken, depicting three of the Western District officers again with Lt. Borthwick and a unidentified man.
Those four Western District officers and the soldiers listed below are those Dean is seeking help with. If you are able to offer Dean any assistance by way of photographs, letters or stories, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
All names were sourced from the 8th LHR B Squadron Embarkation Roll.
BAKER, John Henry – Nareen
BAKER, Robert Ernest – Larpent
BARKER, Robert – born Yambuk
BORBRIDGE, Robert Henry – Ararat
BOSWELL, John – Woorndoo
BOWKER, Alwynne Stanley – Princetown
BROUGHTON, John Moffatt – Hamilton
CLAYTON, Henry Norman – Casterton
CORR, Reginald Clarke – Warrnambool
DODDS, Franklyn James – Warrnambool
FINN, Laurence Gerald – Port Fairy
FLOYD, Harry – Colac West
HAYBALL, Herbert – Camperdown
HENTY, Edward Ellis – “The Caves” Hamilton
HINDHAUGH, Russell George – Port Fairy
HYDE, Norman John – Cavendish
JOHNSON, Donald Matthieson McGregor – Warrnambool
JOHNSTONE, Percy – Camperdown
KERR, James Mark – Dartmoor/Portland
LEARMONTH, Keith Allan – Hamilton
McGINNESS, Paul Joseph – Framlingham
MITCHELL, William Albert – Cobden
MOORE – Samuel Vincent – Ararat
PARTINGTON, Thomas James – Heywood
PATTERSON, Hector Alexander – Casterton
PETTINGALL, John Thomas – Port Fairy
REDFORD, Thomas Harold – Warrnambool – Squadron Major
REGAN, Thomas – Camperdown
SUTHERLAND, Charles Tyler – Tatyoon
WALLACE, William Issac – Warrnambool
WEATHERHEAD, John Fortescue Law – Camperdown
WHITEHEAD, Eric – Minhamite
WILSON, Eliot Gratton – Warrnambool