Passing of the Pioneers

Robert Laidlaw becomes the fifth member of the Laidlaw family included in the Pioneer Obituary Index.  Others this month include a man who left Portland at an early age but often returned for a visit and another who lived at beautiful Bridgewater all of his life.  And why not?

Lindsay CLARKE – Died 16 October 1891 at Portland.  Lindsay Clarke was born in Ireland in 1818 and at the age of sixteen began training as a surveyor.  He arrived in Sydney some time after 1845 and Portland in 1848.  Lindsay’s role in Portland was Assistant Government Surveyor.  By 1851, he had done much surveying around Portland and further north.

"PORTLAND BAY." The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 - 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. .

“PORTLAND BAY.” The Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas. : 1835 – 1880) 15 Jan 1851: 26. <;.

Lindsay was promoted to District Surveyor for Portland, Hamilton and Ararat and spent some time residing in Ararat.  In 1873, Lindsay moved to Hamilton after the closure of the Lands Office there, and he remained there for six years until his retirement in 1879.

Lindsay Clarke was on the committee of the Portland Benevolent Asylum and Hospital and was in the role of President for ten consecutive years.  He was also a member of the Portland Borough Council and declined the Mayoral role when it was offered to him.  Another roll, was Justice of the Peace acting as Bailiff for the Western area.  He would attend Portland Court (below) every court day to fulfill his role as bailiff.


PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PORTLAND COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Lindsay was also Superintendent of the Sabbath School at the Church of England, a member of the Bowling Club; and Horticulture Society.

Mary MARSDEN – Died 9 October 1909 at Cobden.  Mary Marsden was born around 1833 and arrived in Victoria in 1854, living in Ballarat for around thirty years. Around 1887, she and her husband Roger Hirst settled in the Timboon district.  In her last years, Mary and Roger moved to Cobden where Mary died in 1909.

Robert LAIDLAW – Died 28 October 1914 at Beulah.  Born in Scotland in 1831, Robert Laidlaw arrived at Portland in 1851.  He spent time around the diggings before purchasing Lake Roy station near Naracoorte, South Australia.  He sold that property during the 1880s and retired to Geelong.  Two of Robert’s brothers, Thomas and Walter, have been Passing Pioneers in the past.

Richard BARNES – Died October 1915 at Hamilton.  Richard Barnes was born in South Australia around 1852.  He arrived in Penshurst as a child and remained there throughout his life.   Richard was well-known around Penshurst  through his community activities.  He was a founding member of the Penshurst P&A Society, a trustee of the racecourse and the recreation reserve. For six years he was  a Councillor with the Mt Rouse Shire (offices below)

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

PENSHURST SHIRE HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria.

Richard was also known as the “father” of the Penshurst Boxing Day Racing Club and was President of the club for fifteen years.

James Frederick HILL – Died October 1935 at Essendon.  James Hill was born in Portland in 1852 where his father was Principal of one of Portland’s National Schools.  As a young man James left Portland and obtained a job with the Chief Secretary’s Department.  Despite leaving Portland, he was a regular back to the town of his birth and was well-known by all.

Henry William OSBORNE – Died 20 October 1936 at Malvern.  Henry Osborne was born in 1865 near Amhurst in Central Victoria.  After a couple of newspaper jobs, Henry moved to Warrnambool working as a junior reporter for the Warrnambool Standard in 1886.  He was appointed Shire of Warrnambool secretary in 1898 and held that role for six years before resigning to take up the roll of General Manager of the Western District Co-operative and Insurance Ltd.  The company grew under the Henry’s management and his job also took him overseas.  In 1920, the Federal Government sent him overseas to negotiate the sale of Australia’s surplus butter.  He was selected to advise the Australian delegation at the Ottawa conference in 1932 and was a member of the Australian Dairy Producers’ Board.   There is an entry for Henry Osborne in the Australian Dictionary of Biography

John James KENNEDY – Died 20 October 1939 at Bridgewater.  The Kennedy family were early settlers at Bridgewater and John Kennedy spent his childhood days roaming the hills surrounding Bridgewater Bay and running on the sandy beach.

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John was born at Bridgewater around 1861 to James Kennedy and Margaret Lennan, and he lived there, following farming pursuits, for his entire seventy-eight years.  In 1939, three family members died at the Kennedy homestead on Blowholes Road overlooking the bay.  Along with John on 20 October, his brother Daniel died on 8 April and an aunt, Frances Ann Kennedy on 21 November.  More information about the Kennedy family and their homestead, now in ruins, is available on the link – Kennedy Family Bridgewater




Passing of the Pioneers

This November’s pioneers were an interesting bunch. There were the sons of pastoralists, a deputy coroner and the daughter of a convict ship surgeon. For me, it was mason Joseph Richards who caught my interest, arriving in a Hamilton in 1854 and pitching his tent on a block that is now part of the town’s CBD.  He later built the Hamilton Spectator offices.

Duncan ROBERTSON: Died November 1882 at Gringegalgona. Duncan Robertson was born in Scotland in 1799. He,his wife and three children travelled to Australia in 1838 first to N.S.W. and then Victoria. They first settled at Satimer at Wando Vale before Duncan purchased Gringegalgona near Balmoral in 1856.  His brothers John and William took up land at Wando Vale Station. More information about Duncan and his family is available at South-west Pioneers.

Charles Henry Fiennes BADNALL:– Died 20 November 1885 at Portland. Charles Badnall was born in Staffordshire  around 1830. He arrived in Victoria during the 1850s and first went to the Portland district with a government survey party.  When that work finished he married Mrs Hannah McKeand and they settled at Hannah’s hometown of Heywood before moving to Portland.

“Family Notices.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 19 May 1864: 2 Edition: .

Charles wrote for the Portland Guardian and was also a correspondent for the Hamilton Spectator. He sang with the St. Stephens Church choir and was one of the founding members. Across the weekend after Charles’ death, flags around Portland flew at half-mast including on boats in the harbour.  A biography of Charles is on the following link – Charles Badnall

St Stephens Church, Portland

Ann MERRICK: Died 11 November 1904 at Hamilton. Ann Merrick was born in Somerset, England around 1814 and married Edward Cornish in 1834. In 1856 with a large family, they sailed to Australia, landing at Portland. Edward’s first employment in Victoria was at Murndal Estate for Samuel Pratt Winter making bricks for the homestead which in years and several extensions later would look like this (below)

MURNDAL HOMESTEAD, Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T.Collins collection,  Image no. H97.250/31

MURNDAL HOMESTEAD, Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria J.T.Collins collection, Image no. H97.250/31

After Murndal, the family moved to nearby Hamilton and Edward made bricks for the Hamilton Hospital. The hospital was officially opened in early 1864, the year that Edward passed away.

HAMILTON HOSPITAL, Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H32492/2732

HAMILTON HOSPITAL, Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no. H32492/2732

Ann lived on in Hamilton for a further forty years and was buried with Edward at the Old Hamilton Cemetery

Patrick LAVERY: Died 19 November 1905 at Minimay. Patrick Lavery was born in Ireland around 1821 and arrived in Victoria with his wife in 1856. They settled in Heywood where Patrick worked as a blacksmith and farmer. After twenty-seven years, Patrick moved to Minimay to farm with his sons. At his funeral, there were forty buggies and twenty-five men on horseback behind the hearse as it travelled to the Minimay cemetery.

George Gilbert HOLLARD: Died 26 November 1912 at Wallacedale. George Hollard was born in Devon, England in 1817. He arrived at Portland in 1849 aboard the ship Bristol Empire and obtained work with Edward Henty at Muntham Station before returning to Portland. During his final years, George took up residence at Wallacedale with his son. He had great memories of the old times including the Governor of Victoria turning the first sod for the Hamilton-Portland railway in 1876.

“THE GOVERNOR’S VISIT TO THE WESTERN DISTRICT.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 28 Apr 1876: <;.

Mary OSBORNE: Died 11 November 1914 at Portland. Born in Ireland in 1825, Mary Osborne arrived in Australia as a ten-year-old. Her father Alick Osborne was a surgeon aboard convict ships and later became the member for Illawara, N.S.W. In 1852 at Dapto, Mary married Lindsay Clarke of Portland and Mary travelled south to Victoria to settle at Portland with Lindsay.

“Family Notices.” The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954) 28 Sep 1852: 3. <;.

On the journey to Victoria, Mary and Lindsay sailed aboard the Lady Bird which was reported to have been a challenging voyage. So much so, Mary and Lindsay disembarked at Port Fairy and continued the rest of their journey on horseback along the beaches between Port Fairy and Portland. Mary remained in Portland for the duration of her life aside from six years spent in Hamilton.

Joseph RICHARDS: Died 16 November 1916 at Fitzroy. Joseph Richards was born around 1830 in Cornwall and arrived aboard the Nestor to Portland in 1854, with his wife Elizabeth and two young children.  After their arrival, the Nestor was scuttled by the crew eager to get to the goldfields. This account of the Nestor’s demise is from the obituary of Henry Barcham, first mate on the ship.

“[No heading].” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 19 Sep 1910: 2 Edition: <;.

Joseph arrived in Hamilton, then known as The Grange, in November 1854 when there were few residents. Joseph pitched his tent on a piece of land at what is now the corner of Brown and French Street. From the clues given in his obituary I believe it was the corner with the brick house (below).  A couple of years later he purchased a block in French Street, building a home and residing there until into his seventies.

Joseph was a mason and his first job in Hamilton was to slate the roof of the Victoria Hotel which opened in 1855.  He also won the contract to build the office of the Hamilton Spectator (below), constructed in 1873.



The last eight years of Joseph’s life were spent living with his son in Fitzroy.  He was eighty-six when he passed away and his body was returned to Hamilton by train. Joseph was buried in the Old Hamilton Cemetery.

George TURNBULL: Died 19 November 1917 at Hamilton. George Turnbull was born in 1858 at Mt. Koroite near Coleraine to Adam Turnbull and Margaret Young. George’s father and grandfather Dr. Adam Turnbull snr were in partnership on the property Winninburn. George tried working for the bank but it was not for him and he returned to Winninburn to farm. He was involved with the St Andrews Church and Sunday School.

WINNINBURN.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria JT. Collins Collection.  Image no, H98.250/295

WINNINBURN. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria JT. Collins Collection. Image no, H98.250/295

Frederick SPENCER: Died 16 November 1923 at Hamilton. Frederick Spencer was born  in 1853 at Portland. As an adult he took up residence at Dartmoor and was a Justice of the Peace. In 1911, he was appointed Deputy Coroner for Dartmoor, a role that was long overdue according to the Portland Guardian’s Dartmoor correspondent.

“Dartmoor.” Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953) 22 May 1911: 3 Edition: EVENING. <;.

Two obituaries for Frederick appeared in the Portland Guardian, the first on 10 December 1923 that stated he had lived to “be a little over the allotted span.” Frederick was seventy. He was known for his dry wit making him a popular chairman at functions. Three of Frederick’s sons served at Gallipoli.  One lost his life while another was hospitalised for three years because of the effects of gas.

John Samuel McDONALD: Died 25 November 1932 at Portland. John McDonald was born in Scotland around 1837 and arrived in Victoria when he was seven aboard the Tamerlane. His father had arrived at Portland several years before so John, travelling alone, was placed under the care of the ship’s captain. John’s father went on to build Mac’s Hotel in Portland in 1855.

“DOMESTIC NEWS.” Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876) 11 Jun 1855: 2 Edition: EVENING. Web. .



While his father was building a hotel, John was at the diggings in the hunt for gold. After some years, he settled at Strathdownie. During the 1870s, he married Eliza McDonald of Horsham and the had a family of ten children.

Passing of the Pioneers

June Passing of the Pioneers features the obituaries of several former Councillors, Mayors and a Mayoress. There are members of well known pioneering families and a man who died with no other relatives in Australia. There is also a Hamilton cricket champion who had the potential to play for Australia.

William RUTLEDGE: Died 1 June 1876 at Farnham. William Rutledge, born in Ireland, arrived in Sydney in 1833 aged around twenty-seven.  After his marriage in 1839, he headed south to Queanbeyan, N.S.W. then Kilmore, Victoria in 1840.  A visit to Port Fairy in 1843 saw him buy the business of John Cox and he transformed it into William Rutledge & Co, importers.  He also selected a large amount of  land at Farnham near Koroit.  William also sat on the first Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1851. The Christ Church Anglican church at  Warrnambool has a  memorial window dedicated to the memory of William.

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from

DEATH OF MR. WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, OF FARNHAM. (1876, June 2). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 5. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from

A biography of William Rutledge (below) by Martha Rutledge in the Australian Dictionary of Biography tells of Edward Henty having referred to William as “Terrible Billy”.

WILLIAM RUTLEGE.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

WILLIAM RUTLEGE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H5056/68

George OSBORNE: Died 14 June 1884 at Geelong. George Osborne was born in Sydney around 1809, his father a member of the 45th Regiment of Foot. George was a ship maker’s apprentice and worked on a whaling ship as ship’s carpenter.  George first arrived in Victoria in 1840 at Portland. He then went to Melbourne before returning to Portland where he remained with his family. While he had lived in Portland for twenty-five years, after his wife’s death, George moved amongst his family members until his death. He was buried at the Port Fairy Cemetery.

Eliza PITTS: Died 2 June 1914 at Edenhope. As an infant, Elizabeth Pitts travelled to Victoria with her parents aboard the “Severn” in 1846 and they settled at Wattle Hill, Portland. In 1860, Elizabeth married Richard Guthridge. They raised a family of six sons and six daughters. Son Frederick has also been a Passing Pioneer. In the early years of their marriage, Richard and Eliza moved several times between Portland, Mt Gambier and Carapook before settling in the Edenhope district. They were a well respected family, renown for their longevity.

Walter DISS: Died 3 June 1916 at Port Fairy. Walter Diss died with no relatives in Australia. He was born in London around 1851 and arrived in Victoria during the 1880s. He ran bakery businesses in Port Fairy and for a time ran the Exchange Hotel at Sale, East Gippsland. He returned to Port Fairy after the death of his wife, two years before his own passing.

Ellen MALONE: Died 20 June 1916 at Killarney. Born in Queen’s County, Ireland around 1831, Ellen arrived at Portland in 1855 aboard the Caringorm.  In 1856, she married Thomas Shanley and they settled at Killarney and raised seven children. At the time of her death, Ellen had forty-two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Robert WOOD: Died 27 June 1917 at Warrnambool. Robert Wood was born in Scotland in 1847 and arrived at Port Fairy, with his parents, aboard the Athletae in 1854. He farmed around  Hopkins Point and Woodford before taking up a job as a storeman for R.H. Patterson of Warrnambool. He had a strong association with the Warrnambool Fire Brigade, serving as a member for forty-two years, twenty years of which he was the station keeper.

Agnetta VIGAR: Died 24 June 1917 at Ararat. Agnetta Vigar was born on the island of Guernsey around 1831. She arrived in Adelaide in 1852 and married William Aggett. They moved to Ararat during the 1860s, settling on the Stawell Road.  She left one son, Thomas, serving in Europe at the time of her death.

John TWOMEY: Died 30 June 1918 at Lilydale. John Twomey was born at Banmore Penshurst, the son of John Twomey a pioneer squatter of the district. John Jr entered in the stock and station business and lived at Warrnambool. He was a member of several racing clubs and was a successful owner. In the years before his death, he moved to Melbourne then Lilydale where he passed. He was buried at Warrnambool Cemetery.

John DOYLE: Died 8 June 1922 at Heywood. John Doyle was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1842. He arrived in Port Fairy about 1856 with his twin brother and they set up a carrying business. John then bought land in Casterton before purchasing the Hamilton Inn at Hamilton. Tired of life as a publican, John bought land at Cape Bridgewater and Heywood and  farmed dairy cows. He served as a Councillor with the Portland Shire. After the death of his first wife in 1877, he remarried. He left five sons and two daughters. A sixth son predeceased him. John’s twin brother died five weeks before at Hamilton.

James GOLDIE: Died 4 June 1924 at Port Fairy. James Goldie’s death was tragic, but it should not take away from the contribution he made to Port Fairy. James was born around 1860, the son of John Goldie of Port Fairy. He was the first butter factory manager in Victoria, running a factory at Rosebrook. He later managed a large butter factory in N.S.W.

James’ father, John Goldie tended his farm using the latest scientific practices. A photo of his farm is below. Taken in 1895, it shows trial crops of sugar beets. After John died, James took up part of the farm and became a respected breeder of Ayrshire cattle.

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image No. IAN01/10/95/20

SUGAR BEET GROWING AT PORT FAIRY ON THE FARM OF JOHN GOLDIE c1895. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image No. IAN01/10/95/20

James served on the Council of the Borough of Port Fairy with two terms as Mayor. He was also a member of the Agriculture Society committee and he was one of the men that established the Glaxo Milk Company at Port Fairy.

Mary FLETCHER: Died 19 June 1942 at Sandringham. Mary Fletcher was born in Scotland around 1847 and arrived in Victoria as a child. Her parents settled at Goroke and in 1865 she married William Affleck. William passed away in 1867 and in 1869 she married James Wooton Shevill.  James was a Warrnambool Councillor from 1875-1878, holding the Mayoral role in 1877-1878.  In later life, the Shevills moved to Melbourne.

Peter DUSTING: Died 30 June 1946 at Melbourne. As Peter Dusting was the last surviving member of the family of John and Sally Dusting of South Portland, this obituary is more a Dusting family obituary rather than Peter’s. In fact, I was able to find little about Peter from it.  He was born in Portland around 1866 and followed his father and brothers into the fishing business. Later he moved to Melbourne and remained there until his death.

Emma Watsford TERRILL:  Died June 1948 at Hamilton. Emma Terrill was born at Cape Bridgewater around 1880, the youngest daughter of Mr & Mrs George Terrill, pioneers of the district. Emma married William Jennings in 1905.  William was the grandson of Cook Abraham Jennings and Hannah Birchall, also Cape Bridgewater pioneers. Emma was an expert on poultry and was often sought after for advice. After living all her life at Cape Bridgewater, two years before her death she moved into Portland.  Emma passed away in the Hamilton Hospital.

George KENNEDY: Died June 1950 at Hamilton. When I think of Hamilton cricket, I think of Kennedy Oval. George Kennedy is the man who the oval was named for. An obituary for  George Kennedy  in the Portland Guardian of 29 June 1950, suggests a decision by Melbourne born George to leave the city for Hamilton as a young man in 1905, may have cost him the opportunity to compete at interstate or even at international level. He played for the Grange club in Hamilton and excelled at both batting and bowling, the later his specialty. His talent was on display in 1912 when a touring English team played at Hamilton and George’s bowling figures where 3/35. After the match, the ball and a bat signed by the English team was presented by one his scalps, Sir Jack Hobbs, the most prolific scorer in first class cricket history. George was seventy-one at the time of his death.

Arthur Leonard Holmes 1889-1918 – Lest We Forget

Most of my family members made it home from World War 1.  While they were far from unaffected,  they were able to return to their loved ones.  Not so for Arthur Holmes.  Newly married he sacrificed his life for his country following both his older brother and cousin into war.

Arthur Leonard Holmes was born in 1889 in Sandford, Victoria.  His parents were George Holmes, the local miller and Julia Harman, a Byaduk girl.  They were married in 1882 in Byaduk and had seven children, with Arthur being the fifth born.  Julia died suddenly in 1896 of a cerebral hemorrhage while George was away gold prospecting on the other side of the state at Tallangatta.   The children ranged in age from 14 to 1.  George remarried in 1900 to Betsy Swain and they had a daughter, Bessie, in 1903.

Arthur enlisted at Melbourne on July 4, 1916 aged 27.  At the time he was working in Casterton as a coachbuilder. His brother Frederick had enlisted 10 months earlier and his cousin Edgar Holmes, a year before.  At the time of enlistment, Arthur noted he was single and gave his next of kin details as his father.  At some point afterwards, this information was edited with single being changed to married and the contact details changed from father George, to his new wife Alice Edith Osborne.  Marriage records show they married in 1916.   Alice was from Millicent, South Australia and was 24 years old.  After their  marriage  and Arthur headed overseas, she went to live in Windsor in Melbourne.

Arthur joined his unit on August 2, 1916 initially in Geelong and then he would have gone to Broadmeadows with the 29th Battalion.  Meanwhile in France, events were unfolding that would not have filtered home at the time of Arthur’s enlistment.  His cousin Edgar was listed as missing at Fromelles on July 28, 1916.  A court of enquiry 12 months later found that Edgar was killed in action, with the date given as July 16, during the Battle of Fromelles.  Also, on July 28, Arthur’s brother Frederick James Holmes was shot in the shoulder in France.  He was later to return home due to his injuries.  As he donned his uniform for the first time, Arthur would have been oblivious that the horror of war had touched his own family.  By the time he sailed for Plymouth on October 26, 1916 the news would have reached him and one could imagine he left Australian shores with a heavy heart.

On the voyage to England he was promoted from Private to Acting Sargent without extra pay, as he was appointed bandmaster for  the trip.   The Holmes boys were musical.  Arthur’s older brother Goldie was an Australian Cornet Champion in the 1920s and led many large bands around Australia.  Arthur may have had the same abilities and aspirations.

On arrival in England Arthur left the 29th and joined the newly formed 62nd Battalion.  The 29th moved on to France while Arthur stayed in England until the 62nd Battalion was disbanded in September 1917.  Arthur returned to the 29th Battalion in France arriving on October 15, 1917 almost a year since he left home.  The 29th were experiencing a relatively quiet period, following their involvement at Ypres, and as the allies prepared for the eventual Battle of Hamel.  This meant no less of a danger for the soldiers.  On June 12, 1918, Arthur Holmes was overcome by mustard gas, the feared silent killer.  It was never an instant death.  In Arthur’s case, he passed away the next day, June 13, 1918 at the 12th Casualty Clearing Station at Hazebrouck.  He was initially buried at the Longpré Cemetery before being exhumed, with 41 other fallen soldiers and re-interred at the Crouy British Cemetery, his final resting place.

CORNET PLAYER KILLED. (1918, June 26). The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved April 3, 2012, from

From these two articles I have discovered Arthur was known as “Lennie” by his family.

Family Notices. (1918, June 24). The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: Bi-Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2012, from

What of his new bride Alice?  She spent some time in Melbourne after his death,  before moving to Daylesford.  She lived at “Belvedere House” , lodging rooms in Vincent Street, with her widowed mother, Annie Osborne.  In January 1919, she received a parcel containing Arthur’s possessions.  Along with personal items such as photos, letters and a diary there were small hints about Arthur’s time overseas, a French dictionary, a knife and fork in a case, a razor and mirror.  Did she open the parcel?  Did she read Arthur’s diary?  We will never know, but this is all she had left of her time with Arthur along with her memories.  They did not have time to have a home together or raise a family.

In 1923 Alice’s mother passed away and she stayed on in Daylesford before her own death in 1930 at only 38 years of age.  She is buried at the Daylesford cemetery.

In Arthur’s hometown of Casterton, he is remembered on the Town Hall Honour Roll and the Casterton War Memorial

Reading of Arthur’s fate reminded me of a poem I studied at school by the great World War 1 poet Wilfred Owen, Dulce Et Decorum Est.  It’s haunting words give some insight into the experiences  of the thousands of Australians who served their country in World War 1 and the discovery that the Great War was not the big adventure so many expected.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

*It is sweet and right to die for your country

Wilfred Owen – 1918