Armistice Day 1918 in the Western District

Today is the centenary of the signing of the Armistice which brought an end to the fighting of WW1.  News arrived in the Western District between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Monday 11 November 1918 while for other towns, it was the following morning.  Everyone knew it was coming, the question was when. Hopes were high after the surrender of Austria and Turkey but there was still uncertainty and an unwillingness to celebrate until the official word came through.

“AUSTRIA’S SURRENDER.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 November 1918: 4. Web. 8 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119508007

Most towns had put in some preparation organising bands and ensuring bunting was at hand ready to decorate the streets.  Early on 8 November, rumours spread around Hamilton, Coleraine and other Western District towns that the signing had taken place.  But they were just rumours.

“PEACE RUMOURS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 9 November 1918: 4. Web. 8 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119508174

 

“PREMATURE EXCITEMENT” Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1902; 1914 – 1918) 11 November 1918: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119615782

Let’s do a fly around the Western District and see how each town reacted.  In most cases, the reaction was like nothing seen before.

In Ararat, official news came through at 8.30pm on 11 November.  Bells started to ring and the two local brass bands swung into action.

Celebrations continued on into the morning of Tuesday 12 November.

“TO-DAY’S RE[?]OICINGS.” Ararat Chronicle and Willaura and Lake Bolac Districts Recorder (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 12 November 1918 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154297182

Then into Tuesday evening with an open-air concert at Alexandra Park.

“PEACE CELEBRATIONS.” Ararat Chronicle and Willaura and Lake Bolac Districts Recorder (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 15 November 1918: 2. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154298902

In Penshurst, church bells rang and the Penshurst Brass Band played.

“ARMISTICE SIGNED” Penshurst Free Press (Vic. : 1901 – 1918) 16 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119565333

Just before 9pm, the Hamilton Spectator received a cable and immediately told those waiting in front of the offices in Gray Street. Bells rang, the bands played and people flooded into the streets.  The Hamilton Brass Band was taken by motor car to Tarrington to tell residents there.

“JUBILATION IN HAMILTON” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 12 November 1918: 6. Web. 5 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119508265

After a false start to celebrations, Coleraine took no time took to get in the spirit.  On 12 November the children marched along the streets of the town.

“OUTDOOR DEMONSTRATION.” Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic. : 1902; 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119615803

At Casterton, the townsfolk were “delirious with joy”.  There was fireworks, bands and dancing.

“Peace! Glorious Peace!” Casterton Free Press and Glenelg Shire Advertiser (Vic. : 1915 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152657300

Tuesday 12 November was a holiday in Casterton as it was in most places.

“Peace Celebrations.” The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3 (Bi-Weekly.). Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74222633

Some towns like Sandford and Merino waited until official word was received the following morning. At Sandford, in a prearranged manoeuvre, the sight of the flag going up the pole of the Post Office signalled the end of the war.

“Sandford Celebrations.” The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3 (Bi-Weekly.). Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74222628

At Merino, bells rang and guns fired.

“Merino Celebrations.” The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3 (Bi-Weekly.). Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74222625

Heywood held off with celebrations until official word came after 9am on Tuesday 12 November. Preparations were then quickly underway for a large demonstration at 3pm

“Heywood.” Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 2. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88196524

At Portland, the Observer received an urgent wire from Reuters around 9.30pm on 11 November with the news and the celebrations began.  People got out of the beds and rushed into the streets.

“LOCAL CELEBRATIONS.” Portland Observer and Normanby Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88196546

At Orford, a public picnic was planned for the following Friday.

“CELEBRATIONS AT ORFORD.” Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 2 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91987686

At Port Fairy, there were a couple of hiccups but that did suppress the euphoria.

“ORDERLY CELEBRATIONS.” Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 2 (EVENING). Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91987660

The official message arrived about 9pm on 11 November and the news spread around the town like wildfire.

“Advertising” Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 2 (EVENING). https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/8499675

Tuesday was a holiday and just as well because no one would have turned up for work anyway. Port Fairy’s celebrations continued all Tuesday and into Wednesday.

“TUESDAY MORNING.” Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: 2 (EVENING). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91987687

“AFTERNOON DEMONSTRATION” Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91987687

At Koroit the shops and school closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  A large bonfire was built and on Tuesday night after a parade, it was lit.

“CELEBRATION AT KOROIT” Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74039937

In Warrnambool, people waited outside the Standard office for the news on the evening of 11 November.  Fire bells started ringing as soon as the news was read out.

“PEACE AT LAST!” Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 12 November 1918: 3 (DAILY.). Web. 5 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74039813

A torchlight parade was organised for Tuesday night with a massed tin-can band.

“STATEMENT BY MR. WATT.” Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 12 November 1918: 3 (DAILY.). Web. 5 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74039792

Buildings and streets across Warrnambool were decorated with flags and bunting.

“THE CELEBRATIONS IN WARRNAMBOOL.” Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74039829

Camperdown residents rushed into Manifold Street.

“General Rejoicing.” Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954) 12 November 1918: 2. Web. 10 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32180700

Cobden celebrated too.

“PEACE AT LAST.” Cobden Times (Vic. : 1918) 13 November 1918 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119543664

In Colac, they went “wild”.

“Local Rejoicings” Colac Reformer (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 12 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154137089

 

“PEACE CELEBRATION.” The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 – 1918) 13 November 1918: 3. Web. 5 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74474856

A torchlight parade took place on Tuesday night.

“COLAC AT NIGHT.” The Colac Herald (Vic. : 1875 – 1918) 13 November 1918: 3. Web. 7 Nov 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74474852

A TIN CAN BAND READY FOR COLAC’S TORCHLIGHT PARADE ON 12 NOVEMBER 1918. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/771371

 

“CELEBRATIONS IN COLAC” Colac Reformer (Vic. : 1914 – 1918) 14 November 1918: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154135561

.Despite all the celebrations, the underlying feeling was summed up by the Warrnambool Standard.

 

BIRDS OF PEACE! (1918, November 14). Warrnambool Standard (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3 (DAILY.). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74039924

Hamilton’s WW1…A Reflection – Part 1

Four years, two months and twenty-two days after Privates Maurice Tilley, William Niven, William Turner, Ernest Huggins and Harry Caple left Hamilton by train on the evening of Tuesday 18 August 1914 the first official troops from the district, the guns fell silent.  The people of Hamilton, although somewhat buoyant after the surrender of Turkey and Austria in the days before, were wary about getting too swept up. That was until around 9pm on Monday 11 November when the news of the Armistice reached Hamilton. As those waiting outside the Hamilton Spectator were given the news, jubilation erupted and soon people flooded the streets.  The boys were coming home…but not all.

Just as William Niven, one of the first five men to leave Hamilton, did not return, around one in five of the total number of men with Hamilton ties who enlisted, also never made it back to Hamilton.  Of the 693 men I have identified as having Hamilton connections, 169 died before Armistice Day as a direct result of the war.

HAMILTON WAR MEMORIAL c1930-1954. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria Image no. H32492/2728 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63654

Since early 2015, I’ve been compiling names and writing stories of the men and women of Hamilton’s WW1 and since late 2015, I’ve been posting snippets of each edition of the Hamilton Spectator from 100 years before on the Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page.  The aim was to gain an understanding of the effects of the war on a town such as Hamilton, the mood of the people and their response, and of course, the stories of the men and women who enlisted and their families.  Over the next three posts, I will tell you something of my project, what I’ve discovered, and where it’s going.

The first man with Hamilton connections killed in action was Joseph Alan Cordner, a Collingwood footballer, former Hamilton College student and a player in the Hamilton Cricket team.  Joseph, better known as Alan, was the first Victorian Football League player to enlist and among the first VFL players killed.  His death came in the hours after the landing at Gallipoli.  Initially, he was reported as missing and it was almost a year before his death on 25 April 1915 was made official.

JOSEPH ALAN CORDNER. Image Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. P03483.009 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03483.009/

The first the Hamilton people heard of a man with a local connection to have fallen was the news of the death of Harold Johnson of Maldon.  Harold was well-known in Hamilton having worked at department store J.Thomson & Co.  He was wounded in the days after the landing and died in hospital in Alexandria on 2 May 1915.  However, it was 24 May 1915 when the reality of war really hit Hamilton.  The Hamilton Spectator wrote on 24 May 1915, “The youth of the town have had their first piercing illustration of what war means in the last resort when they realise that one of their number will never associate with them.  Private William Henry Waters, a Hamilton State School boy, between nineteen and twenty years of age, has died at the front whilst fighting with the Australian forces at Gallipoli. He is the first Hamilton soldier to fall.”

Of those I’ve researched, William Norman was the youngest to enlist at seventeen years and eleven months.  The eldest of eight children, William was eighteen years and five months when he arrived at Gallipoli.  He went on to serve in France and Belgium and was killed on 8 October 1917, near Broodseinde Ridge, Belgium. He was buried where he fell, his body never recovered.  William was twenty.  His five younger brothers all enlisted for WW2.

WILLIAM LESLIE NORMAN. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10789.004/

The youngest to die was Robert Taylor, born in Hamilton and a former student of the state school.  He was eighteen years and one month when he enlisted on 24 January 1916.  He was dead just seven months and fifteen days later, killed at Pozieres, France. Like Joseph Cordner and William Norman, Robert’s body was never recovered.

ROBERT TAYLOR. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10789.005/

The last Hamilton man to die before the Armistice was James Smyth of the 9th Light Horse Regiment.  After James and another man captured a German officer with eighty-five Turkish soldiers on 2 October 1918 near Khan Ayash in Syria, James was nominated for a Distinguished Conduct Medal  (DCM) for conspicuous gallantry, initiative and devotion to duty.  Fifteen days later he was sick with malaria and died on 25 October 1918.  His DCM was awarded posthumously.

Many families had multiple enlistments which for some brought added grief like that experienced by the Joyce family. Brothers Matthew and Thomas were killed just two months apart, Matthew on 11 April 1917 at Bullecourt, France and Thomas on 1 June 1917 at Warloy-Baillon, France. 

There was also the two sons of Charlotte Lance.  Her eldest son Alexander Scott (below) was killed on 26 August 1916 at Mouquet Farm, France but Charlotte was not notified he was even missing.  After the death of her younger son George Lance, she wrote to the Defence Department asking after Alexander as she had not heard from him since the year before.  He was dead, came the reply.  Two boys lost a year apart but the news of both coming within months. Charlotte didn’t even want George to go, refusing the nineteen-year-old her permission. Determined to enlist, George went to Adelaide, enlisted under a false name, then wrote to his mother and told her what he had done.  She didn’t even get to say goodbye.

ALEXANDER WILLIAM SCOTT. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DA11399/

Then there were the Stevenson brothers  Alexander and Edgar. Only a few years apart in age, they spent a lot of time together before enlistment. The worked together at the family bakery in Coleraine Road, were both members of the Independent Order of Rechabites, and sung together at the local Baptist Church.  The also went to war together both serving with the 39th Battalion.  Alexander known as Lex was there when Edgar was killed on 4 October 1917.  He helped dig the grave and placed a cross upon it.  A week later, Lex was shot near Passchendaele, Belgium and died on 15 October from his wounds.  William and Euphemia Stevenson received the news of their sons six days apart.

James Lodge of Clarke Street, Hamilton sent four boys to war. Remaining at home was eighteen-year-old Frederick who was keen to join his brothers but instead worked with his father, a stonemason. James and Frederick were building the Catholic presbytery at Casterton when Frederick developed double pneumonia and died on 20 June 1918.  While James’ mind was with his four sons overseas, it was the son under his own watchful eye who died.  Despite his grief, James continued working but he too contracted pneumonia and died on 31 July.  Since it was James’ idea to plant trees along Clarke Street to form an Avenue of Honour for those in the street who enlisted, at the official planting on 24 August 1918, the first tree planted was in James’ honour and positioned in front of the Lodge home. The Lodge boys all returned to Australia, two highly decorated, and they went on to secure the contract of the construction of the Shrine of Remembrance.

James’ death before the war’s end was very common among parents of those serving.  William Sugden Price Lewis passed away within two weeks of hearing of his adopted son Arthur’s fate.  After waiting for eight months for news of his missing son Joseph only to learn he was dead, William Sloan felt he could live no longer.  Grief and anxiety were often compounded by the often necessary dealings with the Defence Department.  I’ve read dozens of letters to Base Records from desperate parents and siblings.  You can sense the frustration and anguish of Isiah Cordner in his letters seeking information about his missing son Alan.  He wrote to the Defence Department, the Red Cross and sought out men from Alan’s battalion for help. It was 364 days after Alan’s death when Isiah finally had official confirmation.

The family of John Taylor killed on 29 July 1916 at Pozieres experienced similar pain.  John’s mother Eliza tried to get news of her son, writing letters to the Defence Department and asking relatives to write.  The reply came that he was killed on 28/29 July 1916 but no more details of his death or burial were available.  The first inquiry into John’s death was held on 22 June 1917 finding there was no trace of him.  Letters were still being sent from the family in 1919 requesting more information.  They just wanted to know where he was buried and maybe get a photo of his headstone something available to parents of sons who did get a formal burial.

It was Abraham Tredrea father of Francis Tredrea who summed up the feelings of all parents when he wrote a letter to the Collie fanciers of Victoria by way of the Leader newspaper’s “Kennel Notes” published in September 1917. Abraham had waited thirteen months for news of his missing son. “I received word on Friday last re my son, F. S. Tredrea, saying he was killed in action on the 19th of July, 1916. You will remember he was then reported missing. I miss him very much. He was a very smart boy in the fancy, both in dogs and poultry. He was known by the Collie fanciers of Melbourne, and I am sure his friends in the fancy will be sorry to read the sad news.” Those words…I miss him very much.

FRANCIS STANLEY TREDREA. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://mywdfamilies.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/tredrea.jpg

Like Francis, a number of the men were married with children. His wife Ada spent the thirteen months Francis was classed as missing, writing letters and advertising in newspapers for information about her husband.  When she finally received the official confirmation, she placed the following notice in The Argus,

“After months of hopeful waiting
The sad cable it came through
Saying he nobly did his duty
As onlloyal Australians do”

Arthur Emmett had the largest family of all the married men. When he enlisted in July 1915, Arthur and his wife Evangeline had four children with twins born after Arthur’s enlistment. Arthur was killed on 26 July 1916 at Pozieres, France but was reported missing.  When Evangeline heard the news, she began a year of letter writing to the Red Cross asking for help in finding Arthur.  It was not until 4 August 1917 when Arthur’s death was officially confirmed. It was a double blow for the Emmett family with Arthur’s younger brother Alfred Emmett killed only weeks after they heard of Arthur’s fate.

With such a large number of men from the district overseas, there was always an opportunity to catch up with someone from Hamilton. The talk would invariably turn to news from home and the Hamilton Spectator sent by relatives was highly sought after.  Horace Westgarth (below) wrote home after the evacuation at Gallipoli, telling his mother, “…half of Hamilton seem to be with us now.”  By the time Horace left Egypt for France, just having transferred to the 58th Battalion, he had met up with fellow Hamiltonian Terence Finnegan. It was an unlikely friendship, which may not have come about if they were back in Hamilton.  Terence went to the Convent School and Horace went to the state school.  Terence worked as a tailor at J.Thomson & Co., while Horace was a carpenter.  But so far from home that didn’t matter and the common thread of being from Hamilton bound their friendship.  Terence and Horace were on rations fatigue around 9pm on 12 May 1917 as the second Battle of Bullecourt drew to an end. A shell killed Terence and Horace in an area known as Death Valley. They were buried where they fell and the two Hamilton men still lie there together today.

HORACE LEONARD WESTGARTH. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1298989

Claude Douglas and Albert Sheehan were both twenty and Arthur Lewis aged twenty-four when the trio from Hamilton found themselves together in D Company of 14th Battalion.  At Gallipoli, they shared a tent behind the frontline.  Thirteen men slept in the tent in the beginning, but by the start of August 1915, there were only three still occupying the tent, the three Hamiltonians.  Three weeks later the tent was empty.  Albert was missing after the attack on Hill 971 on 8 August, Arthur died of wounds on 13 August and finally on 21 August, Claude was killed.

Ken Toleman of Mortlake and Englishman Reg Briant, were “out of towners”, electricians with the Hamilton Electric Co. when they enlisted.  They left Australia together on 17 June 1915 with the 14th Battalion 6th Reinforcements.  Kenneth and Reg arrived at Gallipoli on 1 August 1915.  It was a bad time to get there with heavy fighting and great loss of life throughout the month.  The day of 22 August was a particularly dark day. The battalion took part in the attack on Hill 60 and Reg was killed. Ken went on to France and then Belgium and was an acting Captain when wounded near La Clytte on 13 October 1916.  He died soon after. Ken had never stopped thinking about Reg.

It was Ken and Reg’s friendship which brought about one of the more heart-warming moments I came across.  In July 1916, Ken was granted leave to England for eight days and took the opportunity to meet with Reg Briant’s sister Dorothy. He also accepted the invitation of Reg’s schoolmaster and paid a visit to the school at Lymington, Hampshire. He was taken on a tour and was the first Australian soldier the children had seen.  He was given three cheers in all the classrooms.  When he next wrote home he described it as a holiday he would never forget. Ken’s grandmother Sarah in Mortlake received a reassuring letter from Dorothy Briant who said Ken was “well and strong”.

That wasn’t the only school visit.  Walter Filmer of Byaduk and a teacher at the Hamilton State School for three years, visited the  Hamilton Academy in Hamilton, Scotland.  The Hamilton State School and the Academy had exchanged flags while Walter was at the state school.  He found the Hamilton State School flag proudly displayed at the Hamilton Academy.  The children were excited to meet a representative from the school on the other side of the world, and Walter passed on his regards from the committee, staff and pupils of Hamilton State School.

WALTER STEPHEN FILMER. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C73149

The letters to loved ones have been a highlight.  Men and women wrote letters home and in turn, some parents passed the letters on to the local paper for publication.  How thankful I am to those parents who did so. The letters share news of friends or relatives also serving, they describe the conditions and the countryside and give something of the letter writer’s personality.  Some were written during a quiet moment in the trenches while others were written from hospital while reflecting on why they were there.

One of the more entertaining letter writers was plucky William Lovell.  His self-assurance belied his age of nineteen years but it was likely that self-assurance saw him become part of “Jacka’s Mob”, the famous 5th platoon of the 14th Battalion led by Albert Jacka VC.  William lost his life near the Hindenburg Line on the 11 April 1917 aged twenty.  His body still lies in the fields of northern France.

WILLIAM LESLIE LOVELL. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DA09468/

Frank Kendall wrote a long letter home to his father describing his time in London.  So long it was published in two parts in the newspaper.  Ivan Morieson, a son of a teacher wrote a lovely letter home to his mother describing his time in Egypt, “There is nothing I should like better than to travel over Egypt at my leisure. A man properly interested could spend a lifetime here, and if ever I get the chance I shall do my best to have a proper look at the place”.  Although he described himself as a man, he was just a boy.  Only eighteen at the time of his letter and twenty when he was shot through the heart while acting as company runner near Polygon Wood, Belgium.

IVAN FRANCIS MORIESON. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C2073040

The nurses from Hamilton have also been part of my research. They were not immune to the horrors of the war working under horrendous conditions and broken bodies.  The mental images would haunt them.  At least two of the Hamilton nurses spent time under psychiatric care within ten years of the end of the war. 

I have posted three stories of the Hamilton nurses so far,  one of those the story of Hamilton born Edith Malcolm.  She nursed at Salonika, Greece where living conditions were poor, some even thought worse than France. There was very little fresh food and they lived off soldiers’ rations. For a boost of iron, a weekly ration of bully beef and biscuits was issued.  Winters were freezing and the summers were hot with malaria a constant risk. The nurses covered themselves from head to toe to protect themselves from mosquitos. Edith was diagnosed with anaemia in July 1918 and invalided home.

Once back on Australian soil, Edith (below far right) found her brother Norman had returned home in the months before and her sister Stella and younger brother Eric returned in the months following allowing the Malcolm siblings to come together for the first time in three years for this beautiful photo.

THE MALCOLM FAMILY. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C390054

There have been many inspiring stories of bravery.  Several came from stretcher bearers who often found themselves in exposed positions as they removed the wounded from the battlefields.  They were often members of the battalion band like Arthur Underwood of Mill Road, Hamilton, a member of the 23rd Battalion band. He was awarded a Military Medal after his actions led to at least a dozen wounded men saved from No Man’s Land in broad daylight at Pozieres, France on 29 and 30 July 1916.

ARTHUR BELL PERCY UNDERWOOD. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DA10497/

Then there was Edwin Smith of 22nd Battalion, not afraid to volunteer for raiding parties.  On 29 June 1916, he volunteered for a raid which saw the man they called “Fatty” crawl on his stomach through No Man’s Land with around sixty other men, before they jumped in the German trenches, taking the enemy by surprise. He didn’t receive a medal for that occasion but was awarded a Military Medal for his service as one of the last remaining men on Gallipoli after the evacuation on the 20 December 1915.  The 22nd Battalion was positioned near Johnstone’s Jolly and as the battalion began its evacuation, Edwin and several other men kept up steady gunfire for over two hours so the enemy would believe everything was normal.

On the morning of 26 August 1916, as Edwin Smith passed through the village of Pozieres to relieve a crew on the front line, a shell hit his company. Edwin was killed instantly and buried where he fell. He was later exhumed and his body placed in the Pozieres British Cemetery.

EDWIN RICHARDSON SMITH. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DA08695/

Frank  Lodge (below)was one of the four enlisted sons of James Lodge. On 29 July 1916, the 2nd Pioneers were in Pozieres and had commenced working on a communications trench known as “Centre Way” running to Pozieres Wood.  Their work was not helped by the enemy as the Germans bombarded the area.  Overnight on 4 August, with their section almost complete, Frank stood in the open above the trench not only giving directions to his men but urging them on.  He was awarded a Military Medal. 

On 31 August 1918, near Peronne Frank went forward to assess sites for bridges to aid with the advance…

…he got over the main canal and examined an old German bridge which had been partially destroyed.  Finding a gap of about fourteen feet, he pushed a spar over the gap and attempted to cross but disturbed a German sentry on the opposite bank who opened fire, and ran toward the village.  As Lieutenant Lodge was fired at by machine guns. from the south side of Halle he returned.  The information gained by this reconnaissance was of great value.  That night he got material carried to the site and proceeded to reconstruct a demolished road bridge and remained in charge of the work until completion the next evening, although immediate vicinity was heavily shelled all day. Later he did further valuable reconnaissance work and rapid bridging (Australian War Memorial, Honours and Awards https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1622549/ )

His actions saw him awarded a Military Cross.  His brother Augustine Bernard Lodge was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his actions at Pozieres in 1916.

“BROTHERS WIN MILITARY HONORS” The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954) 11 November 1916: 6. Web. 19 Jun 2018.

Look out for Part 2 coming soon when I’ll share some of the stories of Hamilton’s WW1 which have had the greatest effect on me. 

‘HAMILTON BOYS’ c 30 April 1915. Photo Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial. Image no. DAOD1060 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/DAOD1060/

Passing of the Pioneers

This edition of Passing Pioneers includes two months of obituaries, September and October. The photos I have posted at the Western District Families Facebook page have become a useful tool for finding obituaries.  Recent photos of Western District hotels have helped me find a number of obituaries of publicans past and there are four this edition.  During Family History Month in August,  I posted a photo of the Kent family of Casterton on the Facebook page and below you’ll find the obituary of one of the family members.  There is “feature” obituary for each month, with both subjects making significant contributions to their associated towns.  As usual, if you click on any underlined text, you’ll go to further information about the subject.

SEPTEMBER

BEGG, Thomas – Died 3 September 1895 at Branxholme.  Thomas Begg was born at Cumberland, Scotland around 1819.  He married Mary Reid in 1842 and they had three children.  In February 1855, the family left Liverpool onboard the Nashwauk bond for Adelaide, South Australia.  With them were around 300 other immigrants and 130 Irish Orphan girls. On day eighty-nine of the voyage, they reached Gulf St Vincent near Adelaide.  As the ship headed toward the mouth of the Onkaparinga River south of Adelaide, it hit the shoreline. Fortunately, the passengers were rescued and taken to nearby Noarlunga.  Everything the Beggs owned was lost but at least they survived. They travelled by land to Adelaide, where Thomas bid farewell to his family and left for the Bendigo diggings.

After fifteen months in Victoria with no luck, Thomas returned to Adelaide and took a job at a flour mill.  He was suffering from poor health and after doctor’s advice to move to the country they headed for the south-east of South Australia. The family remained there until around 1865 when Thomas selected land at Condah. He named his property Foutus. Thomas was a councillor for the Portland Shire from 1875 and Shire President from 1877 until his resignation in 1880.  He and Mary remained at Condah until the early 1890s when they moved to Branxholme.  In June 1892, Thomas and Mary celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at the Branxholme Mechanics Institute with 150 guests in attendance.  William died in 1895 after a long illness and buried at the Branxholme Cemetery.  The funeral cortege on 6 September was one of the longest seen in the district and the coffin was almost totally covered with wreaths.  Mary died in 1912 at the age of ninety-two.

MELVILLE, William – Died 7 September 1897 at Byaduk.  William Melville was born in Sutherland, Scotland around 1829.  He arrived in Victoria in 1852 and went into partnership with William Bayles forming Bayles and Melville in Melbourne. In 1858, William married Ann McDonald.  The following year Ann gave birth to a son, William Henry but she died as a result of the birth, aged twenty-four.

“Advertising” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 27 August 1859: 4. Web. 5 Sep 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154826326&gt;.

Meanwhile, business was good for Bayles and Melville and they expanded their interests into grazing land taking up Weerangourt south of Byaduk. On 18 April 1867, William remarried to Annette Margaret Bayles, a daughter of William Bayles and they settled at Weerangourt.  The partnership of Bayles and Melville was eventually dissolved but William continued on at Weerangourt.  In 1893, a new homestead was built.  William was also a Justice of the Peace. At the time of his death, William left his widow Annette and five sons and two daughters.  He was buried at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

GRAVE OF WILLIAM MELVILLE AT HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

JACOBY, Sigismund – Died 15 September 1917 at St Kilda.

“OUR ST. KILDA LEGISLATORS.” The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 – 1930) 7 September 1889: 3. Web. 9 Sep 2018.

Sigismund Jacoby was born in Toruá, Prussia (now Poland) in 1837, the eldest of Salomon and Rosalie Jacoby’s seven children. Salomon was a soft goods merchant in Toruá.  Sigismund arrived in Australia around 1860 but left soon after for New Zealand where he worked in the retail trade.  He returned to Australia in January 1866 and by the end of April 1866 had opened a store “Albion House” in Gray Street next to the Bank of Victoria.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 28 April 1866: 3. Web. 14 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194470438&gt;.

By June 1866, Sigismund was on a committee investigating the viability of Hamilton having a fire brigade.  He was able to offer knowledge gained while in New Zealand.  By mid-March 1867, he was sitting on the Hamilton Borough Council. Also in 1867, Sigismund went into partnership with Isidore Rehfisch. The partnership was dissolved in 1868 and Sigismund once again traded alone.  In 1869, he partnered with Henry Horwitz of Horwitz & Co, a rival draper in the town. Sigismund moved to the corner of Gray and Thompson Streets and “Albion House” was let.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 13 April 1870: 1. Web. 11 Sep 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196302868&gt;.

On 4 August 1869 at the synagogue in Bourke Street West, Melbourne (below), Sigismund married Hannah Horwitz, a talented pianist and a daughter of Henry Horwitz.  They had four children, three boys and one girl, all born in Hamilton from 1870 to 1876.

THE JEWISH SYNAGOGUE, BOURKE STREET WEST, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/236507

On 16 August 1875, Sigismund was elected as Mayor of the Borough of Hamilton.  An inaugural Mayoral dinner was held at the Victoria Hotel on the same day Sigismund was appointed as a Chief Magistrate. He held the Mayoral role until the following August when Councillor Stapylton Bree became Mayor.  Sigismund remained on the council and also sat on the Hamilton Hospital committee and was a founder and director of the Hamilton Gas Company. He believed as a resident, it was his duty to help improve the town.

After the first Hamilton Post Office was demolished in 1876, Sigismund purchased the bluestone to build St Ronans off Pope Street, Hamilton.  The home was of a similar design to the former post office.

ST RONANS, HAMILTON. The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 2 May 1903 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article138684187

ST RONANS, HAMILTON

By 1878, Sigismund’s youngest sibling Max had arrived in Hamilton and it was in that year both were naturalised.  The following year, Sigismund travelled to Europe with Hannah as a British subject.  To farewell him, a banquet was held on 3 April 1879, held in the Hamilton Town Hall.  Max took over the running of the store while he was away.

“ITEMS OF NEWS.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 5 August 1880: 2. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225488522&gt;.

In June 1881, Sigismund purchased The Wholesale Clothing Company consisting of five stores and factory in the Melbourne CBD, Fitzroy, Emerald Hill, West Melbourne, Prahran, and Carlton, the location of the head office.  The Bourke Street store was part of the Eastern Market (below).

EASTERN MARKET, BOURKE STREET, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41594

In 1884, moved on from the Wholesale Clothing Company when he purchased the Monster Clothing Company at 21 Bourke Street, Melbourne. The Hamilton Spectator shared the news.

“Items of News.” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 24 June 1884: 2. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226048664&gt;.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 6 March 1886: 6. Web. 17 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225773930&gt;.

Although he had left the town, Sigismund still took an interest in Hamilton affairs.  In 1883, he joined a deputation from the Dundas Railway League who met with the Minister of Railways to present a case for a railway line between Hamilton and Ararat.  In 1888, Sigismund left the rag trade and became a hotelier, taking over the Esplanade Hotel at St Kilda which he operated until 1897.

ESPLANADE HOTEL, ST KILDA 1891. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54610

In 1897, Sigismund purchased the Port Phillip Club Hotel at 232 Flinders Street, Melbourne across the road from the Flinders Street Railway Station and a few doors away from Young and Jacksons Hotel.  

PORT PHILLIP CLUB HOTEL, FLINDERS STREET, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/41779

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 16 November 1897: 1. Web. 20 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226100390&gt;.

A good description of the hotel when Sigismund purchased it is available on the link to Melbourne Punch of 2 September 1897 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174627105.  Twelve months later, Table Talk published an article on the success of the hotel under Sigismund’s management and the improvements he’d made.  You can read the article on the link http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article145862760

Sigismund was a member of the St Kilda council from 1888 until 1914, serving as Mayor four times during that period. The Jacoby Reserve in Cowderoy Street, St Kilda West is named after Sigismund.  He was also one of the original members of the Melbourne Board of Works and he sat on the committee of the Alfred Hospital. At the time of his death, Sigismund left his widow. Hannah and three sons. Hannah died in 1935. Sigismund and Hannah are buried together in the St Kilda Cemetery.

Further information about Sigismund and his involvement with the St Kilda Council is on the link – https://heritage.portphillip.vic.gov.au/People_places/People_of_the_past/Councillor_Sigismund_Jacoby_JP

KENT, Michael – Died 21 September 1918 at Casterton.  Michael Joseph Kent was born in Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland and arrived in Victoria with his parents and siblings as a child.  The family lived at Portland and that is where Michael reunited with Norah Nell O’Brien, a girl he went to school with back in Kilkenny.  They married and moved to Casterton. Michael did labouring work with the Glenelg Shire, either employed directly by the shire or with shire employed contractors.  The Kents lived at Tara (below) and had seven children.  Two children died as babies.

TARA, CASTERTON, THE HOME OF THE KENT FAMILY c1890. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769213

During winter 1918, Michael Kent was working as a “day man” for the shire. His work as a labourer meant he was out in the wet weather and as a result, he contracted pneumonia and died ten days later.  He was sixty-three.  Nora died in 1941 aged eighty-eight.

McKELLAR, Rachel – Died 2 September 1926 at Malvern.  Rachel was born at Kilmichael, Scotland around 1836.  She travelled to Australia with her parents John McKellar and Rachel Harkness and siblings when she was fourteen. They settled at Knebsworth near Condah where Rachel’s brothers had already settled. On 3 July 1866, Rachel married Thomas Skene of Warrambeech near Hamilton.  Three years later, Thomas purchased Krongurt in South Australia and they moved there. Thomas died in 1884 and Rachel remained at Krongurt until 1902 when she went to live with her daughter in Melbourne.  She left three sons and five daughters and nine grandchildren.

CAVE, Elizabeth – Died 26 September 1944 at Cobden.  Elizabeth Cave was born in the Chatsworth district around 1860.  Known as Lizzie, she met Harry Quiney of Mortlake and they married at Harry’s parent’s home at Mortlake on 10 April 1884.  Harry held the licence of Mac’s Hotel in Mortlake and in 1885, Lizzie gave birth to her first child at the hotel.  In 1909, the Quiney’s built a new hotel on the same site (below).

MAC’S HOTEL, MORTLAKE c1930. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60755

During the war years, Elizabeth was a member of the Mortlake branch of the Red Cross and acted as secretary. Harry Quiney died in 1920 and Elizabeth continued to run Mac’s Hotel until 1927 when she sold.  She then moved to Cobden to run the Grand Central Hotel (below).

GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL, COBDEN c1920 Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/772415

In 1931, Elizabeth left Cobden for a holiday in Tasmania intending to take up another business on her return.  Elizabeth spent some time away from Cobden but was settled back there by the mid-1930s.

October

HAFERKORN, Charles Ehryott– Died 10 October 1884 at Hamilton. Charles Haferkorn arrived in Victoria around 1850.  He spent time in Melbourne before establishing a brewery and aerated water factory in Gray Street, Hamilton in 1858.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 – 1870) 12 April 1862: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194859878

In 1860, Charles married Frances “Fanny” Featherby of Croxton East. In 1873, Charles and family went to Balmoral when Charles took up the licence of the Western Hotel but the following year he suffered spinal injuries in a coach accident resulting in paralysis. He continued with the hotel with the help of Fanny.  After six years, the Haferkorns moved on to the Coleraine Hotel.  In 1883, they returned to Hamilton and Charles had the Grange Family Hotel built on the site of his former brewery in Gray Street, Hamilton.  Charles died at the hotel in 1884.  Fanny married Samuel Fogg in 1886 and they continued to run the Grange Family Hotel (below).  The Grange Family Hotel in time became the George Hotel.

GRANGE FAMILY HOTEL, GRAY STREET, HAMILTON. Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 17 April 1888: 1 (SUPPLEMENT TO THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR). 

MARKS, Mark – Died 12 October 1892 at Colac West.  Mark Marks was born around 1833.  He settled in Colac and in 1857 he married Sarah Ann Owen and they went on to have eleven children over the next twenty-three years.  Mark operated three hotels in Colac, the Perseverance and Oddfellows Hotels during the 1870s and the Union Club Hotel from 1880 until the mid-1880s.

MURRAY STREET, COLAC LOOKING TOWARD THE UNION CLUB HOTEL ON THE CNR OF GELLIBRAND STREET c1913. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90333175

In 1886, Mark took over the Terang Hotel.  Mark and Sarah returned to Colac in 1891 taking up residence at Laurel Banks estate, Colac West.   Mark was a Colac Shire councillor, a supporter of St Johns Church, Colac and one of the oldest members of the Loyal Colac Lodge.  Mark was fifty-nine at the time of his death. Sarah died in 1907 aged seventy leaving seven sons and two daughters.

BROWN, William Clarke – Died 28 October 1908 at Coleraine.  William Brown was born at Thornbury House, Northampton, England in 1824 and arrived in Victoria in 1844.  He met Margaret Sefton who arrived in 1841 from Ireland, in Melbourne and they married at St James Church Melbourne in 1846.  They went to Heywood and William worked for Mr Bilston’s property before they settled at Dundas Vale, Bil-Bil-Wyt.  William claimed he was the first man to drive a cab in Melbourne and Hamilton. 

William and Margaret celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary on 6 February 1906.  Their thirteen children, eighty-one grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren joined them. James Meek, a photographer from Hamilton took photos at the anniversary celebrations.

“THE FAMILY OF WILLIAM AND MARGARET BROWN .” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 7 April 1906: 12. Web. 13 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article221220108&gt;.

By that time, William was living with his son where he died in 1908.  Margaret died in 1915.

WALSH, Margaret – Died 1 October 1918 at Grassdale.  Margaret Walsh was born in Cork, Ireland in 1817 and arrived in Tasmania in 1841. She met Samuel Evans Young who she married and they left for Portland.  They settled at Tahara and Samuel farmed and during the 1870s, he operated the Tahara store.

“Advertising” Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1870 – 1918) 26 February 1878: 3. Web. 15 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226069628&gt;.

Margaret and Samuel remained at Tahara until Samuel’s death in July 1907.  The Age reported on Samuel’s death at the age of eighty-four and mentioned his wife was 100 years old.

“HAMILTON.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 22 July 1907: 6. Web. 13 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198611068&gt;.

However, Margaret lived for another eleven years but wasn’t 111 when she died, rather 101.  She spent those eleven years living with her son at Grassdale. Margaret lived through the reign of six British sovereigns.

MANIFOLD, James Chester – Died 30 October 1918 at Sea.

JAMES CHESTER MANIFOLD. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

James Manifold was born at Purrumbete estate (below) in 1867, the fourth son of John Manifold and Marion Thomson.  He was educated at Geelong Grammar School.

PURRUMBETE, ON THE BANKS OF LAKE PURRUMBETTE c1913 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75086

After the death of their father John in 1877, Purrumbete was divided between the four Manifold brothers. Chester’s share was “Talindert“.

TALINDERT, CAMPERDOWN. The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982) 6 April 1940: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51271786

In 1890, James was elected to the Hampden Shire Council and would go on to serve as President.  The following year, he married Lillian Eva Curle on 11 March 1891 at St Paul’s Church, Camperdown.  James was involved with football and cricket and his in younger years, was one of the best sportsmen in the state. With his brothers William and Edward, he represented Victoria in polo (below).

“INTERCOLONIAL POLO MATCH.” Melbourne Punch (Vic. : 1855 – 1900) 18 May 1899: 21. Web. 16 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article180224372&gt;

James was also interested in racing as an owner and breeder. One of his successes, with his brother Edward, was the 1896 Victorian Racing Club Grand National Steeplechase with Dungan (below) considered Australia’s greatest steeplechaser at the time  Dungan was killed less than two weeks later in a race fall at Moonee Valley on 25 July 1896.

“GRAND NATIONAL STEEPLECHASE WINNER.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 18 July 1896: 24. Web. 16 Oct 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article139728388&gt;.

With the approach of Federation in 1901, James ran for the seat of Corangamite.  He was successful and was a member of the first Commonwealth parliament in 1901 but resigned in 1903.  He decided to run again for the Federal seat of Corangamite in 1913 and defeated sitting member James Scullin.

During WW1, James gave 3000 acres of land for returned soldiers and donated thousands of pounds for soldiers’ repatriation. His only son, Thomas Chester Manifold served with the Royal Field Artillery with the British Army. James travelled to England in 1917 for government and private business and in 1918 left Sydney for a trip to San Francisco.  It was on that voyage he developed pneumonia and died on 30 October. He was buried at sea.  James left his widow, Lillian and Thomas Chester. and a daughter.

As a result of his death, a by-election was held in the seat of Corangamite and James Scullin returned as the member.  Scullin went on to become Prime Minister of Australia from 1929 until 1932.  At a local level, James and his brothers were great benefactors to Camperdown.  A statue to honour James (below), located in Manifold Street, Camperdown, was unveiled in 1921.

JAMES CHESTER MANIFOLD STATUE, MANIFOLD STREET, CASTERTON. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/365691

MANIFOLD, William Thomas – Died 20 October 1922 at Camperdown.  William Manifold was born in 1861 at Purrumbete estate, the eldest son of John Manifold and Marion Thomson.  On 6 August 1886, William married Alice Mary Cridland at St Mary’s Church, Papanui in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The couple settled at the family station of Gnarpurt, Lismore for a time after their marriage. William and Alice eventually moved back to Purrumbete. (below) The station became known for its dairy herds.

PURRUMBETE HOMESTEAD. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217424

William was a champion polo player and teamed up with his brothers James and Edward to compete for Victoria.  He was a supporter of the Church of England and Vicar’s warden of St Paul’s Church, Camperdown. He donated money to Geelong and Ballarat Grammar Schools and served as a Hampden Shire councillor.  During WW1, William and Alice’s son Lieutenant William Herbert Manifold was killed on 28 April 1917 in France while with the Royal Field Artillery aged twenty-seven.  Just over three years to the day after William Jr’s death, Alice died at the age of fifty-four.

On 20 October 1922, William MacKinnon of Marida Yallock, visited William at Purrumbete.  They were driving nearby when the car became bogged.  While trying to free the car, William had a heart attack, collapsed and died.  He was sixty and left two sons and two daughters.  William and his brothers contributed much to Camperdown and the clock tower they donated to the town in memory of their brother Thomas Peter Manifold who died in 1895 stands today as a reminder of that contribution.

CAMPERDOWN CLOCK TOWER, MANIFOLD STREET, CAMPERDOWN Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64881

Cemeteries…News & Muse

Time for some news from two of the Western District’s larger cemeteries, Warrnambool and Hamilton and we’ll check in on a useful cemetery website.  Then I take a look at some of the good things about visiting a cemetery.

WARRNAMBOOL CEMETERY

WARRNAMBOOL CEMETERY

Since June, the Warrnambool Cemetery Trust has offered a deceased search on the trust’s website.  A search of my Harman family listed all Harmans buried in the cemetery with their age at death, the date of service and the grave site.  Clicking on the “View More Detail” link brings up those buried in the same place and a Google Satellite Map with the site marked. The results pages are well set out and easy to read and the search is a lot faster than some other cemeteries’ sites.
You can find the Warrnambool Cemetery Deceased Search on the link https://warrnamboolcemetery.com.au/deceased-search

HAMILTON CEMETERY

HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

The Hamilton Cemetery Trust has offered a deceased search of the Hamilton Lawn Cemetery and the General (Old) Cemetery since May 2017.  I have used it a lot, probably too much.  Now the deceased search results give a link to a grave photo.  All photos are for the lawn cemetery are available and a growing number of photos from the old cemetery.  Searching the old cemetery, I found a photo of the grave of my great grandparents Thomas and Sarah Hadden.  Also the grave of my ggg uncle George Harman and his wife Hill May Hill, which was interesting. It was simply a bare patch of ground squeezed between to other graves with no headstone.  Knowing that will save me time in the future.  The trust has more exciting developments on the horizon so I’ll continue to keep you posted.
The Hamilton Cemetery Trust Deceased Search is on the link http://www.hamiltoncemetery.com.au/

CAROL’S HEADSTONE PHOTOGRAPHS

Carol continues her wonderful work photographing graves across Victoria and beyond.  Visit her website and you will find all the graves Carol has photographed, organised by cemetery.  There are also War Memorials with names transcribed, big job but one I’m most grateful for having used Carol’s site many times for my WW1 research.  If you have looked for your family members before, check again because Carol’s Headstones is a work in progress.  Recently Carol did updates for cemeteries such as Yambuk, Branxholme, Condah and Lake Bolac.                                                    You can find Carol’s site on the link http://www.ozgenonline.com/~Carols_Headstones/

Each of these options helps if we live some distance from a particular cemetery or, if we can, enhance our visits.  Instead of wandering aimlessly around the cemetery, especially the larger ones, we can plan and have a better idea where to find the graves we’re interested in.  Having access to grave photos whether from cemetery trusts or websites like Billion Graves is great, but to see a grave in its setting, brings much more.  For example, if I’d never visited Byaduk Cemetery, I wouldn’t know the Harman graves are together in one area I like to call “Harmans’ Corner”.

BYADUK CEMETERY

I wouldn’t know of the beauty and tranquillity of the Cavendish Old Cemetery beside the Wannon River, where my Hadden ancestors lie.

CAVENDISH (OLD) CEMETERY

Nor would I have seen the pockets of beauty which come and go, such as these snowflakes growing in the Thomson family plot I saw last week at Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

THOMSON FAMILY PLOT, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Whether you have a family member in a cemetery or not a cemetery is still worth a visit.  You can marvel at the craftsmanship, the intricate detail and the symbolism of the monuments.

At some cemeteries like Hamilton (Old) Cemetery, there is extra information about those buried there.

GRAVE OF AUGUSTA JESSIE DICKENS, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

You can also see how a cemetery can blend with the natural landscape.

DUNKELD (OLD) CEMETERY

MOYSTON CEMETERY

And the man-made landscape.

YAMBUK CEMETERY

Cemeteries are a window to the past.

LOOKING THROUGH THE HEADSTONE OF ISSAC FOSTER, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

Where stories abound.

GRAVE OF DICK THE BUSHRANGER, PORT FAIRY CEMETERY

If you are driving through the Western District and you see a cemetery, stop and take a wander. You never know what you might find.

GRAVE OF ALEXANDER MacKILLOP, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY

 

Passing of the Pioneers

This edition of Passing of the Pioneers is a joint one with both July and August obituaries.  The pioneers include graziers, a butcher, a commercial traveller and a man with 104 descendants at the time of his death. They came from right across the Western District from Beeac to Carapook and places in between.  As usual, any underlined text is a link to a further information about a subject.

JULY

MANIFOLD, Peter – Died 31 July 1885 at Purrumbete.  Peter Manifold was born around 1817 in Cheshire, England.  With his parents and siblings, Peter travelled to Tasmania around 1831.  In 1836 Peter was around nineteen years old and he and his brother set off for Victoria. They settled at Batesford for a few years before deciding to look at the land further west in 1838  Peter and his brother John arrived at the Stony Rises and climbed Mount Porndon.  Below they saw expansive grass plains and Lake Purrumbete and they knew it was the place for them.

PURRUMBETE HOMESTEAD c1913. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/75019

Peter was a member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Roads Board from 1859 and then the Hampden Shire Council.  From 1877 he a was a member of the cemetery trust.  He never married.  You can read a biography of the Manifold brothers on the link to the Australian Dictionary of Biography-http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/manifold-peter-2840

PATTERSON, George Robertson – Died 9 July 1912 at Casterton.  George Patterson was born in Glasgow in 1841.  He arrived in Victoria with his parents in 1850.  In 1858, he went to live at Warrock with his uncle George Robertson.

WARROCK HOMESTEAD c1900. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/769379

Around 1873, George purchased his own land, the property Capaul on the Glenelg River in the Dergholm district.  In 1876, he married Mary Grace Simson of neighbouring Roseneath and a son George was born in 1877 followed by Isobel in 1879, Charles in 1881, and Hugh in 1883. Sadly Mary died in 1885 at St Kilda leaving four children under ten.  In April 1890, George remarried to Ireland born Sara Guilbride in Christchurch, New Zealand. George managed Roseneath and took over much of the management of Warrock in his uncle’s last years. George inherited Warrock after his uncle’s death in 1890.  From 1882-1889, George was a Glenelg Shire councillor.  He also contributed financially to the Presbyterian church, the Casterton Hospital and the Casterton Pastoral & Agriculture Society.  Sara died in 1908 at Casterton and George died four years later leaving an estate of more than £92,000

PALMER, Thomas McLeod – Died 31 July 1915 at Elsternwick.  Thomas Palmer was born in London, England in 1831.  His father was an officer with the East India Company.  In 1838, Thomas with his parents and nine siblings left England for Tasmania. He was educated at Launceston Grammar School then worked in a merchant’s office.  In 1850 he left for the Californian diggings and returned to Australia in 1854 taking up Dederang station south of Albury.  Thomas arrived in the Western District in 1863 after purchasing Grassmere station.  He also purchased Tooram a dairy farm near Allansford.  In 1864, Thomas married Elizabeth Miller.

George’s innovative farming methods saw him put Tooram on the map for its dairy and cheesemaking. George also raised pigs at Tooram and produced bacon.  It was a large concern and required many workers and that was how George come to employ a large group of Afghan men in 1883.  An incident in March 1883 in which one of the Afghans was killed, saw Thomas in court facing manslaughter charges.  He was later acquitted.

Thomas’ wife Elizabeth died in 1888 at the age of forty-seven and poor health forced Thomas to retire around 1890 but he still kept an interest in the industry.  Thomas was also on the Warrnambool Shire Council.  At the time of his death, Thomas had one son and two daughters. 

Two interesting articles about Tooram are on the following links  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142438769  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article142438520  You can also read Thomas’ biography at the Australian Dictionary of Biography on the link http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/palmer-thomas-mcleod-4360

HOPE, Ann – Died 20 July 1916 at Kirkstall.  Ann Hope was born around 1832 in Haddington, Scotland.  She married Barnabas Hamilton and they left for Portland aboard Othani arriving in 1854.  The couple settled at Kirkstall and remained there for the rest of their lives at their property Hopefield.  When they first arrived the land was bush and Ann remembered the “old hands” or former convicts from Tasmania employed in the district.  Barnabas died in 1907 and Ann in 1916.  She left three sons and two daughters and was buried at the Tower Hill Cemetery.

In 1937, a diary written by Barnabas Hamilton was found in a box belonging to his son.  It described his and Ann’s departure from Scotland and his first employment in Victoria.  It also included a description of Sing Sing Prison in New York, visited by Barnabas before he went to Australia.  You can see more about Barnabas’ diary on the link to the Camperdown Chronicle http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28320120

CUMMING, Thomas Forest – Died 30 July 1918 at Toorak.

THOMAS CUMMING c1865. image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/235425

Thomas Cumming was born in Melbourne at a property on the corner of Flinders and Elizabeth Streets on 26 September 1842.  He went to school at Robert Lawson’s Melbourne Academy which later became Scotch College.  His father John Cumming purchased Stony Point station on Mount Emu Creek near Darlington while his older brother John Jr purchased nearby Terrinallum in 1857. When Thomas finished school he went to work for John at Terrinallum learning about all things agricultural.  When John Cumming Sr. died, Thomas inherited Stony Point and began improving the merino stock introducing new bloodlines.

STONY POINT STATION WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/217389

In 1865, Thomas married Selina Dowling and they went on to have five sons and three daughters.

SELINA CUMMING (nee DOWLING) Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/235438

In time Thomas also bought a sheep station on the Darling River in NSW.  In the 1870s Thomas purchased Hyde Park station near Cavendish with John Simson, father-in-law of George Patterson (see obituary above).   A leader in the breeding industry, he was the founder of the Australian Sheep Breeders Association in 1877.  He was a longtime secretary with the association and was still on the committee at the time of his death.

In 1881, Thomas sold Stony Point but retained his interest in Hyde Park.  It was also in 1881 Thomas became the member for Western Provence in the Legislative Council, retaining the seat until 1888.  He moved to Melbourne and ran a land valuation and stock agency business in Collins Street Melbourne.  From 1900, he was president of the Old Scotch Collegians and in 1904, President of the Royal Agriculture Society.  He also sat on the Closer Settlement board and Licence Reduction board.  You can read more about Thomas Cumming at the Australian Dictionary of Biography on the link http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/cumming-thomas-forrest-273

“DEATH OF MR. T. F. CUMMING.” The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 – 1946) 3 August 1918: 36. Web. 12 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140209940&gt;.

AUGUST

BEVAN, Thomas – Died 23 August 1915 at Beeac.  Thomas Bevan was born around 1829 in Devonshire, England.  He married Elizabeth Eastlake and they left for Australia, arriving at Geelong around 1851. In 1863, Thomas and Elizabeth settled at Beeac. Thomas was a devout Methodist and was a local preacher for the church for fifty-one years.  He also conducted the Methodist church choir and was the Sunday School superintendent for fourteen years.  Thomas was also a member of the Rechabite Order, a Justice of the Peace for twenty years and trustee of the Beeac Cemetery at the time of his death.  Thomas survived his wife Elizabeth, who died in 1895, by twenty years. At the time of his death, Thomas had four sons, eight daughters, fifty-four grandchildren and thirty-eight great-grandchildren, a total of 104 descendants.

FRASER,  John Alexander – Died 9 August 1917 at Hamilton.  John Fraser was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1834 and arrived in Australia by 1877.  With his wife Mary Dugalda Mackiehan, John lived in Warrnambool and was employed by Messrs Patterson in the town.  He later obtained work with Rolfe & Co, wholesale merchants of Melbourne and his life as a commercial traveller began.  For thirty years, John travelled the roads of the wider Hamilton district as a representative of Rolfe & Co. His home during much of that time was in Hawthorn.  John was a member of the Commercial Travellers Association and gained the respect of all who did business with him.  He was described in his obituary as, “overflowing with Scottish sentiment and a fund of national anecdote, he was a most-interesting raconteur.”  On 9 August 1917, John still working at eighty-three, stopped by his room at the Argyle Arms Hotel in Gray Street, Hamilton before catching a train home.  He suddenly took ill at the hotel, collapsed and died.  He was buried at Hamilton (Old) Cemetery, leaving a widow and three sons.  On 13 November 1917, a memorial stone donated by fellow commercial travellers was unveiled at John’s grave.

SMITH, George – Died 16 August 1917 at Melbourne.  George Smith was born in the Chetwynd district west of Casterton in 1853. His father died when he was three and his mother remarried.  George became a butcher and operated a shop in Henty Street, Casterton (below).

GEORGE SMITH’S BUTCHER SHOP, HENTY STREET, CASTERTON. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/767590

He married Mary Gill in 1874.  In 1900, George sold his business and in time became the ranger and health inspector for the Glenelg Shire Council.  At the time of his death, George left his widow, Mary and nine children. One of George’s daughters Grace married Jonathan Diwell, my first cousin 3 x removed.

KELLY, James – Died August 1917 at Hamilton.  James Kelly was born in County Armagh, Ireland and married Rose Etta Jackson there.  James and Rose arrived at Portland in 1857 where they stayed for a short time before James decided to try his luck at the Bendigo diggings.  By 1860, the Kellys had settled at Hamilton.  James worked for the Hamilton Borough Council and was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.  When James died in 1917, he left his widow Rose, two sons and two daughters.  Rose died on 22 January 1918 and was buried with James at the Hamilton (Old) Cemetery.

MILBURN, William – Died 15 August 1918 at Casterton.  William Milburn was born in Durham, England around 1837.  He arrived in Victoria around the age of twenty-one and went to the Ballarat diggings.  While in Ballarat, he married Mary Coxon in 1863.  The following year William selected land near Carapook, north-east of Casterton.  When the Retreat estate on the Glenelg River was subdivided, William purchased a block and named it Olive Grove.  He lived there for twenty years before moving to Jackson Street, Casterton about 1917.  William was eighty-one at the time of his death and left his widow Mary, four sons and six daughters.  You can read more about William and Mary’s family on the link to Glenelg & Wannon Settlers & Settlement – www.swvic.org/carapook/names/milburn.htm

FREEMAN, Alice Maria – Died 28 August 1951 at Portland.  Alice Freeman was born in Mount Barker, South Australia in 1855.  She married Charles Langley in 1877 in the Mount Barker district.  They moved to the Murtoa district where other members of the Langley family were living.  In the 1890s, the Langleys moved to Halls Gap in the Grampians.  In 1898, Alice’s son Arthur wrote a letter to “Uncle Ben” of the Weekly Times, describing the family’s life in the Grampians.

“OUR LETTER BOX.” Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 – 1954) 24 September 1898: 8. Web. 12 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222632641&gt;.

Later Alice and Charles leased the Morningside Guest House in Halls Gap and then the Bellfield Guest House.

“Advertising” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 14 December 1907: 17. Web. 9 Aug 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article205002162&gt;.

The Langleys moved to South Portland around 1909 and Charles took up farming.  Alice attended St Stephen’s Church (below) and later in her life she was made a life member of the St Stephen’s Ladies Guild.

ST STEPHEN’S CHURCH, PORTLAND

Alice was also a great worker for the war effort, knitting socks during the two world wars.  She lived to the great age of ninety-five and left two sons and two daughters.

When the Earth Moved at Warrnambool

It was an ordinary Autumn morning in Warrnambool, 7 April 1903, the Tuesday before Easter.  Children went off to school, businesses opened their doors, and ladies went out to do their shopping.

WARRNAMBOOL c1908. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386015

The steamer SS Flinders was docked at the breakwater and a monumental mason was working on a headstone at the Warrnambool Cemetery. An angler cast his line off the bridge close to the mouth of the Hopkins River while small boats dotted the water.

hopkins

FISHING AT THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/771584

Others, like George and Jane Rolfe of Lyndoch, still hadn’t emerged from their homes and at James Beeching’s Princess Alexandra Hotel, a man was asleep in one of the bedrooms.  As clocks ticked over to 8 minutes to 10:00am, a loud rumbling like cannons discharging, rang out across the town and then the ground began to shake.  It lasted around eight to ten seconds but seemed longer as houses rocked and tanks “oscillated” on their stands.  One of the crosses on St John’s Church (below) toppled and smashed through the slate roof.

ST. JOHN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, WARRNAMBOOL c1903. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53807

Ink bottles at the police station spilt, chimneys fell and crockery smashed in homes and shops.  A tank on the roof of the Commercial Hotel split flooding the hotel, and the man sleeping at Beeching’s Hotel woke with a start when plaster fell from the roof.  Close to the Hopkins River, the bottles in the Anglers and Hopkins Hotels shook.  At Lyndoch, George and Jane Rolfe fell from their chairs and books dropped from the shelf onto Jane’s head.

LOOKING TOWARDS “LYNDOCH”, WARRNAMBOOL. Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386021

The fisherman on the Hopkins River bridge watched as a large wave rolled over the sandbar at the river’s mouth.  The small boats on the river shook so hard, those onboard feared their vessels would fall to pieces as the water around them seem to boil. Looking to the shore they were terrified at the sight of the river banks trembling.

LOOKING TOWARDS THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62549

At the nearby cemetery, monuments fell, others swivelled on their bases and urns smashed to the ground. The box the monumental mason was standing on toppled and the frightened man clung to the large monument he was working on. The crew of the SS Flinders felt the steamer move and watched the breakwater tremble.

WARRNAMBOOL BREAKWATER c1890-1900 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/368096

There was an immediate reaction. People ran from homes and businesses in fear of their lives.  In Timor Street, a woman fainted.  Dogs were barking and horses were stirred-up.  At the Warrnambool State School, children rushed for the doors while others jumped out windows.  In the upstairs infant room, the quick thinking teacher Miss Evans closed the door to the room before the young children could stampede down the stairs.  Frightened children cried out for their mothers.

WARRNAMBOOL STATE SCHOOL c1906 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/336508

It was said that of the 7000 people of Warrnambool, 6500 were out in the streets.  Some experienced a giddy feeling, others were suffering headaches and nerves were on edge.

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) 9 April 1903: 6. Web. 24 Jun 2018 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197906248

Damage was greatest in the low-lying areas of the town.  At the cemetery, the damage bill was estimated at £500.  The Bayview Hotel had seven bedrooms with plaster off the ceiling.  Closer to the centre of town, Mona cottage in Banyan Street was partially demolished. The floor of the Warrnambool Town Hall on the corner of Liebig and Timor Streets was littered with plaster as if the roof had lifted and rested down again and a gas pipe was also broken.

WARRNAMBOOL TOWN HALL Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64477

The earthquake wasn’t confined to Warrnambool.  At Samuel McDonald’s Russell’s Creek home, pictures fell to the floor and clocks stopped. At Koroit three distinct shocks were felt, scaring children and shaking crockery.  At Killarney, Framlingham, and Grassmere houses shook and bottles on shelves fell to the floor.  At Allansford, horses and cattle ran spooked in their paddocks.  Goods were thrown to the floor in a shop in Sackville Street, Port Fairy and as the Port Fairy Court House (below) shook, people ran into the street.  Around 11:00am (Victorian time) shocks were felt at Gladstone and Georgetown, north of Adelaide. 

PORT FAIRY COURT HOUSE. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233234

Those at Woodford also felt the shaking, enough to unearth ninety-four sovereigns buried under a tree.

“GOLD FINDING BY EARTHQUAKE.” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 25 April 1903: 25. Web. 4 Jul 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169742657&gt;.

 As the weeks passed, repairs took place and life in Warrnambool returned to normal despite some uneasiness among residents

AERIAL VIEW OF WARRNAMBOOL c1928 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20371

Winter arrived but that didn’t stop people getting out and about like on the evening of Tuesday 14 July 1903. There was a concert at the Christ Church Parish Hall in Koroit Street, a group of footballers were meeting at a South Warrnambool hotel, and a ball was in progress at the Oddfellows Hall next to the Ozone Hotel (below).

warrnambool

THE ODDFELLOWS HALL ON KOROIT STREET NEXT TO THE OZONE HOTEL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20268

Closer to the river, at the Angler’s Hotel a daughter of the licensee Andrew Pyers was practising the piano and George and Jane Rolfe relaxed in a sitting room at Lyndoch.  Police Constable Trainor was on duty, patrolling near the beach. At around 8:28pm, singers at the concert in the  Parish Hall launched into the song, “Life’s Dream is O’er”.

WARRNAMBOOL CHRIST CHURCH PARISH HALL. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234738

Just as they sang the lyrics, “Life’s long dream is o’er, life’s dream is o’er, farewell! farewell!”, a loud rumble rang. To George Rolfe, it sounded like a clap of thunder before an intense shock moved his house, again knocking books from the bookshelf.  Constable Trainor by the beach saw a strange light then felt a severe shock.  Back at the Parish Hall, there was a rush to the door with similar scenes at the Oddfellows Hall where plaster fell from the roof and walls. 

At the Anglers Hotel, a falling chimney dropped a large stone through the roof into the fireplace where Miss Pyers played and the lid of her piano slammed shut.  Andrew Pyers and his daughters were terrified as a barrel fell from its stand and rolled across the hotel floor and bottles fell from the shelves.

BRIDGE OVER THE HOPKINS RIVER LOOKING TOWARDS THE ANGLERS HOTEL . Image courtesy of the State Library of Victora http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386019

At St John’s Church, another three crosses each weighing more than 125 kilograms, fell from the roof. One landed thirty feet away from the church. Nine minarets on the northern wall were damaged.  Across the town, water tanks burst.  In Liebig Street, three chimneys fell at the Victoria Hotel and a large concrete ornament on the roof of Peter Hand’s tobacconist shop fell to the ground. Weighing over 100 kilograms, it just missed a man standing in the doorway.  Nearby, a plate-glass window at Alfred Emery’s drapery smashed and the store window of crockery importer John Villiers also smashed and undoubtedly some of his fragile stock.  

LIEBIG STREET WARRNAMBOOL INCLUDING THE STORE OF JOHN VILLIERS. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/386010

The earthquake lasted only about four seconds but it was intense. As it occurred at night, the damage wasn’t obvious until morning.  Many of the buildings damaged in the first quake were again affected, such as the Commerical Hotel. The area around the Hopkins Valley from the mouth of the Hopkins River again saw the most damage.

AERIAL VIEW OF THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER c1928 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/20465

Curious holes formed near the mouth of the river.

hopkins

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 16 July 1903

On the western bank. Proudfoot’s Boathouse sustained damage.

proudfoots

PROUDFOOT’S BOATHOUSE ON THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54159

George Rolfe’s Lyndoch and Reg Selby’s Clifton had cracks in the walls. There were two landslips on the river bank and a large hole formed between Lyndoch and the jetty. At the Hopkins Hotel, cracks repaired after the previous quake reopened and Mr Haberfield’s stone cottage sustained further damage.

hopkins1

LOOKING ALONG THE WESTERN BANK OF THE HOPKINS RIVER TOWARDS THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoira http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/62680

A little further along the river, the cemetery was in ruins, with the damage more extensive than in April. The Argus of 16 July 1903 reported nearly every monument was either out of place, partially or totally destroyed.  Some had snapped at the base.

“THE EARTHQUAKE.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 16 July 1903: 5. Web. 6 Jul 2018 .

Further along, there was damage to John Ware’s home Weeripnong.

‘WEERIPNONG’ OVERLOOKING THE HOPKINS RIVER. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/234656

Across Lady Bay, the suspension bridge over the Merri River was kinked and there was a crack in the breakwater.  In the CBD, the Warrnambool Town Hall stood up better than during the first earthquake, however, it was thought the wall facing Liebig Street would need rebuilding. Three clocks at the Post Office stopped at 8:27pm and plaster had fallen from the ceiling.

WARRNAMBOOL POST OFFICE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/304572

The two storey Ocean View Coffee Palace on the corner of Banyan and Merri Streets had extensive damage.  The north wall was knocked out and the western wall on Banyan Street was damaged near the foundations and the building was condemned by the council.  Mayville a stone cottage in Banyan street was badly damaged and Isabella Palmer’s house in Lava Street was a wreck.  The spire at St Josephs Catholic Church had twisted. The Geelong Advertiser of 16 July 1903 reported it was “out of plumb at a distance of twenty feet down from the summit.  The twist has thrown it three inches out”.

ST. JOSEPH’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, WARRNAMBOOL. c1907 Image courtesy of the State ibrary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/54604

The earthquake was once again felt across the Western District, including at Port Fairy where the shaking lasted fifteen seconds.  Port Fairy folk rushed into the streets, clocks stopped and crockery smashed.  At Illowa, the Mechanics Institute shook and at the Illowa Hotel, bottles fell.  At Ararat, Casterton and Clunes, windows rattled while at Cobden and Hexham there was concern among residents who felt their homes shake.  At Hawkesdale, the quake lasted eight seconds while at Penshurst, a rumbling like thunder was heard and a water tank split at Newfield near Port Campbell.

Other towns affected were Terang, Camperdown Hamilton, Portland, Allansford, Panmure, Purnim and Garvoc. Even at Ballarat, statues at the Mechanics Institute were shaken about 8:30pm, the fire station tower swayed and a hole appeared in Barkly Street.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities as a result of either earthquake.  There were some minor injuries and, not surprisingly, shock.  

After the April event residents were very uneasy.  That was not helped by the link made between the earthquake and the volcanic nature of the area.

“General news” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 18 April 1903: 24. Web. 13 Jul 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197943395&gt;.

After each of the earthquakes at Warrnambool, attention turned to Pietro Baracchi, the Government Astronomer.

PIETRO BARACCHI Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/792772

Baracchi was based at the Melbourne Observatory home to Victoria’s seismograph.

MELBOURNE OBSERVATORY Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/1724584

After the first quake, Baracchi developed the seismograph film but found only slight movement recorded at the observatory at 09:53:40, ninety seconds after it was felt in Warrnambool.  He didn’t have a lot more to offer.  He said there was no prior warning, however, the previous year had seen more tremors recorded than in any other year.  He put that down to a heightened awareness of earthquakes.  He thought investigating the damage may show more about the cause of the quake. 

TOWER HILL c1903 Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/53889

Baracchi’s explanation was not enough and people were demanding answers.  The Warrnambool Mayor invited Baracchi and the head of the Melbourne University Geology Department, Professor John Gregory to Warrnambool to conduct an investigation.  Baracchi declined the invitation saying he was busy at the observatory and it wasn’t his job.  His job was to describe the reading received at the Observatory but determining the cause was the work of Professor Gregory. 

Councillor Russell of the Warrnambool Borough Council said, “the scientific authorities had shown great lack of spirit in the matter and added that if they wanted to know anything about it, they should come of their own accord and not wait to be invited.” Councillor Price agreed, “The matter is of great interest not only to us but to the whole State.”(The Herald 15 April 1903)

Professor Gregory did take up the invitation and arrived in Warrnambool on Friday 17 April visiting those sites with the most damage.  He left town to analyse his findings and prepare a report but before his departure, he attempted to debunk the theories the earthquake was connected with Tower Hill.  He said if that were the case, the centre of the damage would have been around Koroit.

JOHN GREGORY “THE NEW PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY.” Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 – 1918) 3 March 1900: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article198523079&gt;.

Before the professor presented his report, the second earthquake occurred.  The Argus of 16 July reported on the Melbourne Observatory seismograph readings, “The record, which is made on sensitised paper, showed on development that the earth wave was southerly in its origin, and that, although the shock was somewhat severe for a few seconds it quickly died away. The instrument indicated that the shock was of almost double the intensity of that which passed through Melbourne on 7 April.” Pietro Baracchi wasted no time getting to Warrnambool to inspect the damage from the second quake. He examined the holes at the Hopkins River some claimed was a sign of volcanic activity.  He dismissed the suggestion, putting the occurrence down to closing fissures forcing up mud and sand 

LOOKING AWAY FROM THE MOUTH OF THE HOPKINS RIVER TOWARD THE CEMETERY IN THE DISTANCE Image courtesy of the State Libary of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/60534

Meanwhile, the day after the July earthquake Professor Gregory stated his earlier investigations had led him to believe the first earthquake was caused by a slip in the sea floor off the south-west coast and the second earthquake was likely to have occurred for the same reason.  He didn’t believe it was linked to volcanic activity.  The April 1903 earthquake measured magnitude 5.0 and the July 1903 earthquake measured 5.3.  In September 2015, a magnitude 4.8 quake was recorded in a similar location off the south-west coast as described by Professor Gregory, along with reports of windows rattling in Warrnambool.  The earthquake of 14 July 1903 remains Victoria’s most destructive earthquake with the April event not far behind.  The following photos from The Australasian are an example of the devastation.

 

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Knowing about the 1903 Warrnambool earthquakes now gives me a greater appreciation of the older monuments in the Warrnambool Cemetery and the fact they still stand today.  

WARRNAMBOOL CEMETERY OVERLOOKING THE HOPKINS RIVER

SOURCES

Advocate – 25 April 1903

Bairnsdale Advertiser & Tambo & Omeo Chronicle – 9 April 1903

Border Watch – 11 April 1903

Camperdown Chronicle – 9 April 1903

Geelong Advertiser – 14 April 1903 

Geelong Advertiser – 8 April 190311 April 190316 July 1903

Hamilton Spectator – 9 April 1903

Leader – 11 April 190325 July 1903

Mount Alexander Mail – 9 April 1903

Portland Guardian – 17 July 1903

Punch – 23 July 1903

The Age – 7 April 19038 April 19039 April 190315 July 190316 July 1903

The Argus – 8 April 19039 April 190315 July 190316 July 190317 July 190318 July 190320 July 190313 October 1923

The Australasian- 9 May 190318 July 190325 July 1903

The Herald – 7 April 19038 April 190315 April 190315 July 1903

Weekly Times – 11 April 1903

Weekly Times – 25 July 1903

McCue, Kevin, Historical earthquakes in Victoria: A Revised List, Australian Earthquake Engineering Society

Passing of the Pioneers

This month seven pioneers join the Pioneers Obituary Index including a banker, a blacksmith, and a man who inadvertently shaped my family history.  As usual, I’ve included links to further information throughout the post so click on the underlined text to learn more.

CHIRNSIDE, Thomas – Died June 1887 at Werribee.  As much as I’d like to look at Thomas Chirnside’s life story in-depth, it would need more space than I can give in this post. There are so many interesting facets of his life such as the many properties he owned, his contribution to thoroughbred breeding and racing in colonial Victoria, and his association with the Victorian Acclimatization Society.  Instead, I’ll give you an overview of his life with links to further information and at the end.

THOMAS CHIRNSIDE (1874). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/153091

Thomas Chirnside was born in 1815 at Cockburnspath, Berwickshire, Scotland.  He left Scotland in 1838 and his first stop in Australia was at Adelaide in January 1839 before going on to Sydney.  His younger brother Andrew arrived in Melbourne later in 1839 so Thomas travelled to meet him. The brothers then went on to Sydney to buy stock to take overland to Adelaide to sell.  Thomas and Andrew then took up a run on the Loddon River in 1840, passed and named by Major Thomas Mitchell only four years before. From the Lodden, Thomas and Andrew followed the path of Mitchell again towards the Western District and in 1842 they found before them the highest peak in the Grampians named Mount William by Major Mitchell.

VIEW TOWARDS MOUNT WILLIAM

The land appealed to the brothers and they established a station named after the nearby peak.  It was not without its dangers.

“THE GAOL BREAKING CONVICTS.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1840 – 1845) 27 March 1843

The brothers ran Merino sheep and cattle at Mount William and a large woolshed (below) with twenty stands was built in 1865.

MOUNT WILLLIAM WOOLSHED BUILT c1865. Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia Image no. B 71655/17 https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+71655/17

Thomas and Andrew went on to buy Mokanger station on the Wannon River near Cavendish in 1843 and in the years after, acquired properties such as Mount Emu Creek and Carranballac near Skipton (below) and Kenilworth South and Victoria Lagoon near Cavendish.  By 1870 between them, they had acquired around 250,000 acres of land in Victoria.

CARRANBALLAC WOOLSHED. Image courtesy of the J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/233898

The Chirnside name was soon connected with horse racing in the colony.  It’s amazing to think they were standing thoroughbred stallions at stud in 1845, but while it was the early days of racing in Victoria it was happening decades before in New South Wales and Tasmania.

“Advertising” The Melbourne Courier (Vic. : 1845 – 1846) 27 August 1845: 3. Web. 14 Jun 2018 .

The Chirnsides were soon racing their progeny and it was Mount William station bred Alice Hawthorn in the late 1850s who brought them their first notable success.  It appears Thomas was more interested in the breeding side of the business while Andrew was into racing, with many horses they bred raced in Andrew’s name including 1874  Melbourne Cup winner Haricot.

From 1849, Thomas began acquiring land at Wyndham, west of Melbourne and he soon built up an estate of 80,000 acres known as Werribee Park.  As a member of the Victorian Acclimatisation Society, Thomas began importing animals from the old country, red deer, foxes, hares, pheasants, and partridges. It wasn’t long before “fine old English gentleman” were hunting the new arrivals around the vast expanse of Werribee Park.

“MR. CHIRNSIDE AND THE CAMP AT WERRIBEE PARK. To the Editor of the Geelong Advertiser.” Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 – 1929) 16 March 1861: 3. Web. 17 Jun 2018 .

Although a homestead and outbuildings were built in the early days at Werribee Park, in 1873 work started on a beautiful mansion.

WERRIBEE MANSION c1880. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/155659

Thomas lived at the mansion but in the years before his death, he moved to another of his properties, Point Cook where much of the Chirnsides’ thoroughbred breeding took place.

POINT COOK HOMESTEAD IN 1971. Image courtesy of J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria. http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169911

Thomas never married and as he reached old age in the 1880s, he signed all his property over to his brother and nephews except for Point Cook.  Thomas did return to live at Werribee Park and took his own life there in 1887.  He was buried at the Geelong Eastern Cemetery.

You can find more information about Thomas Chirnside on the following links

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Australasian

Obituary of Thomas Chirnside from The Argus

Biography of Thomas Chirnside from the Australian Dictionary of Biography

Alice Hawthorn – The Western Mare

If it was not for Thomas Chirnside and his brother Andrew, my family history may have been very different.  From the 1850s, my ggg grandfathers Charles Hadden and James Mortimer were employed by the Chirnsides.  The Haddens came from Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland just thirty kilometres from Thomas Chirnside’s birthplace. Charles, his wife Agnes and three sons went straight from Melbourne to Mokanger after they arrived on the Marco Polo in September 1852.  They weren’t there long before they went east again to the Chirnside’s Carranballac Station where Margaret was born in 1853. Charles then thought he’d try his luck at the diggings but it wasn’t long before he was back working for the Chirnsides again but at Mount William Station where a daughter Ellen was born in 1861.  In 1863 they arrived back at Mokanger and son John was born there the following year.  After ten years, of moving they finally decided to settle there.

James Mortimer, his wife Rosanna and four children also arrived in Melbourne in September 1852 on the Bombay, and a daughter Mary was born the following year at Mount William Station. Around 1860, the Mortimers moved on to Mokanger.  James Mortimer was a ploughman and later an overseer and Charles Hadden a boundary rider at the Cavendish property.  The Hadden and Mortimer children grew up together and on 17 March 1870, William Hadden by then himself working at Mokanger, married Mary Mortimer at the property.  William was twenty-three and Mary just seventeen.  William continued working at Mokanger into his eighties and saw the property change hands from the Chirnsides.

McEWEN, Peter – Died 9 June 1902 at Hamilton.  Peter McEwen was born in Argyllshire, Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1863.  He went first to Tullich station near Casterton owned by Miles Fletcher before becoming the manager of Argyle Station. In 1867, Peter took over the running of Dunrobin Station also near Casterton, holding the position of manager until his death.  In 1872, Peter married Jessie Fletcher and they had three sons and three daughters.

In 1901, the Casterton Caledonian Society was formed and Peter was the inaugural chief of the society.  A kind and charitable man, the respect for him was demonstrated when people from across the district attended his funeral to pay their respects.  More than seventy buggies along with horsemen followed the cortège which travelled from Dunrobin station to Casterton reaching a length of almost a kilometre as seen in the photo below.  You can read an article about the funeral on the link – Funeral of Peter McEwen.

THE FUNERAL PROCESSION OF PETER McEWEN MOVING ALONG RACECOURSE ROAD, CASTERTON ON 11 JUNE 1902. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/774845

HELPMAN, Walter Stephen – Died 24 June 1914 at Warrnambool.  Walter Helpman was born in Fremantle, Western Australia, a son of Captain Benjamin Helpman and Ann Pace, a sister of Mrs Jane Henty. The Helpmans moved to Victoria and settled in Warrnambool.  Walter attended school in Portland before going to a grammar school in South Melbourne.  In 1869, he joined the National Bank at Warrnambool before moving to the Geelong branch as an accountant.  In 1875, he became manager of the Colonial Bank at Koroit and in 1876, started a branch at Port Fairy. In 1877, Walter became the manager of the Warrnambool branch of the Colonial Bank and he married Isabella Murray in the same year. The first of Isabella and Walter’s children was Francis born in Warrnambool in 1878. Then followed twins Isabella Jean and James in 1881 and Gordon born in 1884.

Walter left the Colonial Bank in 1902 and the Helpmans left Warrnambool. Walter had a job as a clerk with the Customs Department in Melbourne and he and Isabella moved to 547 Collins Street, Melbourne, the location of the Federal Hotel.

FEDERAL HOTEL, MELBOURNE. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/247026

In 1907, Isabella and Walter’s son James married May Gardiner at Millicent, South Australia.  A son Robert known as “Bobbie”, was born to James and May at Mt Gambier in 1909.  Walter and Isabella returned to Warrnambool around 1912, but two years later Walter died.  Isabella died at Warrnambool in 1924.  Their grandson “Bobbie” grew up to become Sir Robert Helpman.

ILLINGWORTH, John – Died 11 June 1915 at Casterton.  John was born in Lancashire, England in 1835 and went to London to take up an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and wheelwright.  On completion, he travelled to Dublin, Ireland and while there, he and friend decided to travel to Australia.  They arrived in 1860 and John spent time in Melbourne and Castlemaine before moving on to Ballarat where he remained for twenty years. There he married Sarah Jane Culliford in 1867.  In 1882, John and his family arrived in Casterton and settled on Toorak Hill.  John purchased the blacksmith and wheelwright business of Alexander McBean.

JOHN ILLINGWORTH’S CARRIAGE FACTORY AND BLACKSMITHS, CASTERTON c1906. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766354

“Advertising” Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954) 7 March 1903: 32. Web. 18 Jun 2018 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169741611&gt;.

In the same year, John also purchased the Temperance Boarding House in Henty Street, Casterton. 

Away from work, John attended the Casterton Methodist Church and was a trustee and circuit steward as well as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent.  John was also a member of the Glenelg Lodge of Freemasons. At the time of his death, John left his widow Sarah and two sons and two daughters.

CASTERTON WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH c1880. Image courtesy of the Museums Victoria Collections https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/766563

HICKLING, Wyatt Ware – Died 19 June 1916 at Macarthur.  Wyatt Hickling was born in  Warrnambool around 1876.  As a child, he was sent to Dresden, Germany for two years to attend an English school.  On his return, Wyatt attended Geelong Grammar before going to St Peter’s College in Adelaide.  After his schooling, Wyatt went to work for Mr Henry De Little at Caramut North Estate before managing a property in Western Australia. On his return to Victoria, Wyatt became a partner of Caramut North.  He was known throughout Victoria as a good judge of merino sheep and was often called upon to judge at sheep shows.  He was involved with racing, coursing and the arts, taking the lead role in a number of local productions. In 1900, Wyatt married Tessa Ada Ferguson of Adelaide and they had two sons.

On Wednesday 31 May 1916, Wyatt was travelling in a motor car near Macarthur with Mr N. Whitehead when they crashed into a large rock.  Wyatt was thrown from the car and severely injured his spine at the base of his skull.  When help arrived he was unconscious and taken to the nearby Ripponhurst homestead.  Doctors were called from Hamilton and Warrnambool before two doctors from  Melbourne travelled to Macarthur to asses Wyatt’s injuries.  He showed a slight improvement but never regained consciousness and died nineteen days after the accident on 19 June.

DAVIDSON, William – Died June 1917 at Woolsthorpe.  William Davidson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1832.  He married Eliza Ogilvie in 1854 and they travelled to Australia, arriving at Port Fairy in 1855.  William went to work for Joseph Ware at Minjah before opening a store at Woolsthorpe. His store was located on what was known as the Great North Road from Warrnambool to the Ararat diggings.  It was a busy road and Woolsthorpe was a popular overnight stop for travellers. They often stocked up at William’s store and he was known to take up to £100 a day.  William left the store and took up dairy-farming continuing until he suffered a stroke around 1905.  William was well-known in the Woolsthorpe district by his nickname of “The Chaffer” because of his tendency to tease.  Eliza died around 1914 and William lived on for another three years. He left twelve surviving children, forty-three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

THOMSON, Annie – Died 14 June 1930 at Hamilton.  Annie Thomson was born in 1855 in the Shelford district were her parents James Thomson and Christian Armstrong were living at the time.  Around 1860, the Thomsons moved to the Edenhope district after James purchased an interest in the Ullswater and Maryvale Stations.  In 1870, James Thomson purchased the Monivae estate, just south of Hamilton.  In time, Annie’s father built a new homestead to accommodate his large family and she spent around seven years living there prior to her marriage.

MONIVAE HOMESTEAD OPEN DAY 2017.

When she did marry, Annie was thirty but it could have been earlier.  In 1881, her beau James Allan Learmonth, a son of Hamilton businessman and grazier Peter Learmonth and Mary Jarvey Pearson of Prestonholme left for Mexico to manage a property bought by his father.  Five years passed yet Allan and Annie’s love remained strong and in 1886, Allan returned from Mexico to marry her.  The wedding was a large social occasion and sparked much interest within the Hamilton community.  Celebrated on 1 September 1886, at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hamilton, the marriage was not followed by the usual wedding breakfast.  Instead, two weeks later James Thomson hosted a private ball for two hundred guests in the Hamilton Town Hall for the newlyweds in lieu of a wedding breakfast.   

Soon after, Allan and Annie left for Mexico and they remained there until 1892, arriving back in Australia with four children, all born in Mexico.  Allan then took up the running of Corea near Dunkeld. The following year, Peter Learmonth died and Allan took over Prestonholme.  Allan died in 1928 and Annie in 1930, leaving three sons and three daughters.  She was buried with Allan at the Hamilton Old Cemetery.

GRAVE OF ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON (OLD) CEMETERY.

Annie’s parents James and Christina Thomson were to the Hamilton Presbyterian Church as James’ parents Peter and Mary Learmonth were to the Methodist Church, each devout supporters of their chosen faith. Of course, when Annie married James she moved to Methodism and she and James showed the same devotion to their faith as their parents before them.  After Annie’s death, a stained glass window was installed in Hamilton’s Methodist Church (now Uniting Church) to memorialise the couple.

MEMORIAL WINDOW FOR ANNIE THOMSON AND HER HUSBAND JAMES ALLAN LEARMONTH, HAMILTON UNITING CHURCH (FORMERLY HAMILTON METHODIST CHURCH)