Hamilton’s WW1…the story so far

HAMILTON. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H2014.76/18 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/305964

With Anzac Day drawing closer, I thought it was time for an update on the WW1 project I started during the Centenary of WW1 and continue to this day. The initial aim was to collect the names of men and women with Hamilton connections who enlisted for WW1 and tell their stories. To date, the enlisted men number more than 730 and there are forty-eight enlisted women. Their connection to Hamilton could come from their birth in the town, education, or work. Or, it could also be through a parent or sibling living in the town. The names of those who enlisted in Hamilton are included, as are those named on the various memorials and honour boards around Hamilton.

Hamilton’s WW1 is also about the response of the Hamilton townspeople to the outbreak of war and the difficult years that followed. .The Hamilton’s WW1 Facebook page was useful in examining this through a daily post “100 years ago in the Hamilton Spectator” with an article from each edition of the Hamilton Spectator from 1915 to 1918.

There were articles about the football clubs, the local P&A show, and the races, all impacted by the war. Other articles told of the unfair treatment of the Indigenous men who marched from Condah to Hamilton to enlist, and anti-German sentiment particularly evident in Hamilton with German settlements located to the south of the town.

The Hamilton Spectator was a vital source of news from the front. People would gather around boards outside the Spectator office (below) to read the latest edition to ensure friends, work colleagues, or relatives were not on the latest list of wounded, missing, and dead. Everyone would have known someone who was serving. This photo of a small section of Gray Street, Hamilton demonstrates that.

HAMILTON SPECTATOR OFFICE, c1910. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/399139

Several men from the Spec office enlisted including apprentice monoline operator William Hind killed at the Nek, Gallipoli on 7 August 1915. Next door was the office of stock and station agent John Fenton. John and his wife Helen saw two boys off to war but only one returned. A few doors to the right of John Fenton’s was the hairdressing and tobacconist shop of Harry Catterson, killed at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917.

In the background is the Hamilton Post Office. Several past and then current postal employees enlisted. Past employee William Head was killed at the landing at Gallipoli and Cyril Iles, a letter sorter at the time of enlistment, was killed at Pozieres in 1916. A bit further along and across the road was the Hamilton State School. Former teacher Walter Filmer was killed at Bullecourt in May 1917 and dozens of pupils had big brothers, uncles, and fathers overseas some to never return. Diagonal to the school was the Hamilton YMCA. Twenty-six members were either killed or died from wounds. So much loss in just half a block of Hamilton’s main street. I could continue in either direction along Gray Street and offer similar examples.

The response at home is also interwoven through the biographies of the enlisted men and women. As well as looking at the subject’s pre-war life, I explore how their enlistment impacted family and friends at home. Impassioned requests for the return of personal effects, family divisions over pensions and medals, and seemingly premature deaths of parents are throughout. Then there were the families of those missing presumed dead. Whether it was the typed letters by Alan Cordner’s father Isiah or the handwritten letters of Richard Hicks’ mother Janet, they were written with raw emotion. It wouldn’t have surprised me to find Isiah Cordner had somehow made it to the Middle East to find Alan, such was his quest for some sort of closure.

FROM THE SERVICE RECORD OF RICHARD ERNEST HICKS Service no. 3332, courtesy of the National Archives of Australia https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/140601/24

Currently, the number of biographies I have written for those men who didn’t return stands at 136 from a total of 183. I have also written a further thirty-five biographies of returned men and nurses, and added seven war memorials and honour boards from around Hamilton. There will be more honour boards to come with only photos needed for completion. The past year has restricted my access to boards but I should be able to start getting photos soon. Longer term, I’m working on bringing together the information gathered from the Spectator snippets on the Facebook page and the collection on this site into a more accessible format.

Below you will find the biographies and memorials/honour boards completed so far. The ranks and units were taken from the AIF Nominal Roll compiled in 1919 with the last rank and unit of each person. Click on the names to read more.

The Fallen

ANDERSON, Edward Handfield (2nd Lt) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

AUSTIN, William John (Sgt) Australian Imperial Force Headquarters

BAULCH, Leith Silas David (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

BEECHAM, George James Leopold (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

BLACK, James (Pte) 51th Australian Infantry Battalion

BLACKNEY, James Alexander (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

BRIANT, Reginald (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

BROKENSHIRE, Joseph (Cpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

BURGESS, Ebenezer  (Pte) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Sidney Joseph (Cpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Thomas Waddell (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

CATTERSON, Robert Henry (LSgt) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

COLESTEN, Stanley George (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

CONNOR, John Leslie (Sgt) 8th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron

COOK, George (Dvr) 6th Field Company, Australian Engineers

CORDNER, Joseph Alan (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion, B Company

COULTER, Robert James (Trooper) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

DARK, George Henry (Pte) 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion

DAVIES, Stanley Walton (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

DOHLE, Alfred (LCpl) 4th Cavalry Division, 13th Australian Light Horse Regiment

DOHLE, Edmund (Pte) 38th Australian Infantry Battalion

DOUGLAS, Claude Campbell Telford (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

DRUMMOND, Robert William (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

DUFF, Robert William (Pte) 38th Australian Infantry Battalion

DUNN, Daniel Joseph (Pte) 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion

ELDER, Frank Reginald (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

EMMETT, Arthur Munro (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

EMMETT, Alfred Roy (Cpl) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion, C Company

EMMETT, Ernest (Pte) 2nd Australian Field Ambulance

EVANS, Arthur Leslie  (Dvr) 11th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

FENTON, John Wilfred (M.M.) (Lt) 2nd Australian Division Artillery

FILMER, Walter Stephen (2nd Lt) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

FINNEGAN, Terence (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

FOLEY, Cornelius Thomas (Gnr) 3rd Australian Field Artillery Brigade

FRANCIS, John Walter (Lt) 59th Australian Infantry Battalion

FRIEND, Percy O’Connor (M.M.) (2nd Lt) 31th Australian Infantry Battalion

GAYER. William Ventry (M.M) (Bdr) 4th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

GIBSON, Sydney Walter (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

GIBSON, Victor Robert  (LCpl) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

GORDON, James (Pte) 1th Australian Machine Company

GRAVES, Hubert (BQMS) 12th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

GREEN, Francis Regis (Pte) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

HARRIS, Leslie Duncan (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

HAYWARD, Herbert James (Pte) Depot Battalion

HENTY, Edward Ellis (Lt) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

HERLIHY, George Joseph David (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

HERRMANN, Bernard (Tpr) 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment

HICKS, Richard Ernest (Pte) 14th Australian Field Artillery Brigade

HIND, William Arthur (Tpr) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

HOBBINS, Albert Archibald (Gnr) 4th Australian Field Artillery Battery

HOPKINS, Clive Boyer (Capt) 45th Australian Infantry Battalion

HUDSON, Charles Robert (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

ILES, Cyril Thomas Brackley (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

INGRAM, John (Pte) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

JACKSON, Walter Henry (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

JAFFRAY, Alfred John Cpt) 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron

JOHNSON, Francis Charles (Pte) 35th Australian Infantry Battalion

JOYCE, Matthew John (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

JOYCE, Thomas William (LCpl) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

KEEGAN, Roderick James (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

KENDALL, Frank Selwood (Pte) 5th Australian Machine Gun Battalion

KILKELLY, James Patrick (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion 

KINGHORN, Walter Rodney (LCpl) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

KIRKWOOD, William John Clyde (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

KNIGHT, James Alfred (Pte) 6th  Australian Infantry Battalion

LANCE, George Basil (Pte) 50th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEES, William Alexander Christie (Pte) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEWIS, Arthur Harold (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

LIEBE, Sydney August (Pte) 21st Australian Infantry Battalion

LINDSAY, Charles Henry (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

LOVELL, William Leslie (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

MALONE, John Henry (Pte) 57th Australian Infantry Battalion

McDERMAID, Robert Bailey (Dvr) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

McKECKNIE, John Sinclair (Dvr) 4th Field Artillery Brigade ,

McLUCKIE, John Law (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

McPHEE, John Alexander (Pte) 2nd Battalion Auckland Regiment, New Zealand Army

McPHEE, Norman Edward (Sgt) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

McQUEEN, George William (Lt) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

McSWAIN, John (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORIESON, Ivan (Pte) 29th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORISON, John (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

MORRISSEY, Frank (Pte) 10th Infantry Brigade Headquarters

MULLANE, Leslie Alexander (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

NIDDRIE, Stanley Roy (Sgt) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

NIVEN, James (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

NIVEN, William David (Pte) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

NORMAN, William Leslie (Cpl) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

O’NEILL, Thomas (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

ORD, Thomas Hugh (ACpl) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

OSBORNE, Percy Beaumont (LSgt) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

PARR, Alfred John (2nd Lt) (D.C.M.) 59th Australian Infantry Battalion

PEACH, William Robert (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

PORTER, Norman Leslie (Pte) 12th Australian Infantry Battalion

PRIMROSE, Leslie John (Lt) No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps

RHOOK, Henry Joseph William (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

RICHIE, George (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

RIGBY, Frederick Angus Rowland (Tpr) 22 Corps Light Horse

SACK, James (Pte) 1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion

SALTER, Herbert Ernest (LCpl) 7th Australian Infantry Battalion

SANGSTER, Leslie Fairburn (Spr) 2nd Australian Division Signals Company

SCOTT, Alexander William Pte) 21th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHARROCK, Charles (LCpl) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHEEHAN, Albert Edward (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion, D Company

SHEEHAN, Daniel Denis (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

SLOAN, Joseph (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

SMITH, Edwin Richardson (M.M.) (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

SMYTH, James Norman (D.C.M.) (Tpr) 9th Australian Light Horse Regiment

STAGOLL, Robert Leslie (Pte) 24th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEPHENS, William Hudson (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

STEVENSON, Alexander John (Sgt) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEVENSON, Edgar Richmond (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEWART, Charles Herbert (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

STEPHENS, William Hudson (Pte) 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, John Woolhouse (Pte) 28th Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, Robert James (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

TAYLOR, Thomas Henry (Pte) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

THOMAS, Edward Courtney (Pte) 6th Australian Field Ambulance

THOMPSON, William Norton (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

TILLEY, George Edward (Tpr) 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

TOLEMAN, Kenneth (2nd Lt) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

TORBET, Gordon James (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

TREDREA, Francis Stanley (Pte) 60th Australian Infantry Battalion

TRIGGER, Samuel Winifred (Pte) 30th Australian Infantry Battalion

TUCKER, Virgil (Cpt) 16th Australian Infantry Battalion

TULLY, John Luke Victor (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WARING, Frederick Charles MacLeod (Cpl) Australian Army Postal Corps

WATERS, William Henry (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

WESTGARTH, Horace Leonard (LCpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WHITE, James Michael (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

WILLIAMS, Clifford Davies (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

WILLIAMS, Lancelot Hamilton  (Spr) 4th Field Company, Australian Engineers

WILLIAMS, Lewis Henry Clifford (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

WINNELL, William (Pte) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

WOMERSLEY, Edgar (Tpr) 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

YOUNG, Clarence Everard (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

YOUNGER, John James Affleck (Lt) 10th Australian Infantry Battalion

HAMILTON WAR MEMORIAL. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63848

Returned Men

ARMITAGE, Harold William (Pte) 16th Australian Field Ambulance

AUSTIN, Glenister Burton (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

BARR, Gordon (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

BOYD, William Charles (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

BOXER, Walter Henry (M.M & Bar, D.C.M.) (LCpl) 58th Australian Infantry Battalion

BRAKE, William (Pte) Australian Flying Corps

BROWN, Thomas (Pte) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

CAMERON, Archibald Douglas (Dvr) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

COWAN, Duncan Brown (D.C.M.) (LSgt) 39th Australian Infantry Battalion

CREEK, Herbert (D.C.M.) (Cpl) 1st Australian Armoured Car Section

DAVIES, Albert  (Pte) 6th Australian Infantry Battalion

LEARMONTH, Basil Law (Lt) Australian Flying Corps

LODGE, Augustus Bernard (D.S.O.) (Capt) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

LODGE, Frank Spry (M.C. M.M.) (Lt) 2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion

LOVETT, Alfred John Henry (Pte) 12th Australian Infantry Battalion

MILLS, John Craig (Pte) 14th Australian Infantry Battalion

PORTER, George Richard (Pte) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

RHOOK, Archibald Alfred (LCpl) 46th Australian Infantry Battalion

SHAW, Ivan Thomas (Dvr) 2nd Australian Divisional Ammunition Column

UNDERWOOD, Arthur Bell Percy (M.M.) (Pte) 23rd Australian Infantry Battalion

WENSLEY, Albert William (Pte) 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

YOUNG, Leonard Hamilton (Pte) 8th Australian Infantry Battalion

Nurses

ALLEN, Caroline Mary (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Serivce

CAMERON, Edith Clare (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

DELAHENTY, Margaret (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

DONNES, Alice (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

GREWAR, Gertrude Agnes (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

HARRIS, Fanny May Red Cross Volunteer Nurse

HUGHES, Catherine Josephine (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

KENNEDY, Josephine Millicent (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALCOLM, Edith Eileen (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALCOLM, Stella Agnes Blyth (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

MALSTER, Lilian Martha (Sr) Australian Army Nursing Service

ROUNTREE, Evangeline Amelia (S Nurse) Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

SCOTT, Norma Norham (S Nurse) Australian Army Nursing Service

Memorials and Honour Boards

Lest We Forget

LEGEND: 2ND LT = 2ND LIEUTENANT, BDR=BOMBARDIER, CAPT=CAPTAIN, CPL=CORPORAL, DCM=DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL, DSO=DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER, DVR=DRIVER, GNR=GUNNER, LCPL=LANCE CORPORAL, LT=LIEUTENANT, MC=MILITARY CROSS, MM=MILITARY MEDAL, MSM=MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL, PTE=PRIVATE, SGT=SERGEANT, S NURSE=STAFF NURSE, SPR=SAPPER, SR=SISTER, TRP=TROOPER, WO1=WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 1

Featured image courtesy of the State Library of Queenland

©2021 Merron Riddiford

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