In Broad Daylight

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the youngest son of Joseph Harman and Sarah Mulberry of Byaduk and formally of Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. “Alfred Winslow Harman – Stepping out of the Shadows” was so named because research for the post uncovered things about Alfred I hadn’t known.

Finding a photo of Alfred was the next aim and I thought I had just one shot at it…a photo of the Rupanyup Rifle Team c1880-90.  Having seen their great Facebook page, I thought I would contact the Rupanyup Historical Society.  I soon heard back from Helen, the society’s Secretary. The society had a meeting the following evening and the President was an expert on the Sargood Shield.   That was great news as the Rupanyup Rifle Club had great success in the Sargood Shield, a highly prized annual competition between Melbourne and country Victorian teams. Alfred was captain of the team in 1886.

Helen came back to me after the meeting and finally I was able to see Alfred Harman, out of the shadows and in broad daylight.  Helen had emailed me a photo of the 1885 Rupanyup Rifle Club. Alfred is the middle row, first on the left in this photo of the 1885.  To give you some idea about where he was in his life,  he was thirty-three years old, married for seven years and father to a six-year-old son.  His brother-in-law Samuel Miller is in the back row, third from the left.  There are some impressive Hairy Mancestors among them.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Image courtesy of the Rupanyup Historical Society.

Thank you so much to the Rupanyup Historical Society.  Please go and check out their wonderful Facebook page on the link – Rupanyup Historical Society Facebook Page.  It was there I found WW1 photos of Alfred Harman’s great-nephews Robert and George Cruikshank, my 2nd cousins, 3 x removed,  who grew up in Rupanyup.  I also found photos of members of the Loats and Starbuck families who had lived in the Muddy Creek area, near Hamilton, and with whom I have family links.


Western Victoria Remembers

A little while ago I came across a great video on YouTube that I have been saving for a suitable time to share.  This week I found another with a similar theme.  As this is ANZAC Day, I thought it was the perfect time to share the videos.  Each is about small Western Victorian towns remembering those who served in World War 1. One is the story of the restoration and revitalisation of the old and the other, the unveiling of the new.

Beau Nieuwveld’s video was impressive, not only because of the story it told but it was great to see a teenage boy with an interest in his town’s history.  Not only that, his video was the overall winner of the 2009 10MMM Youth Film Festival held in Hamilton.

Beau’s town is Dartmoor in the south-west of Victoria.  Faced with the dilemma of many other towns, the trees in the Avenue of Honour were deteriorating.  How could the integrity of the Avenue be maintained while ensuring the safety of the residents?

The result is fantastic.  Family members of the soldiers with memorial trees were happy and the town now has a great tourist attraction!  For more information about the Dartmoor Avenue of Honour, check out the Glenelg & Wannon Settlers website

On October 31, 2009, the people of Rupanyup in the Wimmera, celebrated the unveiling of a new memorial to remember local men who served with the 4th Light Horse at Beersheba on October 31, 1917.  One of those, Colonel James Lawson is given special recognition on the memorial.

I love this video because of the community spirit it depicts.  Rupanyup is a town of under 800 people and I think they were all there on the day.  I am assuming, but can’t be sure,  that those depicting the Light Horse soldiers were members of the Creswick Light Horse Troop,  a fantastic group of people keeping the memory of the Light Horse alive.

To see the horses at the ceremony is moving as one remembers the heroics of not only the soldiers but also the horses.  The bond between man and horse was deep.