Centenary of the Great War

NOT QUITE BRIGHTON BEACH: AIF officers attempt to normalise their existence on the Western Front. Photo: The Digger's View by Juan Mahony
NOT QUITE BRIGHTON BEACH: AIF officers attempt to normalise their existence on the Western Front. Photo: The Digger's View by Juan Mahony

Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for 15-21 July, 1918.


The 417th list of Australian casualties was released for publication by the military authorities on Monday. It shows that 46 New South Welshmen were killed in action, 18 died of wounds; two died as the result of accidents, four died of illness, and one died of injuries. In addition one is reported wounded and prisoner of war, one wounded and missing, 232 wounded, 68 ill, and 24 injured.


Sir Thomas Mackenzie, the High Commissioner for New Zealand, learns that the Turkish Government is being urged, through a neutral source, to keep in repair the gravestones of the English, French, Australians and New Zealanders on the Gallipoli Peninsula.


Private K. A. Farley, of Stroud, NSW, escaped, after 10 weeks' detention by the Germans. Farley, with 20 comrades, isolated in a front trench, was captured at Villers Bretonneux. All were unwounded, and the prisoners were engaged in burying the enemy dead. They were then employed on ration and munition dumps outside the prescribed distance from the firing line. Farley, with two English soldiers, wriggled through the barbed wire of the prison cage near Peronne on a dark and dirty night, and travelled for three nights, hiding in the woods or in abandoned dugouts during the daytime. He reached the Australian lines.


The Official Correspondent with the Australian Imperial Force telegraphs: It has become known among Australian troops in France that the trophies and relics which they collect for Australian war records will some day stand in the great memorial collection in the Commonwealth and States to the memory of their comrades who have fallen on every battlefield in this great war. The result is that after each battle, such as that at Hamel, there comes in a most wonderful sheaf of trophies and records.

Official photographers, artists, both men and officers, and the whole force look on it as a most sacred duty to pile up this wonderful record to make their tribute to their fallen mates as generous and splendid as it is within their power to make it. The British have lately increased the number of artists they are sending to the front, and it is doubtful if Australia will be able to rival the scope of the artistic record which is now being built up for the Old Country. But Australian artists have a devoted and enthusiastic object in their work of producing a memorial which will be second to no other in quality.


General Birdwood, in a despatch to the Defence Department, has intimated that, as a result of conferences with divisional general, brigadier, and regimental commanders, a list of articles most appreciated by the troops has been prepared for the information of people at home. The list is as follows: Cakes (preferable uniced; tinned), puddings (tinned), Australian tobacco and cigarettes, sweets, toffee, chocolate, butter (tinned), sugar (loaf), milk and cream (tinned), honey (tinned), biscuits, Australian tinned fruits (dried and candied). The Australian Comforts Fund is making every endeavour to meet the wishes expressed by the army in the field, and contributions of the articles mentioned would be much appreciated at the packing depots.A start has been made to arrange for the recruiting campaign mentioned by Mr Fuller, Chief Secretary, when the State Parliament adjourned last week. Five Marches to Freedom have been arranged, all to begin on July 24. Their columns will leave widely separated points of the State, and as they will proceed through will converge towards Sydney. In these marches members of the State Houses, to the number of 30 or 40, will join, adding to the enthusiasm and providing teams of speakers along the routes traversed.

The marches have been classified as follows: The North Coast, South Coast, the West, the New England - from Singleton to Inverell, and the south. So far dates have been fixed for the North Coast only, but the details are being rapidly obtained by the recruiting committee, and an enthusiastic beginning will be made on Wednesday next on all marches.


Mr Poynton, the Acting Minister for the Navy, on Thursday announced the loss of the S.S. Barunga on Tuesday last. Her passengers and crew were landed, and, as far as could be learned, there were no casualties. The Barunga was formerly an enemy vessel known as the Sumatra. She was of 7484 tons, and built in Kiel in 1889 for the Norddeutscher Lloyd Company. Shortly after the outbreak of war she was interned in Sydney harbour, and has since been used for transport and general trade purposes.


Several additional names of Newcastle soldiers who have paid the supreme sacrifice, are to be placed on the Gardner Memorial in front of the Newcastle Post Office, but as all the available space has been utilised, there is no room for the extra names. Mr Shine, the city engineer, has submitted two suggestions to get over the difficulty, but at the last meeting of the Newcastle Council, Mr Shine was asked to submit a further plan, and report for placing the structure in Perkin Street. The council also authorised the Mayor to call a public meeting of citizens to deal with the matter. Commander Gardner has suggested that an additional fifty names could be placed on the memorial by removing the name of the battalion to which the deceased soldiers belonged, and this suggestion will receive consideration when the matter comes before the council again.


The Newcastle Surf Club's roll of honour was unveiled Sunday afternoon in the presence of a large attendance of the relatives of the soldier members. Alderman Moroney, the president of the club, occupied the chair. The chairman said those present had been invited to witness the unveiling of the roll of honour, which had been generously donated by Mr R. Rundle. The roll contained the names of 176 members, sixteen of whom had paid the supreme penalty. The committee all sympathised deeply with the relatives of those who had fallen. Newcastle had done her duty well since the war broke out, particularly the surf club, which had given more men than any similar institution in Australia. Alderman Kilgour, the Mayor of Newcastle, in unveiling the roll of honour, said he regarded the duty as a sacred one - one that gave him pleasure, tinged with regret. The members of the club had done nobly, but the roll of honour was nothing to what it would be when the future generation came along. The roll would enhance as the years rolled by. They all felt sorry for the bereaved relatives, but they had the satisfaction of knowing that their sons had died a glorious death. That would be consolation in years to come. The people should never forget the gratitude they owed the Australian soldiers. The war was one of tremendous cost. In manpower alone it was stupendous. He hoped that this awful state of affairs would rapidly come to a conclusion, and he could only contemplate a glorious victory for Britain and her Allies. Upon the roll of honour being unveiled, The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Linely.

At the request of Sergeant Stan Staton, those present stood with bowed heads for a few seconds, in silence, to the memory of the lads who had fallen.

The chairman moved a vote of thanks to Mr Rundle for the gift. In Mr Rundle they had a worthy citizen, and the members of the Surf Club hoped that he would long retain his present position in the club. Mr Rundle said he had no wish to be thanked for placing the honour roll on the wall. He hoped it would remain there for many years. All the lads had done their duty nobly, and those who came back should not be forgotten.

The honour roll is a very handsome one, and stands 8 feet high. The top portion is surmounted by the club's crest, and on the bottom is printed: “I hang this roll upon the wall, a list of members - heroes all”.


A combined welcome home and valedictory function was held, under the auspices of the Broadmeadow Coo-ee Girls, in the Broadway Picture Palace on Monday night. A procession started from the corner of Beaumont and Tudor streets. It was headed by the Waratah Burns Pipers' Band, followed by returned soldiers, fire brigades from Broadmeadow, Hamilton, New Lambton, and Adamstown, Carrington Girls' Southern Cross, Waratah Girls, Wallsend Red Cross Society, Lambton Wattle Girls, and Broadmeadow Coo-ee Girls. A large concourse of people followed the procession. Alderman E. Wilson (the Mayor of Hamilton) said that it gave him pleasure to preside over such a splendid gathering. It gave him always pleasure to assist patriotic movements. Presentations of military brushes were made by Mrs. E. Wilson (the Mayoress) to Lieutenant Deakin, Sergeant Martin, Corporal Henderson, Privates Chafe, Gibson, and Cox, who had recently returned, and a pocket wallet to Private Raine; who was on the eve of his departure for the front.


An overflowing audience filled the literary institute hall to extend a welcome home to another returned soldier, and to wish good luck to one leaving for the front. Mr T. W. Kennaway, president of the patriotic committee, tendered the people's welcome home to Private William Hoyland after two years' service abroad. Their guest had done his duty manfully, and he trusted he would ere long be restored to good health. Mrs. Humble also spoke in similar terms, and Mrs. G. Blatchford, president of the Red Cross branch, presented Private Hoyland with the townspeople's gold medal for services rendered to King and country. Miss J. B. Craig tendered a welcome home to Private Hoyland on behalf of the local girls' league. Private Hoyland, in thanking them for their kind welcome, said it made up for a lot of the trials undergone over yonder. Mr. E. Humble then took the chair, and explained they had a pleasing duty to perform in wishing Godspeed and good luck to their president's eldest son, Gunner Robert Kennaway, who was shortly leaving for the front. He was young, but like so many of their gallant lads, he was going forward to do a man's duty for Australia. Mrs Blatchford presented Gunner Kennaway with a pocket wallet, pipe, and money belt from the Killingworth residents with sincere wishes for his welfare and happy return home again. Gunner Kennaway expressed his thanks to his Killingworth friends, among whom his childhood had been spent, for their kindly thoughts for him, which he would ever remember; and his father also added a few words of thanks for their send-off to his son. Messrs. R. Brownlee and J. Horn voiced the residents' appreciation of the youth they knew so well, and trusted it would not be long before he was back home again among them. Tea and refreshments were served by the ladies of the local Red Cross branch and girls' league.


There are now 94 names on the honour roll erected near the post office at Minmi. The last name to be added is that of Private T. Pritchard. Of those who have enlisted from the town, and whose names appear on the roll, 19 have been killed and 17 have returned.


Mrs J. Bruce, of Pelaw Main, has been notified that her husband, Lieutenant James Bruce, has been awarded the Military Cross. Lieutenant Bruce, in October last year, received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.


The bazaar in aid of the honour roll fund, inaugurated by the parents and citizens’ association, was continued on Friday evening, when a musical programme was given. The honour roll, on which there are 250 names, will be unveiled by Alderman R. J. Bond, the Mayor of Wickham, on July 27.


Robert Brien Fitzgerald, Merewether; Francis Dominick Kilgallin, Cessnock; Thomas James Muxlow, Cessnock; John O'Keefe, Stroud; William Harold Weldon, The Junction.


Captain Eric Charles Battye, Scone; Lieutenant James Bruce MC DCM, Pelaw Main; Pte William George Fairlem, Hamilton; Pte Frank Layton Hanshaw, Morpeth; Pte Sylvanus Henry Tyrrell, Martins Creek.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. Follow his research at facebook.com/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory