Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley death details for January 6-12, 1919.
Dr. Cumpston, Director of Quarantine, made a further reassuring statement last Saturday regarding pneumonic influenza. The position, he said, was quite satisfactory.
There have been no new cases in New South Wales for about a fortnight. Of the actual cases in hospital there remain some for further treatment, and those whose infectivity is easily treatable or has probably ceased. There have been no new cases in Fremantle for two days, so that the centres of infection appear to have been brought under control. There was no information of any vessel on its way to Australia being infected, and the position overseas was now practically normal.
Heavy snowstorms have occurred in the north of England and in Scotland. The Australian soldiers on leave are revelling in the unusual experience.
The newspapers are gratified that the restraint of the authorities and the good sense of the men prevented a serious situation regarding demobilisation from developing.
Discontented men insisted that both the Dominions were short of men. "There are heaps of work for us at home," they said. "We are only wasting our time in France." The men emphasised the fact that the trouble would not have arisen if the war was still on, but they want to leave, as the boats are now running as usual.
The total number of Australian prisoners in Germany was 3401, of whom 300, mostly wounded and invalids, were repatriated before the armistice.
Since then 83 officers, and 1748 of other ranks have passed through Ripon Camp, and in addition a considerable number through Dover.
FEMALE RELATIVE’S BADGE
The defence authorities are about to commence the long-delayed issue of the badges that were promised nearly two years ago to the female relatives of Australian soldiers who left the Commonwealth on war service. About 50,000 of the badges have now become available, and the commandants of the various States have been instructed to make arrangements for their distribution. As the number of applications for badges far exceeds the number of badges at present available, it has been decided to distribute the first issue among the persons who first made application. The authorities are communicating with the applicants by postcard, and they point out that only those persons who receive official advice from military headquarters to call for a badge will be issued with one. The badge can only be obtained by the nearest female relative of a soldier. It is, in design, one of the most artistic of the various war emblems that have been issued. The shape is a hollow oval, and inset are the letters "A.I.F." The scroll work is in blue enamel, and the badge bears the inscription, "Issued by the Department of Defence to the women of Australia for duty done." To some of the badges miniature bars will be attached, denoting the number of sons a mother contributed to the A.I.F. for war service.
LIEUTENANT MAXWELL, VC
Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell (18th Battalion) has been awarded the Victoria Cross.- In the attack on the Beaurevoir-Fonsomme line at Estrees, northward of St. Quentin on March 10, he took command when the company commander was wounded. He found the enemy wire uncut and closely supported by machineguns. Maxwell, single-handed, penetrated the wire, captured the most dangerous gun, killed three men, and captured four, enabling his company to penetrate the wire and reach the objective. Later single-handed he silenced the gun which was holding up the flank of the company. Subsequently, with only two men, he attempted to capture a strong enemy party. He handled an involved situation skilfully, and due to his resource he and his comrades escaped. All day long he set a high example in courage, judgment, and decision.
Lieutenant Walter Baxter, one of the original Anzacs, who has been on active service since October, 1914, returned to Newcastle this week, and was welcomed by Alderman Kilgour, Mayor of Newcastle, Alderman Bond, Mayor of Wickham, and many friends, at Newcastle Station. He was afterwards escorted to his home, which had been decorated with flags, bunting, and lanterns, and was cordially received. The Mayor of Wickham presided over a substantial repast, provided by the parents of the returned soldier, and after the loyal toast proposed Lieutenant Baxter's health. Lieutenant Baxter, who left Australia as a non-commissioned officer, had done excellent work with Colonel Beeston at Gallipoli. Lieutenant Baxter enlisted from the staff of the Divisional Engineer, Railway Department, Newcastle.
After an absence of four years, Lieutenant James Young, D.C.M., M.C., arrived home at West Wallsend on New Year's morning, giving his relatives a surprise, as he was not expected to arrive till a later date. He enlisted at the outbreak of the war as a private, and saw service at Gallipoli, Egypt, and France, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant, and for conspicuous service, gained the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Cross. Lieutenant Young was twice wounded, being gassed on the first occasion, and was put out of action on the second occasion by shrapnel which was the cause of his being invalided home. In the evening his relatives and intimate friends gathered together, and gave him a hearty reception.
Sergeant-major C. G. Schroder, D.C.M., arrived home on Monday after three and a-half years' active service. He was met at Hamilton Station by the Mayor and Mayoress of Waratah, Alderman and Mrs. A. Griffiths, Messrs. M. P. Coghlan and H. J. Ireland, vice-president and secretary of the Waratah-Mayfield Reception Committee, and a large gathering of friends and former fellow-employees of the Water and Sewerage Board. A welcome was extended by the Mayor; at whose instance three cheers were given for the returned soldier as he left for his home at Mayfield by motor car, lent for the occasion by Mr. E. W. Bull. The company were afterwards entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Schroder. The Rev. Wm. Stewart congratulated Sergeant-major Schroder on distinctions gained by him while on active service, and commendations received from his superior officers, and on his safe return. He wished for him speedy recovery from his wounds.
Mrs. S. A. Webb, .late of West Australia, has received word that her husband, Sergeant S. A. Webb, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany for the last two years, has been repatriated, and arrived in England on 17th December, 1918. Sergeant Webb is a son-in-law of Mrs T. Davis, of Neath.
Corporal G. Scott, who enlisted in June, 1915, with the 18th Battalion, and who was wounded twice, was given a welcome home by the citizens of New Lambton, of whom a large number received him at the roll of honour gates. He was met at the Newcastle railway station by the members of the Welcome Home Committee. The Mayor, Alderman Shepherd, extended him a welcome, on behalf of the council and citizens. On arrival at his home he was received by relatives and friends, and a pleasant social evening was held. Previous to enlisting Corporal Scott was a student in the University, Sydney.
PRIVATE SCOBIE, DCM
Colonel J. W. Scobie, V.D., has been advised that his son, Private Ralph Scobie, of the 54th Battalion, has been awarded the D.C.M. for distinguished service in the field. This young soldier who is not yet 19 years of age, captured a number of Germans, and displayed wonderful bravery. His brother, Private Frank Scobie, is in hospital, wounded.
Private Archie Goodworth, of Singleton, returned home on Monday night. He left on active service in August, 1916, served in France, but was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans in March, 1917. He had experience of prison treatment at Dulmen, Westphalia, and Parchim, Mecklenberg, and has bitter stories to tell of the insults from the young Germans. He was exchanged to Holland in April, 1918, and reached England in September.
A welcome home was tendered to Private Harold Menson (better known as Harold Fairbairn), of Merewether, on Friday. The town clerk, Mr. T. Adams, met him at the Newcastle railway station, and his residence in Selwyn Street had been decorated with flags by the welcome home committee. Private Menson received hearty cheers from a large number of people in the street. Mr. Stewart, in thanking those present for giving his son-in-law such a hearty welcome, referred to the great and noble work accomplished by the soldiers. Private Menson enlisted in March, 1916, and was connected with the 34th Battalion. He was in the battles of Messines, Passchendaele, and Villiers Brettoneux.
LENIENCY TO A SOLDIER
Clyde Cecil Cronin (28), soldier, was charged with stealing a bag, clothing and other articles, valued at £2 5s, the property of Allan Stewart Rodgers. Constable O'Keefe deposed to arresting the accused, whom he found asleep near Belmont railway station. Witness found a comb and a tin of boot polish upon the accused, which were identified as having been in the stolen bag. The bag was found later. Allan S. Rodgers stated that he had left the bag on the bed on the verandah of Mr. Hoskins' house at Belmont at 2 o'clock. It was gone when he returned at 6.30 the same afternoon. Cronin pleaded guilty. He was in uniform, and in a very shaky condition. He said that it was the first time he had even been before a court. As far as taking the bag was concerned, he knew nothing about it. Cronin said, "My head feels pretty hurt. I have been knocked about and have had a pretty hard time. I would like your Worship to deal with me leniently." Inspector Buzacott said that he knew nothing against the accused. He was a returned soldier, who went to the front in 1915, and, on returning, again enlisted. The magistrate met Cronin's plea for leniency by sentencing him to imprisonment to the rising of the court. He advised the accused to keep away from drink.
A unique Christmas card was received from Joe Palmer by Mr. D. Thompson. secretary to the Cook's Hill Club, conveying greetings. To use Joe's words, "Wishing all the boys at the Bar Beach everything of the best, and a big time." Joe was ex-secretary of the Newcastle Surf Club, and was acting in that capacity at the time of his enlistment. He is now in France.
WELCOME HOME DAY
A welcome will be accorded to Newcastle district soldiers on Saturday, February 1st. It is estimated that 500 men have already returned, and more are arriving by each troopship. The proceedings will commence with a military parade of the returned men, followed by an ocean carnival. At six o'clock the soldiers will be provided with tea by the ladies of the various patriotic bodies, and in the evening there will be a torchlight procession to King Edward Park, where there will be a bonfire and band recital.
Private William Bradley, Adamstown; 2nd Corporal Hunter Sinclair, Newcastle.