Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley death details for March 10-16,1919.
The Australian military cricket team will play 21 games in England. The Australians will meet all the first-class counties, the Marylebone Club, the Gentlemen of England, and Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The tour is being made on a purely amateur basis. The counties profiting from the fixtures are to be invited to subscribe to the Australian Sports Fund.
NEWS OF THE DAY
The military authorities have decided that war medals of deceased soldiers, when not bequeathed by will to any person, will be forwarded to their next-of-kin. The order of relationship will be as follows: Widow, eldest surviving son, eldest surviving daughter, father, mother, eldest surviving brother, eldest surviving sister, eldest surviving half-brother, eldest surviving half-sister. Decorations which cannot be disposed of in this manner may be sent to any relative of the deceased soldier or other interested party who, in the opinion of the Minister for Defence, will preserve them with due care as a memorial of the deceased.
HONOUR ROLL UNVEILED
An honour roll, containing the names of 160 soldiers who at one time were pupils of the Marist Brothers' school, was unveiled Sunday by Alderman Gibson, the Mayor of Newcastle. The Rev. Father McAuliffe, BA, administrator of St Mary’s, said he desired to extend a welcome to the Mayor, and as it was perhaps his first appearance in any public function since assuming office, it would not be out of place to congratulate Alderman Gibson on his election. The purpose of their gathering was to unveil a roll of honour to those who had volunteered and fought in the sacred cause of justice and liberty, and who had received their early education at that school. There were some names still to be added. St Mary's had no need to be ashamed of the men who had gone to the war. Of those whose names they saw on the board that day, some had been decorated on the field of battle, and of the others it could be said they had done their part to enhance the reputation of the Australian soldier. Some there had paid the supreme sacrifice, and while they mourned with the parents and relatives, and sympathised with them, their sorrow was tinged with feelings of pride in knowing that they had died like men, with their face to the foe, on the fields of glory.
The roll was then unveiled by the Mayor, who, in thanking the Rev. Father McAuliffe for his good wishes, said that while he occupied the Mayoral chair, he would endeavour to do the best he could in the interests of the citizens and of the city. He congratulated the Marist Brothers on such a magnificent tribute to the former pupils of the school. There were, he had learned, 160 names on the roll, and of those, 22 had given their lives for the cause.
Mrs Parkinson, of Weston, has received a letter from Captain H. J. Connell, dated from France, on November 24, stating that her husband, Sergeant H.E. Parkinson, had been reported missing, and that it was believed he had been killed. Captain Connell says: "Information with regards to him is very meagre. The latest reliable information is that he was seen advancing with his company in the attack on the morning of the 12th October, but there seems little hope but he has been killed. Your husband had risen from the lowest rank to sergeant, and would soon have been recommended for further promotion, which record speaks for itself. I had formed the highest opinion of his capability, and knew that in him I had a non-commissioned officer who could be relied upon at all times. He had received the Military Medal previously for bravery in continuing at his post, although wounded. We miss him very much, for his fine work, and influence on the men."
Staff-Sergeant D.I Fraser, third son of Rev. A. Fraser, of Newcastle, arrived on Saturday evening, after three and a half years' active service. Staff-Sergeant Fraser saw service in the 1st Battalion in Gallipoli and France, and was gassed on the Somme during the Allied offensive in 1916. Latterly he was employed in the gas services in England, and returned as ship's dispenser on the Orsova.
Mr W. Harris, of Whitton Street, Wallsend, has received a letter from Major Fry, of the 34th Battalion, tendering him the sympathy of the officers and men of the battalion in the loss of his son, Lance-Corporal Ben Harris, who fell in the battle of Amiens in June, 1918. In the course of his letter Major Fry says: “The position was extremely critical as the Germans had all their reserves from the Russian front thrown against Amiens in hopes of separating the French and English armies before America could assist. No finer work has been done than the defence of Villiers Bretonneux and Amiens by the Australians, and it was entirely due to the superb determination and bravery of men like your son that the enemy was beaten and Amiens saved."
A welcome home was tendered to Private Percy Begbie on his return after three years of active service, at the residence of his parents, Mr and Mrs J. Begbie, Maitland Road, Islington. He was met at Newcastle station by his parents and members of the Welcome Home Committee, and a welcome on behalf of the citizens was given by Alderman J.H. Kirk. Subsequently Mr and Mrs Begbie entertained a large gathering of friends. Reference was made to the loss of the returned soldier's two brothers, who were killed in France. Sergeant John Alexander Howard Begbie left Australia in June, 1915. He was at the evacuation of Gallipoli, and after service on the Suez Canal went to France in May, 1916. He went through heavy fighting in the Armentieres district, and was killed on May 19th, 1917. When he enlisted he was teaching in the Stanmore Public School. Lance-Corporal Donald Leslie Begbie left Australia in May, 1917, and went to France in September. He went through heavy fighting, and was killed at Armentieres on April 4, 1918. Private Percy Begbie took part with a machine gun section in much of the big fighting in France up to the time the Hindenburg line was broken. He was wounded in taking a German machine gun on October 3rd, 1918, was sent to England for treatment, and was invalided home. The father of the soldiers, Constable J. Begbie, of Newcastle, tried to enlist in 1915, but was not accepted on account of his age, but during six months' leave was engaged in national service.
Mr C. McIntyre, of Holmesville, has received the following letter from Major W. Le Roy Fry relative to his son's death: “On behalf of the officers and men of the battalion I would like to express our sympathy in the loss of your very gallant son, Private Colin McIntyre who paid the supreme sacrifice in the battle for Amiens in the vicinity of Villers Bretonneux. It was entirely due to the superb determination of men like your son that the enemy was beaten and Amiens saved. Sympathy is difficult to express, but we would like you to feel how greatly we appreciated your son as a soldier and a comrade."
Trooper Ivor Evans, who arrived in Sydney by the Demosthenes, was met at the Newcastle railway station by the Stockton Welcome Home Committee and the Stockton Dinkum Girls. He was escorted to his mother's residence, Dunbar Street, Stockton, where a reception awaited him. Trooper Evans has seen 3½ years' active service, and has returned unwounded. His brother, Private Jonah Evans, saw two and a-half years' active service, but returned wounded in January, and is in Randwick Hospital.
The Boolaroo Farewell and Reception Committee accorded a welcome home to nine returned soldiers in the Sulphide Hall on Thursday night with each of the returned men being presented with the usual gold medal. The recipients were: Sergeant A. Lock, Driver Arch Skelton, Lance-corporal E. B. Cressy, Privates W. Lock, S. Snape, Stewart, Dormer, A. R. Manbey, and E. Duffy. Mr A.Young, president, moved a vote of condolence to the relatives of the fallen. In welcoming the soldiers back to Boolaroo Mr Young expressed the hope that those of the returned present who were suffering from any ill-effects of the trials they had endured would speedily be restored to health. Councillor Frith said that the numbers present was sufficient evidence for the warmth of a Boolaroo welcome home. He sincerely trusted that those soldiers spared to return would live up to the standard of the name of Australia, and those who remained at home would stand by our returned men, as they had stood between us and the enemy with a barrier of steel. Mr A.R. Young, in presenting the medals, said that the enlistments from Boolaroo had been 165 - 25 of whom had paid the supreme penalty - 50 had returned up to date, and the balance he hoped would soon be among their townsfolk once again. Privates Gordon Smith, MM (the first decorated man to arrive back at Boolaroo), A. Harris, and E. Mittendorf arrived home on Saturday and Monday last.
Mr A. Robertson, of Mount Pleasant Street, West Maitland, has good reason to boast of the war record of his family. He served himself with the 34th Battalion for 12 months, while three sons and two stepsons also enlisted. Private Arthur Robinson, of the 34th Battalion, served In France, was captured by the Germans, and was repatriated in November. Private Frank Robinson has been with the 1st Tunnelling Corps for three years, and Driver Harry Robinson is with the artillery, after two years with HMAS Encounter in the North Sea. A stepson, Private Lawrie Olsen, enlisted at the age of 17 with the 34th Battalion, but served with the 4th Battalion for two years, and was invalided home as a result of an attack of influenza. Another stepson, Norman Olsen, has been with the navy for four years, and is now on HMAS Encounter.
Sapper Thomas Wright, Aberdeen.