Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions from June 9-15, 1919.
An Australian memorial is to be on high ground slightly northward of the Amiens-Villers Bretonneux road, marking the Australians' front line in the attack which is now recognised as the turning point of the war. There are several Australian cemeteries in the vicinity.
The disembarkation of 1600 troops was carried out by the military authorities on Wednesday. The arrivals comprised troops from four transports - China 294 men, Boonah 525, Runic 426, and the Dorset 350 men. The men were given an enthusiastic reception upon landing at Woolloomooloo Bay, and the general public extended a welcome to the returned men as they passed through the streets on their way to the Anzac Buffet, where they were met by their friends and relatives. Military decorations were worn by many of those to return. The military authorities have made available the names of troops returning by the transport Kaisar-I-Hind.
THE AUSTRALIAN DIGGER
Remarkable testimony to the popularity of the Australian "Digger" in America is given in a letter received by a Melbourne resident from a businessman in the United States. In forwarding a cutting from the New York Globe, the American writes: "One of the surprises of the war has been the extraordinary feeling of friendship created between the American and Australian soldiers. One would think that our men would be taken more perhaps with the Canadians, but the truth is that of all the troops our men met on the other side the Australian troops stand highest in their estimation."
The editorial from the New York Globe is of a particularly flattering nature to the members of the AIR.
"What page of history," it asks, "can furnish a parallel to the story of Australia's fight for civilisation, as told by the Melbourne statement of casualties? When before has a nation, or any large political division, sent to war one soldier out of every twelve men, women and children? And these tall, big-boned fellows, fine types of whose ranks we see and admire daily in New York's streets, travelled more than half way around the world to fight for their mother country and humanity. No immediate threat menaced their own homes.
"Of the 400,000 men who left Australia's population of less than 5,000,000 to fight in France, 307,900 were casualties. That is to say, about 77 out of every 100 officers and men were killed, died of wounds, or diseases, sustained wounds, or were lost as missing and prisoners. Only 438 were taken prisoner. What wonder Australian troops carry their heads high under their cocky broad-brims!
And 15 of the 77 in each hundred will never go back to their people. An astounding record."
Lieutenant James Jackson, Croix de Guerre, son of Mr and Mrs E. Jackson of Cessnock, returned home Friday evening from the front, after an absence of over three years on active service.
Lieutenant Jackson, who left with the original 34th Battalion, gained his commission on the field, and was awarded the French decoration for bravery. Owing to the fact that no trains were running, Lieutenant Jackson was motored home from Maitland.
A large gathering of friends and relatives assembled at the residence of his parents, where he was tendered a dinner in honour of his return. Mr. J. D. Brown presided, and a toast list, including that of "The Guest," was honoured.
Mr W. D. Hannell proposed the principal toast, and assured the guest how glad his many friends were to see him safely home. He heartily congratulated him on his merit in gaining commissioned rank, and a decoration. Unlike in times gone by, commissions could not be bought, and were conferred only on those who proved their worth in actual warfare. He was sure his parents were more than overjoyed to have their second soldier son safely home, and sincerely hoped for the safe return of the third one, who was still away. It was gratifying to know that Mr and Mrs Jackson's only three eligible boys enlisted, and had come through not unscathed, but safely.
Mr W. H. Taylor, of Turton Road, Waratah, has been notified that his brother, Lieutenant W. H. Taylor, is expected to arrive in Melbourne on the 25th June by the transport Wahehe. Lieutenant Taylor has over four years' service in Gallipoli and France. He was wounded three times, and was nearly blinded by poison gas.
A few days before the armistice was signed he sustained a severe bullet wound in the chin. He gained his commission on the field.
Sergeant L. J. Brownsmith, who was among the first to enlist from Waratah in August, 1914, was escorted from the Newcastle railway station to his home in Station Street, Waratah on Friday evening by the Waratah and Mayfield Welcome Home Committee and a large number of friends and relatives.
Alderman Griffiths, the Mayor, in proposing the toast of Sergeant Brownsmith, said he understood it was the second time Sergeant Brownsmith had returned home. He had returned in February, 1916, and went back again to France, and now, after a lapse of over three years, he had returned again to his home and family. He knew of only one other case in which a Waratah man had gone back the second time, and, unfortunately, he fell. He referred to Private Woodhams. Sergeant Brownsmith, in responding, said it was useless to say how thankful he was, and thanked one and all for the kind welcome home that evening. Mr Cope proposed the health of Mrs Brownsmith and family and the soldier. He knew Mrs Brownsmith was a good worker in patriotic matters. Mr B. Brownsmith responded. Mr E. B. Errington proposed the toast of Mrs. Brownsmith's second son. He referred to Sergeant Brownsmith as having taken part in the charge on Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915.
Lance-corporal D. C. Rye, after three years' service, returned home on Friday evening, and was met at the station by The Junction Welcome Home Committee. He was then escorted to his home in Ravenshaw Street, where Mr. T. Wilson, president of the committee, accorded him a welcome on behalf of the citizens of The Junction. Mr. Wilson stated that Lance-corporal Rye had enlisted from Waratah, but had now come to live at The Junction, and it was the intention of the committee to see that every soldier had a fitting welcome home. The committee's choir sang "Home, Sweet Home" and cheers were given for Lance-corporal Rye and his parents. Lance-corporal Rye enlisted on February 26th, 1916. He was attached to the 34th Battalion, and was wounded in the engagements at Messines and Villiers Bretonneux, and was in hospital in France at the time of the armistice. Lance-corporal Rye has a brother, Private S. C. Rye, still away on service.
Driver B. Harris, who returned home on Wednesday, after four years' service, was met at the station by the members of The Junction Welcome Home Committee, and then conveyed to his home in Macquarie Street. Mr W. A. Woolston, secretary of the committee, extended a welcome on behalf of the residents. A large gathering of friends assembled at the home that had been decorated by friends. Driver Harris enlisted in August, 1915, in the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, and sailed in November for Egypt, where he remained for three months. He was then transferred to the Western Front, and was through all the engagements without being wounded. Private C. Harris, a brother, is still away on service. Previous to enlisting, Driver Harris was employed at the engineering works of Messrs. A. Goninan and Company Limited.
Private Roy Bennett, son of Mr. Tom Bennett, of Kurri, and grandson of Mrs T. Bennett, of Hexham, was entertained on Friday evening in Manning's Hall, Hexham. Mr D. Walker, who occupied the chair, regretted that the unfortunate prevalence of sickness had affected the attendance, and ensured their guest of the warmth of the reception, and that all were glad to see him safely home again after three and a half years' war service in France. Private Bennett lost a brother at Gallipoli, and a third brother is still on active service in France. Mrs. E. Manning then presented Private Bennett with a gold medal, suitably inscribed, and a silver cigarette case, wishing him, on behalf of his friends, long life, good health, and prosperity.
Private G. Cousins, of Carrington, returned home on Friday night, after an absence of over three years. Upon arrival at Newcastle station he was welcomed by the Mayor and Mayoress, the members of the Southern Cross Girls' League and Welcome Home Committee, and escorted to his parents' residence in Gipp Street, where refreshments were partaken of by a large number of friends.
The Mayor proposed the toast of "The King." Mr G. Wilson, in proposing the toast of "The Guest," said he hoped he would enjoy the best of health and every prosperity. Mr G. Cousins responded on behalf of his son. Private Cousins, who was attached to the 30th Battalion, left Sydney for Egypt, and after a month proceeded to France, and took part in several engagements, Mouquet Farm, Bullecourt, and Hebuterne being the principal ones. He was only a short time away from his battalion during the whole period. This was through illness.
Private Frederick Duffy, Anzac, 2nd Battalion, son of Mr and Mrs Duffy, of Clyde Street, Islington, returned home on Saturday night after over four years' active service. He was met at the Newcastle railway station, and conveyed to his home, where he was welcomed by a number of residents, and members of the welcome home committee. Private Duffy enlisted on August 14th, 1914, and was in the first landing on Gallipoli. He served with his battalion until the evacuation, was in the first transport of the Australians to France, and, with the exception of three short periods in hospital, on account of wounds, took part in all the heavy fighting until the armistice. His brother Frank is expected home in a few weeks' time. Private Duffy was employed at the Steel Works before enlisting.
Privates Auburn Harrison and M. Musgrove, of Cessnock, have re-enlisted and been accepted for transport duty to guard the German prisoners who are being sent back to Germany.
PRIVATE KEARNS, MM
Private J. Kearns, MM, who has seen over three years' service, returned to Carrington on Thursday night. He was met upon arrival at Newcastle by the Mayoress, Mrs Lott, members of the Southern Cross Girls' League and Welcome Home Committee.
He was escorted to the residence of his brother-in-law, Mr W. Fitzsimons, in Young Street, where a large number of friends and residents gave him a hearty welcome. Mr J. Sticpewich, who presided, welcomed Private Kearns back to his home. Mr F. McQuillan proposed the toast of "The Guest" and congratulated him upon being a recipient of the Military Medal for the bravery he had displayed whilst in action. Private Kearns, in response, thanked all present for the welcome accorded him, and said that he also had to thank the Carrington people for their kindness, especially the Girls' League, for during the time he had been absent he had received several parcels they had sent him, which he could assure them were highly appreciated.
Sergeant R. Forbes, Gunner J. Herivel, Driver G. R. H. Barnes, and Privates A. J. Hughes, Barrett and Dempsey have returned home from the front. Sergeant Forbes has seen three years' service. Driver Barnes enlisted with the 10th Field Artillery in 1915. Private Hughes, who was a prisoner of war in Germany, also enlisted in 1915. Sergeant Barrett was one of three brothers to enlist. One has made the supreme sacrifice, and the other has already returned. Private Dempsey has had two brothers killed. Each of these soldiers were given a welcome by Mr H. J. Ireland, secretary of the Welcome Home Committee.