DIGGER 68

DIGGER 68 Contents

Articles

The Simmonds brothers: Ptes 5180 Francis, 3 Bn; 2982 Edward, 55 Bn; 3469 David, 46 & 55 Bns and 3465 James, 46 , 55 & 3 Bns, Stephen Holding    3-4

Tpr 1464 George Alfred Elmes, 5 LHR, Barry Stevenson    5-7

Anzac Centenary resources: a national guide , Sue Tongue    8-9

Pte 2395 Frederick Edward Shaw, 34 Bn, Bill Durrant     10

Cowra’s Great War Memorial Grove, Robyn and Geoff Lewis    11

‘Russian-Anzacs’ from Rockhampton, Trevor Munro   12-17

Report on the 2019 John Laffin Memorial Lecture Day , Paul Simadas    18

Letters from Pte 355 Billy Sing MM, CdG, 5 LHR/31 Bn & Pte 730 Victor Rodda, 41 Bn, 1916-17, found on Trove, contrib. by Graeme Hosken    19-20

Tpr 204 Thomas Francis Weathers, 9 LHR, Graeme Hosken     21

Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42 Bn, Part 6 , edited by Graeme Hosken    22-28

Clearing the battlefields after the war, found on Trove, contrib. by Bill Durrant     28

Pte 2467 Edward Dowling MM, 1 LHR & L/Sgt 1348 Claude Dowling MM, 3 Bn, Dianne Strachan & Val McKenzie     29-30

Pte 3040 Frederick Thomas Lindbeck, 1 LHR/1 Bn, ICC, Geoff Lewis     31-32

How Germany’s effort to ruin French soil actually enriched it, contrib. by Bill Durrant    33-34

Gnr 1495 Athol Percy, 1 /53 Bns, 25 & 13 FABs, Graeme Hosken and Rebecca Percy   35-46

For Valour: The NZ VC recipients 1918 (Part 2 and final) , Geoff Lewis    47-55

The ‘Big Push’ 1918, Sgt 482 Henry Belford, 19 Bn, found on Trove    56

The 1918 diary of Pte 3126 Stanley George Tidmarsh, 44 Bn, (Part 1: Jan to July), Kerry Patman & Graeme Hosken       57-69

‘Conscripts’ in the AIF : the work of the 1916 Exemption Courts, Graeme Hosken      70-72

Capt Donald Austin, AAMC Dental Details, Trevor Munro    73-74

A different view of Pte John (‘Barney’) Hines , Graeme Hosken & Colin Wentworth-Perry    74

 

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details       2

Memories of Digger Days, The World ’s News     4, 30, 32, 56, 69

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery    75

 

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Fromelles Day Sydney 2019: Commemorative Procession and Commemoration

Commemorative Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial
The Families and Friends of the First AIF in conjunction with the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, hosted the Commemoration of the 103rd anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles at The Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney on Friday 19 July 2019. Click here to download a copy of this 2019 Fromelles Day Sydney Report.

The Battle of Fromelles in northern France on 19-20 July 2016 was the first battle involving Australian troops on the Western Front following the withdrawal from Gallipoli. It was and remains the largest loss of Australian life in a 24-hour period with 1,917 killed or died of wounds, 3,416 wounded and 496 taken prisoner totalling 5,533 casualties. For more background to the Battle of Fromelles click here for Part 1: 1915 and The Battle of Aubers Ridge and Part 2: 1916 and the Battle of the Somme.

In 2008, the graves of 250 soldiers buried by the Germans after the battle were located and in 2010 reinterred in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery and 166 of these soldiers have now been identified by name. For more information click 2/3 of the Diggers from Pheasant Wood now have their own headstones.

Image by St Clare’s College, Waverley (Click to enlarge images)

The Commemoration was preceded by a Commemorative Procession of about 80 people on a mild winter morning from the Archibald Fountain that commemorates the association of Australia and France in The Great War to the Anzac Memorial.

The Commemorative Procession re-enacts the final Parade of the veterans of the 5th Division on the 50th anniversary of the Battle marching to the ANZAC Memorial to request that the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial always remember their service and the sacrifice of their comrades on 19 July 1916.  Click here to read A record of the Parade and Ceremony held in Hyde Park on 19 July 1966.


The Commemorative Procession leaving the Archibald Fountain.
Images by St Clare’s College Waverley

The Commemorative Procession was led an Australian National Flag Party from the Australian Army Personnel Administrative Centre (APAC) at Victoria Barracks.

Flag Ensign WO2 Nathan Grumley with Flag Escorts PTE Sean Amarant and PTE Bradley Delrio
Image by Michael Mannington for Community Photography

The Flag Ensign was Warrant Officer Class 2 Nathan Grumley, of 1 Health Support Company (1HSC), Randwick Barracks, whose great grandfather Pte William Grumley, 30Bn, was wounded in the Battle of Fromelles, and is thought to have been one of the veterans who participated in Parade from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial.

Also participating in the Commemorative Procession and possibly walking in the footsteps of Pte William Grumley were 3 generations of Grumleys (Grand-son, Great grand-children and Great-great-grandchildren).

3 generations honouring Pte. William Grumley.
Image by St Clare’s College
Following the Australian National Flag Party from the Australian Army, was Piper Jim Braid, NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums and Piper Graham Wood, Sydney Thistle Highland Pipe Band who accompanied the Procession for the first time.

 

Pipers Jim Braid and Piper Graham Wood
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, former Governor of New South Wales and Honorary Member FFFAIF again led the Commemorative Procession, accompanied by Russell Curley, Past President FFFAIF, Jim Munro, President FFFAIF and FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes.
Image by Michael Mannington for Community Photography

Descendants and representatives of Ex Service and Descendants’ organisations,
Neil Falconer, Fiona Bunn, Air Commodore Ian Scott, Rear Admiral Ian Crawford, Geoffrey Benn, Mrs Meg Green
Image by St Clare’s College, Waverley

Following were civic leaders and senior officers from military and civilian services. including:
Special Guests
Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, former Governor of New South Wales and Honorary Member FFFAIF
M. Pierre Bianconi, Deputy Consul-General for the Republic of France

Trustees of the Anzac Memorial or their Proxy:
James Griffin MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Veterans represesnting
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and The Hon John Sidoti MP, Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans
Mr Ray James, President Ingleburn RSL Sub-Branch representing Mr James Brown, President, The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch
Dr Marjorie O’Neill MP, Member for Coogee representing The Hon Jodi McKay MP, Leader of the Opposition
Rod Kirkman, Manager of Protocol representing The Rt. Hon. Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney and the City of Sydney

Former Anzac Centenary Ambassadors representing:
Harry Allie BEM, Chair of the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Commemoration Service Committee
Rear Admiral Ian Crawford AO AM (Mil) RAN (Rtd), National President of the Australian Council of Korea Veterans Associations
Mr Greg Wrate, President, Sydney Legacy
Lt. Col. Colin Dunston RFD, Former President Sydney Legacy
Mrs Meg Green, National President, War Widows’ Guild of Australia
M. Francouis Romanet, French-Australian Chamber of Commerce
Senior Officers of the Emergency Services
Superintendent Paul Carrett, Commander of Kings Cross Police Area Command, representing NSW Police
Superintendent Michael Bray representing the NSW Ambulance Service
Senior Defence Officers or their representatives including
BRIG Michael Annett, ACOM 2 Division representing the Australian Army Commander Headquarters Command, Major General Chris Field AM CSC and Commander Second Division, Major General Kathryn Campbell, AO, CSC
Deputy Commander 8th Brigade, Colonel RB Lording will represent the Commander of the 2nd Division and Commander 8th Brigade
Captain Bowater OAM representing RAN Commander, Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM
Group Captain Chaplain Peter Friend representing RAAF Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Joe ‘Vinny’ Iervasi, AM
They were supported by members of the French North African Veterans’ Association (the Association des Anciens Combatants Francais (NSW)) led by President M Jean Louis Worobec and a Wreath Carrying Party from St Clare’s College, Waverley.
Representatives of Veterans’ and Descendant Organisations including Members of the Families and Friends of the First AIF (FFFAIF), The Fromelles Association, Australian Branch of the Western Front Association, Australian World War One Descendants, NAJEX (NSW Association of Jewish Service & Ex-Service Men & Women) as well as descendants of soldiers who participated in the Battle and Air Commodore Ian Scott AM, President, Remembrance Driveway Committee.

The Commemorative Procession departing the Archibald Fountain with the support of the Association des Anciens Combatants Francais (NSW) led by their President Jean-Louis Worobec. Deputy Consul-General Pierre Bianconi with descendant Fiona Bunn and National President of the War Widows Guild of Australia, Mrs Meg Green followed by descendants and representatives of Ex-Service and descents’ organisations.
Image by St Clare’s College, Waverley.

The procession symbolically represents the “400 yards”, the widest part of “No-man’s land” on the Fromelles battlefield, and paid homage to the 5th Division veterans marching to the Anzac Memorial for the 50th anniversary commemoration in 1966.

Special thanks go to the Procession Marshall, Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD, Vice President Families and Friends of the First AIF and Chairman, Australian Branch, Western Front Association who co-ordinated many of the arrangements for the Procession including liaising with the NSW Police and City of Sydney Events Team to ensure the security for the Procession and safe passage across Park Street and establishing the Order of Procession.
You can view and download photographs and segments of video of the Commemorative Procession on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2019/.

Commemoration of the 103rd Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles
At the Anzac Memorial, a further gathering of about the same size as the Procession, including descendants, Former Anzac Centenary Ambassadors and representatives of the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial listened to music played by the NSW Police Band led by Acting Director of Music Anthony Brahe and Nearer My God to Thee and Requiem for a Soldier sung by The Holy Family Choir Menai and the Westleigh Probus Songsters.

 

The participants in the Commemorative Procession were greeted by FFFAIF Commemorations Officer Margaret Snodgrass OAM and after they were seated The Holy Family Choir Menai and Westleigh Probus Songsters led about 200 attendees in singing O Valiant Hearts.

 

Master of Ceremonies, and FFFAIF Member, Darren Mitchell welcomed guests and read a Vice Regal Message from His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Click here to read the Vice Regal Message and click here to read the Order of Service.

Harry Allie BEM, Chair of the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Commemoration Service Committee and a former member of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council led an Acknowledgement of Country on behalf of Aboriginal elders. In 2019 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags were flown at the Yininmadyemi Bullet sculpture for Indigenous Diggers to demonstrate respect for the custodians of this land, both past and present and their contribution to this country and its heritage and values. You can hear Harry’s Acknowledgement of Country on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2019/.

The Prologue was delivered by Mr Russell Curley, Past President, Families and Friends of the First AIF. You can hear Russell’s Prologue on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2019/.

Pastor Bob Durbin, Chaplain with RSL LifeCare led a prayer, followed by the Holy Family Choir Menai and the Westleigh Probus Songsters leading the singing of Abide with Me.

Mr Patrick Lindsay AM supported by students of St Clare’s College, Waverley delivered the Commemorative Address giving some insights and reflections on the prolonged and emotional experience that many families went through, with assistance of Students of St Clare’s College, Waverley who read some of the correspondence from families seeking information on their soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles. You can hear Patrick and the St Clare’s Students delivering the Commemorative Address on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2019/.

Patrick Lindsay AM delivering the Commemorative Address

Students of St Clare’s College, Waverley read from letters Lily Whitaker, Lily Garrett, Emily Cropp and Natalia Rey – Click to enlarge images
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington Community Photography

In the Family Reflection, Josie Shelley with Kevin Holmes, grandchildren of Cpl “Nutsy” Herbert Bolt, 55 Bn who was Killed in Action at Fromelles, buried by the Germans after the battle and identified through DNA matching, reflected on the life of “Nutsy” Bolt as a prominent Rugby League player with Newtown and his war experience. Josie also reflected on the Family’s journey of grief and the impact of the identification of ‘Nutsy’s’ remains and the significance of the 2010 Dedication of the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery with his named headstone.

Family Reflection by Josie Shelley with Kevin Holmes, grandchildren of Cpl “Nutsy” Herbert Bolt, 55 Bn
Cpl “Nutsy” Herbert Bolt, his wife Jenny, and baby daughter Monica (Mother of Josie and Kevin) 1915.

Wreaths were laid while Piper Jim Braid played the Lament, alternating with Piper Graham Wood. Graham. Jim Braid is a relative of Sgt James Dodd 53rd Bn and Pte Downie Dodd 56th Bn KIA at Fromelles. Graham played his composition Fromelles Lament, commissioned by the Late Major-General Gordon Maitland for the first time in public.

Piper Jim Braid played the Lament, alternating with the Piper Graham Wood during the wreath-laying
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

M. Pierre Bianconi, Deputy Consul-General for the Republic of France lays a wreath on behalf of the citizens of France, with The Hon James Griffin, Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment and Veterans representing the Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans lays a wreath on behalf of the citizens of NSW.

 

In tribute to the Fallen
FFFAIF Past President Russell Curley, Committee Member Margaret Snodgrass OAM and President Jim Munro

 

In tribute to the Missing
FFFAIF Members Neil Falconer and Lorraine Henshaw
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

Tribute to the 8,100 men of the 5th Division Killed in Action during the First World War and to those who have died since (at 1966)
Ray James, President of Ingleburn RSL sub-Branch for the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial and RSL


On behalf of the City of Sydney: Rod Kirkman, representing the NSW Opposition: Member for Coogee Dr Marjorie O’Neill MP, National President War Widows’ Guild of Australia, Mrs Meg Green, and President of Sydney Legacy, Mr Greg Wrate.
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

M. Jean-Louis Worobec, Président Association des Anciens Combatants Francais de Nouvelle Galles du Sud laying a wreath on behalf of French War Veterans of NSW

Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO laying her wreath for those who served at Fromelles

GPCAPT Chaplain Peter Friend representing RAAF Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Joe ‘Vinny’ Iervasi, AM,
CAPT Stephen Bowater OAM representing Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM, Commander, Australian Fleet
COL Rob Lording, Deputy Commander 8th Brigade representing Commander Second Division, Major General Kathryn Campbell, AO, CSC and the 8th Brigade. His grandfather, was seriously wounded at Fromelles whilst serving with the 8th Brigade
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

 

BRIG Michael Annett, ACOM 2 Division representing the Australian Army Commander Headquarters Command, Major General Chris Field AM CSC laying a wreath on behalf of The Australian Army
CAPT Stephen Bowater OAM representing Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead AM, Commander, Australian Fleet,
laying a wreath on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy
GPCAPT Chaplain Peter Friend representing RAAF Air Commander Australia Air Vice-Marshal Joe ‘Vinny’ Iervasi, AM laying a wreath on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force
COL Rob Lording, Deputy Commander 8th Brigade, and Commander Second Division, Major General Kathryn Campbell, AO, CSC and the 8th Brigade laying a wreath on behalf of 8th Brigade.

Superintendent Michael Bray representing the NSW Ambulance Service and
Superintendent Paul Carrett, Commander of Kings Cross Police Area Command, representing the NSW Police Force, together with
Bugler Terry McCleary NSW Fire and Rescue Band representing NSW Fire and Rescue
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography
President, Remembrance Driveway Committee Air Commodore Ian Scott AM with Alexander Weilsmann

Geoffrey Benn, Secretary, The Fromelles Association of Australia with Students of St Clare’s College, Waverley

Arline Ronsisvalle with a floral tribute on behalf of World War One Descendants, together with
Peter Allen representing the NSW Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen & Women (NAJEX)
Reg Bonney with a floral Tribute for George Edward Bonney,32nd Bn

Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

Wreaths and florals tributes were laid for the following soldiers:

Kevin Holmes for descendants of Cpl “Nutsy” Herbert BOLT 55th Bn, KIA Fromelles, identified 2010
John Clingan for John’s great uncle Pte Alex CLINGAN 53rd Bn KIA Fromelles Identified 2010 and for Dorothy’s great uncle Sgt Vincent GROGAN, 60th Bn KIA Fromelles on GDL but not yet identified
Sharon Horsnell and daughters for descendants of Pte Frederick DYSON 54 Bn KIA Fromelles identified 2010
Annette Tebb for descendants of L/Sgt Ernest JENTSCH 53rd Bn KIA Fromelles identified 2010
Reg Bonney & daughter Ms Ann Asciak laid a floral tribute for George Edward BONNEY32nd Bn, KIA, Fromelles no known grave
Robert Batt laid a tribute for Pte Arthur George BATT 32nd Bn KIA Fromelles identified in 2019
Lynette Forde laid a tribute for Pte Edward HOPE 54th Bn KIA Fromelles identified in 2019
Fiona Bunn laid a floral tribute for Pte Percy ROBERTSON 58th Bn Wounded Fromelles RTA and Private Wilfred ROBERTSON 29th Bn Died of Disease 1918
Colin and Val Kidd laid a wreath on behalf of Neville Kidd’s family, dedicated to the memory of the Men of 19th July.

The Ode was recited by Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO,
former Governor of New South Wales and Honorary Member FFFAIF before the Last Post was sounded by Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band followed by silence and The Rouse. Terry’s wife Leonie is a relative of Capt Archibald Gunter MC 54th Bn, Wounded at Fromelles.

 

Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO reciting The Ode. The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band.

PTE Jessica Thomson, PTE Paige Millhouse and SMN Kenny Mejias

Flag Orderlies from The Royal Australian Navy and The Australian Army
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

RAN Flag Orderlies from HMAS Waterhen,
under the command of Chief Petty Officer Greg Morris

SMN Kenny Mejias – Flag Orderly
SMN Georgia Read – Flag Orderly
SMN Jack Speechly – Flag Orderly
AB Alex Bragg – Flag Orderly Flag Orderlies from the

Australian Army Flag Orderlies from Army Personnel Administrative Centre (APAC), Victoria Barracks under the command of MAJ Julie Appleby

PTE Paige Millhouse – Flag Orderly
PTE Jessica Thomson – Flag Orderly

The Choirs and the NSW Police Band led the singing of I Vow to Thee My Country before a closing prayer and blessing from Pastor Bob Durbin.

The Epilogue was delivered by President of FFFAIF, Jim Munro. Mr Munro thanked all those who have been involved in organising the Commemoration and acknowledged the presence of the defence personnel. Click here for a copy of Mr Munro’s Epilogue. Mr Munro commented:

“We remember the citizen soldiers who heard the call and took on responsibilities with consequences they did not fully understand and gave up their vocations to do what they saw as their duty. We thank those citizen soldiers and we thank the current professional soldiers both full-time and part-time for their preparedness for taking on the unforeseen risks and challenges in our technological and dynamic world.”

Mr Munro noted that there were several very special aspects of the Commemoration.
• Warrant Officer 2 Grumley who had led the Australian Army National Flag Party was able to be accompanied by three generations of his family who have also walked in the footsteps of Private William Grumley It is thought that he participated in the 1966 parade from the Archibald Fountain to this Anzac Memorial to ask the Trustees to always remember the service and sacrifice of their 5th Division comrades.
• Descendants were present for two of the seven soldiers who have had their identity returned and were to have headstones bearing their names dedicated at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery later that day: Private Arthur George BATT 32nd Bn and Private Edward James HOPE 54th Bn.
• Mr Munro then related the story of Cpl Leon Briand, one of the 160 French ANZACs. He fought at Gallipoli where he was seriously injured and was awarded a Military Medal for bravery. He returned to Australia in 1915 and spent a year recovering in Guildford, WA, before re-enlisting and re-joining his unit in France as Corporal in 1916. He was seriously wounded in the 1st Battle of Bullecourt, and was taken prisoner. Due to his injuries, he was repatriated by the Germans to Holland, then England and returned to Australia in 1918.
He had a hard life in Australia and separated from his family and lost touch with them. He died in 1966, destitute and was buried in an unmarked grave in Geraldton.
As part of the Guildford ANZAC’s project, his grave was located and in March this year a headstone was placed on his grave in the presence of his descendants, recording his war service.

Mr Munro concluded:

“It falls to us, and to our children, and succeeding generations to remember the service and sacrifice of those citizen soldiers who heard the call and joined the Australian Imperial Force, and to remember the impacts upon their families, friends and communities.
Lest We Forget.”

FFFAIF President Jim Munro delivers the Epilogue
Deputy Consul-General for the Republic of France, M. Pierre Bianconi, delivering a Message from France
Images by St Clare’s College, Waverley and Michael Mannington for Community Photography

The Deputy Consul-General for the Republic of France, M. Pierre Bianconi, delivered a Message from France, expressing appreciation for Australian support since The Great War and continuing today and the National Anthems of France, the United Kingdom and Australia were sung to close the commemoration.

NSW Police Band led by Acting Director of Music Anthony Brahe

Special thanks go to the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, their staff, and contractors for providing the marquees and sound system. The presence of the Pastor Bob Durbin, Holy Family Choir of Menai, the Westleigh Probus Songsters, the NSW Police Band and The Australian Army Flag Party and the Flag Orderlies from the Royal Australian Navy, who along with the French War Veterans contributed significantly to the formality and dignity of the commemoration. Special Guests Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, Deputy Consul-General Pierre Bianconi, Harry Allie BEM, James Griffin MP, Brigadier Michael Annett AM, Colonel Rob Lording, Chief Petty Officer Greg Morris and the Flag Orderlies and the Australian Army National Flag Party, Patrick Lindsay and the Students of St Clare’s College Waverley, Josie Shelley and Kevin Holmes who all enriched the Commemoration.

Procession Marshall Paul Simadas, Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell and FFFAIF Committee Members Margaret Snodgrass and Jill Hayes helped the Commemoration run smoothly. The Students of St Clare’s College with the guidance of Michael Burden Leader of Information Literacy and Innovation at St Clare’s College, Waverley with support from Ben Johnson, created a good photographic and video record and Michael Mannington for Community Photography who has contributed his photographs. Some of the photographs and video has been posted to the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2019/ and are still available for viewing. Thanks also to the 7 Network News team including Reporter Chris Maher whose 6pm Bulletin report has enabled the Commemoration to be shared with a larger number of people.

Special thanks also to the Organising Committee of FFFAIF Members Margaret Snodgrass OAM, Darren Mitchell, Jill Hayes, Paul Simadas, Chris Bryett and Geoffrey Benn, Anzac Memorial Operations Manager Belinda Mitrovich and Visitor Services Coordinator, Jim Grey, Warrant Officer Class One David McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW of the Australian Army and Nick Young, Manager and Rosie Patrielli, Fundraising and Communications, Centenary of Anzac, Office for Veterans Affairs (NSW).

Jim Munro,
President of FFFAIF
July 2019

Special Thanks to:

Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, Deputy Consul-General Pierre Bianconi, HJames Griffin MP

Patrick Lindsay and the Students of St Clare’s College Waverley, Josie Shelley and Kevin Holmes

Brigadier Michael Annett AM, Colonel Rob Lording and the Australian Army National Flag Party

RAN Chief Petty Officer Greg Morris who managed the Flag Orderlies
SMN Georgia Read, PTE Paige Millhouse and SMN Kenny Mejias

Michael Burden, St Clare’s College with
WO1 David ‘Paddy” McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW

Flag Orderlies from HMAS Waterhen
Under the command of Chief Petty Officer Greg Morris

SMN Kenny Mejias – Flag Orderly
SMN Georgia Read – Flag Orderly
SMN Jack Speechly – Flag Orderly
AB Alex Bragg – Flag Orderly

Flag Orderlies from the Army Personnel Administrative Centre (APAC), Victoria Barracks
under the command of MAJ Julie Appleby

PTE Paige Millhouse – Flag Orderly
PTE Jessica Thomson – Flag Orderly

NSW Police Security Team           M. Jean-Louis Worobec & French War Veterans of NSW

Pipers Graham Wood and Jim Braid with Bugler Terry McCleary

Peter Olde, Director, Holy Family Choir Menai with the Westleigh Probus Songsters NSW Police Band led by Acting Director of Music Anthony Brahe

Procession Marshall Paul Simadas and Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell

 

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24 April 2019 ANZAC Day Service at Fromelles

ANZAC Day was commemorated in the village of Fromelles on Wednesday 24 April, commencing with a dawn service at the Cobbers statue in the Australian Memorial Park.

The following photos,2019 Fromelles ANZAC Service 24 April 2019 supplied by Carole Laignel, FFFAIF member and Secretary of the F.W.T.M 14 (Fromelles Weppes Terre de Memoire or Fromelles Weppes land of Remembrance, show that the Commemoration was held on a sunny morning with some clouds with some wind and temperatures of about 18C. Carole has provided a copy of the Order of Service (click here to see 2019 Fromelles ANZAC Service 24 April 2019).

 

 

Students of the Pulteney Grammar School from Adelaide honoured one of the students  killed during the Battle of Fromelles.


 

 

 

 

 

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DIGGER 67

CONTENTS

Articles

Fromelles: a veritable Hell , Lieut George Wilson, X5A MTMB, compiled by Phillip Mannell 3-8

Bdr 1319 Thomas Throsby (Smyth) King MM, 6 LHR/15 FAB/14 FAB , Geoff Lewis 9-13

Memories of Digger Days (1), found on Trove 13

Lieutenant Colonel Marcus William Logan, CO 35 Bn , Bill Durrant 14

Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42 Bn (Part 5), edited by Graeme Hosken 15-21

Memories of Digger Days (2) , found on Trove 21

Cpl 541 William Henry Winstanley MM, 21 Bn/APC , Trevor Munro 22-25

Soldier’s letter 1915: Pte 59 Donald Hood, 27 Bn: a ‘Southland’ survivor, found on Trove 25

Pte 5696 William Frederick Grady, 2 Bn, Geoff Lewis 26

ER/2 Cpl 2792 Donald Ross, 21 Bn/2 DTC/APC, Graeme Hosken 27-28

Dates of FFFAIF functions to be held in Sydney in 2019 28

The horrors of war (letter 1915): Pte 897 James Morieson, 14 Bn , found on Trove 29

For Valour: The New Zealand VC recipients 1918 (Part 1) , Geoff Lewis 30-33

Soldier’s letter 1915: Pte 1129 William Smith, 21 Bn, found on Trove 34-35

Memories of Digger Days (3) , found on Trove 35

What Anzac means to me, General Henri Gouraud, French Army, contrib. by Bill Durrant 36-37

Soldier’s letter 1916: Cpl 755 Frank Steed, 30 Bn, contrib. by Tim Lycett 37

Pte 3656 Clarence George Howard, 54 Bn, Graeme Hosken and John Skene 38-39

Poem: ‘Blank Fire’, Lieutenant William Thomas Barnes, 25 Bn, found on AWM website Pte 87 Thomas John Stevenson, 26 Bn, Barry Stevenson and Graeme Hosken 40

Lieut John Timothy Maguire MC , Evan Evans with K Chamberlain, P Nelson and D Nelson 45-71

Dvr 2039 Charles Richard Harnell, 2 LHR/11 FAB , Graeme Hosken 72-74

Soldier’s letter, 1916 : Pte 614 Mervyn Dayman, 25 Bn/2 MG Bn, found on Trove 74

 

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

 

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National network of Headstone Projects gathering in Canberra

Representatives from The Headstone Project in Tasmania and similar projects in South Australia, Victoria, NSW, and Western Australia gathered in Canberra on Saturday 13 April 2019 as a follow-on from the Headstone Projects Roundtable session in Hobart in  December that shared experiences between several “Headstone Projects” and contemplated development of a national network to encourage and support current and future local initiatives.

Chaired by Andrea Gerrard, Chairman, The Headstone Project, Tasmania the gathering included Marcus Allan, Vice Chairman, The Headstone Project, Tasmania; John Brownlie, Chair South Australian Headstones Project; Neil Rossiter, Vice -Chair South Australian Headstones Project; Lambis Englezos, FFFAIF Honorary member and member of the RSL VIC War Graves Committee; Shay Webster, Integrated Marketing Manager – RSL Western Australia; Gary Mitchell, Friends of Sandgate Cemetery, Newcastle WW1 researcher; John Thomas, Forgotten Diggers Project; Jenny Pearsall, Friends of Balmoral Queensland; Jim Munro, President FFFAIF and Paul Simadas, Vice President FFFAIF.

Special guests included Kerry Russell, Manager, Unmarked First World War Graves Program, Office of Australian War Graves and Martin Farrell, Director War Graves Operations, OAWG and Professor Peter Dennis, Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), a campus of UNSW and the creator of the AIF Project database. Mr Chris Widenbar, Executive Officer, Office of the Director, Australian War Memorial on behalf or the AWM hosted the gathering.

Ms Kerry Russell outlined the ‘Unmarked First World War Graves Program’ followed by discussion of issues related to the processing of applications for grants and approvals and funding for unmarked graves of veterans of The Great War. The two-year $420,000 pilot program announced in February provides for grants of up to $450 towards the cost of placing a headstone on the unmarked graves of First World War veterans who died after returning from the war. Click here for Unmarked First World War Graves OAWG Program documents.

After Andrea Gerrard shared the experiences of The Tasmanian Headstone Project, updates were provided on projects in Victoria by Lambis Englezos, in South Australia by John Brownlie and Neil Rossiter, in NSW by John Thomas and Gary Mitchell, Western Australia by Shay Webster and  Queensland by Jenny Pearsal.

Discussions on how the various Headstone Projects would be able to share their experiences and benefit from the experiences and support of the other projects followed. This included discussion of shared values, aims and purposes along with discussion of advocacy, sharing knowledge and obtaining economies in procuring supplies, equipment and people to assist local projects.

Professor Peter Dennis outlined the AIF Project Database and with Jim Munro led discussion of enhancing the database  by adding date of death, grave locations, photographs and linking with other sources of information.

The gathering not only enabled experiences to be shared between several “Headstone Projects” but identified particular experiences and areas of competence developed that could be shared eg guidelines for volunteers, procurement arrangements, accessing Work for the Dole schemes, and minimizing costs for death certificates, web sites etc.  The gathering also contemplated further development of a national network to encourage and support current and future local initiatives and resolved to next meet on Saturday 16th November in Melbourne

Groups interested establishing a local Headstone Project or joining the network of Headstone Projects can do so by emailing enquiries@theheadstoneproject.org

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2/3 of the Diggers from Pheasant Wood now have their own headstones

19 July 2018 Headstone rededications.
Photographs by Carole Laignel [Click on images to enlarge]

The names of 233 or 93% of the 250 soldiers buried by the German Reserve Bavarian Infantry Regiment soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles are known.

The graves of 166 or 66% of the 250 soldiers whose remains were recovered from the communal pits near Pheasant Wood, Fromelles in French Flanders and were reburied with full military honours in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery in 2010 are now identified with their names.

The names of a further 67 soldiers are known to be buried in the Cemetery along with 17 whose identity is not known.  Identifying these 84 soldiers remains the challenge that can only be solved now by matching the soldier’s DNA with that of a descendant. These are some of the 1,100 Australian soldiers killed in the Battle of Fromelles on the night of 19th July, 1916 and continuing into the 20th with no known grave.  (1,333 Australian soldiers were listed as having no known grave less 233 now known to have been buried near Pheasant Wood).

The 2019 Fromelles Identification Board has revealed the names of 7 more Australian soldiers who will have their names inscribed on individual headstones. They are:

  • 352 Private Arthur George BATT 32nd Bn. A.I.F. age 32 of Hilton, South Australia.
  • 77 Lance Corporal John Alexander CRAWFORD 32nd Bn. A.I.F. age 30 of Hindmarsh, South Australia
  • 641 Private Leslie Clark DUNN 31st Bn. A.I.F. age 28 of West Melbourne, Victoria
  • 1291 Private George HONEY 32nd Bn. A.I.F. age 31 of West Guilford, Western Australia
  • 4188 Private Edward James HOPE 54th Bn. A.I.F. age 28 of Penrith, New South Wales.
  • 715 Lance Corporal Ralph JOHNSON 32nd Bn. A.I.F. age 19 of Middle Brighton, Victoria
  • 3433 Private Peter Paul SHANNON 53rd Bn. A.I.F. age 35 of Merriwa, New South Wales.

https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/minister/dchester/media-releases/seven-australian-soldiers-identified-battle-fromelles

Photo: DNA procedures
[2009 Oxford Archaeology. CWGC]

The identification of these soldiers follows at least 100 submissions made to the Joint Identifications Board for consideration in March, 2019, mostly by the Fromelles Association supported by DNA samples fr0m descendants. (See Seeking Fromelles DNA matches.)

Privates Batt, Dunn, Honey, Hope and Shannon’s names were on the original Working List developed for the Fromelles Project in 2008 based on the research and advocacy of Lambis Englezos OAM and his team. The Service Records of these soldier contained German documentation advising that their bodies had been buried by the German Army following the Battle. The name of Lance Corporal Ralph JOHNSON was added to the list following research by the Fromelles Descendants Database team who complied detailed family histories for most of the soldiers on the Working List. The Australian Army Fromelles Project Group subsequently called for descendants to register for DNA contributions and this more recently has been continued by the Unrecovered Casualties – Army unit and broadened to relatives of any soldier killed in the Battle of Fromelles with no known grave. This has enabled Lance Corporal Crawford also to be identified from DNA samples contributed by relatives.

A list of the names of the 233 Australian soldiers known to be buried in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery including the names of the 166 soldiers identified so far is available from enquiries@fffaif.org.au.

Anyone who believes that they are related to one of the Australian soldiers who are still missing from the Battle of Fromelles are invited to register their details with Unrecovered War Casualties – Army at https://army.govcms.gov.au/forms/uwc-a-online-registration-form.

 

  Thought to be buried by the Germans Identified with named head-stones Identified from Original Working List Identified from
Munich and FromellesDatabase research
Identified but not on Working List
Soldiers identified 233 166 125 5 36
Soldiers recovered 250 250      
Source of soldiers’ names 93% 66% 75% 3% 22%

 

Jim Munro
President
26 March 2019

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DIGGER 66

 

CONTENTS

Articles

Memoirs of the 47 Battalion , Major John T Jones MC, RMO 47 Bn (AAMC) 3-18

Major Harold Charles Howden MC & Bar, 13 , 45 & 48 Bns, Graeme Hosken 19-24

For Valour: forgotten VCs of Russia 1919: Sgt Pearse & Cpl Sullivan, Geoff Lewis 25-27

Gallant death of Pte 1019 Henry Carseldine, 27 Bn, Chaplain WJ Stevens, 27 Bn 27

SA war artists: H Septimus Power & Pte 17954 John Charles Goodchild, Judith Green 28-29

Soldier poet: L/Sgt Leon Gellert, 9 FAmb, Judith Green 29-31

Letters: Pte 266 Robert Orchard, 2 FAmb & Sgt 2479 Noel Brinkley, 27 Bn, from Trove 31

The Duffin brothers: Pte 856 George, 18 Bn & Pte 391 Richard Duffin, 19 Bn, G Hosken 32-36

Soldier’s letter 1916: Pte 4473 Roy Ryan, 1 Bn, found on Trove 36

To save a comrade’s life: Pte 3021 Matthew Sowden, 45 Bn , contrib. by Angie Little 37

Colour spread, photos contrib. by J Skene, D Roubroeks, C Laignel, L Coman, G Hosken 38-39

Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42 Bn (Part 4), edited by Graeme Hosken 40-45

Pte 2851 Daniel McKenzie, 42 Bn , Graeme Hosken 46

Gallipoli samurai: Sgt 754 Harry Freame , Brian Tate, contrib. by Bill Durrant 47-51

The work of the 2 Pioneer Battalion in 1918 , some figures from Neville Browning’s book 51

19 July men: Cpl 1252 Alfred Tuck, 29 Bn & Cpl 1520 William Ryan, 31 Bn, Geoff Lewis 52-58

Colonel Reynell & the 9 LHR at Hill 60 , Tpr 788 WC Dunstall, 9 LHR, 5 DAC, 13 FAB 58

Lieut Alfred Farleigh MC, 33 Bn , Graeme Hosken and John Skene 59-61

Tpr 2954 Garnet Mawbey, 7 LHR, Trevor Munro 62-64

Sydney University men in the Great War & work of John Le Gay Brereton , John Ramsland 65-74

 

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

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Australian DIGGER stories on-line for New Year Summer reading

The Families and Friends of the First AIF has brought its vast collection of Australian DIGGER stories on-line for its Members.

First Issue 2002  and 2003

All 65 editions of DIGGER published from October 2002 are now available for reading on-line or downloading to FFFAIF Members. Comprising more than 3,750 pages of Australian DIGGER stories, the focus is on the stories of individual soldiers, the majority of which were published for the first time in DIGGER and provided by FFFAIF members.

2018

DIGGER_62_Mar18  DIGGER_63_Jun18  DIGGER_64_Sep18  DIGGER_65_Dec18

By browsing the “wall” of cover images under the DIGGER drop down menu, individual issues may be selected and the Table of Contents viewed.
To assist in locating stories, the Tables of Contents have been consolidated and are able to be searched using the web-site Search feature or can be downloaded and searched.
Researchers and those interested in soldier stories of the Great War will be able to search for individual soldiers, places and battles.

FFFAIF Members are able to access the full back catalogue of Australian DIGGER stories on-line, free of charge.
Non-members have the opportunity to purchase casual copies of DIGGER or apply for FFFAIF Membership to gain access to the pass-word protected Members-only area of the website. To assist in locating references to individual soldiers and their units, comprehensive indexes are available in the Members Area.

FFFAIF Members and the DIGGER team, in the back catalogue of Australian DIGGER stories on-line, have built a “national resource”.  There are stories relating to thousands of members of the First AIF, now available on-line and free of charge to Members. There are many stories yet to be told and Members and other researchers are invited to submit stories for publication to editor@fffaif.org.au.

Acknowledgements and credits for the DIGGER Team:

The Contributors, mostly FFFAIF members, who have told or shared their stories or items of interest.
FFFAIF Secretary Graeme Hosken has edited issues 9-65. Inaugural President Craig Laffin edited issues 1-8.
Past President Russell Curley has been the proof-reader for all issues and compiled the Index for issues 1-24. Geoff Lewis has compiled the Indexes for issues 25-65. Kelly Henderson has developed the consolidated index.
Aaron and the team at the Colour Copy Shop at Dubbo have printed issues 22 to 65. Former Membership Secretary Alan Kitchen printed earlier issues. Past Committee Member Trevor Munro has assisted in packaging and distribution of DIGGER.
FFFAIF’s former Web-Manager Chris Bartolo set up many of the web postings for issues 1-49 and Past President Russell Curley and President Jim Munro have extended these.

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DIGGER 65

CONTENTS
Articles
The impact of the Great War, Sue Tongue 3-4
‘Overheard on a train’, anon. reporter, ‘Burnie Advocate’, 1931 4
Report on 2018 John Laffin Memorial Lecture Day, Paul Simadas 5-6
1917 letter: Pte 3774 Fred Chin, 19th Bn, found on Trove 6
2nd Lieut Jacques d’Alpuget, 54th Bn, Matt Smith 7-11
Memories of Amiens in 1916,
‘AIF’ (anon. Digger), found on Trove 11
1916 letter: Pte 433 Joseph Smith, 5th MG Bn, found on Trove 12-13
1917 letter: WOI George Whitehead, AAMC, found on Trove 13
Battle of the Lys Centenary at Merris, John Payne 14
Boy soldier stowaways, contrib. by Bill Durrant 15-16
1918 letter: Pte 3762 Bert Bishop, 55th Bn, contrib. by Pam Goesch 16
Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42nd Bn (Part 3), edited by Graeme Hosken 17-21
Pte 1926 Clarence Gordon, 54th/1st Bns, contrib. by Lesley Abrahams 22-24
How soldiers go to bed: (probably) Dvr 1620 James Hodson, contrib. by Bill Durrant 24
Pte 2653 Harold Edwards, 20th Bn, Val McKenzie 25-26
1917 letters: Pte 3312 Eric Millard, 3rd Bn, found on Trove 26
‘Murphy of Anzac’: Simpson’s donkeys, by ‘Ex-Captain’, contrib. by Bill Durrant 27-29
Armistice Day memories, (probably) Pte 2871 Harold Preston, found on Trove 29
Account of trench raid, Sgt 2682 Albert Green, 9th Bn, and AWM artefacts, found on Trove 30-33
Spr 868 Alec Gollan, 19th Bn/5th FCE, Trevor Munro 34-35
‘I got you those’, ‘Hplar’ (unknown Digger) in ‘Smith’s Weekly’, found on Trove 35
‘Sandbags’: Lieut RSM Sturges, British Army, contrib. by Bill Durrant 36-37
‘Stiffness’, ‘Franzac’ (unknown. Digger) in ‘Smith’s Weekly’ 37
How the Diggers in France reacted to the Armistice, Graeme Hosken 38-41
When did Australia receive news of the Armistice? Graeme Hosken 42-44
Armistice Day sadness for Cumnock family, Val McKenzie 45
Captain Ken Millar, 2nd Bn, and the Armistice, contrib. by Patric Millar 46
For Valour: Australian VC recipients 1918 (Part 5), 18 Sep to 5 Oct, Geoff Lewis 47-56
Ned’s nephew: Pte 2002B Fred Foster, 17th Bn, David Creenaune & Graeme Hosken 57-60
‘Some gargle’, ‘Musha’ (unknown Digger) in ‘Smith’s Weekly’, found on Trove 60
The men from Myrrhee: a town’s pictorial honour roll, Evan Evans 61-73
The Armistice: memories and hopes, Gnr 3289 Edwin Davidson, 13th FAB, found on Trove 73
November 11, 1918: The Armistice in Syria, Captain Hector Dinning, AASC/WRS 74
Regular features
Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2
Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

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DIGGER 64

CONTENTS
Articles
Montbrehain: the AIF’s last battle of the war, Evan Evans 3-8
Ptes 6509 Huntsman, 6987 Eacott, 7th Bn, and 6831 Neilson, 8th Bn, Andrew Pittaway 9-10
SALIENT: Contemporary artists at the Western Front (exhibition), Compiled by Jill Hayes 11-12
The legacy of Pte 6020 Douglas Grant, 13th Bn, John Ramsland 13-23
Cpl Vine’s grave at Camden, found on Trove 23
Stories of SA brothers in the AIF, Judith Green 24-28
Postcard from opening of Australian National Memorial 1938, Greg Knight 28
Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42nd Bn (Part 2), edited by Graeme Hosken 29-33
Captain David Martin MC, 12th MG Company (4th MG Bn), Greg O’Reilly 34-41
Sgt 191 Albert Tuck, 4th Bn, and the floating cross, Bill Durrant 42-43
Bill’s choice: gunner’s bravery at Cape Helles, found on Trove 43
Cpl 372 Charles Lane and Private 648 Reinhold Ruschpler, 4th MG Bn, Graeme Hosken 44-49
Ptes 2736 Alexander Levings and 2737 Norman Levings, 7th Bn, Stephen Brooks 50-51
Soldiers’ memories: Misplaced kindness; Hard luck Digger; Duckboards, found on Trove 51
Ptes 3639 V Gardner, 54th Bn, & 3160 CC Wheeler, 4th Bn, Kerry Patman & Graeme Hosken 52-59
Soldiers’ accounts of Hamel and Amiens 1918, found on Trove 60-62
For Valour: Australian VC recipients 1918 (Part 4: 31 Aug – 12 Sept), Geoff Lewis 63-73
Pte 1881 Samuel Baguley, 17th Bn, Graeme Hosken 74
Regular features
Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2
Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

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