Fromelles Day Sydney 20 July 2020: Commemorative Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial and Commemorative Service

A copy of this Fromelles Day Sydney 2020 Commemorative Procession and Commemoration report is available on request from enquiries@fffaif.org.au
(At 10MB the PDF version is too large to upload to this website).

Commemorative Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial

The Commemorative Procession leaving the Archibald Fountain.
All Images by Michael Mannington for Community Photography

The Families and Friends of the First AIF in conjunction with the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, hosted the Commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles at The Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney on Monday 20 July 2020. It was the first Fromelles Day Commemoration during the era of the COVID19 pandemic. The Commemoration was a “closed event” with limited numbers of invitations and attendance capped at 35 attendees, which is the capacity limit for the Anzac Memorial Auditorium complying with the NSW Government COVID19 Safety Plan Guidelines for Museums and Galleries. This meant that is was not possible to invite The Holy Family Choir Menai, who have supported the Fromelles Day Commemoration for the past decade, or the NSW Police Band, descendants and members of the public. In previous years, relatives of soldiers who participated in the Battle were among those attending, however this year they were invited to send the names of the soldiers they are commemorating for placement on a Commemorative Star to be cast into the Well of Contemplation following the laying of wreaths.

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. While the Battle started on the 19 July, the Commemoration was held on Monday 20th as the Anzac Memorial was currently not open on weekends. This meant that the Commemoration was at the time when 104 years ago the 5th Division troops who had broken through the German lines were desperately fighting a German counter attack and were being surrounded and at risk of being cut off and many were killed. These included the 250 men buried by the Germans after the battle whose graves were located in 2008 and were exhumed and in 2010 were reinterred in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. 166 of these soldiers have now been identified by archaeological and anthropological analysis as well as DNA matching with relatives and now have their named headstone.

Also available for downloading:
Fromelles Day 2020 Background to the Battle of Fromelles
Fromelles Day 2020 Background briefing on the Battle of Fromelles 19-20 July 1916
Fromelles Day 2020 Background and Update on identification of the Diggers from Pheasant Wood
List of soldiers known to be buried at Pheasant Wood, Fromelles at March 2019

The Commemoration was preceded by a Commemorative Procession of about 30 people on a sunny, mild winter morning from the Archibald Fountain that commemorates the association of Australia and France in The Great War to the Anzac Memorial. 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.

Permission was obtained from the City of Sydney and NSW Police for the Commemorative Procession with compliance with physical distancing requirements and NSW Health Guidelines. All participants went through temperature checking and hand sanitising and were offered face masks at the Archibald Fountain before forming 2 columns in physical distancing formation. The Procession was then escorted by NSW Police Officers as a COVID19 Safe “bubble” to the Anzac Memorial.

COVID 19 Precautions: FFFAIF Parade Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD and
FFFAIF President Jim Munro undertaking temperature checks for
the Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP and
DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT Victoria Benz.
[Click on images to enlarge]

The Commemorative Procession re-enacted 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. Click on this link to see Fromelles 50th Anniversary – A record of the Parade and Ceremony held in Hyde Park on 19 July 1966

The Commemorative Procession was led a Flag Party. The Australian National 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 the 1966 Parade from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial.  M. Jean-Louis Worobec, Past Président Association des Anciens Combatants Francais de Nouvelle Galles du Sud (French War Veterans of NSW) carried the French Tricolour.

Flag Ensign WO2 Nathan Grumley with M. Jean-Louis Worobec, French War Veterans of NSW at the head of the Commemorative Procession

The Hon Margaret Beazley, AC QC, Governor of New South Wales with Mr Dennis Wilson led the Commemorative Procession, accompanied by Dignitaries and representatives of the Australian Defence Forces, ex-service and descendant organisations.

The Commemorative Procession at Park Street
[Click on images to enlarge]

The Commemorative Procession at Hyde Park South and approaching the Pool of Reflection

Accompanying the Procession from Park Street to the Anzac Memorial was Piper Jim Braid, NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums.

Fromelles Commemorative Procession passing the Pool of Reflection and
Flag Party of WO2 Nathan Grumley and French Veteran Jean-Louis Worobec
at the Northern Forecourt of the Anzac Memorial
[Click on images to enlarge]

Participants in the Commemorative Procession included:

The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson and Aide-de-Camp SQNLDR Greg Baker-Moss;

Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing  
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and
The Anzac Memorial Trustees with Nicolle Nasr, Ministerial Adviser;

Board Director, Mr John Hutcheson for Mr Ray James, Acting President, The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch;

Consul-General of United Kingdom Mr. Michael Ward;

Consul-General of New Zealand Mr. Bill Dobbie;

Consul-General Republic of France Mrs Anne Boillon;

Dep. Head of Mission Belgium M. Arnaud Dusaucy;

Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Ms Victoria Benz;

Australian Army representative, Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade (8th Bde fought at Fromelles and now includes the University Regiments);

Howard Collins OBE, Chief Operations Officer, Transport for NSW with Bill Phippen OAM (52 NSW railway and tramway men died at Fromelles);

The Hon Brendan Nelson AO Families and Friends of the First AIF Honorary Member;

Professor Richard Wright AM Families and Friends of the First AIF Honorary Member;

FFFAIF President Jim Munro;

FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes;

Australian World War One Descendants (AWWOD) Arline Ronsisvale;

Fromelles Association of Australia, Secretary Geoffrey Benn;

War Widows’ Guild of Australia, National President Mrs Meg Green AM;

Sydney Legacy President, Mr Greg Wrate; and

NSW Association of Jewish Service and Ex-Service Men & Women (NAJEX) President Roger Selby.

They were supported by:

FFFAIF Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD (also Australian Branch of the Western Front Association);

WO1 David McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW of the Australian Army;

WO2 Nathan Grumley as National Flag Party;

French Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec;

Michael Mannington, Community Photography; and

Videographer Adrian of Vagrant Films.

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 video of the Commemorative Procession recorded by Vagrant Films on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

Commemorative Wreath laying on the steps of the Anzac Memorial

When the Commemorative Procession arrived at the Anzac Memorial Forecourt, the participants transitioned into Wreath laying order efficiently while keeping physical distancing and staying within the COVID19-Safe “bubble”.

Maintaining physical separation in preparation for Fromelles Wreath laying
Their Excellencies Hon Margaret Beazley and Mr Wilson and Dignitaries

Piper Jim Braid, supported by Bugler, Terry McCleary took up his position to be able to play a Lament during the wreath-laying.

The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC supported by Mr Dennis Wilson laid a wreath on behalf of the People of NSW.

 

Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell called forward the following dignitaries to lay their wreaths together (shown left to right below):

Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade, Representing the Australian Army Commander Forces Command, Major General Matt Pearse AM, and Commander Second Division, Major General Kathryn Campbell, AO, CSC and members of 8th Brigade, laying a wreath on behalf of The Australian Defence Forces for those who have served and currently serve.

Mr Arnaud Dusaucy Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Embassy of Belgium, laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of Belgium.

Mr. Bill Dobbie, Consul-General of New Zealand laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of New Zealand.

Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and The Government of New South Wales laying a wreath on behalf of the NSW Premier and Government of NSW.

Mr Michael Ward, British Consul-General and Director General of Trade & Investment laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of United Kingdom.

Mrs Anne Boillon, Consul-General for the Republic of France, laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of France.

Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell then called forward the following dignitaries to lay their wreaths together (shown left to right below):

Mr. Gregory Wrate, President of Sydney Legacy laying a wreath on behalf of Legatees;

Arline Ronsisvalle, representing Australian World War One Descendants (AWWOD) laying a wreath on behalf of World War One descendants;

Geoffrey Benn, Secretary Fromelles Association of Australia supported by Professor Richard Wright AM, Honorary Member, Families and Friends of the First AIF laying a wreath on behalf of Fromelles descendants for the Missing of Fromelles;

The Hon Brendan Nelson AO Honorary Member, Families and Friends of the First AIF supported by Jim Munro, President laying a wreath for the Fallen at Fromelles;

Meg Green, National President, War Widows’ Guild of Australia, laying a wreath for War Widows of Australia;

Mr John Hutcheson Board Director, The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch, representing Mr Ray James, Acting President, laying a wreath for those who served; and

Ms Victoria Benz, Deputy Commissioner NSW & ACT, representing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs laying a wreath for War Veterans.

Their Excellencies The Honourable Margaret Beazley and Mr Wilson observe
the wreaths laid in tribute.

Wreaths: Republic of France, United Kingdom, RSL NSW

Wreaths: DVA and (left to right) DVA, France, RSL NSW, UK, Governor of NSW, War Widows, NSW Government

Wreaths: New Zealand, For the Missing, Belgium, and Australian Army and For the Fallen

You can view and download video of the Commemorative Wreath-laying recorded by Vagrant Films on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

Commemorative Service for the 104th Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles

Following the wreath laying on the Memorial steps, the participants led by FFFAIF President Jim Munro followed the Flag Party of WO2 Nathan Grumley as Australian National Flag carrier and French Tricolour Flag carrier Jean-Louis Worobec to the Reception door of the Memorial and they stood-to until all participants moved in an orderly way to the Auditorium in single file with physical distancing maintained. The Auditorium seating had been arranged to facilitate the Commemorative Service while keeping physical distancing.

The Flag party followed the guests to the Auditorium and formed up outside the Auditorium to await the arrival of the Vice-Regal couple who had proceeded from the northern Forecourt with MC Darren Mitchell and Pastor Bob Durbin to make a formal entry. The Flag party then entered the Auditorium and placed their flags in a flag stand and the Commemoration Service commenced. Click on this link to see the Fromelles Day 2020 Order of Service.

Fromelles Commemoration attendees

Master of Ceremonies, and FFFAIF Member, Darren Mitchell welcomed guests and read a Vice Regal Fromelles Day Message on 104th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles from His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. You can hear Darren’s Welcome and reading of the Vice-Regal Fromelles Day Message on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

   

 

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.  The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags were also 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/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

The Prologue was delivered by The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC.  She noted that while the Battle of Fromelles was of strategic importance aiming to prevent the transfer of German troops to the Battle of the Somme, it had huge human cost with 1,299 names of soldiers with no known grave listed at VC Corner of 1,917 killed. Her Excellency called on those present to leave behind what poet Wilfred Owen described as the “art of hurting” and peacefully and with dignity commemorate the brave soldiers who committed themselves in the Battle of Fromelles.  

You can hear Her Excellency’s Prologue on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

Pastor Bob Durbin, Chaplain with RSL LifeCare led a prayer, followed by the NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons singing Abide with Me.

You can hear Pastor Bob’s Prayer and Belinda’s rendition of Abide with Me on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

BRIG Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade delivered the Commemorative Address observing that the purpose of the battle was as a feint to prevent the Germans moving troops to the Somme, but it was hastily and poorly planned. The Germans had been there for a year and a half, the Australians for a week. The 15th Bde on the right attacked the strongly defended Sugarloaf and was virtually wiped out in the first 20 minutes. BRIG Casey noted that at precisely this time it was 3:25am on 20 July in France and 104 years ago the 14th Bde and 8th Bde were desperately holding on against counter-attacks and artillery strikes, but the positions could not be held and later in the morning the call came to get back if you can. The Cobber statue is tribute to the bravery of those men, in Australia’s bloodiest day in battle.

You can hear Brigadier Casey delivering the Commemorative Address on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

 

In the Family Reflection, Geoffrey Benn shared the story of 20 year-old Acting Sergeant William Polding Ryan, 31 Bn who was Killed in Action at Fromelles. William, from near Murwillumbah, was buried by the Germans after the battle and identified through DNA matching. Geoffrey also reflected on the Family’s journey of “discovering” a relative of whom he had not known of for most of his life and the emotional impact of the identification of William’s remains and of the 2016 dedication at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery of his named headstone with the inscription “LOST SO FAR FROM HOME, AND FOUND SO CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS”.

Geoffrey also shared how he has come to know previously unknown relatives who also were connected to Fromelles. One is Dr. Stuart Quarmby, the Headmaster of Wollondilly Anglican College at Tahmoor who is related to William through his grandmother. He is also related to Corporal Alfred Tuck through his father’s family. Both William and Alfred are buried at the new cemetery in Fromelles, and both were identified by matching with a family member’s DNA.

ANZAC Sculpture depicting A/Sgt William Ryan and Hannah
at Wollondilly Anglican College 

Dr. Quarmby invited Geoffrey to unveil a life-size statue of William, at the opening of the College’s new Anzac Memorial Shelter on 18 July, 2018. William is depicted holding the hand of a five year old girl, modelled on Hannah, Dr. Quarmby’s grand daughter and a great, great, great, great niece of William Polding Ryan. The statue of the soldier represents all of the diggers who fought and died in the Battle at Fromelles. Dr. Quarmby said “When looking at the statue, imagine every student saying:
‘Thank you for paying such a price’, and imagine him saying ‘Thanks for finding me’.”

Pastor Bob Durbin led a Prayer and Blessing. You can hear Pastor Bob’s Prayer and Blessing on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.

The Consul-General for the Republic of France, Mrs. Anne Boillon, delivered a Message from France, expressing appreciation for Australian support since The Great War and continuing today, especially in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. As democracies, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Belgium and France have many shared values, as was the case during the Great War. It was when she visited Fromelles that she learned the meaning of “Cobber” and what it says about Australian spirits and values and that these are universal values of humanity and friendship. She shared that she had recently visited St Clare’s College, Waverly and saw the strength of the bond between Australia and France today.

Consul-General for the Republic of France, Mrs. Anne Boillon, delivering a Message from France

You can hear Anne Boillon delivering her Message from France on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

The Epilogue was delivered by Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and The Government of New South Wales. Mr Lee quoted from a letter from Pte Roderick Samuel 54Bn to the mother of one of his mates to advise not only of her son’s death in the battle, but also of his own brother’s. He noted that there were many stories like this and that of A/Sg William Ryan told in the Family Reflection that demonstrate the impact of the Battle on many Australian Families. Mr Lee, acknowledged the presence of the defence personnel and on behalf of the New South Wales Government thanked all those who have been involved in organising the Commemoration for helping to ensure that the Battle of Fromelles is never forgotten.

You can hear Minister Lee delivering his Epilogue on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

The National Anthems of France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and Australia were sung by NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons.

NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons singing the National Anthems of France, New Zealand and The United Kingdom and RSM WO1 David McGarry

Belinda sang The Recessional to close the Service in the Auditorium as participants, maintaining physical distancing, passed beneath the Ocular as they moved through the Hall of Service, to the northern stairs where the wreaths were arranged and into the Hall of Memory.

You can hear Belinda Parsons renditions of the National Anthems and The Recessional on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

The Commemorative Star Ceremony

French Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec casts Commemorative Stars

Descendants and the general public who were not able to be invited to physically attend due to the capacity limits applying at the Anzac Memorials during the pandemic were invited to send the names of soldier they wished to commemorate. About 400 soldiers were nominated for commemoration and their names were added to Commemorative Stars, the same shape and colour as the 120,000 stars fixed in the Dome of Star above the Hall of Memory and symbolically representing the 130,000 men and women from New South Wales who embarked for overseas service during the Great War. Soldiers commemorated included those men of the 53Bn who originally served in the 1st Bn, those soldiers known to be buried in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, 52 Railway and Tramways employees and 11 Jewish soldiers killed in the Battle of Fromelles as well as other soldiers nominated by descendants. Participants attending the Commemoration were invited to cast the Commemorative Stars with soldiers’ names into the Well of Contemplation at the Anzac Memorial. The Commemorative stars were then collected for cremation at Rookwood and the ashes will be taken by the Premier’s Anzac Scholars to the WW1 battlefields.

 

Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP and DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Victoria Benz cast Commemorative Stars

 

Their Excellencies, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Mr Dennis Wilson cast Commemorative Stars

You can view the Commemorative Star Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

Laying the wreath for the 5th Division

In acknowledgement of the commitment made by the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial to honour the Battle of Fromelles and the men of the Fifth Division AIF, WO2 Nathan Grumley, 1 Health Support Company (1HSC), Randwick Barracks was invited to lay the wreath for the 5th Division in the France-Belgium Niche. WO2 Grumley’s great grandfather Pte William Grumley56Bn, fought in the Battle of Fromelles and was wounded in November 1916 when the 56Bn transferred to the Somme.

William Grumley is thought to have been one of the veterans who participated in the 1966 Parade from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial which asked the Trustees to place the 5th Division AIF Wreath Stand at the France and Belgium niche on the anniversary of the action at Fromelles, the 19th July each year. The Trustees readily agreed to this request and since 1966 the Trustees have honoured the veterans request with the laying of a wreath on 19 July each year on the 5th Division AIF wreath-stand used in the 1966 Ceremony. See Fromelles 50th Anniversary – A record of the Parade and Ceremony held in Hyde Park on 19 July 1966.

 

WO2 Nathan Grumley about to place a wreath in tribute to the 5th Division AIF, in the presence of Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales

The Last Post Ceremony

The Ode was recited by Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade before the Last Post was sounded by Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band followed by 1 minute of silence and The Rouse.  Terry’s wife Leonie is a relative of Captain Archibald Gunter MC, 54th Bn, Wounded at Fromelles.

The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band.

NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons led the singing of the Australian National Anthem to conclude the Commemorative Service.

NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons,  WO2 Nathan Grumley and
SQNLDR Greg Baker-Moss, Her Excellency’s Aide-de-Camp

You can view the Commemorative Star Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

The Anzac Memorial Eternal flame

Special thanks go to the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, their staff, and volunteers for facilitating and assisting in the Commemorative Service. The assistance of NSW Police Band in the provision of pre-recorded music and along with the renditions by Vocalist Belinda Parsons significantly contributed important components to the Commemorations that would have otherwise been diminished by the pandemic restrictions. Similarly, the presence of the Pastor Bob Durbin, WO2 Nathan Grumley as the Australian Flag Ensign, who along with the French War Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec, Piper Jim Braid and Bugler Terry McCleary contributed significantly to the formality and dignity of the commemoration. Special Guests, The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson, the Diplomatic representatives, Harry Allie BEM, Minister Geoff Lee MP, Geoffrey Benn and Brigadier Brendan Casey all enriched the Commemoration.

Procession Marshall Paul Simadas, Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell and FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes helped the Commemoration run smoothly. Michael Mannington for Community Photography has created a good photographic and Vagrant Films has created a video record and some of the video has been posted to the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/ which is now available for viewing. Thanks also to the 7 Network News team 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 and Warrant Officer Class One David McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW of the Australian Army.

A special thanks to Pastor Bob Durbin who arranged for the wreaths to be relocated following the Commemoration from the Anzac Memorial to the RSL Life Care ANZAC Village at Narrabeen to be distributed throughout the Village for the benefit of residents and staff.

Due to the pandemic, we missed the company of many of our regular participants including Past President Russell Curley and FFFAIF Committee Member Margaret Snodgrass OAM. Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, former Governor of New South Wales and Honorary Member FFFAIF has participated each year since 2010 (except in 2014 when she was overseas) and the Holy Family Choir of Menai who have led the singing for a decade. The NSW Police Band, the Flag Orderlies, and representatives of ex-service and descendants’ organisation as well as descendants of the soldiers of the First AIF. We know that some held personal commemorations and we hope that they will be able to participate in future commemoration to honour the service and sacrifice of the soldiers of the First AIF and their families.

Lest We Forget

Jim Munro,

President of FFFAIF

July 2020

Gallery of Thanks

The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson

NSW Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing  
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales 

Minister for Veterans, The Hon Geoff Lee MP and Consul-General of France, Anne Boillon

Consul-General of New Zealand Mr. Bill Dobbie, Consul-General of United Kingdom Mr. Michael Ward, Commander 8th Brigade Australian Army BRIG Brendan Casey, Deputy Head of Mission, Belgium Embassy M. Arnaud Dusaucy

Sydney Legacy President, Mr Greg Wrate, AWWOD Secretary, Arline Ronsisvale, RSLNSW John Hutcheson, DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Victoria Benz

FFFAIF Honorary Member The Hon Brendan Nelson AO and
FFFAIF President Jim Munro

Fromelles Association Secretary Geoffrey Benn, FFFAIF Honorary Member Prof Richard Wright AM, Chief Operations Officer, Transport for NSW, Howard Collins OBE

Harry Allie BEM and Pastor Bob Durbin

Brigadier Brendan Casey (with Prof Richard Wright in the background) and
WO2 Nathan Grumley, Australian Army

Also participating NAJEX President Roger Selby, (just out of photo), ARHS Member Bill Phippen OAM (far left) and FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes (centre)

NSW Police Security Team

WO1 David ‘Paddy” McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW and
M. Jean-Louis Worobec Past President French War Veterans of NSW;
Piper Jim Braid with Bugler Terry McCleary; and
NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons backed by Director of Music John Saunders and the Band

Procession Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD and
Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell

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Fromelles Day 2020 Commemorations @ Fromelles, Melbourne and Sydney

Fromelles

In France, about 60 people attended the Fromelles Day Commemoration at 6pm in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery on a a sunny but windy day. Attendees were mainly inhabitants of Fromelles, members of Fromelles-Weppes-Terre de Memoire 14-18 (F.W.T.M. 14-18), members of Union des Anciens Combattants (UNC or RSL equivalent) including flag bearers from other villages around Fromelles. The only Australian visitors this year were from the Australian Embassy: Mr Brendan Berne, Ambassador to France and Colonel Joel Dooley, Australian Defence Attaché. Face masks were worn by most attendees.

FFFAIF’s French Member Carole Laignel has supplied the following images of the Commemoration.

                             

Click images to enlarge and and read the detail.
Right click and “Save image as” to download.

Our thanks to Carole Laignel and those who attended for their continuing efforts of Keeping The Memory Alive, especially in these most difficult of times.

 

Melbourne

In Melbourne at the Shrine of Remembrance, the normal Fromelles service at the Cobbers statue was not held this year, due to COVID19 restrictions, nor was the previously advertised ceremony with 20 attendees in the Sanctuary.  The Shrine of Remembrance staff held a private wreath laying ceremony in the Sanctuary at 1.30 pm on 19 July, broadcast live on their Facebook page.

 

Sydney

On Monday 20 July we were privileged to be able to conduct a limited Commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles in Sydney on the 104th anniversary of the battle. It was our first during the era of the COVID19 pandemic.

While the Battle started on the 19 July, the Commemoration was held on Monday 20th as the Anzac Memorial is currently not open on weekends. This means that the Commemoration was at the time when 104 years ago the 5th Division troops who had broken through the German lines were desperately fighting a German counter attack and were being surrounded and at risk of being cut off and many were killed. These included the 250 men buried by the Germans after the battle and recently exhumed and 166 of whom have now been identified by archaeological and anthropological analysis as well as DNA matching with relatives.

See the Report on the Fromelles Day Sydney 2020 Commemorative Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial and Commemorative Service with a gallery of photographs of the event. You can view video of the Commemoration on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/

 

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DIGGER 71

Contents

Articles

L/Cpl 1612 Edwin Joseph King, 19 /36 /33 /34 Bns, Bill Durrant 3-6

Pte 3747 John Forrest, 10 Bn, Stephen Brooks 7

Letter from Base Records to next of kin of Pte 4942 J White, 16 Bn, from service record 7

Pte 4033 Leslie Essington Gow, 30 Bn, Peter Tremain 8-10

Extract from 16 Bn unit war diary after attack at Mouquet Farm , Lieut-Col EJ Park 10

Letter from Spr 9924 Norman Meston MM, 9 FCE, found on Trove 11

Pte 442 Leslie George Gane, 35 Bn, Bob McKnight, Barry Stevenson & Graeme Hosken 12-13

Raid on Stormy Trench , Pte 6320 Stanley Stephens, 13 Bn 14-16

Pte 6230 Stanley Stephens, 13 Bn, Helen Thompson 16-17

The stretcher-bearers: Use of morphine (blue cross) tablets, contrib. by Bill Durrant 17

Dvr 18172 Russell Dumas Barton, 11 FCE, Geoff Lewis 18

Brothers: CSM 1733 Edmund John Morcom, 21 /24 Bns/Aust Conv Depot, and Pte 3443 Stanley Morcom, 39 Bn, Ron Morcom, Graeme Hosken and Heather Ford 19-26

Mother’s letter re : Dvr 2043 Michael Lynam, 5 DAC, from service record 26

Pte 104 Denis Buckley, 8 MG Coy, Bill Durrant 27

Red Dust (memoirs of a light horseman), Chapter 2 , Tpr 3073 John Gray, 6 LHR 28-35

Brothers, Pte 1107 Herbert Joseph Atkins, 7 Bn, and Pte 50 Charles Arthur Atkins, 16 Bn/4 MG Bn, Geoff Lewis 36-40

Death of Pte 587 Frederick Burns, 41 Bn, L/Cpl 669 John Norman Hill MM & Chaplain John Edward Norman Osborn MC 40

Pte 2867 Louis Hollingworth Bluhdorn, 56 Bn, Frances Bluhdorn 41-44

Pte 1167 David George Mills, 8 Bn, Brett Arnfield 45-47

L/Cpl 2586 Herman Ernest Coath, 2 Bn/1 MG Bn, Graeme Hosken 48-67

Dvr 2106 Arthur Younie, 1 LHR/5 DAC, Geoff Lewis 68-70

Pte 3195 Chesney Pitt, 48 Bn , Peter Norton and Graeme Hosken 71-74

 

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2

AIF anecdotes: Memories of Digger days , The World’s News 6, 27,44, 47, 67, 70

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

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ANZAC Day in the time of Coronavirus

1st Battalion at Mena Pyramids Source: Alan Andrews’ souvenir postcard collection.

Due to the impact of the Coronavirus and control measures implemented, the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Anzac Memorial in Sydney and Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne are closed to the public until further notice and ANZAC Day Marches cancelled, and a ban is in place on indoor gatherings.

The RSL is encouraging Australians to “light up the dawn” in personal commemorations while still being part of a broader community commemoration on driveways, balconies etc by lighting a candle or shining a light at 6:00am and sounding The Last Post from mobile phones in unison.

The ABC is supporting this and has invited Australians to mark Anzac Day in a safe and special way (with appropriate physical distancing):

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/anzac-day-2020/12132330 or
https://www.veterans.nsw.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day-2020/

5.30am: A live broadcast of the National Memorial Service from the Australian War Memorial on ABCTV, iview, Radio and online. This service includes, from around 6am, The Last Post and a minute of silence, where you can pay your respects on your driveway or at your front gate or balcony at the same time as your local community.

9:55am: Tune into the ABC or live stream the NSW Anzac Day Service from facebook.com/AnzacMemorial/live commencing at 10am. Download the NSW Anzac Day Order of Service.

11.30am: Two-minute reflection which includes The Ode and The Last Post followed by a minute silence on ABCTV, iview, Radio and online.

6.55pm: The Governor-General, David Hurley’s Anzac Day message on ABCTV and Radio.

FFFAIF is also encouraging a display of Rembrella poppy umbrellas and the media is encouraging displays of poppies and Australian flags.

The Ode

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

From For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

Lest We Forget

Jim Munro
President
for and on behalf of the Members and Committee of
Families and Friends of the First AIF

The ANZAC landings at Gallipoli

105 years ago the soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force were part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force consisting of British, French, Indian, Australian and New Zealand Forces. Simultaneous landings were made by British forces at Cape Helles, French forces at Kum Kala near the Plains of Troy and the ANZACs at Gaba Tepe. The British Fleet commenced bombardments at 4:30am to cover the landings.

 

The Gallipoli peninsula and Ships in position for Gallipoli landing.[Click images to enlarge]
Sources: Gallipoli, one long grave, K. Denton, Time Life Books Series Australians at War, Sydney, 1986 and Gallipoli The Heroic Story of the Australasians at Anzac, S. Bennett, ‘Evening News’, Sydney, 1916. Back cover.

Following is an account of the landings from 20 year old Alan Andrews, a Corporal in C Company, 1st Bn, 1st Brigade.

Sunday 25 April St George’s Day

At 4 o’clock we were awake, and when we reached the deck we saw the sight of our lives. All the way down the coast there were ships to be seen — troopships, warships and other small fry such as trawlers, torpedo boats and destroyers.

The Fleet opened fire, and the bombardment was terrific, especially from the ‘Lizzie’s guns. The troops were put into destroyers on which they ran in close to the shore. They then got into small boats and were towed ashore by steam pinnaces, or rowed ashore, as the case was.

The 3rd Brigade landed first on the beach about 5am and was followed by the 2nd and 1st. We landed at 6 am to reinforce the second brigade. All this time they were under fire, both rifle and gunfire.

The Turks who were well entrenched everywhere to the waters edge shelled the Brigade with shrapnel and a withering fire of rifle and machine guns. They evidently expected us to land lower down, as they had barbed wire right out into the water and all over the beach in front of the level plain. However we landed at the foot of a bunch of hills, up which we fought our way and which we now hold.

Many killed & wounded upon landing. Men who had packs in arm slings dropped them & fixing bayonets charged up the hills. The Turks not liking the steel ran. The boys soon drove them pell-mell up the hills These hills are very steep and the soil is very loose, thus very hard to climb. Very slow & tedious climbing cliffs. All the time under shrapnel fire. After that we went forward to firing line. Shrapnel fire terrible.

Just as we got to the top of the rise we received terrific fire of shrapnel & as we had no trenches had to beat a retreat. The fire was simply murder, men fell everywhere. So terribly mutilated, hands, faces, blown in stomachs etc.

When we arrived the enemy had all the guns trained on us, and having to file past the Indian Mountain Battery (the only artillery that landed with us) we got what was intended for them. Well, we rushed forward and were in the thick of it before we knew where we were. At our point in the line we advanced rather rapidly and they gave us hell with their shrapnel, causing us to retreat a little. We gathered together, fixed bayonets and charged back again and got within 400 yards of the guns, which they were trying to get away. We captured two machine guns & a field gun. If we had been reinforced strongly we would have taken the ridge in front, and thus held a position from where we could have given them a hot time on the left, where they are now strongly entrenched. However we were not, and although we were past their last trench, we had to go back to the main firing line. When night came on we entrenched right along and were reinforced by the 4th Brigade. We then entrenched everywhere strongly. The Aust. N.Z.A.C of about 8000 men reinforced us with artillery during the night. N.Z. went around the rear. Heavy fighting all night. It rained slightly during the night, but we worked on unmindful of anything like that.

Note Aust. N.Z.A.C are the letters which Alan used in his diary on the day of the ANZAC landings.

The battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth and The Scourge towing landing boats close to shore at Anzac Cove.
Sources: Alan Andrews’ souvenir postcard collection and AWM
[Click images to enlarge]

Map showing Gallipoli battlefields. [Click images to enlarge]
Source: ANZAC to AMIENS, C.E.W. Bean, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1946, p117

Alan Andrews also took some photos of his comrades and kept some newspapers clippings of their time at Mena Camp in Egypt before embarking for Gallipoli.

As we honour the memory of all Australians who served during times of conflict and in peacekeeping forces, please reflect on the lives of the young men of the 1st Bn shown in these photos.
[K.I.A.: Killed in Action, D.O.W.: Died of Wounds, R.T.A.: Returned to Australia, MC: Military Cross, MM: Military Medal.]

Guard Duty at Mena Camp Egypt, 1915. Source: Alan Andrews’ souvenir collection. [Click image to enlarge]
The soldiers in this newspaper photo were identified by Alan Andrews No325 as W (wounded) or D (died)

Back row (left to right):

Pte William Thomas STRINGER, No. 384 Wounded; R.T.A. Re-enlisted 1917 (Service, No3174); R.T.A. July 1919

Pte Cecil Arthur SMITH, No. 354 K.I.A. Gallipoli 5/06/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Cpl Robert John MacKENZIE, No. 359 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. June 1918.

Pte Herbert Harry JIFFKINS, No. 418 K.I.A. Gallipoli 2/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

L.Cpl Hector MCKENZIE, No341, was a 28 year old launch proprietor who enlisted on 24th August 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. K.I.A. Gallipoli 10/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Front Row (left to right):

Cpl Edward NEWTON, No. 434 Wounded Gallipoli. R.T.A. July 1915

Sgt Oswald Walter MOORE, No. 324 D.O.W. Gallipoli. 24/05/1915. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

C.S.M. James William MORRIS, No. 320 Wounded twice at Gallipoli. R.T.A. March 1916. Lt. Morris was mentioned in despatches.

Pte George DAND, No. 503 Wounded; R.T.A. May 1916.

Pte Robert SUTTIE, No. 390 K.I.A. Gallipoli 26/04/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Pte Frank Branscombe HOSFORD, No. 356/3549 Survived Gallipoli. Wounded; R.T.A. 4/05/17

L.Cpl James WOODWARD, No. 357 K.I.A. 2/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine.

4th Platoon ‘C’ Company 1st Battalion circa January 1915 at Mena Camp Photo by Alan Andrews [Click image to enlarge]

Back Row: (l to r)

Company Sergeant Major James William MORRIS, No 320, was a 38-year-old photographer who enlisted on 17th August 1914. He embarked as a member of ‘C’ Company, 1st Battalion. Wounded twice at Gallipoli, Lt. Morris was also mentioned in despatches. R.T.A. March 1916.

L.Cpl David Mitchell No.327, Wounded at Gallipoli; R.T.A. March 1919

Sgt R. Thomas BROWN, No 323, was a 26 year old iron workers assistant who enlisted on 21st August 1914 and had previously served as a sergeant in 31st Infantry militia unit and embarked as a member of ‘C’ Company, 1st Battalion. Sgt Brown returned to Australia on 20th January 1916.

Cpl Andrew Robert ANDERSON, No. 223 Wounded at Anzac 25/04/15; K.I.A. 21/07/16 Pozieres France. Memorial Villers Bretonneux.

Irvine (No.?),

Pte Joseph Baxter IRELAND, No. 342 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. June 1915.

Unknown,

Lt James Alexander, enlisted on 28th August 1914 and commanded 4th Platoon C Company 1st Bn before falling out with the Colonel and returning to Australia. He re-enlisted 1st May 1915 and joined the 20th Battalion, became Sgt Major and was a good soldier and returned to Australia on 11th March 1918.

L.Cpl Ronald Leslie BIRRELL, No. 374 Suffered poisoned hand; Survived Gallipoli. Wounded France R.T.A. July 1917.

L.Cpl Cyril Maurice HOWELL, No. 59 Survived Gallipoli. K.I.A. 19/8/1916. Mouquet Farm Pozieres. Memorial Villers Bretonneux

Pte Willie WILSON, No. 351 D.O.W. 8/08/15. Memorial Lone Pine.

Pte Percy Sydney BRUSHETT, No. 404 K.I.A. Gallipoli 25/04/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Pte Walter OLIVE, No1141, was a 24 year old English born fireman who enlisted on 9th October 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. K.I.A 6-9 Aug.1915. Memorial Lone Pine.

Private Herbert George GRIEVES, No376, was a 19-year-old railway employee who enlisted on 26th August 1914 and had previously served in the 43rd Infantry Militia at Goulburn. Pte Grieves was killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 19th May 1915.

Pte Timothy LENEHAN, No. 228 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. October 1918.

Pte Alfred Victor ADEY, No. 348 Survived Gallipoli. Discharged 17/03/19

Lance Corporal Harold WILLIAMSON, No375, was a 24-year-old carpenter who enlisted on 24th August at Yass NSW. L.Cpl Williamson was killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 19th May 1915

Corporal Frank Alderly Charles GEORGE No 332 was a 20-year-old clerk from Annandale who enlisted on 28th August 1914 and had previously served in 31st Infantry militia unit. He embarked as a member of ‘C’ Company, 1st Battalion. K.I.A. Gallipoli 28/04/1915; mentioned in despatches. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Sergeant Edward (Ted) Rennix LARKIN, No321, was 34 years old and M.L.A. for Willoughby who enlisted on 21st August 1914. He embarked as member of ‘C’ Company, 1st Battalion. As a youth he had represented New South Wales and Australia in rugby union and joined the NSW Police force before becoming the first secretary of the New South Wales Rugby League from 1909 until 1913. He was killed during the Landing on 25th April 1915, Gallipoli, as was his brother Martin. [Cpl Alan Andrews No325 was promoted to Sergeant in the field to replace Sergeant Ted Larkin]. 

Middle Row:

Pte Thomas WILLOUGHBY, No343, was a 19 year old butcher who enlisted on 24th August 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. Wounded Quinn’s Post; D.O.W. 21/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Pte Richard Arthur CARROLL, No. 391 Wounded Gallipoli; did not resume active service. R.T.A., November 1916.

Pte Charles Scott YULE, No. 85 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. March 1916.

Pte Cyril HORTON, No1159/1210, was a 21 year old English born farmer who enlisted on 18th September, 1914. He embarked as a member of 1st Reinforcement 1st Battalion aboard the Themistocles. K.I.A. 6/9-8-1915. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery. [see photo below]

Pte Joseph HONAN, No. 400 R.T.A. January 1919.

L.Cpl Frederick FERGUS, No. 344 Wounded Gallipoli. Loss of sight; R.T.A. October 1915, Accidentally killed, November 1915

Unknown,

Pte William Henry NEILSON, No. 387 R.T.A. October 1916

L.Cpl James WOODWARD, No357, was a 25 year old fitter who enlisted on 21st August 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. K.I.A. 2/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine.

Unknown,

Pte Thomas Frederick BAXENDALE, No. 800 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. 31/3/?

Front Row:

Private George HONEYSETT, No 377, was a 22 year old blacksmith who enlisted on 26th August 1914. Pte Honeysett was killed in action in France on 22nd July 1916.

Private Horace (Henry) Arthur SANSOM No 425 had been a 30 year old labourer who had been born in London when he enlisted in the ANMEF with Service Number 525, RTA. Enlisted in AIF in Brisbane on 14 December 1914, served on Gallipoli and RTA 7 December 1915 and discharged. Died 9 October 1964 at Lidcombe.

Pte Frank Cuthbert VICTOR, No. 346 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A., November 1918.

Private Joseph Martin HANSEN No 410 was a 21 year old labourer living in Mosman when he enlisted on 28 August 1914. In the Battle of Lone Pine he received a shrapnel wound to his left arm and Invalided to Australia on 31 October 1915 for discharge. He was killed in a railway accident in 1924.

Sgt Private William Henry CHARLTON, No 349, was a 23 year old carter who enlisted on 8th August 1914 and had previously served in the 31st Infantry militia unit. He embarked as a member of ‘C’ Company, 1st Battalion. Sgt Charlton returned to Australia on 8th October 1918 as a member of 53rd Battalion

Pte Arthur Edward SPRATT, No. 435 Survived Gallipoli. K.I.A. 19/10/17 Passchendaele. Memorial Tyne Cot, Belgium

Pte Harry Richmond SPARKS, No.385, A Commercial Buyer from Kempsey, enlisted 28 August 1914. Promoted to Sgt at Gallipoli and Mentioned in Despatches. Transferred to 1st Trench Mortar Battery. Suffered from shellshock. RTA 12 April 1917

Pte Hugh McAULEY, No. 364 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. February 1919.

Pte Sidney James WATKINS, No. 333 Survived Gallipoli. K.I.A. 22/07/16 France. Memorial Villers Bretonneux.

Sgt Ernest Clarence HARRIS, No1042, was a 20 year old law clerk who enlisted on 18th September 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. K.I.A. Gallipoli 2/05/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

Pte Vincent BANCE, No. 394 Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. December 1918.

Pte Cecil Arthur SMITH, No354, was a 26 year old English born fitter who enlisted on 21st August 1914. He embarked as a member of the 1st Battalion aboard the Afric. K.I.A. Gallipoli 5/06/15. Memorial Lone Pine Cemetery.

CSM Paterson (No.785) Survived Gallipoli. R.T.A. 31/10/15 (Influenza)

 

Lone Pine 1st Battalion memorial and the grave of Pte Cyril Horton in 1985

 

Alan Malcolm Dickson Andrews was born at Wingham, worked as a clerk in the Pay Branch of the Public Works Department of NSW and served in the 31st Infantry Battalion of the militia as a Sergeant before enlisting on 17 August 1914 with Service No. 325. He served on Gallipoli in C Company of 1st Bn. After returning to Egypt, he transferred to 53rdBn and was promoted to Company Quartermaster Sergeant. In July 1916, the 53rd Bn was transferred to the training camps on the Salisbury Plain in England. Alan was killed in a motor vehicle accident on St Patrick’s Day 17 March 1917 and is buried in St Ediths Churchyard, Baverstock (Wiltshire, UK) with 28 other Australian soldiers. An ANZAC Service has been held annually at Baverstock since 2006.
See http://fffaif.org.au/?p=252 and http://fffaif.org.au/?p=4007

A tribute to CQMS Alan Andrews and all soldiers of the First AIF
by Jim Munro on behalf of Alan’s nephews and nieces and their families.

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DIGGER 70

 

Contents

Articles

Pte 3406 John Forrest, 54 Bn, contrib. by Katrina Forrest Giebels 3-6

Letter from Pte 836 Norman Parker, 9 Bn (1), found on Trove 6

L/Cpl 2104 John McDonald, 36 Bn, Bill Durrant 7-8

The TOC H Movement, Ray Geise 9

Pte 6975 Herbert Coles, 3 Bn, Geoff Lewis 10-12

Letters from Pte 836 Norman Parker, 9 Bn (2) 12

Letters from Cpl 1861 Percy Warner MM, 9 Bn, relating to his wounding at Pozieres, Graeme Hosken 13-22

Postscript: The death of Sgt 1855 William (Tom) Hobson, 49 Bn , Graeme Hosken 22-23

Douglas Grant, 13 Bn, book release notification and members’ offer, John Ramsland 23

Red Dust (memoirs of a light horseman), Chapter 1, Tpr 3073 John Gray, 6 LHR 24-31

Pte 4431 Russell Atkinson, 54 Bn, Evan Evans 32-37

Letter from Pte 836 Norman Parker, 9 Bn (3), found on Trove 37

Colour centrespread: images from France, Belgium, Gallipoli and Australia 38-39

Cpl 378 James Brownhill, 6 LHR, Trevor Munro and Graeme Hosken 40-57

Pte 150 Norman Foote, 2 LHR, Tpr 331 William Foote, 6 LHR 57

Pte 6719 Theodore Cole, 2 Bn, contrib. by Toni Riches-Smith 58-59

Recollections: Pte 2546 Thomas ‘Crosscut’ Wilson, 16 Bn, Greg O’Reilly 60-61

Letters between soldiers, contrib. by Doug O’Connor, with Graeme Hosken 62-64

2 Lieut Henry Howard, No. 3 Sqn, AFC, Geoff Lewis 65-66

The Great War Governor-General and Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, Sue Tongue 67-68

Tragedy in the 4 Division Heavy and Medium Trench Mortar Batteries, Stephen Brooks 69-74

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2

Digger stories: from ‘Smith’s Weekly’, 29 Nov. 1930 8, 31, 61, 66, 68, 74

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

digger-70-mar-2020-Cover-TOC

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DIGGER 69

CONTENTS

Articles

The Conscription Vote and a Divided Nation, 1916-17, Bessie Kate Mikelsons, John Laffin Memorial History Price recipient, Latrobe University, 2018 3-7

The Turtle Doves, Evan Evans 8-9

Bibliography for The Conscription Vote article , Bessie Kate Mikelsons 9

Cpl 6045 John Thomas Lang, 2 Bn, Geoff Lewis 10-12

Postscript: The victims of the aerial bombing of the 2 Bn on 27/10/17 , Graeme Hosken  12-13

Pte 901A William Steadman: boy soldier of the 35 and 56 Bns, Bill Durrant 14

The 1918 diary of Pte 3126 Stanley George Tidmarsh, 44 Bn, Part 2/final (Aug to Dec) , Kerry Patman & Graeme Hosken 15-23

Poem: ‘Bullecourt’, ‘Carey’ 23

The brothers of George Tidmarsh: RQMS 1785 Ernest Joseph Tidmarsh DCM, 17 Bn; WOII 430 Reuben Herbert Edward Tidmarsh, 5 LHR, Graeme Hosken 24-28

A moving experience on the Somme , Neil Falconer, Mike Edwards (poet), Emma (student)  29-31

Memoirs of Pte 2369 Verdi Schwinghammer, 42 Bn, Part 7 (final), edited by Graeme Hosken 32-40

Speech transcript: The 7 Field Artillery Brigade, Tony Cunneen 41-44

Pte 3388 William Thomas Exelby, 38 Bn, Graeme Hosken 44

‘Dear Ollie’: the letters of Private 1663 Patrick O’Connor, 45 Bn, to Olive Paton, of Collie, NSW, contrib. by Doug O’Connor, with Graeme Hosken 45-66

Photos: Tidmarsh family headstone in Woronora Cemetery, Graeme Hosken 66

The Lyons family in WWI: Pte 3344 John William Lyons, 53 Bn; Pte 3345 Reginald Armand Lyons MM, 53 Bn; Pte 3346 Thomas Denis Lyons, 53 Bn; Pte 3392 James Iver Pedersen, 53 Bn; Pte 3405 William Leslie Rossiter, 2 Bn; Pte 3274 Norman Ambrose Cate, 54 Bn, Tom Lyons, Barry Stevenson & Graeme Hosken 67-72

Vale: Patricia Williams and Daphne Tongue, Sue Tongue 73-74

Regular features

Trench Talk and Contact/Membership details 2

Memories of Digger Days, The World’s News 72

Etched in Stone, Russell Curley and Jim Corkery 75

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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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