Harry P. Ashburner

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Harry Patrick Ashburner Roman Catholic Section 2 row 4 plot 9

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Harry Patrick Ashburner

160 000 enlisted for King and Country into the various Military Forces. At Point Clare there are several three digit Service numbers  signifying these men were inside the first 1000 of enlistees. The following is a summery of  Harry Patrick Ashburner ‘s war record.

Harry Patrick Ashburner

 Service Number is Number 1.

Place of Birth Erskinville, Sydney NSW

Officially Aged 25  (but might be as young as 19 the is some discrepancy later on.)

Height 5 foot 9 inches

Complexion dark,

Hair Brown

Eyes Brown

Distinctive Marks “Vaccination Scar”

Religion Roman Catholic

His day job before the war was titled Clerk.

Place of Enlistment, Roseberry Park, Sydney NSW

 Dated September 10, 1914.

Assigned to 13th Battalion

Rank Private (10 September to  1 October 2014)

Annotations  on his records that he is to be made a Sergeant as he had  some prior military training.

Rank Sergeant from 1st October  1914 until appointed on 2 December 1914.

He was at Gallipoli in late May 1915.

Returned to Australia via  from the Port of Plymouth on  8th October 1915.

Discharged 16th January 1916.

In addition to other service medal it is noted that he is eligible for the “1914- 1915 Service Star Medal”.

Next of Kin   Mother with a Randwick NSW address.

The Following is a Link to Harry Ashburner’s War record

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3036749

 

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Staples

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Staples Church of England Section 5 row 1 Plot 28

Charles Jefferis Staples (ashes) shares the grave with Phillip Staples aged 27 died 1942, and wife Florence Millicent Staples (ashes).

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C J Staples died in 1973 aged 88, and he lived a very full life. Born in 1885 he spent the first decades of his life as a real estate speculator working with his father sub dividing various parts of what are now well known suburbs of Sydney. His real Estate business was on the corner of Blackwall Rd and Railways street Woy Woy.

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The first mentions of him in the local newspaper are in the early 1920’s he was a good mate of Robert James Baker, Proprietor of the local paper, (see previous posts). He was a part of the “Baker Team” on council and clearly learnt about the power of the press from Baker as he has 100’s of articles and snippets written of him and his exploits.

He kept close ties with the press and kept the journalists informed well after the death of Baker in 1925. He held the Editorship of the Gosford and Wyong Times for a short period.

He was a keen marker outer of roads, He had plans about how the Woy Woy Peninsula would be accessed by road, coupled with his team of V.J. Mackenzie and Charles Fenton the Council Engineer (up until 1927 when Fenton died).

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He is best remembered these days as the name of a lookout as to drive along Woy Woy Road.  This is the only place in the district that he is commemorated.

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One has to remember that Gosford and the Brisbane water district started out as a waterside townships and was very reliant on boats for travelling about to Sydney and beyond. With the avent of motorised vehicles there was added pressure to develop link roads from Sydney to Newcastle and for roads to swing by Gosford and other towns on the way. Many of the roads to the Central Coast we take for granted and use today did not exist until the 1920’s.

In the below link to Trove newspapers, Staples is fighting for a road to join to the Newcastle Road via Patonga and Mullet Creek. This road did not eventuate.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/166836857?searchTerm=ANOTHER%20MOTION%20BY%20CR.%20STAPLES%20DEFEATED.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20&searchLimits=l-title=689|||sortby=dateAsc|||l-category=Article

The next link to Trove newspapers Staples is finding a route from Gosford to the Newcastle Rd this road did eventuate.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/result?l-title=689&sortby=dateAsc&l-category=Article&q=Mooney+Route+Inspected

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When plans for an appropriate World War 1 Memorial were underway Staple put forth for a Memorial District Hospital, but got voted down for the Gosford Swimming pool and cenotaph. He continued to pursue the development of a hospital and it finally came to pass.

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He became the district Coroner after the retirement of William Kirkness (who was 75 years of by that time) and his first case was a murder suicide at Ourimbah, this incident became known as the “Ourimbah Tragedy” and here is the newspaper accounts of that incident. This incident became national headlines but strangely was not reported at all locally.

24th June 1937

Western Mail (Perth W.A.)

FAMILY WIPED OUT.

BODIES FOUND IN HOUSE

Theory of Murder and Suicide

SYDNEY, June 20.-A ghastly discovery was made in a small home on an orchard property at Ourimbah Creek, 13 miles from Gosford, this afternoon when a family of four was found dead. A woman and her two sons had their heads battered ia with an axe and their throats Were cut. The woman’s husband was lying dead in the kitchen with his throat cut.

The victims were:

HUMPHRIES, Leslie Hugh (43), temporary linesman.

HUMPHRIES, Martha Amelia (37), his wife.

HUMPHRIES, Owen Leslie (7).

HUMPHRIES, Clarence William (S).

When police and ambulance men from Gosford entered the house, they state, it resembled a shambles. The police are of the opinion that Humphries became suddenly demented, probably through financial worries, and smashed in the heads of his wife and two sons, then cutting their throats with a razor and before he killed himself with the razor.

It is believed that the tragedy occurred early this afternoon. When Miss Z. Lang, daughter of the postmaster at Palmdale, was cycling along the road to her home, she saw Humphries gesticulating wildly as he rushed about. When he saw Miss Lang, he shouted to her: “Will you call the sergeant. I have done it.”

Miss Lang hurried to her father and he, with two men, went to the home of Humphries. They were met with a ghastly sight The body of Mrs. Humphries was lying in the kitchen covered with a blanket and near her was the body of her husband. He apparently had been dead only a few minutes. The head of Mrs. Humphries was shockingly injured.

Soon afterwards, Sergeant Blackley and the Gosford ambulance arrived and in the bedroom they discovered the bodies of the two boys lying on a bed with their heads smashed in and then throats gashed so extensively that they appeared to have been almost decapitated.

Not all the cases were as dramatic as the Ourimbah Tragedy, he over saw many vehicle related deaths be they pedestrians, passengers or drivers many of these deaths were on the very roads he had marked out the decade before.

Staples observed that by 1937 vehicles had became faster by the year and that the grade of the hills and the number of curves and corners had remained the same, not changing with the speed of the vehicle speed leading to the increase of fatalities on the Central Coast roads.

He also noted that the Central Coast was approximately equidistant from both Sydney and Newcastle and was in what he called the sleep zone with many drivers dying asleep at the wheel. He dealt with x10 road fatalities in his first year.

He was a strong advocate for warning signage and speed limits and driving to the conditions.

Florence his wife was an active member of the CWA.

Staples only son Phillip, was a radio technician/repairman whilst in Gosford and one can not help but think he would have applied those skill when he join the armed forces during world War 2. The Australian War Memorial has not as yet digitised his war record but he died during that conflict in 1942. The Local newspapers did not report that death either.

 

Edith Gell

Edith Gell Church of England Section 9 Row 1 Plot 2map template

Frank Gell joined the AIF in March 1916, he was 6 foot tall and 26 years of age. He was sent to the front in January 1917 and was killed in action By May 1917. Edel Gell, known as Edith was his widow.

Frank Gell’s war record
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4104373

Thu 15 Aug 1918 –

The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate

SOLDIER’S COTTAGE

Handed Over by Of fellows.

On Saturday afternoon last, in the presence of a very large gathering, the handing over ceremony was performed by the District Order of the I O O F.

The cottage erected by that Society for the widow and orphans of the late Private F. Gell,

who was killed in action in France last year. Since the outbreak of the War the Manchester Unity Oddfellows.

Of which the deceased soldier was a member the established a Fund for the purpose of assisting disabled members and their dependents, and Saturday’s function was a striking example of the practical work being done by the Society in this direction.

The local Branch of the Order has also given valuable assistance, with the organising of the entertainment for this event, given by “The Merrymakers”.

Mr. F. A. Stayner, Superintendent of the Boy’s Home, occupied the chair. He briefly outlined the  noble work performed by the Society and Unit of the Gosford Branch, as instanced that day, and had much pleasure in extending n hearty welcome to the District Officers, who had come to take part in the opening ceremony for such a worthy a cause.

The Chairman then called on the President of Erina Shire to address the gathering, and in so doing Mr. Archibold stated that it gave him extreme pleasure to be present at such an auspicious occasion, although he hoped it would be the last, as he had no desire of his to see widows as a result of this terrible war.

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But if such was to be the case he felt sure that Gosford could respond just as nobly in the future as in the past.

He had had the pleasure of knowing the deceased soldier (Private Gell) since he was a boy, and also his widow, and he was proud to have had their acquaintance. He also spoke highly of  his associations with Mr. and Mrs. Hall and family, of whom Mrs Gell was a member Referring to Private Gell the speaker eulogized the spirit of duty which prompted him to enlist and go forth to fight for the protection of his wife and children and the freedom of the civilized world.

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He sympathised with Mrs Gell in the loss of her good husband, but she had the satisfaction of knowing that she was residing among a hospitable people who would never see her in want. Mr, Archbold made reference to the healthy position at the front to-day, but advised his hearers not to

become overconfident. Everybody was expected to do their best to win this war. They had to prevent at all costs Germany from dominating the world.

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Personally, he had no respect for a German no matter how long he had lived in this country, and the only way lie could regard a German us good was when he was dead. On the other hand he bad the greatest respect for our own 6oidiers, and asked everyone to give consideration to the returned hero.

Of this number 600 had made the supreme sacrifice, whilst 700 had been invalided home. He was proud to say that the Society had pledged itself to the last copper, and no member or ‘heir dependents would ever be in want while there was a pound left in the bank.

He was proud of the members of the Society and members of all other Societies who had nobly responded to the call.

Brother Purkins, Deputy Grand Master, supported the remarks of the previous speaker, and said it was with feelings of pleasure mingled with sadness that lie was present on an occasion such as this On Monday they would be carrying out a similar duty at Liverpool. He hoped it would I not be long before the Oddfellows had a big surplus, whereby they would lie in a position to help brothers ! returning from the war. He was pleased to see so man} of the members of the Gosford Branch present, and congratulated the people on the interest they had shown in coming forward that day. | Bro Muston, , D.G.M. of Cumberland District, also spoke.

Brother Trohair then called on Mr. Wallace Moore, the contractor, to hand over the key of the cottage, and in so doing complimented Mr. Moore on the excellence, of hia work, the report of the Society’s Inspector justifying him in saying that the contract had been well and faithfully carried out.

The Chairman then unlocked the door, and presented Mrs. Gell with the key Mr. Thomas Hail, on behalf of Mrs. Gell, sincerely thanked them for the assistance the Society had rendered in providing his daughter with a home, also the officers for their presence there that day, and particularly the members of the Gosford Branch, and all other kind friends who had in any

way assisted to bring about the occasion of that afternoon’s assemblage. He also tendered his thanks to the ladies of the Gosford Red Cross, and concluded by saying that he could not find words to adequately express his feelings of gratitude towards the people he had had the honor of living among for so long.

Inscribed medals were presented to the following returned soldier members of the local Lodge, with honors of the Order : — Drivers J. F. Sterland H. T May and W. Sterland, Trooper B. Ward, and Private W. Goodsir.

Cheers and the National Anthem brought an interesting afternoon to a close, after which refreshments were served.

 

Lone Pine

The pine tree you see down by the front gateway.

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28 August 1915

Sydney Morning Hearald

LONESOME PINE.

HEROIC  FEAT.

FIRST BRIGADE’S WORK.

(FROM CAPTAIN C. E. W. BEAN, OFFICIAL PRESS

REPRESENTATIVE WITH THE AUSTRALIAN

FORCES.)

GABA TEPE, Aug. 18.

An inspection of the Turkish trenches captured at Lonesome Pine has shown what an extraordinarily formidable obstacle the First Australian Infantry Brigade was up against when ordered to take this position. For month upon month we had seen the Turks piling up colossal parapets, and could see that the place was a labyrinth. It was be-cause it was so strong and important, and because we desired to give the Turks a really heavy blow at the southern end of the line, that these trenches were chosen for attack.

The Third Brigade had made a famous assault on the landing; the Second made a wonderful charge at Helles. The First Brigade was therefore chosen to assault Lonesome Pine. It was a tremendous job to put before any brigade, but these Australasian infantry never from first to last showed the least concern about it. I was with them five minutes before the start behind the parapet over which five minutes hence they knew they would have to scramble in face of rifle fire, machine guns, and shrapnel. They did not know what might be awaiting them in the deadly space between the trenches, but not one man showed the slightest sign of uneasiness. A man would pass along the trench to find his platoon just as a belated spectator might hurry to a seat before the curtain rises. Passing he would recognise some friend.

“Good-bye, Bill,” he would say; “meet you over there.”

“So long, Tom,” was the reply. “See you again in half-hour.”

“Are you going to got a photograph of us?” they would ask me. “How do you work it on sandbags or through a periscope? What sort of camera is it? My word.  A great chance for a photographer.”

And then conversation was suddenly cut short by the voice of a little officer crouching just below a parapet: “Get ready to go over parapet.”

He glanced down at a wrist watch, and so did I, 5.27. The men crouched up a little higher on the recess, preparing to spring. Those in the trench below got a firmer foothold. The little officer unstrapped a whistle from his wrist, and held it between his teeth. He looked down at his watch again.

The man next me asked “What time is it?” I looked down. “Well, I make it 5.30,” I answered. The bombardment had apparently stopped. A few minutes’ breathless silence, then a whistle sounded. Within a second the little officer had blown his whistle, too.

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There was a scramble of feet over the parapet, the sound of falling earth, the knocking of accoutrements, the peck, peck of Mauser rifles from the trench opposite had already begun, and gradually swelled into a rattle. A man fell past me into the trench, bleeding from a wound in the mouth. Out in the scrub a line of our old pea soup Australian khaki was racing, jumping low bushes and wire, straight for the enemy’s trench. When they got there they experienced what in military phraseology is known as a check. That is to say, instead of an open trench into which they could jump and bayonet Turks they found themselves looking down on a solid roof of pine logs, covered with earth on which the bombardment had not made any perceptible impression. This surprise might well enough upset the nerves of some troops, but the behaviour of the First Brigade did not give the onlookers the least cause for anxiety. The men were clearly puzzled what to do, but did not show the least sign of ever thinking of retreat. Some ran on to the second and third trench till they found open trenches where they could fire down and jump in. Others strung out along the first trench, firing in to loopholes from which the Turks were still shooting.

lone pine 1919

Others jumped down into a few gaps left without head-cover; others noticed small manholes every here and therein the solid roof of the trench, and began to lower themselves into the trench feet fore-most through these, a feat of daring which, it had been a solitary example, would certainly have won the Victoria Cross in any previous war. Those who could not get in simply lay down outside on the parapet, firing down the communication trenches until they could think of something else to do. The first Australian infantry has made itself a wonderful name at Gallipoli.

Certainly no finer feat has been accomplished here than this taking of Lonesome Pine and holding it against a counter-attack-lasting six solid days. New South Wales cannot be too proud of her The Australian naval bridging train has landed with a British force at Suvla Bay.

lone pine cigggie card

 

 

Jack Dransfield

Jack Dransfield Church of England Section 1 Row 2 Plot 39

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22 March 1917

A “Something.”

The following is an extract from a letter received by Master Joe Dransfield, Ourimbah, from Gunner Edmund Duffy, written from Somewhere in France : — ” I received your welcome letters. We are not allowed to send any souvenirs from the front to Australia. If I had the chance I would enlist a dozen times over, which every self-thinking young man should do in this war of all-nations. There are hundreds of young single men in Australia who shiver at the thought of enlistment. I consider that a young fellow with no responsibilities who will not attempt to enlist is not worthy of the name of “man,” but is a “something” that only thinks of his own skin. It will be the shirker on whom the worry of this will fall.

This young man Joe Dransfield, received this letter a year before he enlisted for World War 1 from his mate, Gunner Edmond Duffy.

Joe I am not certain is he was a cousin, a nephew (?) was somehow connected to the Dransfield Family from Ourimbah.  Gosford and the surrounding districts was a very active ground for local patriot volunteer organizations (Red Cross) and returned servicemen organizations.  A letter like the above was stirring the war effort and Joe joined up in 1918. Social events with parades and floats were common place. Even the provision of a house to one war widow to live in, show the support and popularity of these events.

The Dransfield family of Ourimbah was headed by Mr. Dransfield who was the Head Teacher of Ourimbah Public School and turns up in the local paper from time to time. The Grave we are visiting is the grave of the Headmasters son Jack Dransfield, 1919.

From his war record, Joseph Dransfield, we find that he is 22 years of age, 5 foot 11 inches tall, had a mole on his right shoulder, he enlisted the day after Anzac Day 1918. For a young man, He was married, yet widowed. His next of kin is listed as James Adams, step father and his belongings willed to Eileen M Bell. Religion is listed as Congregational. He has worked around locomotives, and has been accepted into the Railways Company. There is a letter from a higher ranking officer describing him as brainy.

Joe Dransfields War Record.

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3521454

Jacks father had a hand in the Australia day celebrations of 1916 at Gosford, and organised these costumes.

Joe Dransfield’s next of kin was notified just under a year from the enrollment date, that he was to return to Australia on the 19th April, 1919. He moved to the Eastern suburbs of Sydney by 1928.

With the Returning Soldiers they brought with them a deadly strain of Flu, a version of the Global Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1919.

Meanwhile in Ourimbah The Headmaster was having some fun with the kids, I reckon Little Jack (aged 12) Dransfield saw some of the following event that his father seemed to have something to do with.

12th June, 1919

Ourimbah.

Our Public School now has four teachers as well as the capable head master, Mr. Dransfieid  The “Kiddies” of the town had the time of their lives on Tuesday afternoon, when a man dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, paraded the main road and portrayed ‘Charlie’ in almost lifelike style.

Very soon nearly the whole of the school children followed up the caricaturist, and it was pleasing to hear the well-behaved — with a few exception? — hilarity of the girls and boys. This was advertising a picture show held in the School of Arts last  night, and the result was advantageous, for from 7 p.m children in crowds with their parents or friends were to be seen streaming to the show.

Then 3 weeks later, this happens to Young master Jack Dransfield.

3rd July 1919

LISAROW.

(From Our Correspondent.)

Bleak westerly winds and heavy frosts are being experienced this week, and after the pleasant weather we have bad for the last few months, the change is not altogether agreeable, but as we are past the  shortest day we can look forward to soon having warmer days.

The flu is still with us, but fortunately most of the Lisarow cases have been rather a mild type, and all have escaped having a relapse. Deep sympathy is felt here for Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield in the death of their little son Jack, and we hope to soon hear that their other son, who is also suffering from influenza, has fully recovered.

The many friends of Miss Fenn will be pleased to hear that she is now recovering from an attack of influenza.  Noticed your par in last week’s issue re reports from correspondents.

As your Lisarow correspondent was in bed with ‘flu I think he might be easily excused Lance-Corporal Reg Harrison arrived home on Saturday evening and received a warm welcome from his relatives and friends. We trust that the ‘flu epidemic will soon pass away so that we can give him a public welcome.

Big consignments of citrus fruits are now being forwarded to Sydney and Melbourne from Lisarow station, and good prices are being realised.

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3rd July 1919

OURIMBAH.

(From our Correspondent.)

Owing to the influenza epidemic the Red Cross Society have decided to postpone for a month the benefit social organised for the widow of the late Private Nancarrow.

The district is gradually emerging from an attack of the ‘flu, and the Gosford Doctors have had a busy time.

There have been a number of bad cases, but thank God there was only due fatality. That was Master Jack Dransfield, son of the headmaster of the State School here. The lad was a smart and intelligent, and a general favourite .Double pneumonia set in, and in 48 hours he was dead General sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents and family, in which I join.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery.

3rd July, 1919

Dransfield

Return Thanks.

MRS. DRANSFIELD & FAMILY, of Ourimbah, gratefully thank Mr. Ingram and son, also Mr. Ern Hawkins, for their kind help on the death of our dear son, Jack; also Mrs. Murtagh and Mrs. Ingram, for their kindness. Mr. and Mrs.  Dransfield and Family thank all kind friends for their sympathy, wreaths, cards, and letters of condolence in their sad bereavement.

7th August, 1919

Ourimbah Public School.

Mr. Dransfield, headmaster of the Ourimbah State School, has received the appended official letter from Mr. A. Edden, MP. ‘ Department of Education, Sydney, 26th July. — I have to advise you that the Minister for Education has approved of the preparation of plans and specifications for the remodelling and extension of the school building at Ourimbah. The matter has been referred to the architect of this Department with a view to the necessary action being taken. — Yours, P. Board, Under Secretary.’

 

21 April 1921

VALEDICTORY TO MR. & MRS. A. J. DRANSFIELD & FAMILY.

Residents of town and district were surprised to hear of the sudden departure of Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and grimily from our midst. Mr. Dransfield has been headmaster of our Public School during the last 17 years, and it is regretted by all that his transfer to Patterson came so unexpectedly. Much credit is due to the Misses Zelma Morris, Margaret Young, and Lola Russell in making a hurried collection, with the limited time at their disposal, to fittingly convey the feelings of respect and esteem from all residents of the district. At 3 p.m. on Friday a representative gathering assembled at the Public School to bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and family.

Mr. A. Pitt, who occupied the chair, said he had not been in the district very long, still it afforded him very great pleasure to say a few words on behalf of the citizens of Ourimbah and district, in recognition of the splendid teaching qualities of Mr. Dransfield. He has carried out his duties to the entire satisfaction of the public, being ably assisted by an energetic staff of assist ants, in the bringing up of a young generation, who will have to face the world, to encounter many trials, hard ships and temptations, and he sincerely trusted that they would benefit by the tuition of their late headmaster.

Mrs. Luxford, wife of our local station master, in a few well-spoken words, then presented Mr. Dransfield with a hand some pocket wallet, Mrs. Dransfield being the recipient of a beautiful earthenware nickel moulded salad bowl.

The Misses May and Joy Dransfield were presented with a silver purse and a Nellie Stewart bangle, respectively. Mr. Dransfield very feelingly responded on behalf of himself and family. He said he was very much taken by surprise, and offered his sincerest thanks for the gifts they had received.

All the children were assembled in a classroom, and were addressed by their departing master. He gave them good advice, and instructed them in the path they should follow to become worthy citizens of our Great Empire. The gathering then dispersed with three cheers for Mr. Dransfield, which were heartily given by the children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kit Sumner

Kit Sumner (nee Curtain) Roman catholic Section 1 Row 5 Plot 4

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3rd November 1932

Passing of Mrs. R. H Sumner

A DISTINGUISHED WAR SERVICE NURSE.

 With the passing of Mrs. Mary Katherine (‘Kit’) Sumner a life of Service has been, closed.  Sister Mary Katherine Curtain, was one of four sisters who enlisted for service with the Australian Army Nursing  Service overseas. She sailed from Tasmania early in 1915, and was attached to the 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt. Sister Curtain was later attached to the British Base Hospital at Rouon, France.

 Returning to Australia in. 1918, she was appointed Matron of the T.B. Soldiers’ Sanatorium, Launceston, Tasmania.

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Shortly after taking up this appointment she successfully applied for a position in New Guinea, and from the end of 1918 to 1926 she was on the nursing staff at Namanula Hospital, Rabaul. Previous to her resignation to marry Mr. Ron. Sumner, she was acting Matron of that institution.

 Mrs. Sumner was ever ready to help in any movement that had for its object the advancement of the town and district where she resided,, or any charitable movement, and Gosford has lost one who can ill be spared.

The funeral, which was one of the largest seen in Gosford for a long while, was conducted by the Rev. Father Donovan, and moved from Our Lady of the Rosary Church to Point Clare cemetery. She was laid to rest, with the birds singing and the sun striking through the trees. Here she would have known  contentment and happiness in life. May it still be her lot in death.

Members of the Returned Soldiers’ League formed a Guard of Honor at the church, and followed the coffin to the grave. At the conclusion of the service Bugler Hitchcock sounded ‘The Last Post,’ With Mr. Ben Sumner at the graveside were Mrs. Sumner’s three sisters and her little niece Pam. The sisters are Mrs. Dr. Arnold (Mayfield, Newcastle), Mrs. J. Keith (Sydney), and Miss L. Curtain (Melbourne).

‘Kit’ Sumner has gone ‘West,’ but a sweet memory remains, and ever there will be many a friend to whisper ‘Welcome Sister, Rest in Peace.’ The mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr. R. H. Creighton,

The pall-bearers were returned men in Messrs D. A. Prentice, J. P. Trim, G. Wood, and A. K. Jamieson.

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8th March 1933

THE LATE SISTER SUMNER.

SYDNEY, March 7.

The Gosford district branch of the Country Women’s Association has obtained permission from the Erina Shire Council to plant a flowering gum near the Cenotaph in the Memorial Park, Gosford, in memory of the late Sister Kathleen Sumner, of the A.I.F. Sister Sumner, who was a native of Tasmania, served with the A.I.F., during the whole of the war, and she was for some time attached to the staff of the Base Hospital at Heliopolis and was later at Rouen. At the time of her death she was residing at Gosford.

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23 March 1933

An Appreciation

TO THE LATE SISTER SUMNER.

One stood under the glory of a late summer’s sky, in the fullness of the Creator’s art, revealed in the circling hills, tree covered, stretching to the mirroring clearness of beautiful Brisbane Water. A gathering of people representing a. branch of that great organisation, the Country Women’s Association, which has bound so many women in all walks of life together in understanding and in readiness to help and solve problems regarding women; its influence goes to the nurturing and solidifying of happy home life.

Yet another band! An important one indeed! Men who came back from that great conflict stood calm and brave as the trees above them; and we thought with gratitude and thankfulness of their great sacrifice in preserving our wonderful  country from the ravages of war. Men of our great British Empire.

These two representative bodies, with others, gathered together to pay tribute to a noble army sister and a great woman. We heard the words of appreciation spoken with much sincerity and feeling by both Presidents concerning a woman whom they both knew as noble. The planting of a tree by her fellow members will inspire the hearts of men and women who read the inscription as they pass or linger there. — ‘Civis. ‘

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Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

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Point Clare Cemetery War Graves

Until the mid 1950’s all returning servicemen and women could if requested by the family, receive the honour of a beautiful white marble or brown granite headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. There are in total 23 Official War Grave Headstones that are the traditional headstones, maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (They maintain, weed and clean them annually).  After sometime in the 1950’s they ceased to issue the stone headstone and reverted to a brass plaque to commemorate the War dead.

The stone headstones are made of the white marble from South Ulam in Queensland and is used for Australian war graves throughout the world. South Ulam marble is a metamorphic rock that is created from limestone after it has been subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The size of the calcite crystals in South Ulam marble has been determined by the amount of metamorphism it had been exposed to.

Marble that has been exposed to higher levels of heat and pressure generally have larger calcite crystals than it would have otherwise. These over sized crystals is what makes these war graves sparkle the way that they do.

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There are also brown stone war graves at Point Clare Cemetery, they are made from a stone called Trachyte, which is a fine grained form of granite from the Southern Highlands near Bowral NSW.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission assures me that they do not make mistakes when it comes to the War Graves at this or any other cemetery and that their records are a true and correct reflection of what is at ground level at the site. I beg to differ. There are mistakes as to the number of stones/what they are made of, service numbers of the soldiers and the details on the stones (like the age when the soldier died).

For the number of mistakes in this cemetery alone, Point Clare is by no means one of the largest cemeteries in the country, one can only imagine how many other mistakes there are on stones in other cemeteries around Australia.

mason

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s records reflect that there are seven white Marble stones and that the rest are of the brown trachyte granite. As you glance around Point Clare Cemetery you will see several of the white Ulam Marble  war grave stones and it will not take you long to count more than seven of the white ones. My estimate is there is thirteen of the white marble stones all up. But there is an even more curious mistake amongst these war graves but I will get to that a bit later. Including one that is not on their official list (P. J. Wells). It is to our benefit that there are more of the white marble stone than the brown trachyte one as the white stones just sparkle and gleam back at you.

digger

Not all of the people in these graves made a name for themselves in the local paper, which is my primary source of information for all of this cemetery some of the following is information gleaned about these some returned soldiers from either the local paper or their war service records. I will in time add to this list and attempt to find information about all 23 of these returned service men. There is no particular reasoning as to why someone gets a white or a brown headstone, but there is an effort to conserve some of the white marble as it is a finite resource reserved for the Commonwealth War Graves in other countries.

There is only one stone that was erected during the wars (either WW1 or WW2) a brown trachyte stone. This is the grave of Reginald Thompson, a 16 year old Naval cadet who went AWOL and committed suicide in the bush up at Somesby in the summer of 1919.

Reginald Thomas enlisted 19 August, 1918, His service record is only 2 pages long, he had “Straw” coloured hair fair complexion and blue eyes. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall. He has a scar on his right  third finger on the inside. He died on or about 14 January, 1919. The navy approved an expenditure of £10 in respect for his funeral and that money was forwarded to the Next of Kin. That is the extent of his service record.

reg map

Reginald Thompson       Aged 16                14/1/1919

Methodist Section 1       Row       1              Grave 9

Service number                6793                 Brown Trachyte Military Stone

20th February 1919

Sad Suicide Case.

Naval Trainee Strangles Himself.

About 6 p m. on Thursday last Ernest Gambling accidentally came across a body suspended from a dry tree limb at Somesby about 50 yards off the main road. His attention was drawn to the spot by a horse rug which was also hanging from the tree.

He immediately rang up the police, and Sergeant Morris proceeded to the spot. The body was dressed in a striped cotton shirt, dark tweed coat and black sailor trousers. A pair of heavy boots with cashmere socks was lying close by.

There was also a bundle of sailor clothes near the spot bearing the names ‘ H. M.  A..S. Tingara ” and  R. W. Thompson.

The body, which was badly decomposed, was suspended from the tree limb by a cord attached to the boy’s neck. It was not sufficiently long to permit of any drop, and the lower portion of the body was practically resting on the ground.

In the breast of the coat pocket the Sergeant found a leather purse containing 17s Id.

Subsequently the body was identified by Mr. Robert Parsons and Mr. Henry Clarke as that of a lad named Reginald William Thompson. Deceased spent a portion of his Christmas holidays at Mr. Parsons’ place, and towards the end of his stay Mr. Parsons stated that the lad became very despondent and did not wish to return to the H.M.A.S. Tingara, where he was a naval trainee.

On Saturday an inquest was held at the Courthouse by the District Coroner, Mr. R. J Baker.

Mr. John W. Thompson, of Camperdown, stated that deceased was his son, aged 16 years and 8 months, and had been a trainee on the Tingara about six months. The lad had been on a holiday, spent at Mr. Parsons’ place, Somersby, and returned home on the 5th January.

He was due to return to his ship on the 13th and left home that day with his kit all packed up, and the parents were under the impression that he had gone back to the boat. But instead, the boy took train to Gosford and walked to Somersby, where during the night he secured a couple of rugs and lantern from the residence of Mr. Parsons, and, going into the bush about 300 yards away, nailed one of the rugs (a horse rug) to a tree.

Later on, probably next day or night, he placed his sailor uniform cord around his neck, the end tied to the limb of a tree, and in this determined way strangled himself.

The body was not found till a month later. A verdict was returned that the deceased died fron suffocation wilfully caused by strangling himself on or about the 14th day of January, 1919.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery

thompson stone

Service record for Reginald Thompson

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=4523951&S=1&N=2&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=4523951&T=P&S=2

scanlon map

Patrick Joseph Scanlon                  20th September, 1924,                   Aged 40 years

Service number                                3682                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Roman Catholic,                               Section 1             Row 3                    Plot 1

Enlisted in 1917, aged 33 years. Was 5 foot 6inches tall with a fair complexion and auburn/red hair. His record notes his above the knee amputation (right leg) that happened after his term of service. He had been wounded in action, shot in the heel (again right leg) whilst serving. That injury to his heel and any further medical attention required for that heel was under the auspices of Veteran Affairs. Veteran Affairs appear to have paid for the false leg even though the heel injury was no more.

scanlon stone

25th September, 1924

P. J SCANLON.

On Saturday morning last, the death, occurred at the residence of his mother, Mrs. McCarthy, Gertrude Street, Gosford, of Mr. Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40. He was a native of Quirindi, but had resided for some time in this district, and enlisted from Gosford for the A.I.F.

He served in the 33rd Battalion, and was wounded at the front in the ankle, and also gassed.

After his return to Australia he was thrown from a train while in charge of some horses returning from Canterbury Races; and a train passing on the next line severed one leg. He was a well-known figure about Gosford of late years, and many friends regret death, and express sympathy with relatives.

 Mr. Scanlon (who was generally known as McCarthy, his mother having married a second time) leaves a widow and a son nine years of age. Another son died at the age of five months while Mr. Scanlon was away with the A.I.F. The deceased ex-soldier had been ill for some time, and during –last week became much worse. Medical attention was given, but death came from heart failure. The funeral moved to Point Clare Cemetery on Sunday and was very largely attended.

The Rev. Father Donovan performed the last rites; and a number of wreaths were laid on the casket. Returned soldiers attended in uniform, and six of their number acted as pall-bearers.
25th September, 1924

DEATH.

SCANLON.— September 20th, 1924, at the residence of his mother, Gertrude Street, Gosford, Patrick Joseph Scanlon, aged 40 years.

R.I.P.

Service record for Scanlon

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8078490

Henry Doggrell

Henry Doggrell                 10/11/1949         Aged 60

Service number                4681                    White Marble Military Stone

C of E                                  Section 8             Row 7    Plot  M3

Henry Doggrell enlisted in July 1915, He was an Englishman born in Dorsett, near the town of Shaftsbury.  He was 26 years and 10 months. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. He was 5 foot seven inches tall. He was Church of England. He arrived in England by August 1916. He was wounded in action by March 1917 with a gunshot wound to the left leg/thigh. He returned to Australia by April1917. He was Medically Discharged August 1917. Awarded a pension of £3 per fortnight.

doggrell stone

11th November 1949

Man Collapses and Dies In Garden –
Henry Doggrell, 60, collapsed and died in his garden at his home at 75 Hill Street, Gosford, yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock. Brisbane Water Ambulance officials were told that Doggrell was chipping grass when he collapsed. Doggrell, who was a returned soldier, was a member of the Gosford Buffalo Lodge, of which he was a K.O.M. (Second highest rank)

Mr R. H. Creighton, of Gosford, will conduct the funeral to Point Clare Cemetery today.

The Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) is a fraternal organisation which assists members, their families and charities. It has a tiered structure, with a Grand Lodge, Provincial Grand Lodges and Minor Lodges. Originating in Drury Lane, London, in 1822 when a group of actors set up various lodges as they toured the country, it is now active globally, particularly in former parts of the British Empire. In Sydney the first recorded meetings date from 1882.

45th battalion                                  

Service record for Henry Doggrell

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=3511460

wo both rave

Haines and Kissell

Both Service Number 2624

Both these men are returned servicemen from the First World War. Both of these men survived the ordeals of what the war threw at them. Both of these men received the honour of receiving a beautiful white marble headstone courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

John Albert Haines                                         27/3/1947            Aged 75

Service number                2624                       White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 5             Row 2    Plot 32

He enlisted in May 1916, aged 44 and 5 months… He was 5 foot 6 inches tall… 13 stone…Dark hair eyes grey with a dark complexion… He embarked August 1916 and served in France for 18 months…He caught the flu which turned into Bronchitis, was unable to train and was a medical discharge 23/12/19  He was a Bootmaker by trade… Ran the Blackwall Post Office he played cricket… was good friends of the Singleton and Buttwell Families… he took Gosford Council to court over the appointment of a staff member without applying the correct procedures… and was the first Secretary of the Woy Woy Branch of the RSL.

There are three mistakes about this stone, one is his age at death… if you do the maths based on his war service record he was 75 not 80 when he died. The cut off age for the Army Service was 45 years, maybe Haines shaved off 5 years when he joined and the family put forward the correct details (?).

The other two mistake are possibly his service number as stated on the stone and that the War graves Commission has it listed as a trachyte stone not white marble.

haines stone type

The following article from the local paper is about his son.

13th February 1930

SUCCESSFUL SCHOLAR.

Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Haines, of the Blackwall Post Office, have every reason to feel proud of their son John Haines junior, who is employed at the Standard Weighgoods Works at Clyde, was successful in the fitting and machinery section of the recent technical examinations, and shows good promise of making big strides in the engineering world.

Haines’ War Service Record

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=4266409

kissell stone

George Henry Kissell     22/5/1951            Aged 60

Service number                2624                    White Marble Military Stone

 C of E    Section 8             Row 12               Plot 18

Enlisted 30 June, 1915… He was living in Bathurst NSW… He was aged 25 years 1 month… He was a labourer. He was 5 foot 4 inches tall… He had a fair complexion, grey eyes and brown hair… He was Church of England He embarked from Australia 9/8/15… He had trouble with his teeth that required medical intervention… He reported to the venereal diseases hospital four times… Was transferred to the cycle Corps and went AWOL four times… was sent to France in January 1916… Sent to London in October 1917 went AWOL again four times… was sent to France in November 1916… wounded in Action January 1917… He went AWOL five times… wounded in Action a second time in October 1917… he kept up his AWOL ways and was finally charged with desertion, he was court marshalled and sentenced to 3 years at Pentonville Prison in Greater London on the 4th November 1918 (one week before the war was declared over 11/11/1918.) he was released from gaol on 21/7/19 and deported to Australia on7/9/19… there is a big stamp on his war service record “Not Eligible For Medals”.

Kisssell’s War Service Record

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7373428

This is where these two returned service men have a historical crossing over by having the same identical service numbers. Service numbers are to be allocated to each individual and are generally not supposed to be reused. But during WW1, this pre computer/non centralised data based era, it was common for multiple servicemen to have the same number.

These incidences of multiple men having the same service number happened once someone with the number died during the war, the service number was reissued. Usually they would add a ‘A’ before the number to denote that it was a reissued number however sometimes they did not.

two same numbers

In the case of Haines and Kissell, in this instance, it looks like a mistake of some sort of administrative type. Haines died in 1947 and Kissell in 1950 (or 1951), both servicemen well after the Wars (both of them WW1 and WW2). Also what are the odds of someone being buried within 50 meters of the other out of the 160,000 who enlisted in WW1, with the same service number.

digger 2

By having a good look at the service records using the links provided Haines has some red pen adding as number 2624 on the front of his file, but my money is on Kissell being the true 2624 although in 1936 on page 7 of Kissell’s record it is noted in handwritten scrawl “No record of 2624 Kissell G. E., 4th Battalion – Is this the man?”. (Note the red pen on Haines records page 5…the service number looks like a later addition) So even at the time of the records being written there was some degree of confusion about these men.

popplewell

James Lawrence Popplewell      23/11/1941         Aged 63

Service number                5760                       Brown Trachyte Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 5             Row 1    Plot 18

James Lawrence Popplewell was born in New Zealand and Enlisted February 1916… He was 36 years and five months old and married… a cook and baker by trade… he was Roman Catholic, he has a vaccination scar and it is noted “that he is giving no trouble”. Embarked for Europe in June 1916, was in England with Bronchitis in Dec 1916. He was transferred to France, October 1917 and very quickley wounded in action in October 1917 by a shell wound to the Left shoulder and buttocks and repatriated to England. He was medically discharged in October, 1918.

popplewell stone

Popplewell’s War Service Record

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=8016767&S=1&N=15&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=8016767&T=P&S=3

 mcintosh

C.E. McIntosh 16/7/1947            Aged 61

Service number                1639                       White Marble Military Stone

RC but buried C of E        Section 3             Row 3    Plot 75

C. E, McIntosh 29 years and 1 Months of age when he enlisted in June 1915… he was 5 foot 3 inches tall, ruddy complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair… He had a scar below both knees and a mole between the shoulders… He was a Baker/ Cook by trade… There is a wife noted, but then a further note states that she is dead…Arrived December 1915 ANZAC… sent to VD Hospital in Suez January 1916… in September 1916 Invalided to Australia medically unfit due to VD… In 1957 his son and lost contact with his father and was in Callan Park Mental Institution. The army had to inform the son that his father had died some 5 years earlier.

ce mac

McIntosh’s War Service Record

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=1946372&S=1&N=21&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=1946372&T=P&S=21

And just when you think the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has made a further mistake there actually is another McIntosh C. in the graveyard.

 

macintosh 2

C. McIntosh                 16/7/1940            Aged 65

Service number                956                         Brown Trachyte Military Stone

Presbyterian                      Section 1             Row 4                    Plot 28

Charles McIntosh enlisted in February 1915 and has a very low service number with only three digits was 39 years and 7 months of age… he puts his trade as Steel Smithing… he had previously seen battle action with the South African Volunteers… he was 5 foot 10 inches tall, dark complexion, dark eyes and dark hair… He was Presbyterian… In September 1917 he had a gunshot wound to the chest… He was discharged in March 1918… In 1940 there seemed to be a hitch with his estate. There is a letter requesting  the locations of the witness’s to his Will, that he wrote whilst in the Army. The Army had to write back to inform them that both of the witness’s to his Will had been killed in Action.

c mac

C.McIntosh’s War Service Record

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=1946361

 

ellison map

Alexander William Ellison                           28/6/1943            Aged 64

Service number                252                         White Marble Military Stone

Church of England                                           Section  5            Row 3    Plot  72

Alexander William Ellison enlisted just one month after the beginning of World War 1 in August 1914, hence is extra low, three figured service number.

He was born in Adelaide and was 36 years 3 months of age… He was 5 foot 5inches tall with brown hair brown eyes… He was a horse Groom… He was a Trooper with the 6th Light Horse He was Church of England… Enlisted august 1914… Went to Malta… Caught Dysentery at Gallipoli…  August 1915… December 1915… Medically discharged June 1916 Suffering from nervousness, very weak, loss of flesh, diarrhoea and recommended for further treatment. 2 months convalesce. He was married to Agnes Ellison who applied for a Widow’s badge in March 1945 to be told that they did not make them anymore.

Commonwealth War Graves commission has this stone in their records as a trachyte granite stone.  

ellison stone

Ellison’s War Service Record

https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=3541347&S=1&N=58&R=0#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=3541347&T=P&S=58


12th July 1917
THE ANZACS’ DICTIONARY.
Language of the Trenches.
The following is a list of words or phrases used in the trenches in Flanders :—
Aussie ( “Ozzy”):                     An Australian soldier.
Tommy or Choom :                An English soldier.
Jock :                                           A Scotch soldier.
Zealand :                                   A New Zealand soldier. (Call him Pig Island if you would make him wild.)
Fritz :                                          A German soldier.
Savee :                                        Do you know.
Compree :                                  Do you understand.
Imshi :                                        Clear out.
Backshee :                                 Something for nothing.
Chatty :                                       Affected with trench vermin, known as chats.
Clink :                                         Gaol
Bird :                                           Prisoner.
Quack :                                       The army doctor.
Swinging the Lead :                Evading service ; malingering.
The Heads :                              Those in authority.
Dead Meat Tickets :               Identification
Tray Bong :                               Very good.
Hickory :                                    Be off.
Barometer                                Gas helmet.
Tin Hat :                                     Steel helmet.
Shooting Stick :                        Rifle.
Ham and Chicken :                 Ammunition.
Mills’ Pills :                               Mills’ hand grenades.
No. 9 :                                          Pills ordered by the army doctor.
Freak Villa :                              The cook-house.
Babbling Brook :                      The cook.
Iodine Villa :                             Where the doctor rests his patients.
Army Nervous Corps :           Service Corps. ,3V
Dinkum Oil :                             Straight information.
Napooh Mafeesh :                   The finish.
Dopey :                                       Silly.
One-star Artist :                      A second lieutenant.
Tanks or Oases :                      Army boots.
Mad Mick and Banjo:             Pick and shovel.
Knocked :                                  Wounded.
Skittled :                                    Killed.
To get a Blighty :                     To be wounded and sent back to England.
Home and Dried :                   Safe and sound.
Hop Over                                  To go over the trenches towards the enemy.
Iron Rations for Fritz :          Shells for the enemy
Comfort                                     Funds Shells.
Fags :                                           Cigarette.
Step the Gutter :                      Pass the butter.
Jack Scratch                             Got a match
Wandering Jew :                     Stew.
Dodger :                                     Bread.
Possie :                                       Position.
Digger :                                      A West Australian.
Jack, Charlie, Mac. :              A handy name for anyone.
Dag :                                           A character, a ‘ hard case.
Windbag :                                A talker out of his turn.

 

Cecil and Francis Morris

Grave Site Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 1

map template

Francis Lyle and Cecil William Morris
Both the sons of Sergeant 2nd class William Morris of Gosford Police Station,
Francis Lyle Morris died 21 October 1916, aged 20 years.
Cecil William Morris, died 6th August, 1915, aged 21 years. (as per the stone).

Unless otherwise stated all newspaper referrals are from the Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate (1906 – 1954)

Francis Lyle and Cecil William Morris.

This is the grave that has caused the most historical anomalies in the written histories of Point Clare Cemetery in the past. The first internment occurred in January 1916 (Fred Cox), and with the Morris stone mentioning a date in 1915, the Morris’s grave site is often mistakenly listed as the oldest and first in the cemetery.

Cecil Morris died in 1915 at the battle of Lone Pine, none of the bodies from that battle were repatriated to Australia.

Francis Lyle Morris died just over a year from when the news of his brother’s death became known, yet not officially confirmed. When Francis Morris died in 1916, his father commissioned the headstone to have both the brother’s names on it, and as with the tradition the names were placed in the chronological order of the deaths and so Cecil’s name is above Francis’s.

So it is Francis’s burial plot and Cecil’s place of memorial.

The William Morris and family moved to Sydney in 1922 and lived in Abbotsford and are buried in Rookwood Cemetery.

We learn of Cecil’s war tale via a series of soldiers letters published by the local paper. There is below, a link to Cecil’s War record, it contains a particularly distressing letter (which has been included on this page scroll down) from Cecil’s father when he wants it confirmed that Cecil has indeed been killed on the war front. 

 

morris grave22nd January, 1915

A Soldier’s Letter.

Mr. Henry Hastings, of Gosford, now with the Australian soldiers in Egypt, writes to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Hastings: —

Suez Canal, December 3. — We are told no censorship will be exercised over these letters, but even so, I cannot tell much for we have to little time before the mail goes. Cairo is to be our destination, so after all it is to be hot instead of cold weather, but ‘ so far, I have not found the heat as great as, our Australian heat.

We have just passed a French vessel going the opposite way. She greeted us with English, cheers, and our band played the Marseillaise. The Canal is just wide enough to allow two ships to pass. Each side seems to be endless stretches of sand, while every little way along are men on garrison duty, who are very much in  evidence.

Our men are all well now. Ern Bailey (formerly schoolteacher at – Gosford), is very well, though like the rest of us, the heat has thinned him a bit. So are Donald, Ken, and Tom Robertson, and Cecil Morris; the Sergeant’s son.

Their friends might be glad to know, if they do not happen, to hear from them — and there are such hosts of letters, thousands in every mail, that no one knows whether many of them will ever reach their destination.

Young Burns, whose place adjoins “Fraternus ” on Mangrove Mountain, is on this boat, too, and Mitchell, who was in the Newcastle Scottish’ Rifles when George and I were there, and several men, too, whom I knew in Narrandera.

Alexandria, December 5th. — We arrived here yesterday, after -7% weeks. Two companies of infantry went out of our ship to-day. The New Zealanders left their ships yesterday, and with other troops have gone on to Cairo. We (the Army Medical Corps) will leave to-morrow. Everything is in readiness, and ‘Tights out” has just sounded, so I must , stop in a minute.

Egyptian; scenery so far seems to bentirely sand and rocks, but all the color of the towns makes them look like a bazaar or fancy fair.

Mena Camp, Pyramids, Cairo,

December. 7.— We arrived here at eight o’clock last night, and are camped right at the foot of the Pyramids, just about 10 miles out of Cairo. The British flag; is to be hoisted in Cairo to-morrow. The mail closes at once, and we are awfully busy, so I can’t write any more how. The ticket enclosed is a Cairo tram ticket. Loving greetings to you all, — HENRY.

The following link is to Henry Hasting’s War Record

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Gallery151/dist/JGalleryViewer.aspx?B=4768273&S=1&N=27#/SearchNRetrieve/NAAMedia/ShowImage.aspx?B=4768273&T=P&S=27

war mem gos

14th May 1915

The following is an excerpt of the local paper,

Word has been received that’ Mr Cecil Morris, son of Sergeant Morris, Gosford, has been detained in Malta Hospital suffering from a bayonet thrust in the leg.

9th July 1915

Private Cecil Morris, son of Sergeant Morris, of Gosford, writes

from Imafa, Malta, under date May 5 : — . –

I suppose you have heard all – about our battle with the Turks. I am wounded in the leg and hand with shrapnel after having bad a fortnight’s fighting. We were landed, under a perfect hail off shot and shell, in small boats each containing about 50 men.

Some of the boats by the time they reached the shore had nothing but loads of mangled humanity. The Turks bad hundreds of machine guns td ‘ concealed batteries .. commanding the beach, and it looked an utter impossibility for our men to land.

However, we fixed bayonets, jumped out of the boats into the water up to our waists, and made for the shore. We were soon struggling with wire entanglements fitted under the water, again there was heavy slaughter among the landing parties before we finally got to the land. The Turks then endeavoured to drive us back into the sea with the bayonet, “but our chaps, ‘knowing what was in store, fought as never a fight has been waged before and gradually gained foothold.

The coast where we landed is something like Terrigal round about The Skillion, and we had to scale up these huge cliffs that were absolutely swarming with the enemy. They were yelling “Allah, Allah!” and sounding all the British bugle calls.

Others were shouting out orders to retreat, the object being to confuse us. But we  had warnings about the enemy’s tactics and took no notice of them, beyond rushing their trenches with the bayonet.

The Australians fought with such grim tenacity, that the enemy gave way everywhere, and retired to the heights from where they fired volleys of rifle fire on the attackers below.

The Turks were officered by Germans. While we were landing, one of them stood up and yelled in English, ” Come on, you Kangaroo, you are not fighting Cairo now.

After an hour’s fighting, and with the assistance of the warships (Queen Elizabeth included), we had control of the hill and started to advance and built trenches under heavy fire for the day.

When advancing, the order was to run ahead about 20 yards, one at a time, and drop down, eventually forming one long line. During these operations’ I had a peculiar, creepy experience; I was advancing and ran up the required distance and dropped between two other comrades. I asked the one on my right the range and he did not answer. Turning to the one on my left I repeated the question, but no reply came. Both poor fellows were stone dead, shot through the head while still remaining in a firing position.

Needless to say, I soon shifted on. We were entrenched one night about 10 o’clock and the order came along from mouth to mouth, “Cease firing, Indians on the right about to charge.” So we stopped firing.

The Turks then came in thousands, but we mowed them down. This looked a bit “fishy,” and our officer told us to look out for anyone passing orders. Another order started to come along, and the chap that started it was grabbed. He turned out to be a German dressed in an Australian uniform. He has ceased to exist.

It was the second Sunday, at 8 o’clock at night, that I got hit. The wounds, however, were not serious, although I was packed off to the hospital at Malta. The British call us the ” white Gurkhas.” An English officer said he never saw men fight like the Australians, and that the fighting was worse than at Mons.

At time of writing I am doing well, but expect to be sent from here to England to get thoroughly well again. I suppose you know more about the Dardanelles in Australia than I have heard. We who have actually been in the firing line know little about things in general, the operations being so extensive. By the bye, when X was hit I was ordered to get back to the first dressing station.

While doing so as best I could, I met an old ” cobber ” and was shaking bands with him when a bullet came ” zip ” and planted itself in his shoulder. He coolly said ” Hold on, I will come with you.” Do not worry about “toe, I am not going to get knocked over/ . I have already had as many lives as a cat. I do not know where Lance Mason or any of the other Gosford chaps are. – Cecil.

This letter was published about a fortnight before his death during the battle of Lone Pine. Lance Mason to whom he refers to made it back after the war.

The following link is to Cecil William Morris’s War record.

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=7984266

 

names liveth24th December 1915

Killed at Gallipoli.

ANOTHER GOSFORD HERO.

In October last Private Mayo, writing home, reported that Private Cecil W. Morris, of Gosford, had been killed in the charge on the Turkish trenches at Lonesome Pine on 6th August last. No confirmatory news was received from the military authorities, and Sergeant Morris at once placed himself in communication with the Officer of Base Records.

Several cables were sent to and fro, and on 16th instant the following letter was received from the Department of Defence : —

‘ In continuation of letter dated 30th ultimo, a further cable has been received from Egypt that No. 160, Private C. W. Morris, 3rd Battalion, was last seen on the parapet of a Turkish trench seriously wounded. The foregoing is the result of an enquiry made to the officer commanding your son’s battalion. —Yours faithfully, J. M. Lean, Capt.”

The letter from the Defence authorities confirms the authenticity of Private Mayo’s statement, and there is little to ‘ doubt but that another of Gosford’s gallant young men has fallen in mortal combat against the enemies of our King and country Private Cecil Morris was the eldest son of  Sergeant Morris, of Gosford, and, had life lived, would have celebrated his 21st birthday on 21st October. He was educated at Gosford, Burwood and Fort Street Superior Schools, and was last employed as clerk in Messrs. Goodall’s office, Sydney. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 1st Expeditionary Force and was sent to Egypt and later to the Dardanelles. He was twice wounded prior to the storming of the Turkish trenches at Lonesome Pine. As already stated, Private Morris was but 21 years of age, and was an all-round athlete, just the type of young Australian that would play his part when acts requiring, grit and courage were called for, otherwise he would not have received, his death-blow on the parapet of the enemy’s trenches. We deeply sympathise with the parents and family – relatives in their sad bereavement, but they have the consultation of knowing that their brave young soldier boy died doing his duty with his face to the foe, as so many of our gallant young Australians have done in this cruel and world-wide war.

Note : It took a little while for Cecils death to be officially confirmed to the Morris family, the official date of death, from the armies records is the 7th of August 1915, but the family having heard before this official notification of his death, had the date of the begining of the Battle of Lone Pine put on the stone… (6th August).

dads letter

9th August 1917

ROLL OF HONOR.

MORRIS. — Killed in action at Lone Pine, 7th August, 1915, our dearly loved son and brother, Private Cecil Wm Morris. Aged 21 years 10 months.

No one he loved was by his side,

To bid a fond farewell ;

Or give one word of comfort,

To him they loved so well.

Inserted by his father and mother, sisters and brothers.

dead in action form

Francis Lyle Morris

Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 1 Plot 1

26th October, 1916

Obituary.

It is with feelings of extreme regret that we are called upon this week to report the death of Francis Lyle Morris, second eldest son of Sergeant William Morris, of Gosford.

The sad event took place in the Sydney Hospital on Friday morning last, the cause of death being *Bright’s disease.

The deceased who was 21 years and 1 month of age, was born at Carinda, and finished his education at Burwood Superior Public School. He entered the Postal Department as a telegraph messenger at Gosford Post Office, and at the time of his death was relieving Postmaster at Cessnock.

Four weeks ago he was taken seriously ill, and admitted to Cessnock Hospital. Sergeant Morris was later on sent for, and the young man was subsequently removed to Sydney Hospital, where the end came a week after admission.

Young Mr. Morris was a gentlemanly and courteous official, and was popular with all sections of the community. He had reached a high standard in the Service,’ and was a brilliant operator. His elder brother, Cecil, was killed at Lone Pine. At that time Lyle, though under age, was also in khaki, but withdrew in response to his mother’s pleadings. The remains were brought to Gosford and interred in Point Clare cemetery on Saturday afternoon. The funeral was largely attended, and Rev. Father Kelly conducted the burial service.

*Bright’s Disease is a term for Renal/Kidney failure.

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