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THE CORRYONG COURIER
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective
'So all the cracks had gathered to the fray'
(A B Paterson, The Man from Snowy Rive
This commemorative project of the an niversary of the An zac landings at Gallipoli has been prou
suppor ted by the Cor ryong Courier, Corryong Neighbou rhood Centre and the Corryong RSL.
First World War enthusiast Kim Winter has assembled many of the documents and artefacts used in
exhibition. Mark Collins, editor of the Corryong Cou rier has formatted the panels. Honor Auchinleck h
assisted Kim and written explanatory texts and captions.
Kim and Honor wish to thank Dr Richard Chauvel for access and permission to use Sir Harry Chauve
archive. From the Upper Mu rray Mrs Fiona Boers has given her permission for the use of her grandfath
Major William 'Lauchie' McGrath's papers and Mr and Mrs David Han na, John Whitehead, Alber t Mildre
and Ray Clarke have also provided access to family papers. John and Jan Wilson have kindly give
permission for the use of Joseph Hamilton's papers.
Kim and Honor also wish a cknowledge the assis tance of the Australian Wa r Memorial, the Shrine o
Remembrance and the State Library of Victoria.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not 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.
THE UPPER MURR
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective
Declaration of War
With the Sudan Campaign and the Boer War still in living memory when war was decla red on 4th Augus t
1914, the reaction in the Upper Murray was one of shock among the older members of the community.
Tom Mitchell in his local his tory "Corryong and the Man from Snowy River
District" sugges ts that initially World War I was received with mixed feelings'.
Everyone, with the exception of Lord Kitchener, expected the war to be over
in three months'. According to Tom Mitchell 'it jus t didn't seem wor thwhile
to join up for a war in Europe that would be over and done with before they
even got there.' (p.78).
On 27th Augus t 1914, Malcolm Chisholm, 22, (right), the elder son of Emma
Isabel Chisholm, neé Mitchell from Bringenbrong and her husband Dr William
Chisholm was killed in the battle of Le Cateau at Ligny. The news of the
casualty shocked the Upper Mu rray out of its compla cency.
Phillip Schuler, correspondent for The Age wrote 'Let me recall the first
dark days of August 1914, when the minds of the people of the Australian
commonwealth were grappling with and striving to focus the position of the
British Empire in the war into which they had been so precipitately hurled'.
(Phillip Schuler, Australia in Arms p15).
The Border Mail
Thursday August 6, 1914
Colonel Chauvel (later Sir Harry Chau
Mrs Chauvel (later Lady Chauvel OBE)
a ship on the way to England with th
children including eight-month-old
Elyne when war was declared. She lat
fame as Silver Brumby author Elyne M
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective Recr uitm
'Recr uiting began without delay. Already in anticipation
names of officers and men from every State, offering th
(Phillip Schuler, Australia in Arms p.p. 18-19)
On page three of the Corryong Courier on Thursday Augu
published. 'During the pas t week Messrs G. Jefferis and
Corryong for Melbourne, to go into training. On Thurday 1
records local volunteers 'Mr W. D. Whitehead of "Lightho
have volunteered for ser vice overseas, have been passed at
Alber t Mildren
recounts how the
brothers - Alber t
joined the Army
in Melbou rne
and were sent
to Ballarat for
Messrs T. Taylor and H.
Neville left on Monday la st for
Melbourne, and went into camp
yesterday, This morning Messrs
Hugh Taylor, George Bailey and
Harvey Schofield are leaving
for town, to go into camp on
1st September. On Monday nex t
Messrs Hugh Hamilton, Alex,
and Hugh Waters, H. Nankervis
and N. Waters will leave, and
Messrs T. Coulston, A. S.
Waters, J. W. Wheeler and H.
J. Laverty, of Ber ringama, will
also be going into camp shor tly.
Mr J. Jeffcott, of Berringam a,
is now in camp. Messrs Wilfred
and Ber t Whitehead and R. H.
Ja rvis of Towong, have passed
the medical test, and will
probably go into camp on 1st
also, and Messrs W. and E.
McInnes and F. A. Frizzel leave
ea rly nex t month.
Tom Mitchell describes how 'The vis
to Corryong', 'brought more men he
the recruiting office in Melbou rne
s tabilizing of the lines of battle in F
[Lord] Kitchener was right -- the war
months'. 'In the face of this crisis, re
from the Upper Murray became a st
'The Upper Mu rray was represente
The firs t Aus tralian nurse to serve
Lillian Kiddle, who after the War in
Hugh Gordon Han na MC of Walwa
how she 'told stories of nursing sold
France in 1914'.
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective Foreign Lands
Except for servicemen who were born in the Mother Country, overseas service was the
firs t time outside Aus tralia for many others. No wonder the firs t volunteers to enlis t for
the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) were called the "five -bob-a-day touris ts"
sobriquet that was soon to change with growing cas ualty lists. Nonetheless servicemen's
letters were filled with their initial impressions and observations of the sights, sounds
and smells of Colombo, Suez, Por t Said en route to Alexandria in Egypt and then on to
Marseilles and the Wes tern Front.
Wilf and Ber t Whitehead wrote to 'Everyone at "Lighthouse"
, Just a few lines to tell you
we are both well. I suppose you know that we have been to Egypt camped there for about
ten days & then came to France where we are now. France is not a bad sort of place only
it is a pretty cold.' Impressions were to harden.
On 11th De cember 1914, Colonel Har ry Chauvel wrote to his wife Sibyl explaining that the
Brigade he was about to take over as an acting Brigadier General was at Maadi. Chauvel
explains 'The camp is not an ideal site, & is on the desert; the sand is nearly ankle deep &
will be lovely in a wind. On 15th De cember, Colonel Chauvel described Maadi' as 'a new
suburb just on the edge of the desert, & nearly all the residents are European.
'Mena Camp, when I saw it at daybreak on the morning of 4th December ', Phillip
Schuler wrote 'consis ted of scores of tents s cattered about in a square mile of deser t,
and perhaps a thousand men lying on their great- coats, asleep in the sand, their heads
resting on their packs'. (Australian in Arms, p.67) On 23 June 1917 Schuler was mor tally
wounded du ring the Battle of Messines.
On 27th July 1915 506 Joe Hamilton 22nd Battalion 6th In fantry Brigade wrote to Jessie
Hamilton describing Heliopolis 'We have got into a great place jus t now. It is a suburb
of Cairo. A tram r uns right into the city in twenty minutes.
' Later in the same postcard,
Joe told Jessie 'to tell you the things they do in Cairo would not read too well off paper.
We went to the Pyramids last Sunday. The Zoo and the Museum yesterday. I will tell you
about them when I come home which I hope won't be long.'
Cor ryong Courier January 21, 1915
AUSTRALIANS IN EGYPT
Egypt (says Misr, Cairo) is now su r rounded ou all sides with
British troops from England, Australia and New Zealand,
who fill the ba r ra cks at Kasr Ei Nil and Abbassia, and whose
tents cover much spa ce ne a r the Pyramids and the Marata ria
line between Zietun and Heliopolis. All these soldiers a re
young men. full of health and energy, and most of them look
men of good families, while the m an ner in which they spend
their money indicates that they belong to wealthy families. A
private soldier is seen eating in the best of restau rants, going
about in a motor car, and never bargaining for what he buys.
We do not exaggerate matters if we say that their presence
has helped many merchants.
Without taking into con sideration the meat., vegetables, bread
and fruit they consume, small traders make money from
them, principally the itinerant fruit merchants, who sell them
a sweet lemon or a small apple or an orange, or ten dates for
a small piastre, while sellers of illustrated post- ca rds charge
them ten piastres (two shillings) for a dozen while; the real
price does not exceed 15 milliemes (three sm all pias tres). The
lemonade seller at Heliopolis is said to m ake £2 a day cle a r
Cor ryong Courier June 10, 1915
"AUSTRALIA WILL BE THERE.
We have received an interesting letter from Mr L. Say, o
ser vice with the Expeditionary Forces, but un fortunate
the most interes ting portion has been torn off by the censo
"Egypt is now only a memory to us," he says, "and comin
events cas t their shadows before them . We a re likely to b
ex tremely busy soon ; but what matters that--- 'Australia W
be There,' we have it on the authority of the song sung by all
us at our concerts, and the effe ct is very impressive.
The letter was written something over a month ago a
subsequent cables have proved ou r correspondent correct
they have been busy, sure enough, and they have proved
song to be no empty boast.
Mr Adrian Burke, son of Mr J. L. Burke, of the Bank
Australasia, Cor ryong, is now in Egypt with the Expedition
Forces. Mr Burke intended to join a motor cyclist corps,
he passed the necessary tests as a dispatch rider, but
afterwa rds enlis ted in the ranks and is now a membe
the 6th Infantry Brigade. Mr Charles Ahrens, son of M
Ahrens, of Corryong, is also on service with the Austra
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective Gallipoli
In his introduction to The An zac Book, Sir W R Birdwood explain s,
'When I took over comm and of the Aus tralian and New Zealand
Army Corps in Egypt a year ago, I was asked to select a telegraphic
code address for my Army corps, and then adopt the word "An zac.
Later on, when we had effected our landing here in April last, I
was asked by General Headquar ters to s uggest a name of the beach
where we had m ade good our firs t precarious footing, and then a sked
if that this might be recorded as "An za c Cove'- a name which the
bravery of our men has now made historical, while it will remain as
a geographic landm a rk for all time.
Ou r eight months at "An za c" can not help stamping on the memory
of every one of us days of trial and anxiety, hopes, and perhaps
o ccasion al fe a rs, rejoicing at success, and sor row---very deep and
sincere---for many a good com rade whom we can never see again'.
On 25th April 1915, Official Wa r Cor respondent C E W Bean wrote
in his diary, 'And a lot of Australians -- boys who began life on the
Murray or in a backyard in Wagga or Bourke or Surrey Hills will be
left lying in Tu rkey'. Bean, dia ry, AWM38 3DRL606/2/1, pp.13-14.
8,159 Aus tralian s los t their lives during the Gallipoli campaign . Many
more were wounded.
Colonel Ha rry Chauvel often wrote of 'hill- climbing' (war book 26)
and living 'the life of a rabbit (wa r book 27).
Aus tralia takes her pen in hand,
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows unders tand,
How proud we a re of you.
From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobsons Bay,
Ea ch native -born Aus tralian son,
Stands straighter up today.
The m an who used to "hump his drum",
On fa r-out Queen sland r un s,
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer 's son s.
The fisher-boys dropped sail and oa r
To grimly stand the test,
Along that s torm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.
The old s tate jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pha raoh's sow,
We're not State children any more
We're all Aus tralian s now!
Our six-starred flag that used to fly,
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older n ation s ply
Their trade on foreign se as,
Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict'ry at the prow;
For that's the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide se as know it now!
The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.
The honoured graves beneath the cres t
Of Gaba Tepe hill,
May hold our braves t and ou r best,
But we have brave men s till.
With all our petty qua rrels done,
Dissen sion s over thrown ,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.
Our old world diff'rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They're all Australian s now!
So now we'll toast the Third Brigade,
That led Australia's van ,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Aus tralian .
Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign .
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again .
And with Australia's flag shall fly
A spray of wattle bough,
To symbolise ou r unity,
We're all Australians now.
We're All Australians Now - A. B. 'Banjo' Paterson
Private Hora ce Gilchrist Lennox,
enlisted at 16, was killed at 17 and
buried at 18.
Private Leonard Say.
The An za cs' hillside camps were
like rabbit war ren s.
The Great War:-
An Upper Murray Perspective Flanders
No 3954 Private W D Whitehead of 23rd Battalion wrote cryptically to
his father 'It is no good trying to tell you any thing about ou r life but we
are in France & well, where you must not know. Soon be at it. I hope so
will soon know something about it.'
Meanwhile on 12 September 1916 Whitehe ad's relative No 1702 Private
George C Morgan, 60th Battalion, 15th Brigade A.I.F. wrote to his Auntie
Jane at Spring Creek 'Just a few lines to let you know I have not forgotten
you altogether '. How many
other young soldiers began
their letters home in a simila r
Alber t Mildren relates how
the Mildren brothers were
'Mor tar men with the Light
Trench Mor tar. They were
part of a large march past
at the end of training and
depar tu re to France. King
George V took the Salute.
They a rrived in France in late
Janua ry 1916 and were sent to
the Messines a rea of Belgium,
where they ser ved for mos t of the war. They w
killed, Walter was wounded and taken to the B
Charlie was awa rded the Military Medal at Pa
Stories from Flanders told of mud, of pou ring rain and freezing conditions in the trenc
in action on 24 June 1916, or those who died of horrific injuries. W Blake RSM wrote o
out with two men to find what wa s in the village in front of his Company and got badly
wa rfa re as it had never been experienced before. Some didn't live long enough to tell th
Private Joe Hamilton was killed at
Flanders in 1916.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The la rks, still bravely singing, fly.
Sca rce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie n
Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw,
The torch; be you rs to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders fields.
A highlight of the 2015 Anzac commemorations in the Upper Murray is a set of WWI pan
The 10 panels entitled "And all the cracks gathered to the fray" have been produced to
who nursed the wounded and dying and the families who faced the challenges of remai
The panels will be on display in the Memorial Hall on Anzac Day, when they will be gifte
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