Thursday, 12 December 2013

Vermont Volunteers


To the long list on Vermont's honor roll are to be added the names of three more volunteers-Messrs. Anderson, Hall and Wallace, who are leaving to join their comrades at the front. Prior to their departure, presentations were made as under:-- F. Anderson, whose younger brother was killed at Lonesome Pine, a silver mounted wallet and fountain pen; W. Hall, son of Ex-Cr. Hall, a wristlet watch and a fountain pen; Chas. Wallace, a wristlet watch, bearing a suitable inscription. To each of the above was handed a letter in the following terms:- "Dear Sir,--On the eve of your departure for the front we desire your acceptance of the accompanying gift as a slight token of our esteem and in appreciation of your action in volunteering to fight for your empire. Australians who have gone before you have won renown and imperishable fame by their brave deeds at Gallipoli. We have every confidence that you will do your utmost to uphold the honor of Australia by your conduct both on and off the battlefields. In conclusion, we sincerely wish you a safe journey, a speedy victory, and a happy return to your native land.-- For and on behalf of your friends at Vermont, J. A. Fitzmaurice, hon.sec. presentation committee, July, 1916)."

Reporter 4 August 1916

Arbor Day at Vermont


Arbor day was celebrated at Vermont on Friday, July 12, by planting memorial trees for the past scholars of the school who had enlisted for active service. About half-past one o'clock the school children were formed in line,-and headed by a standard bearer each for boys and girls, were marched to the recreation reserve, where the trees were to be planted. The National Anthem having been sung, the head teacher (Mr. Bourke) explained the object of the gathering, and stated that he would like to see a fitting monument placed near the school in honor of the lads who had paid the supreme sacrifice. The children, under the direction of Miss Mills (the lady assistant) sang "For England." Stirring addresses were delivered by Cr. Fankhauser (president of the school committee), Cr. Hatfield (president of Nunawading shire), Mr. F. Groves, M.L.A., Mr. W. F. Gates (assistant chief inspector of schools), Capt. Turnbull (a returned soldier, who has taken up residence at Vermont), and Cr. Tilson. Cr. Tainton read out the names of those who had fallen in action, also the reminder of those who had enlisted. The children then sang "For those at the front," and after saluting the flag, the work of planting the trees began in earnest. Mr. Anderson planted a pinus insignis for his son, who lost his life on Lonesome Pine. The remainder of the trees were of the silver oak species. A vote of thanks to the visitors, proposed by Mr. Bourke. and responded to by Mr. Groves, M.LA., terminated the proceedings. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed throughout. Mrs. H. M. Farmilo was secretary, and had all arrangements completed in her usual efficient manner. The trees, while acting as a memorial to the soldiers who have given their lives for their country or who are fighting her battles abroad, will also help to beautify the recreation reserve.

Reporter 19 July 1918

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Roy Anderson

An article appeared in the Nunnawading Gazette, 14 July 1982 on pages 1,2 and 3 entitled, 'Recluse turns down $1/2 m.'. It was written about Roy Anderson, aged 72, who still lived on the land on which he was born. Roy had turned down an offer to purchase his land. The article by Frank Palmos, provides information not only about Roy but also some information about his family and their life in the Vermont.
View of last 10 acres - 1982
The Andersons had at one time owned around 60 acres of land but this was subdivided into blocks, some of which were sold. In the 1930s they still owned several blocks averaging 10 to 12 acres. In 1982 Roy owned 10 acres with developments on either side. A description of the farming of the Anderson family property is provided on page 2 of the article.

Roy was trained as a blacksmith, with his father. Together they cleared the land with Clydesdales and chains to rip out the stumps, then used a stump-jump plough to finish the job.

Between the two great wars the Andersons grew flowers, using blackberry hedges as windbreaks and land markers.

"Never did put fences up. We grew the most beautiful flowers and supplied many markets. All that's left now is the blackberry hedge. You know you can't grow flowers near paling fences, don't you? Blackberries let the gentle breezes through yet protect them from strong winds," he said.

Roy's only other friends have long gone. He trained and raced greyhounds 50 years ago, but speaks of his champion Joylad (a winner at White City and Gracedale Park) as though it was yesterday. 

"I had to get rid of them. People were always stealing them." Little wonder with no fences.

A row of giant pine and cypress trees form a northern boundary. There is a disused fowl shed, some ancient ploughs and five rusting cars - all from a forgotten era when Vauxhalls and Hillmans and old V8 utes were supreme.
Roy Anderson's house 1982
Roy Anderson lived in a fibro shack, had no gas or electricity or telephone and cooked on an open fire. He grew his own vegetables and obtained any other supplies from a shop in Hanover Road. He had never married. Roy's land was on a hillside overlooking Burwood Highway.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Ships used to transport troops

The Australian War Memorial website contains information about researching First World War troopships.

Australian troopships were known as His Majesty's Australian Transport Ships (HMAT)
The Commonwealth Government leased ships for the purpose of transporting the troops overseas. Each ship leased was provided with a number beginning with A. The ships were usually British or captured German ships and were converted for carrying troops and supplies.

The website - Desert Column - lists the ships used and provides photographs and general information.

Arthur Anderson embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT A18 Wiltshire. The ship 'weighed 10,390 tons with an average cruise speed of 13.5 knots or 25.00 kmph. It was owned by the Commonwealth & Dominion Line Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 2 October 1917.'
Arthur embarked on the ship on 13 March 1915 and sailed to Alexandria, Egypt.

David Anderson embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT A23 Suffolk. The ship 'weighed 7573 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Potter, Trinder and Gwyn, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 14 June 1917.'
David emarked on the ship on 1 April 1916 and sailed to Alexandria, Egypt.
He travelled to Plymouth, England aboard the HMT Briton leaving Alexandria on 29 May 1916.
Britain also hired ships to transport troops. The ships were referred to ad Hired Military Transport (HMT).

Frederick Anderson embarked from Melbourne on the HMAT A10 Karoo. The ship 'weighed 6,127 tons with an average cruise speed of 12 knots or 22.22 kmph. It was owned by the Ellerman & Bucknall SS Co Ltd, London, and leased by the Commonwealth until 3 January 1917.'
Frederick embarked on the ship on 18 September 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth, England.

 Return journey
 David Anderson embarked for Melbourne on the HMT Main on 11 October 1919

Frederick Anderson embarked for Melbourne aboard the SS Chemnitz 7 July 1919 arriving on 5 September 1919.
SS Chemnitz -

Australian Imperial Force - part 2

David Christopher Anderson (Service No. 5030) enlisted on 29 January 1916. As a member of the 7th Battalion Reinforcements he embarked aboard HMAT Suffolk A23 for Egypt on 1 April 1916. On 28 May 1916 he transferred to the Cyclist Training Battalion until 7 September.

Australian Cyclist Corps
The AIF Cyclist Corps was formed in Egypt in 1916, and fought in France and Belgium. Some of the recruits at Broadmeadows Training Depot had received initial training from 1915. Bicyles had also been used as a form of transport in the army before the formation of official corps.
Image from The Bicycle in Warfare
The Australian War Memorial website has a detailed article about the Cyclist Corps entitled The Bicycle In Warfare. The article states that "it is not well known that the AIF had cycling units that were used in many of the major battles during the First World War such as Messines in June 1917, and Passchendale July 1917. These units were deployed to the front line as well as undertaking cable burying, traffic control and reconnaissance work."

David Anderson transferred to the 46th Battn AIF 4th Australian Division and served in France where he appears to have fought in the infantry.

Cycling to War: the history of the AIF / NZ Cyclist Corps 1916-1919 by Ronald J Austin is available from the Australian War Memorial.

Australian Corps Workshops
On 15 April 1919 David Anderson completed his military service in the Australian Corps Workshops. The soldiers role was to maintain and repair equipment required by the AIF. The Australian War Memorial has a series of images of the Australian Corps Workshop in Jeune, France in 1919. Two of the images appear below:
A truck carrying German Prisoners of War
outside Australian Corp Workshop building

Interior of Mess Hut
Although the war officially ended on 11 November 1918 it was many months before the peace negotiations were finalised. The Versailles Peace Treaty was signed by leaders of participating countries on 19 June 1919.

In October 1918, after the Battle of Montbrehain, the Australian troops in France had withdrawn to regroup and refit for forthcoming battles. They were not needed on the front again. After the Armistice soldiers were not immediately withdrawn from France and when the troops were sent home it was a gradual process. The Australian War Memorial provides a brief outline of the process.

As Australian forces were not part of the occupation forces sent to Germany as part of the post war settlement it was possible to start returning troops home when ships became available. Lieutenant-General Sir John Monash was in charge of the repatriation and demobilisation of Australians from Europe. Instead of returning men by units it was decided that men who had been away from Australia the longest should return home first. However due to the size of the forces needing to be returned home plus the logistical requirements involved in bringing them home the process of repatriation took most of 1919. Schemes were developed to occupy the troops while they waited and to help prepare them for the return to civilian life. Some of the men took part in such courses while others took the opportunity to explore parts of France and Britain. This may explain why David Anderson transferred to the Australian Corps Workshops in April 1919 before he returned to Australia in October 1919.

Stretcher bearers
The third brother, Frederick Anderson (Service No. 2572), was a member of the Second Pioneer Battalion and arrived in France in January 1917. For his courage as a stretcher bearer at Montbrehain on 5 October 1918 Frederick Anderson was awarded the Military Medal. Stretcher bearers were an essential part of army units in retrieving the wounded for medical attention and also the dead when safe to do so. Each soldier had an emergency field dressing to apply if wounded but they would have to then wait until it was safe for stretcher bearers to try and rescue them. Dr Emily Mayhew has made a study of stretcher bearers in the First World War and writes that the basic first aid provided by some stretcher bearers was instrumental in saving lives - Uncovering the unsung medical heroes. More detail in an article on British stretcher bearers is provided in the article - Stretcher bearers - on Spartacus Educational. The Australian War Memorial article on Medical personnel includes a section on stretcher bearers.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Australian Infantry Force - part 1

Looking at the military experience of the three Anderson brothers from Vermont - Arthur Andreas Anderson (Service No. 801), David Christopher Anderson (Service No. 5030) and Frederick Martin Anderson (Service No. 2572) - also provides an overview of various sections of the AIF during World War I.

Light Horse
Arthur Anderson was a member of the 8th Light Horse Regiment. A brief history of the regiment is provided on the Australian War Memorial website. The Australian Light Horse Study Centre website provides detailed information about the Light Horse Regiments in general as well as the 8th Light Horse Regiment. The Australian Light Horse Association also has a useful website.

During the Boer War Australian mounted troops from Colonial forces became a respected fighting force. In the years after the Boer War many men belonged to the 23 Light Horse regiments created throughout Australia by 1914. When war was declared in 1914 the 20,000 troops pledged  by the Australian Prime Minister included 2,226  from the Light Horse. Many of the initial volunteers, including Arthur Anderson, nominated joining the Light Horse.

Arthur's initial training was at the Broadmeadows Depot. Ian Jones in his book, A Thousand Miles of Battles: the Saga of the Australian Light Horse in WWI, describes the training undertaken by the new volunteers.

Light Horse volunteers had to pass a riding test which varied from place to place. In Broadmeadows Camp, Melbourne, they had to ride an army horse bareback and take it over a chock-and-log-fence. ... After they had negotiated the riding test, successful recruits were given a strict medical. ... Men who passed the medical were sworn in, kissing the Bible and swearing to serve their Sovereign Lord the King "until the end of the war and a further period of four months." (pages 8 and 9)

Some of the men brought their own horses which needed to pass inspection before being accepted and purchased by the Commonwealth. Most of the men were "issued with remounts - army horses, popularly called "Walers" - which could range from near outlaws to well trained stock-horses and thoroughbreds." (page 9)

As well as training the men had to look after the horses. The horses also required saddles and associated leather work which was made at the Government Harness Factory at Clifton Hill. The factory had been opened in September 1911 to counter difficulties in obtaining equipment from contractors.

8th Light Horsemen marching along Collins Street, January 1915
Fifty-three  members of the 8th Light Horse 4th reinforcement embarked from Melbourne aboard the HMAT Wiltshire A18 on 13 March 1915 for Egypt. Aboard the ship the members of the Light Horse spent time looking after their horses, "muck out the stalls, rub down their Walers and, where possible, exercise them on deck". (page 17)

After their time at sea, the horses couldn't be ridden immediately. They were exercised daily, then after about 12 days, reaccustomed  to mounting and dismounting before being ridden at the walk for only15 minutes, for half an hour the next day etc.  (page 21)

The original plan had been for the Light Horse to be deployed fighting the Germans in Europe but when Turkey entered the war the plans were altered resulting in the fighting at Gallipoli. As the terrain was not suitable for horses the men of the Light Horse remained in their intact units but fought as infantry leaving the horses in Egypt.

Towards the end of July the men were taken by ship to Gallipoli. On 7 August 1915 the men of the 8th Light Horse formed the first and second wave attempting to take the Turkish trenches at The Nek. The men had no hope of success and most of the men from the 8th Light Horse who took part in the attack were killed or wounded. The 8th Light Horse Regiment AIF Roll of Honour for the Gallipoli Campaign lists the names of 201 men killed at Gallipoli. Of these 157 died during the battle on the 7 August and another 11 died from battle wounds in the following few days.

The website of the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre includes a detailed section on the 8th Light Horse Regiment

Members of Australian Light Horse Regiments fought in many battles in the Middle East with the aim of protecting Egypt from the Turks including the Battle of Beersheba in October 1917. Some regiments also served on the Western Front. By the end of the war, however, it was reconised that in modern warfare with machine guns and other artillery the time for horses in  military campaigns had come to an end.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Frederick Martin Anderson

Frederick Anderson (Service No. 2572) enlisted on 5 June 1916. His name appears on the Mitcham War Memorial, Nunawading - returned and Vermont State School honour board.

The Attestation forms that can be viewed in the record for Frederick in Discovering Anzacs state that he was born in Ringwood and enlisted in Melbourne. He was born in 1886 and was 29 years 6 months when he enlisted. His father, Martin Anderson was listed as next of kin and the address on the form was Vermont Post Office. Frederick's occupation was listed as orchardist.

The Medical Report describes Frederick's height as 5 feet 5 1/4 inches, weight 154 lbs, complexion medium, eyes blue and hair brown. Religious denomination was given as Methodist. He was passed fit for service on 15 June 1916 and appointed to 5th Reinforcements, 2nd Pioneer Battallion,Seymour on 15 August 1916. The following link provides information about the Second Australian Pioneer Battalion AIF.

Frederick embarked aboard HMAT Karoo A10 on 18 September 1916 and diembarked at Plymouth on 15 November. They proceeded to France from Folkstone aboard the Princess Victoria on 31 December 1916 arriving on 1 January 1917.

Frederick Anderson was awarded the Military Medal for action in the Battle of Montbrehain on 5 October 1918. This was the final battle in which Australians were involved. One of the papers in Frederick Anderson's file describes his actions.

Private Frederick Martin Anderson
On the morning of 5th October 1918, near MONTBREHAIN, north of St Quentin he acted as a stretcher bearer for his platoon. Throughout the whole of the operations this man greatly distinguished himself by his gallantry and devotion to duty in bandaging and in bringing in wounded, may times rescued under exceptionally heavy point blank enemy fire – regardless of the danger to which he exposed himself. He was instrumental in saving the lives of many of his comrades.
A number of websites provide information about the battle:
Battle of Montbrehain
Fourth Australian Division Memorial
Montbrehain - last Australian battle

Frederick emarked on the Chemnitz to return to Australia on 7 July 1919 and disembarked at Melbourne on 5  September 1919. Trove includes two articles from The Argus regarding the return of the troops.

TROOPS RETURNING Two Disembarkations To-day
Two contingents of Victorian troops will disembark at Port Melbourne to-day. The men from the s.s. Chemnitz will land at 10 o'clock, and those from the s.s. Prinz Ludwig at 4 o'clock. In each case they will be taken to the A.I.F. depot, where relatives and friends should await their arrival. Nearly 700 men are returning on the s.s. Chemnitz, and about 300 on the s s Prinz Ludwig, and in order that they may be conveyed to the depot in comfort motorists are urged to assist. Those willing to do so should assemble at the new pier at the hours mentioned. Nearly 200 cars will be required.
The Argus 5 September 1919 page 8

TROOPS RETURNING Two Disembarkations Yesterday  
Over 1000 men returned on the transports Chemnitz and Prinz Ludwig yesterday. They were given a cordial welcome by members of the public and at the A I F depot where they were taken for final examination, they met relatives and friends.
The Argus 6 September 1919 page 18

Frederick Martin Anderson was awarded 
the Military Medal (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 17th October 1919)
the British War Medal
the Victory Medal
the 1914/15 Star

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

David Christopher Anderson

David Christopher Anderson (Service No. 5030) enlisted on 29 January 1916. His name appears on the Mitcham War Memorial, Nunawading - returned and Vermont State School honour board.

The Attestation forms that can be viewed in the record for David in Discovering Anzacs state that David was born in Melbourne and enlisted in Melbourne. He was born in 1892 and was 23 years 5 months when he enlisted. His father, Martin Anderson was listed as next of kin and the address on the form was Vermont Post Office via Mitcham. David's occupation was listed as driver though in the electoral rolls immediately before and after the war the occupation was expanded to engine driver.

The Medical Report describes David's height as 5 feet 6 1/4 inches, weight 138 lbs, complexion fresh, eyes blue and hair brown. Religious denomination was given as C of E (Anglican). He was passed fit for service on 29 January 1916 and sent to the Reinforcements, Bendigo Depot until 9 March. On 10 March 1915 he was transferred to 7th Battalion AIF Reinforcements at Broadmeadows.

David embarked aboard HMAT Suffolk A23 on 1 April 1916. They travelled to Alexandria arriving possibly in mid May. On 28 May 1916 he transferred to the Cyclist Training Battalion until 7 September. Cyclists had been used to some extent during the Boer War but conditions on the Western Front were not really conducive to the use of bicycles in combat and when the fighting was on open plains bicycles were not as effective as cavalry. The cyclists were therefore mainly used as despatch riders. The following link provides information about the Anzac Cyclist Battalion. On 29 May David Anderson embarked on the HMT Briton at Alexandria to travel to England and disembarked at Plymouth on 8 June 1916.

On 8 September 1916 David transferred to the 46th Battalion AIF as a Private until 16 July 1917. On 22 September he embarked for France and joined the unit on 4 October 1916. He was detached to 12 Brigade Headquarters from 6 June 1917 until 26 June when he rejoined his unit. On 12 January 1918 he was detached for duty with 4th Australian Division Artillery.

One of the papers in David Anderson's file describes an incident in battle in July 1918.
46th Battn AIF 4th Australian Division
At SAILLY-le-Sec NE of CORBIE on night 7th/8th July 1918 during an advance this N.C.O. was in charge of a rifle Grenade section. The section was held up by enemy Machine Gun. Pte Anderson immediately rushed the position, killing the gunner and putting the gun out of action, thus allowing the section to advance. He displayed great courage and resourcefulness during the whole operation.

Australian Battlefields in France provides information about the battles occuring in France in July.

David's final posting was from 15 April 1919 to the Australian Corps Workshops until he was discharged from the AIF on 3 December 1919. The I Anzac Corps Workshops had been formed in May 1916 but when the Australian Corps was established the unit became the Australian Corps Workshops. The role of this unit was to maintain and repair engine equipment for Corps and Divisional units.

On17 July 1917 David Christopher Anderson was promoted to Lance Corporal.
On 19 July 1918 he was promoted to Temporary Corporal  and then to Corporal on 8 October 1919.

David Anderson embarked on the Main for Australia on 11 October 1919.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (recommended 22 July 1922),
the Military Medal on 18 August 1918 (Australian Government Gazette 14 March 1919 page 427),
the British War Medal on 4 January 1923
the Victory Medal on 4 January 1923
the 1914/15 Star

Monday, 18 November 2013

Ari Burnu Cemetery

This is just one of hundreds of images that can be located via a Google image search for Ari Burnu Cemetery.

Arthur Andreas Anderson was buried at Anzac Cove on 7 August 1915.His parents were informed that he was buried in Row 1, grave 8.

Ari Burnu Cemetery – Gallipoli and the Anzacs website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Ari Burnu Cemetery, Anzac Cove

Anderson family provided a number of details about the Anderson family.

The website Spirits of Gallipoli provides a family tree for the family of Arthur Anderson.

Elizabeth Thornton Jones married Martin Anderson in 1886

Elizabeth died in 1925. She was born in Richmond in 1858. Her parents were Frederick Jones and   Mary Ann Thornton who married in 1856.

Martin Anderson was born in 1857. His parents were Andreas and Annette Anderson. He died in 1928 aged 77.

Frederick Martin born 1886 died 1965(married Jessie May Chitts 1920)
Rose Annette born 1888 died 1929 (married Arthur Ernest Clemson 1917) (married Philpott after 1923)
Robina Elizabeth born 1890 (married Alexander Tough 1904)
David Christopher born 1892 died 1955 (married Esther Nelson 1921)
Arthur Andreas born 1894 died 1915
Gruthrud May born 1897 died 1898
Bertha Lilian Anderson born 1899 (married Horace Lionel Callow 1920)
Luke born 1902 (married Florence Barbara Strachan 1930)
Roy Thornton born 1905

There are numerous records for members of the family in the electoral rolls. So far I have not located an entry for the father though there are entries for Elizabeth Thornton Anderson in 1914, 1919 and 1924 in Vermont (house duties). For the three entries a Martin Anderson is listed as being a gardener at East Burwood (also in 1903).

 Many of the entries for Anderson family members refer to the address as Terrara Road, Vermont with occupation, orchardist.

When Arthur enlisted in 1915 his occupation was listed as farrier. An article in The Argus Friday 17 September 1915 states, 'prior to enlisting was employed at Mr. D Harvey's implement makers, Box Hill'. Article on the Daniel Harvey Collection at the Melbourne Museum. The foundry in Whitehorse Road, Box Hill specialised in the manufacture of horticultural equipment including the Petty Disc Orchard Stripping Plough.

The Whitehorse Manningham  Heritage Database contains a number of references relating to Daniel Harvey Implement Works

David Anderson's occupation was listed as a driver. In the electoral rolls for 1914 and 1919 the occupation was engine driver. The electoral rolls for 1931 and 1954 listed his occupation as labourer and the address continued to be Terrara Road.

The occupation for Frederick Martin Anderson was given as orchardist on enlistment in 1916. The electoral rolls for 1909, 1914, 1919, 1924, 31 and 1937 have his occupation as labourer and the address as Terrara Road. In the 1924 and subsequent electoral rolls Jessie May Anderson is also listed. In 1942 electoral roll Frederick and Jessie are living in Ingleman Road, Neerum South where Frederick is an orchardist. By 1963 they have moved to Rosebud.

It is therefore highly likely that David and Frederick worked on orchards in some capacity. An article appeared in the Nunnawading Gazette 14 July 1982 regarding their brother, Roy Thornton Anderson, turning down an offer to purchase his land in Vermont. Roy's occupation in the electoral rolls was orchardist.

The electoral rolls show that Luke was at Terrara Road, Vermont in 1924 and was an orchardist. In 1931 he was living with Florence 21 John Street Carlton and from 1942 they were shown to be living at 13 Warburton Street, Brunswick. Luke was now a tramway employee. In 1980 Luke was living at 243 Elizabeth Street Coburg.

Roy appears to have spent all his life at Terrara Road, Vermont and his occupation was listed as orchardist.