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It will be the 110th anniversary in November, 2015, of William John Ferrier's heroic rescues of crewmen from the La Bella at Warrnambool. Ferrier became an OVERNIGHT NATIONAL HERO with tributes being sent by the Governor General and the Federal Parliament,the Governor and Premier of Victoria, several interstate organisations and even the King.There were hundreds of articles in newspapers all over Australia in 1905 and again when Ferrier died at Queenscliff in 1937. William John Ferrier was a resident of Warrnambool, Rosebud and Queenscliff and I have proposed a joint celebration of his heroic deed in those three places. Schools, councils,historical societies and newspapers in each area have been contacted and most have been keen but not one response has yet been received from a school.

This lack of response is probably because Principals are so busy and the curriculum is so crowded. History is no longer a subject. However the Dromana Primary School had its pupils very excited about the threatened Dromana Pier, so history projects can be done. Now, not all schools might share Dromana's enthusiasm, but their pupils do not have to miss out on celebrating Ferrier's heroism entirely. That's why I am producing this worksheet. Through literacy activities,the children can gain and pass on civic pride and appreciation of heritage as they learn about one of Australia's greatest peacetime heroes.


From 10:30 p.m. on 10 November, 1905 until daybreak the next morning, a young Warrnambool fisherman suffered terrible agony. He had a poisoned arm and even children know the pain caused by a splinter or rose thorn in a finger or thumb, so you could imagine how much more a poisoned arm would hurt. And yet he managed to become a national hero! Until just before your parents went to school, children only had two things to read in class,the grade reader and the monthly schoolpaper. The Education Department thought that William John Ferrier was so important that the story of his rescue was included in the Schoolpaper in 1907.

Off Warrnambool on the night of November the 10th, 1905, occurred a pitiful tragedy, calculated to evoke the sympathy of the whole Commonwealth. The barquentine La Bella struck the reef, half a mile from the breakwater, and soon became a total wreck. Out of a crew of eleven men and a boy, only five men were saved. Sombre as is the cloud of grief overhanging the dismal catastrophe, that cloud has its silver lining. The redeeming feature consists more particularly of the self sacrificing bravery of the young fisherman, William Ferrier, which is depicted and commented upon in the following poem from the pen of Mr. S. H. Remfry,of Heywood, retired State school teacher. It will be noticed that the poem takes up the story at that point where our hero puts off in the dinghy by himself:
Young William Ferrier, fisherman,
Into his dinghy flew,
And vig'rous sculled his little craft,
To save the hapless crew.
The pilot, deeming it unsafe
The breakers to defy,
Two hundred yards' space from the wreck
Held off, and there stood by.
One hundred yards, the distance now,
Two men leap off the deck,
And through the seething waters swim
For the lifeboat, from the wreck.
That moment William Ferrier
His efforts did renew.
Quick flies his dinghy right ahead
And saves one of those two!
By dint of dext'rous seamanship,
Presence of mind as well,
His boat around he quickly turns,
And saves it from the swell.
In recognition of his pluck
And noble self-denial,
The admiring crowd upon the shore
Give lusty cheers the while!
And hearty cheers again are heard,
When, in the waters calm,
They see his guernsey, taken off,
Put on the rescued man!
The other man the lifeboat saves,
And yet another one.
Brave Ferrier outward plies again,
His work is not yet done.
Two men are yet upon the wreck.
The billows milder heave;
The lifeboat makes a slight advance,
And waits to see them leave.
To give these men the pluck to leap,
The wreck the lifeboat nears;
And Ferrier now the captain lands
Amidst vociferous cheers!
One of the two remaining men
Has jumped into the waves,
And after swimming eighty yards,
This man the lifeboat saves.
Young Ferrier's off again.
The lifeboat, scarce advancing now,
Does near the wreck remain.
The captain safe upon the land.
The last man, is afraid to quit
His station perilous;
Though surging seas diminish now,
Delay is dangerous!
The lifeboat throws the man a line;
The rope by him is caught.
But still he fails to leave the wreck;
The line avails him naught!
In rope entangled, he is "done!"
Oh! saved, how can he be?
Lo! Ferrier's at the vessel's stern-
He cuts the prisoner free!
Into the boat the sailor drops,
Our hero sculls away;
The man's soon in the lifeboat safe,
The waves robbed of their prey!
A ringing cheer his triumph greets;
This last trip now complete,
Cheers upon cheers burst from the crowd,
Their hearts with joy replete!
The efforts of this gallant man,
For those poor sailors' sake,
The noblest feelings must excite,
His fellows nobler make!
Whilst many daily hurry men
To a dishonored grave,
All honor be to such as he,
Who mankind nobly save!
Not for applause of fellow men,
Did he this loving deed,
Though this, and e'en emolument!
Full well may be his meed!
Long life to his and heroes all,
By noblest impulse stirred;
They emulate The Christ Himself;
In Heav'n, their praise be heard;
God grant that he never wrecked may be,
But his life 's voyage o'er,
The Heav'nly Pilot may conduct
Him to the golden shore.
(P.3, Portland Guardian,11-12-1905.)

CLASS ACTIVITIES. (Memorising the poem,rhyme and rhythm.)
1.Teacher reads the whole poem to the class. 2. Children are asked to find the pair of rhyming words in every verse. 3. The teacher reads the poem again but the class reads the last word of every verse. 4. The teacher, after explaining what syllables are, claps the rhythm of the first verse but stops suddenly and asks for the next word. 5.A volunteer is asked to clap the rhythm of the second verse, stop part of the way through and ask what the next word is. 6.Children are asked to find words, in the verses indicated, meaning: even(20),over (22). The teacher explains that e'er can mean before as well as ever. 7.Children are asked to think of a short sentence including before or ever,but using e'er instead; classmates put up one hand if it means ever and two hands if it means before. 8.Children are asked to find words written with an apostrophe and explain why (regarding syllables) the normal way of writing the word would not fit the rhythm. e.g. Heaven is two syllables but heav'n is only one syllable.
9.POETIC LICENCE. The teacher asks children if they can correct "He ran quick." Then the teacher gives more examples and the class corrects them together: e.g.Pat the cat gentle; Drive careful; We ate hungry. The teacher explains that poetic licence allows normal rules of grammar to be broken for a good reason in poetry. The children are asked to find an example in verse 1, what the correct adverb would be and why the adjective was used instead.
10.A child is asked to google "meed" and read out what it means. Children are asked if there are any other words that they don't understand and these are discussed.
11. Pairs of children are allocated two lines each so that serial reading of the poem can be done. As there are 44 segments,most pairs will get two segments to read. Rehearse quietly with your partner for one minute. Serial recitation. 12. The whole class reads the poem together, but slowly in time with the teacher.

The class reads the poem together. It is read a second time but children may volunteer to read an even-numbered verse on their own or with a partner.
COMPREHENSION AND VOCABULARY. (Children are allowed to discuss these with a partner or parent. Can be done at home.)
1.Which words in verse 1 both mean boat? 2.Which word in verse 2 has this meaning? [adjective(especially of a person) unfortunate. "the xxxxxxx victims of the disaster"; synonyms:unfortunate, unlucky, luckless, out of luck, ill-starred, ill-fated, jinxed, cursed, doomed.] 3. Which word in verse 2 means "a person duly qualified to steer ships into or out of a harbor or through certain difficult waters"? 4. Which word in verse 1 is an example of poetic licence, as well as abbreviation,turning four syllables into two? 5. Which word in verse 3 means angry or (of a liquid) boil or be turbulent as if boiling? 6. Dexterous (verse 5) and Sinister come from Latin words meaning right and left. A left-handed person was thought to be clumsy (and evil!) Which word do you think means skilful? 7. Find adjectives in verses 6, 7 and 10 that could be replaced with "loud".(They are all followed by the same noun.) 8. Was the rescued man in verse 7 dead, shivering or hearty? 9. Which line in verse 9 means the waves were not as rough? 10.Which rhyming adjectives in verse 13 both mean risky?

Each child is allocated a verse to read in a serial recitation with boys and girls alternating on the remaining verses. Whole class correction of lesson 2 answers.

Partner work on the following.
1. Which three consecutive words in verse 14 mean "does not help him at all"?
2. Verse 15 explains that the line was of no use because the man was t------.
3.Which words in verse 20 mean: (a)reward (b)a person's deserved share of praise, honour, etc.?

In groups of four,children help each other find rhyming pairs of words so that each can write a two line poem.
e.g. wave, brave; reef,belief; mountainous,dangerous; new ,rescue; brave,save; heck,wreck; etc. Each child's poem is typed by its author,printed and then illustrated by the author. These pages are then bound into a class book. Children may do more than one poem and try a four line poem if they wish or they could rewrite Mr Remfry's poem as a story.

Imagine the child with literacy problems, as a 90 year old,proudly showing his great-grandchild that poem he wrote in 2015:
It was risky, but what the heck,
Ferrier bravely sculled out to the wreck.

and telling the tale of a great Australian hero.

A trove search for "Ferrier, Warrnambool, 1905" or Ferrier,Queenscliff,1937" will reveal a host of articles in newspapers all over Australia paying tribute to its hero as well as photos. One photo,showing William Ferrier and survivors the day after the rescue, is fairly rare but can be seen online at:
Postcard Victorian Collections

If you need guidance on using trove,private message me and I'll give you my phone number so I can talk you through it. I can also attach an image to an email showing ship paintings that William John Ferrier did on the bedroom wall of "Rosebud" in Beach St,Queenscliff. His paintings executed inside the South Channel Pile lighthouse can be found on:
William Ferrier Ship Paintings - Queenscliffe Maritime Museum

The children's parents may be inspired to read my journals which detail Ferrier family history but also mention many other heroic rescues performed by members of the Ferrier family near Warrnambool,Rosebud and Queenscliff.
Extensive detail about William John Ferrier is available in the following journals:
AUSTRALIA-WIDE HERO IN 1905: William John Ferrier of Warrnambool, Queenscliff and Rosebud.


2 comment(s), latest 1 year, 11 months ago


Believe it or not,I chanced upon this article while I was trying to establish the identity of T.Hutchins who is listed on the Mornington Roll of Honour (W.W.1). A huge list of names was suggested,many revolving around Tommy Bent, who was the Victorian Premier and Brighton's best-known identity. The journalist who wrote the article analysing the merits of the suggestions had an excellent grasp of history and it's a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting read.

I will not be correcting the digitised text to paste here because that would be a huge task and I don't have time, but the newspaper itself is very easy to read. The local historical society has obviously not come across this so please let them know if you live in the area. Graham Whitehead,the City of Kingston Historian might be interested too although it's a bit out of area.

Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Saturday 1 September 1906 Edition: MORNING. p 4 Article


Compared with England, most European countries, Egypt and so on,Australia is a very young country. There are a great many reminders of this fact in England, France,Italy, Greece,Egypt and along the great rivers of Europe etc. where there are many buildings older than our country. Many Australians spend considerable amounts of money visiting these countries to see history such as castles, houses in which famous people lived, the Colosseum,the Parthenon, and the Pyramids. They come together every year on January 26 and April 25 to celebrate significant parts of Australian history. Many Australians are engaged in researching their own families' histories.

But they are missing out on a great love affair. They get up in the morning to go to work or school and then come home to their enclosures like prisoners in a low security prison where they are allowed into the community to perform work or play footy at weekends. They might be lucky enough to have good neighbours with whom they enjoy life but they don't really LOVE THEIR COMMUNITY!

It is probable that residents of Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs love their communities more than most,partly because they are beautiful but also because of the prestige and snob value they present. The opposition to the Camberwell Station development is a good example of a community coming together. What about the other suburbs? Is there no reason to love them? Are the residents of Broadmeadows and Frankston going to put up with Sam Newman's put downs of such suburbs in the street talk segments on the Footy Show. I wonder if Eddie Maguire, a Broady boy, agreed with such nonsense in the early years of the show. Shane Crawford feels no need to demean suburbs when he replaces Sam on street talk.

Tommy Lahiff loved his Port Melbourne but he could not understand it when Yuppies started paying big money for its humble dwellings. (This was decades before big developments such as Docklands.) Kensington was a similar suburb,whose house values increased dramatically a few decades ago. Why? Proximity to the city,certainly,but also humble but pretty cottages which have been beautifully restored.

Some of the yuppies may have explored the history of these suburbs but many would probably not know the name of the street at the next corner. If they wanted to find some information or if a professional historian was conducting a heritage study on a house,a suburb or an entire municipality, where would they turn? The local historical society of course!

Churches are dying with most members of congregations well over even Joe Hockey's suggested retirement age. Here's why Australia needs to wake up,because historical societies are in exactly the same boat. The members were much younger when they preserved the historic houses for our friends,the yuppies. Why does Anzac Day draw countless thousands, including very young children, to ceremonies all over Australia every year? Our much maligned schools are partly responsible but it is the parents who actually take their youngsters to the ceremonies.

People at the ceremonies do not ask the marchers to continue their sacrifice but are quite content to let others of the same age, members of historical societies, continue their sacrifice of time and energy to preserve and make accessible the heritage of (in total)this great nation. This is often continued despite severe handicaps which I don't think I could overcome. For example,Jenny Nixon of the Nepean Historical Society is almost blind and Margot Hitchcock of the Blackwood Historical Society has suffered a stroke which has affected the left side of her body.

You cannot imagine how much museum volunteers appreciate visitors with whom they can share their LOVE OF THEIR COMMUNITY! My fellow Australians,all I'm asking you to do is to take your family to your local museum so they can have this opportunity. There is no longer a Rosebud Historical Society and within a decade its demise will be shared by many others unless you WAKE UP, AUSTRALIA. You will learn to love your community and show your appreciation of the historical society members who ask only for your interest.

Elayne Whatman of the Broadmeadows Historical Society prompted this journal when she sent me a flyer.(Below.)
Elayne Whatman
Hon. Secretary
Broadmeadows Historical
Society Inc. & Museum

Museum: 9302 1456
Mobile: 0487 371 543

(Broadmeadows Town Park, Pearcedale Parade)
(Melway Map 6 G7-8)
MOB: 0405 371 543

1 comment(s), latest 2 years, 10 months ago


While I was on duty at the Dromana museum on Easter Sunday we had a visitor who was chasing information about Safety Beach. She was a descendant of James Manson Sharpley after whom Sharpley Avenue (Melway 150 E10) was named. I referred her to my journals about Safety Beach and told her that I'd try to find out the name of the previous owner of the land. James,a butcher, had accepted the land in lieu of payment of a debt.

She gave me her number and also wrote her name. Noticing that her surname was Matheson, I asked if she was related to Margaret Matheson who was granted crown allotment 11,section 23, parish of Moorooduc,on the south west corner of Three Chain Rd (Moorooduc Rd)and Mornington-Tyabb Rd. Just to prove that it's a small world,she replied, "No,the Mathesons were from Trentham." That's when the penny dropped. I remembered that the Matheson family was also involved at Blackwood and when I mentioned Margot Hitchcock, Sandra said that she'd read Margot's histories. And guess where I was off to as soon as I left the museum- Blackwood! On Easter Tuesday I was admiring the polished granite seat in memory of the Matheson, Cann (and Byers?) families installed near some Matheson graves.

I was hoping to meet Margot when I arrived. We've communicated by email but I'd never met her. Having arrived at dusk, I started my hunt on Monday morning. The chap in the general store told me about the book launch on Sunday and said she'd probably be at the museum.He gave me directions that made no sense at the time because I didn't know about the new C.F.A. building. The historical society building next to the adventure playground was closed and a notice referred to the Stables Museum being opposite Cobb and Co.,which I thought would be the pub. However,I saw it on the corner of Simmons Reef Rd and a brief conversation with a bloke loading his earth-moving machine led me to Margot's house,immediately across the (no through-) road from the historical society building (which WAS the Stables Museum.)

I'm still reading the book but I intend to mention the pioneers involved as witnesses apart from Billy,his wife, and the (almost)minister.Extensive genealogical detail is given about the families of Billy, his wife and the lay-reader, also the mental health issues that led to the tragedy and will not be repeated here. The book is available for purchase at the Garden of St Erth. The museum is open on the first Saturday of each month.

Margot's website is: Blackwood Publishing | Genealogical and early history of ...

Page numbers will be given here for each reference to Blackwood pioneers other than the Pincombe, Robinson and Saunders families. The book has an index.
P.8. Map showing the location of the vicarage and the Pincombe and Hayden houses nearby as well as the Vigor house.
P.10.Mr J.Byres,captain of the Rifle Club, reporting Billy's 7 consecutive bulls eyes.
P.16. Nurse Plews of Blackwood looked after Billy's wife in 1906 after her child was born.
P.37. Michael Hayden and his two sisters were often threatened by their neighbour,Billy.
P.38. Michael Hayden kept his gun loaded and within easy reach. Billy had a confrontation with the Rev. Father Collins and threatened to fight him in a duel. Constable Charles Henry Saunders of Blackwood (photo on cover) interviewed Billy about this threatening letter.
P.42. Mitchell Armstrong who had been mending a fence between Billy's house and the vicarage reported that the shot came from Billy's place.
P.43. William Aston, a local resident, ran to the constable's aid. William Cann searched Billy, finding a loaded revolver and pockets of cartridges.
P.44.Charles,20 year old son of Mounted Constable Charles Henry Saunders went with his father to arrest Billy.
P.45. Dr Anderson of Trentham was sent for to attend to the critically wounded Billy.
Inspector Beck and Constable Kroger of Trentham arrived. Rev. Father Collins was probably the "Roman Catholic priest,then resident in the district" that Billy had allegedly threatened to murder.
P.46. Pincombe accused the Hayden family of hypnotising him. Beck and Kroger found a real arsenal in Billy's house. Mitchell Armstrong heard the shot but saw nobody when he looked toward the source of the noise. Mrs Herbert Cann heard a shot and then the sound of something falling on her roof which was 500 yards from Billy's house but no bullet was found.
P.47. The constable's son Charlie waited outside the Pincombe house but rushed inside when he heard the shots and was relieved to see his father still standing.
P.48.Billy's house and the vicarage were 70 yards apart with a lane in between.
P.49.Mitchell Armstrong was Mr.M.A.Armstrong who was repairing the church fence. Much detail about the slain preacher.
P.50. Billy's claim about the Hayden's hypnotising him are repeated.
P.51.The captain of the rifle club,probably J.Byres,was in the habit of supplying Billy with just enough ammunition for the day. The funeral service was conducted by Canon Bishop of Kyneton,Rev.G.A.Rowell-incumbent of the parish (Trentham?),and Mr Morris of Eaglehawk (who had previously been a lay reader at Blackwood.)
P.52. Detective Sexton was assisting Constablr Kroger to investigate the case. Pincombe wasformally charged before Mr.J.H.Terrill,J.P. Mrs Dr.Plews has been most attentive to the prisoner who would have bled to death without her treatment. (She is called Nurse Plews on page 16!)
P.55. Rev. Father Collins was based at Trentham.
P.57-61. Much detail about the slain preacher, his Reverend-stacked family and his wife's family.
P.62-4. Mr H.E.Hyde had been reader-in-charge at Blackwood in 1905-6 when Canon George Watson visited.Watson, then at the vicarage, Rochester,wrote a letter claiming that if Billy had been put away by Constable Saunders when he fired(at cats!) and hit the vicarage in 1905, lay reader Robinson would not have died.
P.64-5. The Robinsons from a Brunswick perspective.
P.66Mrs Plews,the doctor's wife of Blackwood !!!!
P.72. Photo of the vicarage as seen from the Pincombe house taken in 1976 by Margot. (Ditto P.73 in 2009.)
P.75.Testimony of the lay-reader's wife;Mrs Byrne (Byres?),Mrs Vigor (to whose houses she ran for assistance), Messrs. Aston and M.Richards arrived shortly after her husband was shot,followed by Constable Saunders.
P. 77.Mitchell Armstrong's testimony.
P.78. William Aston's testimony.
P.79.Testimony of Jane Vigor and John Byres.
P.80. Billy's brother's testimony.
P.81.Testimony of Dr John Anderson and William Cann.
P.82-5.Testimony of Constable Saunders.
P.86-7. Testimony of Henry Kroger,stationed at Trentham who gave very precise distances between various buildings, the bullet that killed Robinson having travelled 63 yards (not 70) and Vigor's house was 150 yards from the vicarage.
P.89-98.Official Inquest Reports,Telegrams and statements from Harriet Robinson,William Cann,Morris Richards (store manager for W.J.Anderson at Blackwood), William Aston,Jane Vigor,Jessie Byrne, Michael Hayden (cattle dealer),John Byres, Constable Saunders and his son,John Anderson,Henry W.Kroger, John Byres again, William Aston (who mentioned Mr Livy crossing the road near Cann's hotel),William Cann,John Anderson again,Billy's brother,Constable Saunders again.(P.93.Photos taken by L.V.Terrill of Blackwood for the inquest.)
P.101-111. Extensive information from the police historian and genealogical detail re Constable Saunders.
P.112-116 Death of Billy and burials of Billy,his parents and Mr Robinson in the Blackwood cemetery.
P. 117-127. Details about the religious book that the bullet passed through before killing the lay reader. It was bought by a priest in the Ballarat diocese and then the Rev. Don Hardy who gave it to Rev. Phil Savlin of the parish of Woodend,which included All Saints,Blackwood. When Phil retired in 1984,he gave the book to Bert Oliver for safe keeping but when Bert moved to Adelaide the book did too so Tom Garnett, another All Saints parishioner retrieved it and minded it until it was displayed in the general store in a display case made by Jack Langford,one of the church wardens.

(P.119. Tom Garnett and his wife,Penny, made the special trip to recover the book,despite Tom's ill health. Tom established the Garden of St Erth at Simmons Reef. He was once headmaster of Geelong Grammar and in his retirement wrote articles for The Age including Godly Book Fails to Stop Vengeful Bullet on 6-3-1984. No prizes for guessing what that was about!)

P. 128-9. Pincombe's House. This was vacant because the Pincombes left soon after Billy's brother, Henry, had done his best to make amends for the tragedy,and was dismantled and re-assembled at the Cricket Ground as a club house. When tenders for this task were called for in the Bacchus Marsh Express of 7-11-1908,the Recreation Reserve Trust consisted of M.T.Vigor (Chairman),M.M.J.Croker (Hon.Sec.)and Messrs H.H.Cann and H.H.Terrill. Mr.W.Croker was paid 12 pounds for forming a bicycle track and tenders were to be called to relocate the cottage. Soon after the cottage was removed,Bill and Frank Matheson built a stone cottage on the site, the stones brought from the Lerdederg in a wheelbarrow.(Photo of this house taken in 1976.)
P.130. Those who gave to Henry Pincombe's collection to support the lay reader's widow were J.P.,A. Buchanan,F.Hodgkiss, Mrs Bates,J.Matthews,C.H.Derrick,S.Taylor,Mrs Mackie,E.E.Hosking, J.H.Terrill, T.A.Matthews, W.Broad,A.Duncan,W.H.Miller,Mrs Whitford,G.H.McPherson,J.Skinner,A.Skinner,W.Alcorn and four other named as Sympathy,Friend or Anon.

The rest of the book concerns Pincombe/Morrish genealogy,asylum records and Billy's brother's's war service.
P.137. The Blackwood State School Honour Roll is kept in the Blackwood Hall.Here's hoping my magnifying glass is good enough to read the photo.

Asterisks indicate that the name is later repeated.
ARMSTRONG A.M.*, ARMSTRONG T.M., ARMSTRONG W.E., BYRNE J., BROAD W.J., BYRES W., CARRUTHERS G.R.*, CARRUTHERS H., CHERRY H., COCCIARDI A., DAVEY R., DAVEY L., DOWNING A., DOWNING G.T., DOWNING R., HALL R.W.M., LAWRENCE W.*, MORRISH H.C., MARSHALL A.S., MURPHY T.*, McCRACKEN J.N.*, NELSON S., NELSON H., PERRY H., PATTINSON A.O., PATTINSON J.H. It seems to be implied that those following "Greater love etc" had been killed in the war.#.Those already named will be indicated with an asterisk above.SKINNER W.F., SEYMOUR J., STEPHENS I., WHATMOUGH R.H., PEARCE R.L., PEARCE L., PINCOMBE J.R. (Billy's brother), RAE F., SPEARY N.J.W., (SKINNER W.F.repeated), SAUNDERS G., SHESLER G., SMITH M.M., SMITH T., SMITH E., SEYMOUR E., (SEYMOUR J. repeated), SUFFERN G.E., SWEET J., (STEPHENS I. repeated), STEPHENS C.R., VIGOR A.J., (WHATMOUGH R.H. repeated), WHATMOUGH W.J., WEBSTER?.T.

#As John Ridd Pincombe died in 1934 aged 66,the honour roll is a nice job of lettering (except in the case of both the Stephens men and Webster) but cannot be relied on as to who died during the war. The desire to have the "Greater love hath no man etc" bit as a centrepiece and the name of A.M.Armstrong being repeated under it, gave the impression that he and all those under his second appearance did not survive the war. IT'S A PITY THAT THE USUAL PRACTICE, OF INDICATING THOSE WHO HAD MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE WITH AN ASTERISK, WAS NOT FOLLOWED.


Last year's edition about Christie Johnstone, the Tucks etc was superb and this year's is just as good.
There are some articles of general interest such as the first shots in both world wars being fired from Pt Nepean, the fact that those who survived the conflict still paid a price mentally and physically,a look at the Nazi mystique outlining novels based on the regime's evil intentions,Alan Moore of Mt Eliza, a Frankston recruit who changed his name, and a drum that barked like a dog.

Once again,there are also articles which contain well-researched local history and genealogy. Articles about Anzacs from the Coxhell and Brunning/Shaw families take us back to the arrival of these families on the peninsula. Thomas Coxhell, who was born in Middlesex in 1825, married Theresa Anne Tynan on 17-9-1857 at St Francis Church,Melbourne. Theresa was born in Dublin in 1831 and arrived in Port Phillip in 1855,her passage on the "Western Bride" having been paid by Mr Balcombe of "The Briars" with whom she had contracted to work as a ladies' maid for a year for 20 pounds. In 1862,Thomas bought land at Osborne which overlooked The Briars. He worked as a brickmaker at the Mornington Brickworks. The Brunning family arrived in Somerville in 1866 and as detailed by Leila Shaw in her THE WAY WE WERE, achieved fame as nurserymen,the Brunnings gardening guide becoming the bible for keen gardeners.

William Shaw, who was born in Maffra in 1890, was a farm labourer living with his father in Oakleigh when he enlisted in 1916 at the age of 26 but his father had moved to Tyabb during the next two years. William was shot in the knee while carrying a message to H.Q.near the River Jordan at 8 a.m. on 1-5-1918 and it was several days before he was brought in. Ironically he survived because of the maggots which fed on the infection but his leg had to be amputated. It was doubtful that he would survive and as he lay in the tent hospital at Gaza, he pledged to call his first son Gaza if he pulled through. William Jnr,known as Gaza,married Leila Brunning and served in W.W.2.

Leila Shaw's father, Bill Brunning, donated land for a Soldiers'Memorial Park at Somerville in 1949 but because the returned servicemen from W.W.2 wanted the memorial to be of use to the community,it was to take the form of an infant welfare centre. What a mistake! I'm a big fan of Aldi supermarkets but they don't make me think of our ANZACS!


9 comment(s), latest 2 years, 6 months ago