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Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 5 years, 1 month ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918



With the Essendon Rifles

Enlistment and Training, 1914

At Gallipoli, 1915

In France and England



Captain Joe Hopkins.  The postcard is signed and dated December 1916 on the front, and dated London 18/3/1917 on the reverse.   Taken at a studio in the north of England.   Courtesy of Brad Hopkins.


"London 18/3/1917.  Dear Lil, I am almost right again and shall soon be out of Hosp.  Best of luck to all, Joe."  A later annotation notes that Lil was Lil Atkinson, later Lil McDonald.


Information has been received by Mr J. T. Hopkins, Moonee Ponds by cable from Havre, France, that his .... son was in hospital there the nature of his ailment was not described but referred to as "nothing serious." He has been promoted to the rank of captain in the Machine Gun Section of 7th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Brigade. Enlisting as a private in August, 1914, he fought in the Gallipoli campaign from the landing to the evacuation, at which latter he commanded a platoon of the now famous rearguard. He has been fighting in France since the Australians entered into action there. This is the first occasion since enlistment that he has been laid by in hospital.


ROLL OF HONOR. (1916, September 7). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74594049



Captain J. W. Hopkins, who has been wounded in France, has a great record as a rifleman and soldier. Before the war, writes Mr P. W. Pearce, he was one of the M.C.C. crack shots, and also a lieutenant in the citizen forces. When volunteers were called for, he enlisted as a private, and was in the first batch in camp at Broadmeadows. 


He left Melbourne as a corporal, and was at the landing at Gallipoli. Whilst there he received his commission as lieutenant, and was one of the last to leave in the famous departure. When in France he was promoted to Captain, and at present is recovering from wounds at a hospital in that country. His brother, Lieut. E. Hopkins, who was wounded at Gallipoli, has had a similar career, but has yet to obtain his captaincy. Their father, Mr J. T. Hopkins, is the popular editor of our Patents Office Journal.


RIFLEMEN AND SOLDIERS. (1916, September 20). Winner (Melbourne, Vic. : 1914 - 1917), p. 8. Retrieved September 17, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154550878


Recommendation for Military Cross


7th Australian Battalion, AIF
Captain Joseph Walton HOPKINS

Near Polygon de ZONNEBEKE, east of YPRES during operations 20/22nd September 1917, Captain HOPKINS displayed great initiative and courage in successfully leading his Company to the attack consolidating the position taken, and siting and constructing new posts.

His ability was a big factor in the success of the Battalion.  Although wounded he remained at duty and when his Company was relieved he remained with the relieving company until the following day to give all possible assistance.



Recommendation for Military Cross

7th Battalion AIF  Captain Joseph Walton HOPKINS

Rear YPRES on 4/5th Oct 1917, Captain HOPKINS was conspicuous for the successful manner in which he led his Company in the action.  By his energy and skill he not only successfully gained his Company objective (although he had lost his 4 platoon commanders in action) but rendered invaluable assistance generally in consolidation of the Battalion objective.  His courage and coolness inspired not only his own Company but the other Companies of the Battalion under circumstances of great danger and difficulty. From his personal reconnaissance of the Battalion front much valuable information was obtained.

Awarded Bar to MC



Officers of B Company, 7th Battalion in France, 1917.  The men are named on the pack of the postcard, below.

Top row, L-R:  J M Lyle, R N Whalley, A E Beech, T R Grant, C P Clowe.

Sitting, L_R:  P L Edgoose, Eric W Hill, Joseph W Hopkins, K M Purbrick.

Courtesy of Brad Hopkins.


Reverse of the postcard above.  Whalley was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 31 October 1917 and embarked for France on 14 November 1917, so presumably the photo was taken in the last six weeks of 1917. 


Captain Oliver John Harris, Horace  Major Hector Ernest Bastin and Captain Joseph Walton Hopkins. Taken at Sutton Veny, July 1st 1918.  Three 7th Battalion officers with Military Cross ribbons.


Major Joseph Walton Hopkins, M.C. and Bar, 7th (Vic.) Battalion, who is returning in list A, was born in 1890. He enlisted in Victoria on August 17, 1914, and is returning on special furlough. His parents live at 51 Lorne street, Moonee Ponds, His brother, Lieutenant Ernest Hopkins, who left Australia with him in the First Expeditionary Force, returned home last year. Major Hopkins saw service on Gallipoli, and gained a commission on August 9, 1915, being later promoted lieutenant. He was made captain on August 1, 1916, and on October 27 last year he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in France. He showed great initiative and courage in leading his company in an attack and consolidating the captured position, and, though wounded, remained on duty. For similar good work he gained a bar to the distinction a month later, the official record on this occasion adding that he also carried out a reconnaissance and secured valuable information. His courage and coolness inspired all ranks. Major Hopkins was, decorated by the King at Buckingham Palace on May 4 of this year. He has been wounded on three occasions. Prior to enlisting he was a member of the M.C.C. Rifle Club.


THE FLYING CORPS. (1918, October 24). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 2 Edition: Morning. Retrieved August 29, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74607468 



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