• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.


Battye A C  Pte  4365

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 7 years, 8 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


From the Weekly Times, 8 Jan 1916, p 40.


Battye A C  Pte  4365    Arthur Clarence     21 Inf Bn    24    Labourer    Married    R C        

Address:    Ascot Vale, Union Rd, 194    

Next of Kin:    Battye, Hannora, Mrs, wife, 194 Union Rd, Ascot Vale    

Enlisted:    5 Jul 1915        

Embarked:     RMS Orontes 29 Mar 1916


Relatives on Active Service:

Four brothers








Rescuing four young women who were in danger of drowning, while bathing near the Tennyson street steps, St. Kilda Beach, on Christmas after noon, a young man quietly slipped away, unknown.


The young women, Miss M. Booth, Brunswick, Miss E. Nicol, North Carlton, and the Misses E. and M. Bell, sisters, of Moonee Ponds, got out of their depth, and were rescued at a critical moment by the young man, who was bathing a short distance away. As soon as he saw that they were recovering he left quietly, without disclosing his identity.


Miss Booth, when seen, stated that all four of them would assuredly have been drowned had not the young man appeared so opportunely. It was ascertained several days, afterwards that the rescuer of four young women who were in danger of drowning while bathing near the steps leading from Tennyson street, Sandringham, on Christmas Day, was Private Arthur Clarence Battye, of the Military Police.


When seen at the show-grounds camp, Private Battye appeared to regret that his identity had been established, stating that he was not looking for publicity in the matter. He admitted that the four young women were rescued at a critical moment, but regarded lightly the part he had taken in the rescue, explaining that he was a strong swimmer and a fairly good all-round athlete.


"On Christmas Day," he said, "with my wife and a number of friends, I   was one of a picnic party which went to Sandringham. Between 4.30 and 5 p.m. I went in for a swim near the  steps opposite Tennyson street. There were not many bathing in the vicinity, but a party of four young women were enjoying themselves in the water about 50 yards away. When I first saw them they had joined hands and were dancing around in a ring and laughing. Shortly afterwards I heard one of them screaming for help, quickly followed by the  others, and I realised that they were all in danger. It was clear that not one of the girls could swim, and they had all got out of their depth. I swam to them with all the speed I could, and dis covered that they had got into a deep hole near some rocks.


"When I reached them they had all lost their heads, and were screaming and struggling, while the waves were washing over their heads. I lost no time in getting hold of the heaviest girl. She was very weak, and practically all out. I got her to the beach, and went back and carried in turn each of the others ashore. It was an exciting time, and though I kept my head I can hardly give you all the details.


"Several men were on the beach watching the affair, but though some of them gave me instructions, not one of them attempted to lend a hand. By the time I had them all ashore there was a good crowd around, and when I saw that they were being properly looked after I went away."


Asked why he had hurried away without waiting to be thanked for his services, Private Battye replied that during the rescue he cut his knee rather badly on a rock, and as it was bleeding he left to get it dressed. "Swimming is nothing to me," he concluded. "I was for some time at Quambatook, and won several swim ming matches at Lake Merrin."


Private Battye is a married man, and is 24 years of age. He was employed at the City Council quarries at Clifton Hill when he joined the colors, and after going into camp at the show-grounds was drafted into the Military Police. He has four brothers at the front, two at whom were wounded at Anzac.


The young women rescued were:— Misses M. Booth, Brunswick; E. Nicol, North Carlton, and E. and M. Bell, Moonee Ponds.


RESCUED FROM DROWNING. (1916, January 8). Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 40. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121101441



War Service Commemorated



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.