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Send-off to the Essendon Boys

Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 2 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918

Honour Rolls







The long-looked-for “Send-off” to the Essendon soldiers who are going away with the First Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force was held on Tuesday evening at the town hall, Moonee Ponds. Most complete arrangements had been made by the Mayor (Cr J Goldsworthy), the ex-Mayor (Cr J F Henderson), the hon. Secretary (Mr John Woods) and a strong working committee, with the result that the function was a brilliant success, and that the Essendon district once more rose to the occasion.


The large supper room was beautifully decorated with flags, bunting and other patriotic emblems, and the tables were nicely decked out with the most tempting of eatables. Mr T Sangston had charge of this department, and so well did he canvass the business people that the whole of the good things were provided free of cost. Mr Sangston himself lent the tables, crockery, etc, and arranged for the free carriage backwards and forwards, and the townspeople and others are to be congratulated on the noble way in which they came to his assistance. A committee of ladies, nicely attired in white, and wearing the colours of the regiment, did the waiting at table, and left nothing to be desired.


About half past six the 160 soldiers sat down to dinner, and the Mayor (Cr J Goldsworthy) having taken the chair, he tendered them a hearty welcome on behalf of the citizens of Essendon, stating that he knew they would do their best for the Empire.


Captain Duigan, at the request of the Mayor said grace, and the National Anthem was sung. The good things were then attacked with a will and a pleasant time was spent. During the continuance of the dinner each soldier was presented with a tin of tobacco and a pipe, while for the non-smokers there were other suitable gifts, such as pocket books, pouches, and other useful articles to serve as a reminder.


Lieutenant-Colonel H E Elliott – who was received with rounds of applause – then, on behalf of his officers and men, returned thanks for the cordial welcome and send-off tendered to them. He stated that he hardly knew how to express himself for the great kindness shown them especially by the Mayor (Cr Goldsworthy), Cr Henderson and the ladies and committee, who had done so much to encourage the military spirit. He alluded to the splendid colours of the Essendon Rifles, so well designed by the Mayor, the design having been adopted for the whole Commonwealth. He knew the great length of time the Mayor and others had devoted to the work, and the result spoke for itself. It was refreshing to know what great help was going to be given to the mother country, and he realised the absolute necessity for that. The entire British nation hung on the present struggle. As a result of the South African was 15 years ago, the place was laid bare of houses, trees, fences, etc, and that was the thing to expect if Australia met with an invasion of the Germans, about whose cruelty they heard so much.  The present force being sent from the Commonwealth was only a drop in the ocean, being only 20,000, as compared with millions, but sometimes one company of 1000 was sufficient to turn the scale.  He selected his officers and men with the greatest care, and he was proud of the Essendon Rifles and of the whole battalion.  He again returned thanks for what had been done.  He had so much pleasure in presenting to the Mayor a framed photograph of the [illegible]


The Mayor, in reply, stated that he was proud of Colonel Elliott in presenting him with such a pleasing memento.  During Cr Henderson's term as Mayor they had a military fete, and he (the speaker) offered to design the colours, and he did this to the best of his ability.  As the regiment was going away to help the mother country, he knew they would give a good account of themselves and reflect credit on the colours.  He hoped when they came back that there would not be a man missing.  (Applause).  The men of Essendon had an excellent head in Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott, and one who was held in the highest respect right through the Commonwealth.


Presentations were then made by the Mayor on behalf of the Ascot Vale football club to Privates Kennedy, Billings and D'Arcy, of wristlet watches.


The Mayor next presented Captain R W Wells of Area 58B, who was going to the front, a pair of field-glasses from the cadets under his charge.  This showed the extreme love and admiration the boys had for him.


Captain Wells, who met with a good reception, said, in reply, that the presentation came to him as a great surprise, and he was glad the boys thought so kindly of him.  He greatly appreciated that kindness.


Three cheers having been given for the Mayor, the company adjourned to the large hall, where the patriotic concert was to take place.  An excellent programme of songs, duets, recitations, etc, was then rendered by Miss Florrie Gordon, Miss Annie Jennings, Miss Emily Stevenson, Miss Grace Evans, Messrs N Hilliard, McDougall, V J Rawsthorn, H Kelsall, E Stevenson, G Stevenson, W Park, George Baulch.  The items were one and all exceptionally well rendered, and military  numbers were the rule.  A good many encores had to be responded to, and the immense audience showed their appreciation in the usual way.  The PSA orchestra played a number of selections, including martial, in a splendid manner.  Mention must also be made of the good services rendered as accompanistes by   and others.  During the evening the colours of the regiment were nicely displayed on the stage. Miss Doris Hawker, Mrs Kimpton and others. During the evening the colours of the regiment were nicely displayed on  the stage. 


During an interval, Mayor Goldsworthy explained the reason for the send-off, and paid a great tribute to the ladies for preparing the refreshments and waiting at table, and also eulogised Mr Sangston for taking charge of the catering and getting everything for nothing.  He tendered to the boys the best wishes of all, and stated they had as their commanding officer one who had seen good service. (Applause).


At the request of the Mayor Miss Hawker then played "For He's a Jolly good Fellow", which the audience took up in an enthusiastic manner.  After this the National Anthem was sung with great spirit.


Lieutenant-Colonel Elliott returned thanks, on behalf of the men and himself, for the magnificent reception and hospitality tendered to them.  He and three others had been selected as battalion commanders of the Expeditionary Force, and he considered it a great honour.  He hoped he would prove worthy of it.  (Applause).  He did not pretend to be a great soldier;  he he was a citizen of Victoria, and he was content to live and die in that position.  He had a wife and family and would be pleased if the war were over tomorrow.  He had 1023 boys under him, and their parents said they were glad the soldiers were under his care.  He hoped when they came back their parents would still say the same thing.  The call to arms had come to him, and he was bound to put his name down, and could not stand out.  He had, as already mentioned, selected his officers and men with the greatest care, and he regarded then as the finest lot he could get for the purpose.  Those going with him to the front knew how strict he was, and this was because he realised the seriousness of the war.  They asked for the prayers of one and all. 


He thanked all the people of Essendon for their sympathy and for the patriotic entertainment that night".


OUR SOLDIERS. (1914, September 10). The Essendon Gazette and Keilor, Bulla and Broadmeadows Reporter (Moonee Ponds, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 5 Edition: Morning.. Retrieved January 27, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74494305



Residents of Essendon in First Australian Imperial Expeditionary Force.


The account of the send-off was accompanied by a list of  149 volunteers who attended the function, ordered by rank, and then alphabetically.  Usually only the surname was given, but occasionally accompanied by initials. The identities below have been assigned after extensive examination of the list - some remain to be identified.  Some of the men listed were not strictly local residents, but had a strong association with the local Citizens Military Force unit, the 58th Infantry Regiment (Essendon Rifles).   Some of the ranks given in the original article were CMF ranks - but volunteers often embarked as privates.  The list below shows their embarkation rank.


These men were predominantly enlisted in the 7th Battalion, but with other regiments represented.  The 7th Infantry Battalion was commanded by Lieut H E "Pompey" Elliott.  The 7th left Australia a few short weeks after war was declared for further training in Egypt.  Most of them took part in the first Landing at Gallipoli, and many of them fell in that campaign.  Those who survived the campaign on the Peninsula later went on to serve in France and Belgium.


Those who did not return are marked in red.  Their status will be updated progressively. 


Lenore Frost 2009


Adams R Pte   Unidentified
Ainsworth C D Pte   Unidentified
Allen J * Pte 462 Jack
Anderson D C Pte 507 Donald Clarke
Angus J S * Pte 516 John Sinclair
Armstrong P R Pte 468 Percival Richard
Arroll J C D Pte 77 John Duncan
Austin A C     Unidentified
Austin J E Pte 157 James Edwin
Avard C Pte 434 Carlton

Bale C*

Pte 479 Charles
Barker H A Pte 43 Harold Arthur
Bevan H R Pte 81 Herbert Roland
Bone A W Pte 501 Alfred William
Bowman F S Pte 44 Frank Stanley
Bowring H L Driver 1022 Herbert Leon
Bowtell-Harris J F Pte 467 James Frederick
Bramley W H Bugler 759 William Harry
Broadbent J E Driver 20 John Eric
Brown A G Pte 87 Albert George
Brown A J T Pte 454 Alfred John Thomas
Bunning R A* Lance Cpl 45 Robert Allan
Burdeu C A* Cpl 1000 Cyril Andrew
Sydney Victor
Butler J F Pte 421 John Francis
Butt R* Pte 423 Richard [P on ROH]
Carless J N* Pte 471 James Neville
Carroll M D E Pte 457 Michael David Ernest
Chambers E M* Pte 373 Ernest Malcolm
Chapman E H S* 2nd Lt   Earl Haddon Simpson
Clowe C P Pte 478 Clarence Peter
Cobbin E A Pte 1031 Edward Arthur
Collins A J* Pte 368 Alfred James (not local)
Connell W J Bugler 520 William Joseph
Cowan C D  * L Cpl 415 Charles Davenport
Cowan H K * Pte 14 Harry Kenneth
D'Arcy T J Pte 1064 Thomas Joseph
Danaher E B   * Pte 477 Edmund Butterworth
Dellar S J Driver 81 Stanley James
Dickinson V R O R Sergt 3 Vincent Robert
Dolan A G Pte 452 Albert Gordon
Downing E W Capt   Edward William
Eastwood R Cpl 412 Roger
Elliot W W H * Pte 422 William Walker Highton
Elliott H E Lieut-Col   Harold Edward
Ellis H J R Driver 35 Harry John Roberts
Evans A * Pte 425 Abraham
Fraser A RSM 1 Alexander
Fredericks G Cpl 580 George
Galland A G * Pte 446 Alexander Gladstone
Garner G* L Sgt 411 George
Gideon G Pte 311 George Ascot
Gilchrist G A L Cpl 416 George Arthur
Giles H C Pte 46 Henry Claude
Goodall H T Sgt 846 Harold Thomas
Goulding S J* Cpl 47 Stanley John
Greig G F* Sgt 407 George Fergus
Griffith G R* Pte 450 Gerald Redmond
Harty L J* Pte 449 Leo James
Hayes A M* Pte 447 Allen Melrose
Heighway A R 2nd Lt   Albert Richard
Heron H J Pte 167 Herbert John
Heron W L 2nd Lieut   Wilfred Leslie
Hill W C * Pte 228 William Corbett
Hoare J P * Pte 506 Joseph Patrick
Hopkins E J Pte 448 Ernest James
Hopkins J W Pte 9 Joseph Walton
Hosking B P Pte 466 Bertram Paul
Howes G S Pte 497 George Sydney
Hutton P M Sapper 138 Percy Mitchell
Inches T C Pte 133 Tasman Clive
Jackson A Capt   Alfred
Jacobsohn J R  Pte 48 Julius Rudolph
James A Pte 358 Arthur
Johnson C F* Pte 951 Charles Frederick
Jones C E * Pte 504 Charles Edwin
Junior E W * Pte 463 Edward Wilfred
Keam H M * Pte 481 Herbert Millest
Knight J V Pte 1161 James Vallins
Macaulay N Pte 426 Norman [McAuley]
Madden P J Gunner 1084 Patrick Joseph
Maine C E Cpl 21 Charles Evans
Mathews J R Pte 50 James Reginald
Matthews F B Pte 49 Francis
McArthur A J* Pte 475 Alexander James
McDonald L G* Pte 500 Lindsay Gordon
McGregor C H L Pte 51 Charles Henry Lachlan
McGregor R  *
Frederic Roy
McKaige E C Sgt 291 Eric Chester
McNab D Pte      
McNab H* Pte 518 Hamish
Middleton C H Pte 53 Clifton Horace
Minto C J Pte 448 Carlyle James
Moore J E Pte 208 John Edward
Morgan C H Pte 453 Cecil Harvey
Morgan L M Pte 343 Leslie Meaden
Morris L F Pte 671 Leonard Frederick
Morrison R A* Pte 502 Robert
Mulkearns J L* Pte 482 Joseph Leo
Neal R R Pte 2782 Rex Raymond
Nelson C Pte 971 Carlyle
O'Neill H F Pte 491 Henry Francis
Odgers C V Cpl 413 Cecil Victor
Park E R Pte 420 Ernest Richard
Paterson G G Sapper 120 George Gibson
Permezel C H  * Capt   Cecil Holroyd
Pettigrew T C  *
Pte 505 Trafford Cyril
Powell L T Pte 445 Leo Thomas
Prunty H C Pte 424 Harold Charles
Ransom R K Bugler 536 Roland Keen
Roberts A Pte 531 Arthur
Robertson T Pte 192 Thomas
Rochstein F S Sgt 5 Fritz Sainsbury
Rogers A E * L Cpl 419 Arthur Ernest
Rogers F O 2nd Lt   Frank Oswald
Ryan V C M Pte 54 Vernon Charles Montrose
Scanlan J J 2nd Lieut   John Joseph
Scharness C* Colour Sgt 406 Charles
Seeley J * Pte 305 James
Simpkins E S Pte 32 Edward Stanley
Simpson J P Earle Bugler 635 John Percy Earle
Sproston L G    * Pte 427 Leonard George
Steeth W J * Bugler 455 Walter Joseph
Stephens R *
Driver 34255 Roy
Stone-R-F-Pte-435 * Pte 435 Roy Frank
Stones E A Pte 437 Ellis Andrew
Styring P J Pte 451 Pierce Joseph
Swaby T H Pte 228 Thomas Henry
Swift C H 2nd Lt   Claude Hibbert
Thompson J     Unidentified
Tytherleigh J A C* Pte 867 John Athelstan Corteen
Webb H *
Pte 509 Harry
Wells R W * Capt   Richard William
Whitelaw J Pte 57 John
Williams R Pte 2436 Robert
Wills W H * Pte 436 William Henry
Woods H J Pte 464 Horace James
Woods J  *
John William
Wylie A J Pte 429 Alfred James
Wyllie L L Pte 3952 Leslie Lyle
Young A T* Cpl 414 Alfred Thomas
Young R T Pte     Unidentified
Young W J *
Pte 456 Wilfred John


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