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Page history last edited by Lenore Frost 8 years, 6 months ago

Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918


13th Hussars in Mesopotamia, 1917."The British and Indian cavalry made steady progress under Lt-General Maude after the fall of Kut. The 13th found that the skirmishing in the early stages was a plodding business. The later Cavalry actions near Baghdad and further up country were spectacularly successful and contributed to a great feeling of regimental pride despite the loss of life."  Source:  British Empire.


Le Patourel, A McG   Lieut       Arthur McGregor     13 Hussars, R. Reserve of Cavalry    36    Single    C of E

Theatre of War first served in: Mesopotamia

Date of Entry therein: 2/12/16

Address: Essendon,  [Brewster St], 22, "Peterleigh"

Embarkation RMS Orontes 4 Aug 1915

From:  British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

Prior service:  3rd Victorian Bushmen, Private 614


Arthur Le Patourel had to see to the disposal of his farm and stock to go to the war, so that his departure was delayed for 12 months. 


Gunner Frederick Sydney Loch embarked on the Shropshire with the 2nd Field Artillery Battalion, and wrote an account of it published as Straits Impregnable by Sydney de Lough during the war, though initially disguising it as a novel.  An annotated version of Loch's book has been published by Susanna de Vries, and now called  To Hell and Back.  Arthur le Patourel was a friend of Sydney Loch, and drove him to the Broadmeadows camp to enlist.   When Sydney returned to Australia after becoming very ill at Gallipoli, he stayed at "Peterleigh", which was Arthur's Essendon home.


A Yea Estate.


Messrs. King, Sons and Ballantine (in conjunction with Messrs. Geo. Culley and Co., Narandera) report having sold for Mr. Arthur Le Patourel his well known freehold estate, 'Switzerland,' situated near Yea, and containing 3300 acres of rich agricultural and grazing land, all highly improved, the purchaser being Mr Robert McCracken, of North Park, Essendon.

SALE OF FREEHOLD PROPERTY. (1915, June 16). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article154942404  


Kirk's Bazaar  


CAMPELL and SONS are instructed by A. C Le Patourel, Esq, Switzerland, Yea, to SELL by AUCTION, on Monday July 19 at one o'clock, 22 head comprising 8 very fine farm geldings and mares 3 to 6 yrs all thoroughly broken and great workers and 14 young draughts 1 to 3 yrs unbroken.

NOTE -As Mr Le Patourel is leaving for the front almost immediately having sold his property these horses are practically for unreserved sale.

Classified Advertising. (1915, July 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 3. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1535167


RMS Orontes, cleared out for Colombo, Naples, Marseilles and London on 4 August 1915.  Photo courtesy of Christine Laskowski.



Carrying a number of passengers, the Le Patourel on board the vessel was most likely Arthur Le Patourel, who as the 15 July news report stated, was to leave shortly for the front.  

SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE. (1915, August 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 9. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1545372


A large number of doctors was also on board, along with number of Australian Army nurses.

DOCTORS AND NURSES. (1915, August 5). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 9. Retrieved March 8, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1545220


About the 13th Hussars
August 1914 : in Meerut in India, part of the Meerut Cavalry Brigade.
Moved with Brigade to France as part of 2nd Indian Cavalry Division, landed Marseilles December 1914.
15 September 1915 : transferred with brigade to 2nd Indian Cavalry Division.
July 1916 : moved with Brigade to Mesopotamia and came under orders of 7th Indian Cavalry Brigade.

Source:     The Long, Long Trail: The British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918    


Mentioned in this publication:

Essendon and the Boer War : with letters from the Veldt, 1899 - 1902, by Lenore Frost. The author, 2002.

To Hell and Back: the banned account of Gallipoli by Sydney Loch.  By Susanna de Vries and Jake de Vries.  Harper Collins.  Based on Sydney Loch's original book, The Straits Impregnable published in 1917.


Bombadier Sydney Loch was stricken with enteric fever and was evacuated from Gallipoli in a dangerously ill condition.  He was returned to Australia 'for a change' from Suez on 3 Jan 1916, and spent further time in hospital in Melbourne.   According to de Vries, based on Sydney's book The Straits Impregnable,  "One day Sydney's friend and financial backer of his farm, Arthur le Paturel (Ted in The Straits Impregnable) came to visit him in hospital, bringing Sydney's typewriter.  He told Sydney he was returning to England to enlist with a cavalry regiment, as he had no wish to join the Anzacs". (de Vries p 181 eBook version).


The timing of this is incompatible with Arthur leaving on the Orontes for Europe just days before Sydney was evacuated from Gallipoli - unless for some reason he returned from Europe prior to joining his regiment.  Certainly his Medal Card indicates he didn't get to Mesopotamia until 2 December 1916.  He may have been training in England for some or all of the time, but there is a large gap between his supposed departure from Melbourne in July 1915 and arriving in Mesopotamia in December 1916, so it is possible Arthur was in Melbourne for some reason when Sydney arrived.   The passenger on the Orontes may not have been Arthur, though it is consistent with the newspaper report of the sale of his property suggesting he was about to leave for the front. 


War Service Commemorated:

Essendon Town Hall L-R


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