Scroll To Top
History of Rowing Victory Inc

History of Rowing Victoria Inc

Appendix 5. Roll of Honour WWI

Appendix 5 page 1 2 3 4 5

Members of Victorian Rowing Clubs who served in The Great War.

In 1919, the then President of Rowing Victoria Henry Gyles Turner wrote:
The members of the various rowing clubs who were affiliated with the Victorian Rowing Association numbered at the outbreak of the war 2,117; of these no less than 1,261 men in the prime of physical life—heard and voluntarily answered to the call of duty, not waiting for any idle talk about conscription. Surely such a stimulating record is justifiably a source of pride in the Association to which we belong, and it should never be forgotten. It is therefore intended to erect on the site where oarsmen are wont to foregather a permanent memorial to the memory of those members of that gallant contingent who fell in the desperate struggle for the world's freedom, sealing with their life's blood their devotion to a noble cause.

Let us dwell on their sacrifice to the nation and the extent of carnage to the sport in Victoria:
2,117 registered members before the war.
1,261 enlisted.
320 did not return.

The following information originated from the list prepared by John Lang in 1919 and has been enhanced by information from Clubs.

Military Orders and Decorations - Abbreviations.

Order of the Bath—Military Companions—C.B.
Companions of the Distinguished Service Order—D.S.O.
Meritorious Service Medal—M.S.M.
Military Cross—M.C.
Military Medal—M.M.
Colonial Auxiliary Forces, Officer's Decoration (sometimes called Victoria Decoration)—V.D.
Order of the British Empire

  • Knight Commander—K.B.E.
  • Commander—C.B.E.
  • Officer—O.B.E.
  • Member—M.B.E.

(Those names which are bolded are those who died in the Great War.)

Albert Park Rowing Club

                   
A. W. Asker W. J. Henderson C. McKenzie
R. Beeancor C. Jacobs B. McMinn
E. J. Boyd T. Johnson S. Pedder, D.C.M.
R. Brownridge A. King R. Ralph
K. W. Crabbe V. F. Langford R. Reardon
L. Daniel M. J. Last W. Steinle
L. Davis C. P. Leslie J. Stewart
H. S. Dickinson C. London T. Thornton
S. A. Ditchburn R. London L. Vawfynice
Harry DuncanC. D. Monteath, M.C. H. J. Whiting*
H. A. Fleming A. J. McBride J. Williams
A. G. Fletcher L. H. McBrien  
J. Haley P. McFarlane  
J. S. Harrison G. McIlrey, M.C. *Also in University list

Antwerp Rowing Club

James A. Davidson James Hook, M.M. Richard Matthews
Albert Elliott, M.M. James Johnson Michael Scanlon
William Ferry Alfred G. Kühne  

Bairnsdale Rowing Club

L. P. Andrews
R. D Ennis R. J. Moss, M.C.
A. W. Battye M.M. G. H. Evans T. J. S. McDonald
M. A. Beaton E. F. D. Fethers A. A. McMichael,
A. J. Boyd G. V. S. Gaylor A. Pearce
C. S. Boyle B. E. Gibney
R. Potter
A. C. Brabet W. Grant A. Rennie
J. C. Bull A. M. Green E. J. Savage
H. J. Burgess A. L. Hemley M.S.M. J. L. Shannon
J. T. Campbell G. M. Holly C. L. Sharrow
J. L. Commins R. W. Hosie G. S. Sibbin
C. J. Cooper A. Hurley
J. M. Sibbin
K. C. Corney
C. R. Jeffreys J. Smith
F. H. Crooke John D. Jeffreys F. V. Ternes
G. G. Day M.S.M. W. I. Jennings
F. M. Tilson
J. S. Deam
N. C. Johnson A. Tingate
W. Deam P. C. King F. S. Towner
A. V. Dean C. W. R. Laird M. J. Towner
F. B. Duke D. S. Lawrence W. Twitchett
R. T. R. Dunbar, M.M.
A. Lloyd
W. Wallace
H. J. Duncan J. W. Lush E. H. D. White
K. T. Duncan W. H. Mathieson W. Wilson
L. G. Duncan J. Moore K. R. Witt
R. H. Ennis L. Morrison F. C. Yeates

T/SGT A.W. Battye 3020 M.M.
Died of wounds Belgium 5 October 1917 Aged 28 years
Albert Willkinson Battye was a bank accountant in Bairnsdale and enlisted on 24 July 1915. He was in Alexandria and Marseille before being wounded in May 1917 with gunshot to hands; in September with gunshot to head before fatal wounds in October when he died at the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. He had been awarded a Military Medal on 28 September for bravery in the field (non-commissioned officer) when during an attack in Polygon Wood he led his platoon to the successful capture of the enemy's strong point while under fire. He was in charge of an advanced bombing post and although heavily shelled, by his coolness and determination held his men together. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


PTE M.A. Beaton 1512
Killed in Action France 2 September 1916 Aged 19 years

Pte M.A. Beaton

Bairnsdale born Milo Alexander Beaton had travelled to Liverpoool in New South Wales to enlist with the 13th Battalion at the end of 1914 where unknown to the local recruiters, he enlisted without any aprental permission as a 21 year old.

At the time he was a dental assistant and just 17 years old. He sailed from Sydney in February 1915 and was treated for a septic hand in Malta in August.

In a letter home in November 1915 he said I think I had a pretty good run on the peninsula, I was there for over four months without getting a scratch. Out of the twelve men in our tent in Egypt my mate and I are the only ones left - the last of the gallant twelve. He then transferred to the 4th Pioneers on the 15 March 1916 and landed in France where he was killed in action in September and was buried near Pozieres.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte A. J. Boyd 3689
Killed in Action France 19 July 1916 Aged 20 years

Pte AJ Boyd

Bairnsdale born and bred Allan James Boyd was a 19 year old clerk when he signed up for service on 15 July 1915 with the 12th Reinforcements, 7th Battalion. He was in Egypt in early 1916 before being transferred to Marseilles. Just twenty days later Allan Boyd was reported missing.

A court of enquiry on 29 August 1917 determined that he was killed in action on the 19 July 1916 and that his body was "presumed buried in no man's land approximately at 5J0.43 to 5K0.2.51 sheet Hazelanick SA".

In 1920 the family were advised that his body that been re-interred at Auber's Ridge British Cemetery, south west of Armentieres. Allan Boyd had just turned twenty years old when he died in what would be the worst 24 hours of battle - the Battle of Fromelles.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte J.S. Deam 4167
Died of wounds France 15 August 1916 Aged 23 years

Pte J.S. Deam

John Simester Deam, the son of John and Sarah (nee Kerton), was born in Bairnsdale in 1892. He enlisted on 10 July 1915 and joined the 6th Infantry. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal and arrived in France in April 1916.

In order to be stay with mates on the firing line he relinquished the position and was not long in action before being wounded.

He was a clerk and for the few years immediately before the war had been an active member of the Bairnsdale Rowing Club.

His younger also served and was killed in action in 1918 in France. They were both cousins of William Deam, who was also a member of the rowing club and who also died.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte W Deam 172
Killed in Action Gallipoli 29 November 1915 Aged 25 years

Pte W Deam

William Deam enlisted in March 1915 a couple of months before his cousin and fellow rowing club member John Deam.

William was another of the rowing club members who was discharged as being medically unfit for poor chest expansion and then being accepted on his second attempt and was sent to Gallipoli. On 29 November his company reached the tunnels on Plateau Sap (Lone Pine) where they took shelter when a shell burst burying six of the group including Deam.

Under fire they attempted to rescue the men but were not successful for all of them and when the men were relieved and off the front line Deam was missing at roll call. An enquiry on 21 January 1916 determined that he had been killed in action on that day at Gallipoli. His body was never recovered.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte F. B. Duke 3275

Died of wounds/illness England 2 November 1917 Aged 23 years

Pte FB Duke

Francis Duke was the third child of Robert and Sarah (nee Hoppner) and was born at Buchan in 1895. Duke was a fireman and enlisted on 2 February 1915 while in Brisbane and joined the 59th Battalion. During his time home in 1915 he rowed in the Maiden Eight as it wasn't until 16 December that he left for Plymouth, England arriving in February 1916.

ln April he was admitted to Fovant Hospital with mumps and once recovered marched in to Etaples, France the following month. He was wounded in action, gunshot wounds to the thigh, on 26 September and transferred to England for treatment.

He was also suffering nephritis (kidney failure) and his condition was noted as "dangerous". He died at Norfolk War Hospital on 2 November and four days later at 12 noon, he was accorded a full military funeral at Norwich.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte L.G. Duncan 3722
Died of wounds France 14 November 1916 Aged 24 years

Pte L.G. Duncan

Lennox George Duncan was born in 1892, the son of John and Elizabeth. John was the local chemist in Bairnsdale. Lennox was training as a bank clerk when his enlistment was eventually accepted on 2 August after being rejected for having little chest expansion - a reflection on his high fitness level from rowing. He sailed on the Ceramic on 23 November bound for Egypt.

When his parents received a telegram 'regret to report" that he was in hospital in Cairo with an ingrown toenail one can imagine their relief.

Sadly it was short-lived. He proceeded to Marseilles on 8 June 1916 and was wounded in action in the field on 14 November when his right leg was shattered from a gunshot that resulted in a compound fracture. He died at the 4th Australian Field Ambulance the same day and was buried at Longueval Road Cemetery.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Dvr G.H. Evans 11832
Killed in Action France 11 October 1918 Aged 28 years
Born in Prahran in 1890.
Gordon Henry Evans was a well known local hairdresser and tobacconist when he enlisted on 26 June 1915. Earlier in the year he had married local girl Ellen Mooney in Bairnsdale. He joined the 4th Field Artillery and left Australia in January the following year. He was a gunner in the field before becoming a Driver. In August 1917 he received gunshot wounds to his left leg and after the wounds had healed he was granted leave to England to recover from the general exhaustion that most of the men suffered. He re-joined his unit the I 0th Battery, in October 1917. He died instantly on 11 October twelve months later when a piece of an exploding shell pierced his skull. According to his commanding officer of the time his death was deeply regretted by the whole battery.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


MAJ E.F.D. Fethers
Killed in Action Gallipoli 25 April 1915 Aged 28 years

Maj E.F.D. Fethers

Erle Finlayson Denton Fethers was not born in Bairnsdale but moved to the town when employed as an accountant at the National Bank. Erle was a career soldier having already attained the rank of Captain.

When war broke out he was invited by Colonel Wanliss to join the 5th Battalion. He enlisted in August and was among the first to sail in command of A company 5th Battalion.

Once in Egypt he was promoted to Major. Fethers was well loved by his men and led his company 200 yards beyond the crest of Lone Pine when he was shot through the neck by a sniper. ln a letter to his mother Major Flockart describcd him as one of the best and that he had died at just on midday on what would become known as Anzac Day. He was eventually buried at Lone Pine and was 28 years old.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


CRPL G. Gaylor 3261
Died of wounds Palestine 4 May 1918 Aged 31 years

CRPL G. Gaylor

Garnet Victor Stanhope Gaylor, known as George, was a telegraph linesman and had rowed with Hosie in 1914 and with Boyd, McDonald and Hamilton in the Easter regatta in 1915. He enlisted on 5 July 1915 when 28 years old joining the I0th Light Horse.

He served at Gallipoli before being invalided home on 17 July 1916 due to 'rheumatism' and 'irritable heart'. He re-enlisted with the 8th Light Horse on 2 January 1917 returned to Egypt and was promoted to Sergeant.

On 4 May he was shot, through his steel helmet in the forehead and while initially thought killed, was taken to the hospital at Es Salt deeply unconscious and in a hopeless condition. When Turkish forces advanced on the hospital just hours later the A.I.F retreated and he was left behind,regretfully, unable to be moved. An Armenian nursing sister later informed his family he had died at noon that day.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Grm A.M. Green 10415
Died of wounds France 12 February 1918 Aged 23 years

Grm A.M. Green

Archibald Mathison Green, a civil servant, was born in Bairnsdale in 1895 the son of James and Elizabeth Matthews. He spent two years in the Senior Cadets before enlisting on 28 August 1915 when he was 20 years old and joined the 4th Field Artillery unit.

He sailed from Melbourne on the 5 January 1916. Green had been in and out of hospital with minor ailments before being dangerously wounded on 10 February 1918.

He was running wires from the Battalion position to a strong point about 9.30pm with the 6th Field Brigade when they were caught in a shell burst. The field ambulance conveyed him to the hospital at Bayne but it was here that he died two days later from his wounds - compound fractures in the hip, arm. legs and both hands. He was 23 years old.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Pte R. W. Hosie 1948

Killed in action France 19 July 1916 Aged 28 years

Pte R. W. Hosie

Local lad Russell William Hosie was born in Bairnsdale and worked as a tanner, possibly at Jackson's tannery on the banks of the Mitchell River.

He was a valued member of the rowing club and had represented the club on numerous occasions. He enlisted in January 1915 and his brother, Gustave, also enlisted six months later.

They were Chris Cooper's brothers-in-law. Russell was with the 60th Battalion and they both ended up sailing on the Kinfauns Castle from Alexandria to Marseilles.

Together they disembarked on 29 June 1916. They were both reported missing and both were determined killed in action bv a court of enquiry some time later. Neither of their bodies were recovered, both being buried in no man's land. Such was the mayhem of Fromelles on 19 July 1916.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


PTE C.R. Jeffreys 2492
Died of injuries France 21 January 1917 Aged 24 years

PTE C.R. Jeffreys

Charles Roy Jeffreys was the son of Robert and Annie Jeffreys. Robert was a tailor in Main Street and his son was educated at the School of Mines and was working at Winson 's foundry where he showed great promise as a mechanical engineer.

He enlisted during a recruiting drive in July 1915 but like Lennox Duncan was also initially rejected due to his small chest expansion! He was a keen member of the Rowing Club and also the Rifle Club.

Jeffreys was with the 2nd Field Company Engineers before going to the 1st Divisional Supply Column serving in Egypt and then France. At 1.45pm on 21 January 1917 he was the lookout man on a lorry being driven over a level crossing at Behencourt when it was struck by a train and he was killed. He was buried the next day at the British Military Cemetery. Contay. France.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


PTE W. I. Jennings 2932
Killed in Action Belgium 21 October 1917 Aged 27 years
Born and raised in East Bairnsdale, William Irvine Jennings (known as Bill) was the son of William and Mary Ann Jennings and was well known in the town.
William, who enlisted on 18 January 1916, was an engine driver and cleaner. He was a single man. Three months after signing up he left home on the troopship Euripides first landing at Alexandria, then onto England and France in September 1916. Twelve months later on 21 October he was in a shell hole, with four others, near Zonnabeke when a shell fell on them and he was either killed by the explosion or buried alive. His body was not recovered as shelling of the area was too severe to allow a proper burial. It wasn't until September the following year that he was officially recorded as having been killed in action. Two cousins, Peter (Orbost) and William (Bena), were also killed in action.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


SGT T.J.S. McDonald 22528
Killed in Action France 1 September 1918 Aged 27 years

SGT T.J.S. McDonald

South Australian Thomas James Stewart McDonald was born at Penola to Thomas and Jane who shifted to Bairnsdale and then Orbost. He was living and working in Bairnsdale as a motor mechanic when he enlisted at the start of 1916.

Once overseas he was attached to the 3rd Divisional Ammunitions Column and served in France before being recommended for further training at No. 1 R.A. School at St John's Wood at the start of 1918.

South Australian Thomas James Stewart McDonald was born at Penola to Thomas and Jane who shifted to Bairnsdale and then Orbost. He was living and working in Bairnsdale as a motor mechanic when he enlisted at the start of 1916. Once overseas he was attached to the 3rd Divisional Ammunitions Column and served in France before being recommended for further training at No. 1 R.A. School at St John's Wood at the start of 1918. Promoted to Sergeant and transferred lo the 6th Medium Trench Mortar Battery and returned to France via Southampton. He managed to avoid being injured or succumbing to any illness and in August enjoyed a fortnights leave in Paris. He was killed in action near Peronne on 1 September 1918 just weeks before end of the war.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


PTE J. Moore 3181
Died of wounds/illness France 29 July 1916 aged 42 years
John Moore came to Bairnsdale as an electrical engineer with Richard Hornsby and Sons Limited who had won the contract for the supply of power for the electric Iight service in Bairnsdale. In 1912 he stayed on to maintain the installation. He became a valued member of the community being involved in the Presbyterian church and the rowing club. On 17 July 1915 while visiting in Melbourne he enlisted when he was 41 (though he claimed to be only 39) years of age with the 23rd Infantry Battalion quickly transferring to the 5th Pioneer Battalion. He arrived first in Egypt and then France before being wounded on 20 July and reported dangerously ill with suspected typhoid fever. He died at the 14th Stationary Hospital, Wimereaux just over a week later and was buried the same day.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


2nd LT L. Morrison 8161
Died of injuries England 28 July 1917 Aged 24 years

2nd LT L. Morrison

Lindsay died as a result of an aeroplane accident at Netheravon in England. The son of James and Edith he was born in Bairnsdale in 1893. He was farming locally when he enlisted. He joined the anillery of the 2nd Australian Division, and while in France he obtained a commission in the Royal Flying Corps.

A letter to his father said he had learned the art of flying quickly and went up by himself and did a splendid flight and was very proud of it.

Lindsay died as a result of an aeroplane accident at Netheravon in England. The son of James and Edith he was born in Bairnsdale in 1893. He was farming locally when he enlisted. He joined the anillery of the 2nd Australian Division, and while in France he obtained a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. A letter to his father said he had learned the art of flying quickly and went up by himself and did a splendid flight and was very proud of it. On that Saturday afternoon he had started off full of confidence but had only gone a few hundred yards and was not more than 25 feet high when the tail of the machine dropped and he could not right it and crashed to the ground. Despite being critically injured he lingered on for an hour without regaining consciousness and was buried the following Tuesday.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


CPL C.L. Sharrow 4787
Killed in Action Belgium 4 October 1917 Aged 25 years

CPL C.L. Sharrow

Born in 1892, Clyde Leslie Sharrow was the son of William and Celia (nee Sharpe) and in 1915 he married local Toongabbie girl Winifred Semmens. Clyde was a carpenter and undertaker by trade and presumably was working with his uncle, William Sharrow, who was an undertaker in Baimsdale at the time.

He was a keen rifleman and this stood him in good stead on his enlistment in August when he was promoted to a training Sergeant in camp.

In mid 1916 he embarked overseas and reverted to the rank of Corporal. On arrival in France he spent some time hospitalised sick before joining his platoon at Broodseide. At 5.40am on 4 October he was one in an advancing party when a shell landed beside him killing him instantly. He never met his daughter, Lesley Joan who was born early in 1917.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


PTE G.S. Sibbin 3922
Killed in Action France 19 July 1916 Aged 24 years

PTE G.S. Sibbin

George Stuart Sibbin was seen to be hit and killed while attending to a wounded comrade. He was never seen again and his name is recorded at VC Corner at Fromelles. George had gone to school at 754 and then worked at Shannon's drapery. He was a member of St Andrew's Presbyterian choir and remembered as the comedian of the social events.

He saw humour in almost everything and his cheery disposition, cheery optimism and ready wit brightened up his comrades lot.

George Stuart Sibbin was seen to be hit and killed while attending to a wounded comrade. He was never seen again and his name is recorded at VC Corner at Fromelles. George had gone to school at 754 and then worked at Shannon's drapery. He was a member of St Andrew's Presbyterian choir and remembered as the comedian of the social events. He saw humour in almost everything and his cheery disposition, cheery optimism and ready wit brightened up his comrades lot. His surviving comrades were deeply affected by his death with one of them writing Poor Stuart, we have lost a very loveable pal, whom we will never cease to miss. A blank has come into our lives by his death. George's brother John also served and returned home.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


LCE-CRPL M.J. Towner 2908
Killed in Action France 15 February 1917 Aged 24 years

LCE-CRPL M.J. Towner

When Martin John Towner was killed in action his commanding officer and his comrades in the bombing platoon all signed the letter to his parents expressing their regret.

He had been in the A.I.F.just over twelve months when he was proceeding to his post in the line as an enemy shell landed and death was almost instantaneous. Pte Brose who was with him at the time said that one of the last things he had said was to tell the CO he was wounded and would be unable to do his post for the night.

Towner was admired by the others in his platoon for his good nature and straight living and that he was always ready for the call of duty. Everyone had a good word to say for him and they regarded his loss as that of a brother. Towner was buried at the Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery, France.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


SGT W. Wallace 862
Killed in Action Palestine 4 May 1917 Aged 23 years
William Wallace who had come to Australia from Stirlingshire, Scotland was working at the National Bank, Bairnsdale when he enlisted in September 1914. He was attached to the 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance and managed to survive the campaign at Gallipoli. He "took part in the operations against the Turks in the desert fighting." From here he was engaged in various campaigns including Abu Shinnar, Abasan-al-Kabir and Belah. It appears that he was killed when the hospital that he was working at with the Medical Corps was bombed and he is buried at the Deir El Belah War cemetery in Israel. His parents never spoke of his death and in the 1960s his younger brother, George, wrote to the Central Army Records Department seeking information of his service and ultimately claiming his medals in remembrance of the brother he hadn't known.

From the East Gippsland Family History Group Inc 2015


Appendix 5 page: 1 2 3 4 5

< previous Appendix 4 - Clubs

> next Appendix 6 - Roll of Honour WWII

top of page

Website by Hope Stewart—Website Design & Management