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History of Rowing Victory Inc

History of Rowing Victoria Inc

Appendix 5. Roll of Honour WWI

Appendix 5 page 1 2 3 4 5

Ballarat Rowing Club

J. Allicey
C. Gribble
H. J. Paulig
E. Berryman E. Gribble J. A. Paulig
J. Bickart F. Gribble J. Pearce
G. Bishop
D. Halladay
N. Redfern
C. Brokenshire J. Hammond A. Reynolds
W. Brown J. Hogg C. Roberts
J. Cameron
W. Hooley, M.M.
H. Rowsell
L. Cleverley A. Hughes, M.C. G. Scarfe
J. Cohen P. James H. F. Selleck
R. Corbett
M. Jones
N. Selman
G. Crocker W. Lawrie A. Sergeant
C. W. Croft, M.C., M.M. H. Lusher J. L. Simpson
L. Crossley
T. Maher
S. Smythe
W. Davies H. Marks W. Steele
R. Desmond W. Marshall W. Vawdrey
P. Donald
R. Marxsen
R. Vickery
S. Evans W. May J. Vipond
L. Ellingsen A. McGoldrick H. Walker
J. L. Furness
D. Muir, M.C.
J. Whitelaw
R. Gallagher A. McLaurin S. Walker
A. Gilbert W. J. Paterson P. Walton

Ballarat City Rowing Club

S. Anderson
J. F. Gear, M.C.
G. F. Morton
R. Allan H. R. Griffin A. T. Marsh
A. Ahern G. Greenshields J. C. Moore
A. W. Bennett
F. Herman
A. McKenzie
W. Brazenor L. Hall A. McDonald
J. Blaikie W. A. Holtham T. O'Reilly
E. Champion
R. Hind
W. Owen
M. Cummins R. F. Hayes A. E. Oxbrow
R. H. Cummins R. Hansen C. Palmer
J. Cross
J. Harris
G. H. Pollard
E. Costelloe L. Hobson H. Richardson
E. Dorrington A. King Allan Scott
T. Eustace
S. Lugg
M. Spencer
H. Ferguson T. V. A. Luke G. Tyler
L. Finch E. Morshead J. M. Walker

Banks Rowing Club

J. K. Anderson
A. D. Henderson
J. V. Phelan
H. H. Arthur H. G. Hodges V. A. Pratt
K. F. Bald
W. S. Houghton S. Ricketson
L. Bolitho
G. Hurry
R. A. Salmon, M.C.
E. L. G. Bown W. Jackson H. E. Sewell
M. Boydell R. Johnston E. J. Stanton
L. Butler
I. R. H. Kennedy
G. Stobie
A. B. Buxton R. Knight H. Strange
F. C. Cartwright D. J. Mainland J. B. Sutherland
J. D. Cruickshank
J. B. Mair
L. E. Thrower
A. F. S. Dobson* N. Marshall, D.S.O. and 2 Bars, M.C. and Bar B. M. Thwaites
L. Down L. B. Marshall, M.C. J. A. Walker
N. N. Dutneall
W. H. Mathieson
H. Were
A. R. Dutneall E. J. Mortensen E. Wilkinson
C. L. De Fraga A. J. Macgibbon J. B. Wilson
R. N. Fraser, M.M.
C. J. McCarthy
H. G. Yeo
J. D. Freeland H. H. Riordan McKnight  
K. Gardiner L. J. Nairn  
R. R. Gibbs
J. H. O'Brien
 
W. Greenway N. O'Bryan  
R. A. A. Harris T. W. Parrington *Also in University list

Barwon Rowing Club

W. R. Allen
L. Hagger
A. Reid
A. Anderson E. Hudson A. Reid
R. Barnfather H. Hughes C. Richardson
C. A. Barnard
C. Hunt
A. N. Shannon
G. Brownlee H. Hurst M. Spencer
R. Cameron V. Ibbotson C. M. Storrer
A. M. Collins
E. Jessop
H. H. Storrer
C. Cox B. Jones G. Strickland
F. Degenhardt F. Lascelles R. Sutterby
H. Drew
D. Martin
A. Taylor
N. Fegan R. Mawson W. Wadmore
R. Forrest, M.C. H. McRae W. Wheatland
N. Freeman, D.S.O.
R. Mills
J. A. F. Wilson
W. Glew W. Orchard, M.C. H. Zimmer
R. Grant A. Patten  
J. Griffin J. C. Paul  

William Robert Allen was born on December 8, 1892 in Kingston, near Ballarat to Dr. William Allen, honorary consultant at the nearby Creswick Hospital, and Maria Parkin. His father died on the 30th December, just three weeks after his birth. William was educated at Geelong Grammar School, and was a fine oarsman, rowing No. 7 in the Grammar School Eight in 1910 and 1911. Trained as an engineer, he worked as a clerk at Strachan, Murray and Shannon's wool store in Geelong. William had joined Barwon Rowing Club by 1914.

William Robert Allen

He enlisted on 14 August 1914 at Prahran, three days after enlistments opened, as a Trooper in the 4th Light Horse, aged 21 years and 8 months, 5' 11', 13 st. 4 lbs., with blue eyes and dark hair. Two of his uncles were Captains in the A.I.F., John and Thomas Parkin, both of whom had rowed with Barwon in the 1890s.

On 11 September he and his 37 year old uncle, Captain John Parkin and three other local boys were farewelled at a packed Creswick Mechanics' Hall, decorated with Union Jacks and wattle blossom.

Each of the volunteers were presented with a case of pipes suitably inscribed, to enjoy after a hard day's battle, and were called upon to respond to the large crowd.

Trooper Bob, as he was now known, said: it was very hard for a young fellow to face all his friends, and make a response, nevertheless, he thanked them for the nice presentation, which he had not expected. He appreciated the good wishes, and it would give him greater courage and ambition, knowing the people he lived amongst supported him. The joining of hands and the singing of "Auld Lang Syne" and the National Anthem brought an enjoyable evening to a close.

The 4th Light Horse were not sent to Gallipoli with the first landing. However infantry casualties were so severe it was decided to send them, without their horses, as infantry reinforcements. They landed at Anzac Cove between 22 and 24 May 1915. It was at Ryrie's Post in August that William received shrapnel wounds to the left hand and foot and was later evacuated to hospital in Malta with septic wounds. He rejoined his unit on 25 October 1915 and left Gallipoli when the peninsula was evacuated in December. With the re-organization of the A.I.F. after withdrawing from Gallipoli, he transferred to the 57th Battalion, arrived in France in June 1915, saw action at Fromelles and was promoted Lieutenant in August 1916.

Throughout the winter of 1916–17 the 57th Battalion kept pressure on the Germans by means of small attacks and raids. The Unit Diary of the 57th Battalion on 1 February 1917 records: Front Line near Guedecourt. The trenches were cleared by dawn in anticipation of a Heavy Artillery Stunt between 1.30 and 2 pm. During the night our trenches and the whole area were heavily shelled. 2 OR's killed, 5 OR's wounded. During the morning Lieutenant W R Allen was sniped through the head and killed. William was killed in Shine Trench, in front of Guedecourt.

Quite a gloom was cast over the town on Thursday when it was announced that Lieutenant W.R. Allen had made the supreme sacrifice for his country in France. He was a good sport and a real good fellow in every way. Very great regret is felt for Mrs. Allen at the loss of her only son, and deep sympathy expressed for her and Captains T. and J. Parkin. All the flags were flying at half mast on Thursday. Bob was the fourth of the five who were farewelled at the Mechanics Hall to be killed.

Later Private Allan Falla, of Kingston, wrote to his mother with the details: I was telling you about Lieutenant Allen who was in our Company, who got killed. You can tell his mother if you ever see her that he has a very nice grave and cross erected over him. The boys thought the world of him. They carried him five miles from where he was shot to bury him in a cemetery. We were just changing over with another battalion, and he was showing the incoming officer the different posts when a sniper got him right through the head.

William Allen is buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Mountauban, France.

On his tombstone is written He answered his country's call.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Albert Naples Anderson was born in Dean, near Ballarat on 13 December, 1885. His father, who was M.L.A. for Ballarat, died when he was aged 13. When he enlisted he was 29 years old, single, 5' 11' and 11st 8 lbs. He had attended Geelong College and was an accountant at J.C. Brown and Co.'s engineering works. He had seen previous service in the 29th Light Horse, Port Phillip Regiment, C Squadron. He joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1912 and the same year rowed stroke in the Barwon crew at the Henley on Yarra Regatta.

Albert Naples Anderson

He enlisted on Christmas Eve, 1914 in the 8th Light Horse, was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 15 January 1915 and embarked from Melbourne on 12 February 1915.

Albert landed at Gallipoli on 16 May and took part in the Light Horse charge at The Nek in August.

Trumpeter Les Lawry, from Highton, Geelong, saw that he had been wounded and fallen into a hole in No Man's Land. He went out and waited with him for two hours before he could safely bring him back to the trenches. He was evacuated to London with wounds to the face and neck and dysentery. In January 1916 a medical board reported that Albert “was improving but still unsettled and easily excited. Suffers from headaches, sleeps badly. Lost 1½ stone although recovered from dysentery”. He was suffering from shell shock. The Board recommended three months “change” in Australia. He first went on leave to Scotland and then returned to Australia in March 1916.

Back in Geelong he attended the Head of the River and then in May addressed the Old Collegians' Association dinner, saying: the pluck of the Public School boys at the front was even greater than that of others. No matter how heavy the shelling he had never seen a public school boy afraid. The spirit of the Australians throughout was fine. Their language might have been peculiar at times, and not understood by English officers, but back of the language was the spirit. The Australians were out to do a job, and did it well, and there were no finer soldiers in the world. It was not until September that year that he was back in camp at Macleod, returning to Egypt as a Lieutenant, Commanding Officer of Troops, on 31 January 1917.

Albert was wounded at the 2nd battle of Gaza, Palestine, with severe gunshot wounds to his abdomen and scrotum on 19 April 1917. The battle had begun two days earlier with a frontal assault on the Turkish trenches, supported by six tanks and gas shells. After three days of fighting the attack was called off. Albert died of his wounds on 25 April 1917. He was one of the few original officers of the 8th Light Horse remaining.

 

In May 1917 at a memorial service for Geelong Grammarians at the Presbyterian High Church, Albert was described as “courteous, sincere and contemplative. He was born for leadership, and had he lived would have followed his father's footsteps, and been a power of strength in our legislative halls. He was a modern Sir Galahad”.

Albert Naples Anderson is buried at Kintara Military Cemetery, Egypt.

On his tombstone is written
Having fought to the end,
Remained victor on the field.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Known as Ralph, Andrew Ernest Ralph Barnfather was born on 6 August 1891 in Geelong, the youngest son of nine children. When he enlisted he was 23 years old, 5' 8”, 10 st., with brown hair and hazel eyes. He had attended Geelong College and was a carpenter with John Robertson and Sons of Lt. Ryrie St. He had seen previous service with the 29th (Port Phillip) Light Horse Regiment as a Sergeant Major.

Andrew Ernest Ralph Barnfather

His brother Stanley had rowed with Barwon in 1906 and was Secretary of the Club. Ralph had joined Barwon Rowing Club by 1910. He rowed bow seat in the winning Maiden Eight at the Ballarat Regatta of 1914.

He enlisted on 18 August 1914 as Staff Sgt-Major in the 4th Light Horse, A Squadron. Prior to his embarkation on 19 October 1914 he rowed with William Allen and Charles Storrer in the Light Horse winning eight at an inter-regimental regatta on the Yarra River.

After serving on Gallipoli without injury or illness he was promoted Lieutenant on 23 March 1916 upon transferring to the 58th Battalion. Whilst in Egypt he again rowed with Charles Storrer in a winning inter-regimental eight.

Arriving in France on 23 June 1916 he qualified as a machine gun officer, returning to his battalion on 17 July. The 58th saw its first major battle on the Western Front at Fromelles on 19 July. They had the dual role of providing carrying parties and acting as a reserve force. This reserve force was ordered to attack late in the battle and was virtually annihilated by machine gun fire. As a whole the 58th suffered casualties equal to almost a third of its strength with six officers wounded and four missing, and 27 OR's killed, 161 wounded and 49 missing. By 8 a.m. on the following day the battle was over; the 5th Australian Division sustained 5533 casualties in just 24 hours.

Ralph was one of those officers reported as missing. In his Red Cross Wounded and Missing file an informant from Geelong stated that on July 20th 1916 at Fleurbaix, south of Armientieres, 2nd Lieut. Barnfather he believes was killed in action. Lieut. Barnfather went out as one of the leaders in an attack on German trenches. They got into the trenches, but he is sure no English prisoners were taken. Another informant stated that Lieut. Barnfather fell shortly after we got over … body seen but not recovered. This was at Fromelles. Said to be shot through the throat.

A court of enquiry on 6 August 1916 (his birthday) determined that Ralph had been killed in action on 19 July, the same day as fellow Barwon member James Reid. He has no known grave and is still listed as one of the missing from Fromelles.

The family inserted the following death notice in the Geelong Advertiser in May 1917:
He died the noblest death a man can die, Fighting for God and Right and Liberty;
Such a death is immortality”.

Andrew Ernest Ralph Barnfather is commemorated at V.C .Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Norman Joseph Fegan was born in Geelong and when he enlisted was 21 years old, 5' 7', 9 st. 7 lbs., with brown eyes and brown hair. He had attended Central College in Geelong and worked as a clerk with Godfrey Hirst & Co. at the Excelsior Woollen Mills. He joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1912. Norman had seen previous service as a Sgt. Major with the Citizen Military Forces.

Norman Joseph Fegan

He enlisted on his 21st birthday, 2 September 1916, but his departure was delayed as the mill managers considered him essential to their work. On his last day at work he was presented with a silver plated safety razor and camp knife by the staff and a case of silver mounted pipes by the managers.

He embarked on 23 November 1916 as a Private in the 24th Battalion and arrived in England for training where he was hospitalised with severe bronchitis. He arrived in France in June 1917.

Norman was killed on 4 October 1917; the first day of the Battle of Broodseinde Ridge. The Australian troops were shelled heavily on their start line and a seventh of their number became casualties even before the attack began. When it did the attacking troops were confronted by a line of troops advancing towards them: the Germans had chosen the same morning to launch an attack of their own. The Australians forged on through the German assault waves and gained all their objectives along the ridge. It was not without cost, however. The Australian divisions suffered 6500 casualties. In the 24th Battalion 4 officers and 49 O/R's were killed, amongst them Norman.

His section leader wrote to his parents explaining the circumstances of his death: “Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of your son, Norman. I was in charge of six men in the hop over. If anything happened to me, Norman would have had charge. He received a parcel the night before we went up the line, and all we boys shared in the good things, he intended writing himself, if he had a chance. We all took cover in a shell hole before we went over, waiting on our barrage, but strange to say Fritz was making an attack on us at the same time. He opened his barrage before us, and I never expected any of us to come out alive. We were all snuggled up to each other, as close as we could get, and every man, I am sure, put up a prayer that night. Two of my lads were hit during the time we were in the shell hole, and Norman was hit just when we got over the top. Death was instantaneous and if it's God's will, I would ask for nothing better than die to like him, going over the top. I was the only one to come out of the section that day. Norman's body was never recovered.

There were many close friendships between the Barwon members who enlisted: Albert Patten, who joined the club the same year as Norman, had the following notice inserted in The Geelong Advertiser:

A tribute of love to the memory of Corporal Norman Fegan, faithful comrade of Bert Pattern

The dawn is gently breaking
O'er France's distant shore;
Breaking gently on the grave
Of one we'll ne'er see more.

He sleeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies;
Far away from those who love him
In a soldier's grave he lies.

Norman Joseph Fegan is commemorated at Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

Karen O'Connor 2015


An only son, Harold Bickley Drewe Hughes was born in Footscray and was an eighteen year old clerk with the London Bank in Geelong in 1914. He had not attended either Geelong Grammar School or Geelong College but had been privately tutored.

Harold Bickley Drewe Hughes

He had seen previous service as a Lieutenant in the 69th Company of the Citizen Military Forces. He joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1914.

Harold was in London on the day the Great War started; travelling as a Lieutenant with a troop of Mounted Cadets on a privately funded world tour. They arrived in England on the day before war was declared.

Within a fortnight of their arrival all the cadets had volunteered and were accepted for service. Questions regarding the intentions of the company were asked in the English Parliament in September 1914: Mr. Hugh Barrie asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the services of the members of the Australian cadet company now visiting this country have been offered to the Government, and have they been accepted? Mr. Harcourt replied that Captain Rushall, the officer in charge of the contingent of Australian Mounted Cadets at present in this country, has offered his services and those of the contingent to His Majesty's Government for the remaining period of their stay in England. This generous offer has been communicated to the War Office, and I am at present in communication with the Department with a view to the employment of this efficient body upon some useful and congenial duty.

Howard enlisted as a private in the 28th London Regiment and was then attached to the Public Schools Special Corps, assisting for two months in the instruction of recruits and acting as Adjutant to the Commanding Officer. Due to his fine work and the good opinion of his Colonel he received his next appointment, taking up a commission with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 3rd Battalion. His former Commanding Officer wrote the following recommendation: Lieutenant H.B.D. Hughes has proved himself most efficient in every branch of the service, and I can thoroughly recommend him in every way. He is most reliable, painstaking, and indefatigable worker. I shall be very surprised if I do not hear of his speedy promotion in the service, and I shall watch his career with the greatest interest.

He was later detached to the Highland Light Infantry as acting Captain and went with them to France in February 1915.

Harold was killed on 16 May 1915 in France at the Battle of Festubert. His Commanding Officer wrote to his mother: I cannot tell you how grieved I am, as is the whole battalion, at your poor son's death. He was hit by shrapnel in the head, and his death was instantaneous. We all had the greatest regard for him. He was energetic, capable and a most gallant fellow. The men were very fond of him and would have followed him anywhere.

Harold's body was never recovered.

Harold Bickley Drewe Hughes is commemorated at Le Touret Memorial, France.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Born in Geelong in 1892, Frances Hope Lascelles, known as Frank, was educated at Geelong Grammar School and employed as a wool broker in his father's firm, Denny, Lascelles Ltd. His grandfather, Charles, was one of the founders of Barwon Rowing Club and its first Captain.

Frank was Captain of Boats at Geelong Grammar School in 1909 and 1910 and rowed 2 seat in the Head of the River, coming second both years to Wesley College. He had joined Barwon Rowing Club by 1913.

In April 1915 at the age of 23 he travelled to Sydney where he boarded a ship for England, arriving on 15 May.

One month later he enlisted in the 3rd (Prince of Wales) Dragoon Guards, acting as a General Staff Officer.

Frances Hope Lascelles

He later took a commission as Lieutenant in the Kings Own Royal Rifles, 42nd Brigade, Machine Gun Corps, leaving England on 8 November 1915 and after a week at the Base, joined his battalion in Flanders. In a letter to his mother he described his men as being very cheerful, in spite of their winter hardships.

When his father, E. H. Lascelles, died unexpectedly a few months later, his mother asked him to request leave of absence to come home. He cabled a reply saying that he could not do this as he felt it was his duty to remain at the Front.

Frank was killed on 22 August 1917 at Zillebeke, Flanders during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. When the news reached home, flags were flown at half mast at all the wool stores in Geelong.

He has no known grave.

Francis Hope Lascelles is commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial for the Missing, Belgium.

Karen O'Connor 2015


John Charles Paul was born in Queenscliff in 1893 and attended Geelong College. When he enlisted he was 21 years old, 6 ft., 12st.10 lbs., and worked as a wool traveller for Dalgety and Co's Geelong office.

John Charles Paul

His father, J.K. Paul, a permanent army officer based at Fort Largs, South Australia had served in the Sudan, North-West India and the Boer War. Jack had seen previous service as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 70th Infantry, E Coy, in Geelong.

He had joined Barwon Rowing Club by 1910 and rowed 4 seat at the 1912 Henley Regatta and was stroke of Barwon's winning Maiden Eight at the Ballarat Regatta in 1913 and 1914.

He enlisted on 24 August 1914 as a Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, B Company, and embarked on 19 October 1914. Jack took part in the Gallipoli landing as part of the second wave on 25 April 1915 and was almost immediately severely wounded. Fellow Barwon member, Norman Hurst of the 4th Light Horse, described the circumstances:

That a lieutenant of Geelong, whose death at the Dardenelles was reported last week, drew his revolver when wounded and by threats made his comrades desist from risking their lives to save him, is asserted by Private N. Hurst, in a letter to Dalgety and Co., dated 22nd June.

All we know of him, he says, is that he was wounded during the retreat of April 25. He and his party chased the Turks inland, but ammunition was running short. Then they had to come back to our present position. When he was hit, five fellows went out under heavy machine gun and shrapnel fire to bring him in. He ordered them to leave him and save themselves. When, however, they went to get hold of him he drew his revolver on them, and they had to leave him. On the day of armistice they hunted everywhere for his body, but could not find it. Some hope that he is a prisoner.

Jack's identity disc was discovered on a body by members of the 9th Battalion on 28 June and he was buried in a shallow battlefield grave. He was originally listed as missing in action and it was more than three months before he was confirmed as killed and his family notified. At the end of the war his grave was not found.

The biography in the Geelong Advertiser following his death described him as of splendid physique and rare dash - one of the most dashing Lieutenants in the AIF. He was the third member of Dalgety's Geelong staff to die in the fighting at that time.

An 'In Memorium' notice appeared in The Argus on Anzac Day, 1919:

In sad and loving memory of Jack (Lieut. J.C. Paul), 8th Battalion, killed in action Gaba Tepe, April 25, 1915. Sadly missed.
One of Australia's best and bravest.

John Charles Paul is commemorated at Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey.

Karen O'Connor 2015


James Alexander Reid, known as Alex, was born in Geelong in 1894. He had attended the Gordon College where he trained as a butcher; his father James was the manager of a large butchery with eight delivery carts and three wagons in Malop Street, Geelong. Alex had joined Barwon Rowing Club by 1914 and was serving as Color Sergeant with the 70th Infantry.

When he enlisted he was 21 years old, 5' 7½', 12 st., with blue eyes and black hair. He enlisted on 7 April 1915 as a Sergeant in the 29th Battalion and embarked from Melbourne in November the same year. He arrived in France on 23 June 1916 and was killed in less than four weeks; on 19 July during the Battle of Fromelles, the same day as fellow member Ralph Barnfather.

James Alexander Reid

Alex was killed in the trenches whilst leading his platoon in an attack on the German lines to the right of Dead Dog's Avenue by a severe wound to the leg. They took the German third line about 8.30 pm and held it until 11 o'clock, when the Germans made a counter attack and they were driven back to their own lines. They left all those who had been killed in the German trenches. Following the battle he was officially listed as missing.

Two months later his parents received letters from Alex's fellow soldiers: The stunt in which our battalion took part was one of the worst yet taken on, and we suffered terribly. The last I saw of Alex was fighting bravely against big odds, and it is my opinion, and the opinion of his boys that he is gone, and not a braver or a finer fellow has fallen in this war.

It is very hard for me to write and tell you that your son was killed, for I was with him at the time, and he and I are old school mates, having gone to the same school together in Geelong. We found him so brave and willing to do his bit. He came to me and said he was hit, so I offered to carry him back to our lines; then when I started out something came, and I knew no more until I came round in hospital. I trust that God will sustain you in the hour of your great loss.

The family continued to hope that there had been a mistake and that their son might actually be missing until a Court of Enquiry late in August 1917 confirmed him as killed in action. In providing details for the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour his father wrote that He was simply a dear home lad who early answered the call and died in the cause of freedom.

James Alexander Reid's body was found and identified in 2010. He is now interred in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.

On his tombstone is written - Finally at rest.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Charles Murray Storrer was born in Geelong and when he enlisted was aged 19 years and 10 months, 6' 2", 12st. 6 lbs, with hazel eyes and brown hair. He had attended Geelong College and was a wool clerk with Dalgety & Co., Geelong. Known as Murray, he had two brothers who also rowed with Barwon and his father had been Treasurer of the Club since 1909 and was President in 1921/22.

Charles Murray Storrer

After leaving school he served with the 29th (Port Phillip) Light Horse and travelled to Europe as a member of Captain Rushall's Mounted Cadets. Murray joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1910 and rowed 3 seat in the winning Maiden Eight at the Ballarat Regatta of 1914.

He enlisted on18 August 1914 in the 4th Light Horse as a Sergeant.

Prior to his embarkation from Melbourne, on 19 October 1914, he rowed with fellow members William Allen and Ralph Barnfather in the Light Horse winning eight at an inter-regimental regatta on the Yarra River. All three rowers did not survive the war. He also rowed in a winning eight with Ralph Barnfather at an Army Regatta in Egypt before leaving for the Dardenelles

Murray died of wounds at Gallipoli on 5 June 1915.

His cousin, Lieutenant Murray Bourchier, Ralph Barnfather and Murray were in a dug-out having breakfast of bully beef and biscuits at 7.30 in the morning. There was some heavy firing and a high explosive shell burst over their dugout, a piece of shrapnel striking Murray on the head, exposing his brain. He died at 1 pm without gaining consciousness and was buried on the beach at 7.30 pm. He lost consciousness instantly, no one knew he was hit for some seconds, as he never moved, just sat there with a piece of biscuit in his hand.

A number of his Barwon friends attended his burial, including Leopold Hagger, a bugler with the 8th Battalion, who played the Last Post for him.

The Geelong Advertiser reported on his memorial service held at the Newtown Presbyterian Church late in June as A Young Giant Honored. A few weeks after his death the manager of Dalgety's wrote: In August of 1910, Dalgety and Co. Ltd., had a vacancy for a smart junior, and from amongst many applicants the choice fell on Murray Storrer, a young fellow of some 15 summers, who looked fully two years older, and whose pleasing appearance and manner augured well for both the company and the junior himself. From the day he joined the firm he endeared himself to his fellow employees, and by his diligence, good nature and readiness, at all times, to give his best, he became a universal favourite. As a few years passed, he developed into a fine type of manhood, standing well over six feet, and built proportionately. He was indeed a splendid specimen of an Australian. On the outbreak of war, Storrer was one of the first to offer his services to his country, and we now mourn the loss of a true comrade, who has given his life, so that we may enjoy liberty and honor.

Charles Murray Storrer is buried at Beach Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey.

Karen O'Connor 2015


Henry Haig Storrer (elder brother of Murray), known as Harry, was born in Geelong and when he enlisted was aged 27 years and 2 months, 6' ½", 14st 12 lbs., with grey eyes and fair hair.

Henry Haig Storrer

He had attended Geelong College and Melbourne University. He was a shipping clerk, and later an accountant at Dennys Lascelles Pty. Ltd. and was a serving officer with the 8th Australian Garrison Artillery at Queenscliff.

By the time he enlisted his father, Harry Storrer, was a Vice-President of Barwon Rowing Club. Harry had joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1905.

At the outbreak of war he had enlisted successfully in the A.I.F but was directed to return to Queenscliff. He applied several times for active service overseas but was held back for home duties, which included bombing instructor at the Geelong Camp. He then entered a course at Duntroon Military College, before qualifying for the Point Cook Aviation School, where he went on to become one of their first instructors.

He enlisted 1 October 1916 in the Australian Flying Corps at Laverton and embarked from Melbourne with No. 2 Squadron on 25 October 1916.

Harry arrived in England on 28 December 1916, was initially appointed as an instructor and then promoted to Flight Commander of 69 Squadron. He arrived in France on 26 August 1917 as part of the first Australian Flying Unit to serve on the Western Front. Three months later the Squadron moved to Flanders; its duties included locating enemy gun emplacements, artillery spotting and bombing patrols.

Henry was killed on 2 December 1917: He was taking off from the aerodrome at Bailleul. A strong wind was blowing at the time, and Capt. Storrer banked in order to avoid some trees. A gust of wind caught the machine and crushed it into a brick wall on the edge of the aerodrome. Both he and his observer were killed instantly. He was buried in the Bailleul Military Cemetery.

A cross for his grave was later made out of pieces from the wrecked aircraft.

At the Newtown Presbyterian Church late in December it was said of him: He was known amongst his intimates as "Smiler" because of his sunny disposition. At the store, on the river, at the Guild, as an officer of His Majesty's Forces, in tent life far away from home amongst strangers, as flight commander, he was the clean-living, good-hearted comrade. Living for his duty he did it in splendid and magnificent style. It was natural that such a man should find his place amongst the most intrepid, adventurous and highest type in the war - the airmen. To know him was to love him: he was modest in his achievements, radiant in disposition, pure and noble in character, kind and courteous to all.

Henry Haigh Storrer is buried at Bailleul Military Cemetery Extension, France.

Karen O'Connor 2015


William Herman Zimmer (known as Bill) was born in Geelong and when he enlisted was aged 19 years and 11 months, 5' 11", 9st. 9 lbs. with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was a former student of Central College, Geelong.

William Herman Zimmer

He worked as a law clerk at the Geelong Courts before being transferred to the Colac Court in 1916, the year he rowed in a winning Barwon Maiden Eight at the Colac Regatta.

Bill had been awarded a certificate from the Royal Humane Society for an attempted life-saving at the Barwon River in 1915 and was engaged to be married to Edie Powell. He had joined Barwon Rowing Club in 1914.

He enlisted on 9 September 1916 in the 57th Battalion as a private; reluctantly from a sense of duty, saying for all I know I could be shooting at Zimmer relations, and embarked from Melbourne on 16 December 1916, arriving in France as a Lance Corporal on 11 October 1917.

Bill was killed on 17 June 1918 at Beurre Sur Ancre, France.

The Red Cross files describe his death: "We were carrying trench mortar shells passing through the old Casualty Clearing Station when Fritz opened up a barrage.” “It nearly took his head off, he died instantly.” “Blew his head clean off”. “Half his face was blown off”. “His death was instantaneous and it was impossible for him to have suffered. He was a good soldier and a splendid worker and his loss was felt by all who know him”. "We made up a cross for his grave and stuck it up”.

His parents later received a letter from one of his friends: I have lost the best friend that I have had on this side of the water. On the night of June 17th the company was moving up towards the front line...when the enemy put up a barrage of shell fire and cut off the two rear platoons, one of which your son was a member of. We retired into a ravine about 200 yards in our rear. Here the men scattered themselves out along the embankment. I was lying about four yards to the right of Bill. We had been fighting there about ten minutes with shells bursting all around us, when just in front of Bill there was a blinding flash, and sticks and earth flew in all directions. A few minutes later I went back to the spot, only to find that, in the space of a few seconds, I had lost my greatest friend and companion – your son. A more sudden death could not have occurred.

Years after his death his father, William Zimmer, by then a police sergeant at Casterton, deposited all of Bill's letters to home with the Australian War Memorial, writing that his son was possessed of a singularly good literary ability and a cheerful disposition.

William Herman Zimmer is buried at Ribemont Communal Cemetery, France.

On his tombstone is written
I fought a good fight,
I finished my course,
I kept the faith.

Karen O'Connor 2015

 

Last updated 13th January 2016

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