Last Monday, Kilmore Historical Society member Grahame Thom was the guest speaker at the 2016 Anzac Day Service held at the Kilmore War Memorial, For those who were unable to attend, Grahame’s address is reproduced here.
We are here today 101 years after Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. About 95 years ago this memorial was built to honour the sacrifice of 29 local men who died during World War One.
I would like to read out their names, but before doing that I need to explain that many local honour boards and memorials have errors, and this memorial is no different. So there are some differences between the names I will now read to you and those listed on two sides of this war memorial.
- Francis Patrick Anderson born Kilmore, died aged 23 in Jun 1917
- John Clifford Bowers born Kilmore, died aged 21 in Aug 1916
- Dominick John Burgess born Woolongong, died aged 45 in Jan 1917
- Colin Henry Cameron born Hawthorn, died aged 23 in Aug 1915
- Richard Thomas Cooke born Pyalong, died aged 20 in Nov 1916
- Samuel Ernest Crane born Kilmore, died aged 35 in Apr 1918
- Joseph Matthew Crowley born Rutherglen, died aged 26 in Feb 1919
- Charles William Dau/Dow born Wandong, died aged 32 in Jul 1918
- Joseph Harold Durkin born Kilmore, died aged 24 in Nov 1917
- Francis Dwyer/O’Dwyer born Kilmore, died aged 20 in Oct 1917
- William Nicholson Fischer born Kilmore, died aged 34 in Oct 1917
- James Joseph Freyne born Kilmore, died aged 20 in May 1917
- John Hammond born Kilmore died aged 27 in May 1918
- Claude Henry Jackson born Sunbury, died aged 29 in Apr 1918
- Albert Edward Knight born Tantaraboo, died aged 24 in Feb 1917
- William Leahy DCM born Kilmore died aged 25 in Aug 1918
- William Laughlin Looney born Campbellfield, died aged 19 in Jan 1917
- William John Matthew born Warrnambool, died aged 25 in Aug 1915
- Thomas de Courcey Meade born Kilmore, died aged 22 in Jul 1916
- Philip Joseph McCahery born Kilmore, died aged 24 in Apr 1918
- William Hector (Bert) McDonald born Richmond, died aged 29 in Oct 1917
- James Noble Robinson born Kangaroo Flat, died aged 34 in Aug 1916
- Edward John Rule born Bendigo, died aged 32 in Jul 1916
- Michael Francis Ryan born Broadmeadows, died aged 35 in Aug 1915
- William Charles James Stute born Bylands, died aged 27 in Apr 1917
- Hebert Valentine Shaw born England, died aged 27 in Mar 1917
- Herbert Thomas Skehan born Kilmore, died age 28 in Sep 1917
- Charles Wyndham Thomas born Korumburra, died aged 27 in Apr 1916
- Charles Leslie Wickham born Milltown, died aged 26 in Apr 1917
Lest we forget.
There are two who served on Gallipoli.
Colin Henry Cameron enlisted in Kilmore in September 1914, and joined 8th Light Horse Regiment. He arrived on Gallipoli about 17 May 1915. Soon after being promoted to Squadron Sergeant Major, Colin was killed in action on 7 August 1915. His name is recorded on the Lone Pine Memorial.
Sergeant Michael Francis Ryan also known as Joseph McKinley, enlisted at Murwillumbah, NSW, in December 1914 in the 15th Battalion. He was on Gallipoli by May 1915, then spent time on Lemnos and in Egypt with an “injured ear” before returning to Gallipoli in late July 1915. He was killed in action on 8 August 1915 and his name is recorded on the Lone Pine Memorial.
As we are on the corner of Skehan Place, named after prominent Kilmore resident Patrick Skehan, it is appropriate to say a few words about his son Herbert Thomas Skehan. Herbert was dux of Assumption College in 1909. He worked in Melbourne as a clerk before enlisting in July 1915 in 29th Battalion. He sailed to Egypt then to the western front. On 26 September 1917 the 29th Battalion was part of an attack, later named the Battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium. Herbert died in action on that day.
As could be expected our research to date has revealed two more soldiers who have strong links to Kilmore and who died on active service. Perhaps their names could be inscribed on this memorial.
Thomas Vincent Hunt was the nephew of Thomas Hunt, editor and owner of the Kilmore Free Press for over 60 years. Tom was born in Kilmore in 1869 and aged 43 years he joined the 31st Battalion in July 1915 on its way to the Western Front where he was killed in action in July 1916.
George Francis Lloyd was born in Kilmore in 1895. He enlisted in March 1916 with the 3rd Division Service Corps and was shipped to France. Soon after being promoted to Company Sergeant Major he died at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearance Station on the western front in January 1917.
Well over 250 men and women volunteered for active service during World War One from Kilmore and District. We hope to write profiles on as many as possible.
We will remember them.