Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: John Hammond

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John Hammond (known as Jack) was born on 7 July 1891 in Kilmore, the eldest child of hotelier Thomas and Alice Teresa Hammond (nee Mulvey). Thomas was the licensee of the Railway Hotel (now Macs) and his father John, the Red Lion. Jack was educated at Assumption College, Kilmore and then worked in the Kilmore Post Office from 1907.

Jack enlisted at Kilmore on May 1, 1916 and was allocated as a private, 3678, to the 8th Reinforcements, 29th Battalion. After basic training at Broadmeadows, he attended the Signals School for two months, and then left Melbourne on the Orsova on August 1, 1916 for Plymouth, England.

Jack undertook further training before joining his Battalion on the Western Front, France in January 1917. He probably was involved in defeating a German counter attack at Beaumetz on March 23. Then on March 28 Jack was admitted to hospital in Rouen with a septic right heel and did not return to the field till late August 1917. The 29th then took part in the Battle of Polygon Wood in late September 1917.

Jack took leave in England in January 1918 and in April he was again in a field hospital with scabies. On April 24, Jack was transferred to the 5th Division, Signals Company as a Sapper. He may have been running messages from the front line to Headquarters, and he probably took part in the second battle of Villers-Bretonneux which recaptured the town from the Germans in two days in late April.

The 5th Division then followed the retreating Germans during May towards the Somme, and on May 13, Jack was killed in action. He was buried in the Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension at Picardie, France. His family and fellow postal workers placed memorial notices in the Kilmore Advertiser on June 1, 1918.

Jack was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In addition his family received a Memorial Scroll, a Memorial Plaque, the King’s Message and Jack’s effects.

His sacrifice is recognised on the Kilmore War Memorial, the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll in the Memorial Hall, and the Assumption College Honour Roll.

Corbie Community Cemetery Extension, Somme, France

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 8 December 2015.

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Thomas Henry Zoch

Thomas Henry Zoch

Thomas Henry Zoch was born in Deniliquin, NSW, on Christmas Day 1893, the eldest son of Joseph Stephen and Annie Zoch (nee Skene). The Zoch family then moved to Euroa, Yea and Arcadia in Victoria. However young Tom was looked after by Zoch relatives in Pyalong where he went to school.

It appears that in June 1915 Tom tried to enlist in Melbourne but was asked to be medically examined again as his chest measurement was below standard. He was then accepted on July 5, 1915 in Melbourne. What is interesting is that he enlisted under the name John Foster, stated that both parents were deceased and gave his next of kin as a friend Charles Kincaid of Boisdale, Victoria.

After training Tom (known as John) left Melbourne on the Star of Victoria on September 10, 1915 as part of the 9th Reinforcements, 7th Battalion bound for Egypt. He had been made a private, number 2791.

Tom saw action late in the Gallipoli campaign, and on return to Alexandria in Egypt took part in further training. He was transferred to the newly formed 59th Battalion on February 24, 1916. This Battalion was mostly made up of men from rural Victoria.

Following a bout of influenza he was transferred to the Western Front in France in June 1916. On July 19, the 59th took part in its first major battle at Fromelles. Attacking in the first wave, the 59th suffered heavy casualties, and Tom was shot in his left knee. He was transferred to England where he received treatment, took leave and rejoined his Battalion in France in April 1917.

His injuries prompted a change back to his birth name. On August 17, 1916, the Army Records Office in Melbourne informed Tom’s next of kin, Charles Kincaid, that Tom had been injured. It would seem that Charles then decided to inform Tom’s parents as his father Joseph wrote to the Army in August informing them that John Foster was his son and his name was Thomas Henry Zoch. This letter describes the circumstances which caused Tom to use another name. Tom had accumulated a debt owed to a storekeeper and the storekeeper told Tom he would be jailed if he did not pay. Tom then ”ran away from home” and later joined the Army. On November 22, 1916 Thomas signed a statutory declaration saying he was Thomas Henry Zoch and the Army then altered his record.

Back in France, it is likely Tom took part in the Battle of Polygon Wood on September 26, 1917. With the collapse of Russia in October 1917, a major German offensive on the Western Front was expected in early 1918. This came in late March and the 5th Division moved to defend the sector around Corbie. During this defence, the 59th Battalion participated in the now legendary counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux on 25 April. Tom was probably part of that attack.

Tom had experienced several bouts of sickness including during the rest of 1918. He returned to Melbourne on the Tras-os-Montes arriving on May 22, 1919. He was discharged from the army on July 15, 1919 after four years service.

Tom was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His name is recorded on the Pyalong State School Honour Roll.

In 1922 Tom married Harriet Donovan and in April 1923 he gave his address as Anzac Ave, Seymour when applying for a War Service Homes grant. He received a carrier’s licence in 1923 but soon after worked for many years on the railways. Tom died in January 1967 at Prahan and was buried in Springvale Cemetery.

 

 

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 24 May 2016

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Leo Edward Cavanagh

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Leo Edward Cavanagh was born in 1894 in Reedy Creek, the son of Charles Alexander and Emily Cavanagh (nee McManus). Sometimes his surname is spelt Kavanagh. Leo attended the Kilmore State School.

When Leo enlisted on November 10, 1914 in Melbourne he gave his next of kin his aunt, Mrs J Anderson of Kilmore. He joined 1st Reinforcements, 5th Battalion as a private. Somehow two enlistment forms were filled out and Leo was allocated two service numbers 2352 and 2783. Leo gave his age as 21 years and 1 month. It is likely he overstated his age by one year.

After training, Leo embarked at Melbourne on HMAT Borda on December 22, 1914, bound for Egypt, where he became seriously ill.  This resulted in him being returned to Melbourne on the Ceramic, arriving May 25, 1915.

After a period in hospital at Broadmeadows, Leo was transferred to 7th Reinforcement Company and embarked on HMAT Demosthenes on July 16, 1915, bound for Egypt where he rejoined the 5th Battalion. He served about 3 months on Gallipoli at Anzac Cove, including time at Rest Gully. On return to Egypt he transferred to the 57th Battalion in February 1916, then to 58th and in March 1916 to the 14th Field Artillery Brigade as a driver.

In June 1916 Leo left Alexandria for France where he saw action on the Western Front. He took two weeks leave in June 1917 in France and soon after he returned Leo became ill with P U O in July. This was short for pyrexia of unknown origin, probably as a result of being gassed. In late August he was transferred from the 5th General Hospital in Calais to the Reading War Hospital in England.

In October 1917 Leo went AWOL in London and as a result forfeited 4 days pay. However he was arrested by the civil police on October 24, 1917 and later convicted for assaulting two police constables at Milcombe Regis, Dorset. At a court hearing in Weymouth on December 26, he was sentenced to  prison for three months with pay forfeited for 92 days.  After leaving prison Leo sailed to Melbourne on the Marathon.

On return Leo was medically assessed in July 1918 and was found to have had an accident on a chaff cutter before enlistment, which resulted in a serious wound to his right wrist. This was rated “powerless right hand” and he was operated on August 7, then discharged medically unfit on November 6, 1918.

Leo was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His name is recorded on the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll in the Memorial Hall, and on the Kilmore State School Honour Roll.

The Kilmore Advertiser reported on 22 June 1918 that “Private Leo Cavanagh, who left Kilmore in December 1914, with the Australian Light Horse, returned home last week. He has been amongst some strenuous fighting, being at Gallipoli, and afterwards at Lemnos. From there, he was drafted to France, and has been in several engagements, notably at Possiers. It was here that he was disabled. His horse stumbled over a wire on the ground, throwing him into a shell trench, breaking his gas helmet, with the result that Private Cavanagh got a dose of the Hun gas. He managed to get back to the lines, but was invalided to England. The transport in which he came back in voyaged by way of America and through the Panama Canal, and the South Seas, a most interesting journey, which the returned soldier and his comrades enjoyed immensely.”

After the war Leo married Maude Webb in 1919 and they had three children. Leo died on September 3, 1973 at Healesville.

Rest Gully, Gallipoli (Source: – AWM-C01482)

 

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 9 February 2016

Seminar: History Victoria Support Group – 13 May 2017

In conjunction with the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (RHSV), Kilmore Historical Society will be hosting the History Victoria Support Group May Seminar on Saturday, 13 May in the John Taylor Room at Kilmore Library. Cost to attend is $15 per head.

All bookings and enquiries are to be made via the RHSV and there are a limited number of places available. All booking details and the program of events are available from the flyer which can be downloaded from the link below.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided and the proceeds of the day come to our Society.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear a wide range of of interesting subjects and speakers.

HVSG SEMINAR INVITATION MAY 2017

Guest Speaker 2 May 2017: Fay Woodhouse: The Enterprising Mr MacGregor – Pioneer Pastoralist

Photo: View of an Australian Farm Author/Creator: Samuel Calvert 1828-1913, engraver. Contributor(s): Jones H. Carse artist. Publisher: Melbourne : Ebenezer and David Syme Date: December 27, 1869 State Library of Victoria
KILMORE HISTORICAL SOCIETY GENERAL MEETING
TUESDAY 2 MAY 2017

“The Enterprising Mr MacGregor – Pioneer Pastoralist” is the topic of our upcoming meeting on Tuesday 2nd May at 7.30 pm in the Kilmore Courthouse.

Fay Woodhouse from Romsey has written a book on Duncan MacGregor, who arrived in Australia as a 22 year old in 1857, trying his luck as a shepherd in a new country and realising the potential for breeding cattle, sheep and horses in the harsh Australian climate – with the right pedigree. He farmed at Riddells Creek and Darraweit Guim, amongst other enterprises.

The meeting will begin at 7:30 and end at approximately 9 – 9:30, with time for questions and general business.

Supper will be served after the meeting and all are welcome to participate.

Everyone is welcome to come and hear Fay tell the story of this ambitious Scottish Highlander.

Open House Tour: Historic Houses of Kilmore – 8 Apr

Saturday 8 April, 2017

10am – 4pm

Ranging from humble, beautifully restored cottages to substantial large homes, five owners of historic houses in Kilmore have very generously opened their homes to the public.

Tickets: $15 person/$25 couple/family – available at the Old Courthouse, 4 Powlett Street from 9.45am – 3pm

Fundraiser for Kilmore Historical Society
www. kilmorehistory.info
kilmorehistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Open House Flyer

Anzac Day Service 2016 Kilmore War Memorial: Address by Grahame Thom

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
  • Cornelius Brian McDonald born Maffra, died aged 23 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.