John was born in Kilmore in 1895, the son of Sylvester Bowers and Martha McKinley. He was in the senior cadets for one year, and was a labourer.
John, aged 21 years, enlisted at Melbourne on 18 September 1915. He embarked from Melbourne on Troop transport “Themistocles” on 28 January 1916 as a gunner, having trained at Castlemaine and Maribynong in December 1915. He was at Zeitoun in Egypt with the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC) on 4 March 1916 and was posted to Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force. He disembarked at Marseilles on 19 March and joined the 2nd DAC.
On 1 April John was admitted to the 5th Field Ambulance with slight concussion and by the 8 April was back with the 2nd DAC at Moulin Fontaine. He was again discharged from hospital on 1 May and joined 22nd Field Artillery at the end of April and was posted to 21st Battery in July 1916.
John was killed in action by shrapnel to the head and neck on 3 August 1916 in the Battle of the Somme, France. He received the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His effects were forwarded to his father Sylvester in Kilmore – wallet, steel mirror, diary and a letter.
John is buried at the Serre Road Cemetery, near Beaumont Hamel, France, and his name is recorded on the Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll which was unveiled by General Birdwood in April 1920, the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Honour Roll and the Kilmore War Memorial.
Ralph Simon Johnston Knight (pictured sitting with his bride) was born in January 1898 at Tantaraboo west of Kilmore, the sixth child of Nehemiah Knights and Alicia Jane Ann Johnston. Sometimes their surname is recorded as Knights but in his army records Ralph’s name is recorded as Knight.
Ralph probably worked on his father’s farm and others at Tantaraboo as a labourer before enlisting on 8 November 1915 at Melbourne. After training at Royal Park, Melbourne, Ralph joined the 21st Battalion in March 1917. His brothers Alby (4453) and Fred (4454) also enlisted about the same time and joined the 21st Battalion.
The 21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcements, including Ralph and his brothers, left Melbourne, on the RMS Orontes on 29 March 1916 for Egypt where he first served with the Anzac Police before joining the British Expeditionary Force to leave for the Western Front. He joined his Battalion in Belgium on 3 October 16 in the Posieres area.
Ralph became sick on 17 November with trench fever and was transferred on 3 December to England where he remained for eleven months attached to the 66th Battalion. He returned to his Battalion in France on 2 November 1917 in the Broodseinde area of the Western Front. On 30 November 17 Ralph’s knee became swollen with dermatitis; he rejoined his Battalion on 2 February 1918.
His Battalion was held in reserve for a rest in early 1918 but when taking part in defending against the German Spring Offensive, Ralph became sick with influenza in June 1918. He rejoined in August taking part in the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, then transferred to the 24th Battalion in October and proceeded on leave to England. On return to France Ralph was accidentally injured on 6 December 1918 in the left leg at Rouen. After treatment he transferred to England on 31 December 1918 and was on leave in February and March. Ralph left for Australia on 1 April on the Shropshire arriving Melbourne on 16 May and was discharged on 30 June 1919.
He received the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star. His name is recorded on the Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll, the Kilmore Church of England Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.
Later in 1919 Ralph married Dorothy (Dot) Valentine Weaver and enlisted in the Victorian Police Force. He died at Rye in January 1978.
William was born at High Camp in 1888. His parents were Patrick Boland and Judith (Johanna) Mooney. He married Mary Ann Latto Bett, an Australian nurse, at St. Marylebone Presbyterian Church, London, on 2 October 1918.
William, an agent aged 26 years, enlisted in the army on 6 May 1915 and was assigned to the 14th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements. He sailed for Alexandria, Egypt, on the “Grantully Castle” arriving on 23 October 1915. He was admitted to the “Dunluce Castle” at Mudros on the Greek Island of Lemnos in December with jaundice.
He rejoined his unit at Moascar, Egypt, in January 1916, but was admitted to the No 3 General Hospital in March with appendicitis and mumps.
William was promoted to Corporal in France on 17 September 1916, then to Sergeant in October and Warrant Officer in April 1917. He attended a Lewis gun school in July 1917, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 16 November 1917.
He was again in hospital in December 1918 with tonsillitis and was discharged back to Australia with recurrent tonsillitis in March 1919 where his engagement was terminated in July 1919.
William was awarded the Military Cross in May 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the Hindenburg line at Reincourt and was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross in May 1918 for leading a reinforcing party at great personal risk in France. His other medals include 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
William served in World War 2 and he died near Lancefield in 1976 aged 87 years. He is listed on the Shire of Pyalong Honour Roll.
Albert (Alby) Edward Knight (pictured) was born in June 1892 at Tantaraboo west of Kilmore, the fourth child of Nehemiah Knights and Alicia Jane Ann Johnston. Sometimes their surname is recorded as Knights but in his army records Alby’s name is recorded as Knight.
Alby probably worked on his father’s farm and others at Tantaraboo as a labourer before enlisting on 8 December 1915 at Melbourne. After training at Royal Park, Melbourne, Alby joined the 21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcements in March 1917. His brothers Fred (4454) and Ralph (4455) also enlisted about the same time and joined the 21st Battalion.
The 21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcements, including Alby and his brothers, left Melbourne, on the RMS Orontes on 29 March 1916 for Egypt where he first served with the Anzac Police before joining the British Expeditionary Force to leave for the Western Front. He joined his Battalion in Belgium and after being in action in the Pozieres area in October and November 1916 Alby received treatment for trench feet at Rouen.
He rejoined his Battalion at the front on 9 January 1917 and was seriously wounded in his right thigh and leg on 13 January. Alby died in hospital at Rouen on 19 February. He was buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen.
In recognition of his service a memorial scroll, memorial plaque, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star were handed to his father, together with Alby’s effects; an identity disc, mirror, match box, testament, note book, and a cigarette holder. His name is recorded on the Kilmore War Memorial, Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll, Kilmore Church of England Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.
6.00 am – Dawn Service at the Kilmore War Memorial, Sydney Street, Kilmore.
10.30 am – Anzac Day March from the corner of Union & Sydney Streets to the Kilmore War Memorial at Foote & Sydney Streets.
11.00 am – Service at Kilmore War Memorial.
9,00am – Anzac Day March from Wallan War Memorial in Hadfield Park to corner of Watson & High Streets then to corner of Queen & High Streets and return to War Memorial.
9.15am – Service at Wallan War Memorial.
Field of Remembrance
The Kilmore & Wallan Guides and Scouts are making white crosses with WWI veterans names that will be displayed in alphabetical order. The names of veterans that appear on the memorials and various community honour rolls will be displayed. Also names of veterans from elsewhere may be nominated by the public providing validation of the veteran with their Service Number.
Contacts (Kilmore RSL)
Tony Gill, President, 5783 2585 or 0438 389 690
John Sharley, Vice President, 5783 1145 or 0447 670 044