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Kilmore Historical Society has expanded its online presence with a new Facebook Community Organisation page and Twitter account. So please make sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @kilmorehistory.
Arthur (pictured below seated) was the eldest son of twelve of Denis James (Din) Harrington and his wife Amelia Margaret (Milly) Johnston. He was born in September 1895 at Tantaraboo. He first tried to enlist on 21 January 1916 in the 21st Battalion. He was a labourer aged 20 years and 3 months. Arthur and his friends Albert and Frederick Knight were given a rousing send off and a money belt each on 30 March 1916 at the Tantaraboo school room. The party did not break up until 4am. However, in April Arthur was assessed as medically unfit.
Arthur next tried to enlist in July 1916 and was declared fit by Dr Semple of Kilmore and later by a second doctor in Melbourne. Arthur took his oath at Broadmeadows military camp on 20 July 1916 the date of his enlistment. He embarked as part of the 13th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, from Melbourne on board the “Themiocles” on 28 July 1916.
In October he was admitted to the Fargo Military hospital in England with acne and discharged a fortnight later. He left Folkston for France on 16 November to reinforce the 2nd Division AIF. He was wounded in action at Bullecourt on 4 May 1917 with gun shot wounds to head, arms, legs, back and abdomen. He was transferred to the 5th Southern General Hospital at Portsmouth on 24 May. He returned to France in mid October.
Arthur was again sick and admitted to hospital in early February 1918 and then sent to Broadwater Hospital at Ipswich with left knee synovitis in March. He returned to France in early June 1918. On 5 March 1919 he was admitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital with influenza. He returned to Australia on the “Armagh” in May 1919 and was discharged medically unfit on 25 June 1919 from the 3rd Military District.
He received the 1914/15 Military Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his war effort. On 11 July Arthur attended a welcome home function for several local soldiers at the Tantaraboo School.
Arthur married Mary Alice McFarlane in 1920. He suffered from his war injuries but continued to work in the building trade from his property at Kilmore East. He was always cheerful despite many periods in hospital. He took a keen interest in the RSL and the Kilmore Agricultural and Pastoral Society and played cricket. He served in World War 2 part time in the Volunteer Defence Corp locally for 2 years 5 months and was promoted to Corporal. Arthur died suddenly at his home on Wednesday 17 March 1954 and was interred in the Kilmore Catholic Cemetery. Arthur is honoured in the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.
Frederick (Fred) Knight (pictured below standing) was born in June 1894 probably at Tantaraboo west of Kilmore, the fifth child of Nehemiah Knights and Alicia Jane Ann Johnston. Sometimes their surname is recorded as Knights but in his army records Fred’s name is recorded as Knight. Fred served 3 years in B Company, 15th Light Horse before volunteering in the Great War.
Fred probably worked on his father’s farm and others at Tantaraboo as a labourer before enlisting on 19 November 1915 at Melbourne. After training at Royal Park, Melbourne, Fred joined the 21st Battalion in March 1917. His brothers Albert (4453) and Ralph (4455) also enlisted about the same time and joined the 21st Battalion. Fred’s cousin Arthur Harrington (pictured below seated) enlisted later.
The 21st Battalion, 11th Reinforcements, including Fred 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 his Battalion for France. During the Second Battle of Bullecourt Fred suffered trench fever and was transferred to England. His parents were advised on 10 July 1917. After recovering Fred rejoined his battalion in Belgium in November 1917.
In April 1918 Fred took part in defending the German Spring Offensive and later in the battles of Hamel, Amiens and Mont St Quentin. The 21st Battalion took part in the final Australian operation of the war at Montbrehain in October 1918 and was the last Australian battalion to be withdrawn.
The 21st was then disbanded and Fred was transferred to the 5th and later took leave in England. After returning to Melbourne on the Soudan on 29 June 1919, Fred immediately travelled home the next day. He was discharged on 13 August 1919 after serving 1361 days.
Fred received the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star. His name is recorded on the Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll, Kilmore Church of England Honour Roll and the Tantaraboo State School Honour Roll.
After the war Fred continued working as a labourer, married Frances Alice Jamieson in 1919 and later became a milkman. He died at Rosebud in 1966.
Dick Cooke came from Irish catholic roots and was a son of Pyalong. One of twelve living children he was born at home on the family farm on February 24 1896. His father was Nicholas Cooke and his mother was Margaret, nee Ryan.
He was educated at Pyalong State School, then Assumption College Kilmore.
In February 1913, aged 17 he began work as a bank clerk in the Kilmore branch of the Bank of Victoria while undertaking his compulsory military training with the Essendon Rifles Senior Cadets.
In January 1915, he moved to Watchem with the Bank. By April he had been sent to Ouyen. It was here, in June with his parents’ consent he enlisted.
As part of the 23rd Battalion, he was among the last of the reinforcements at Gallipoli and also part of it successful evacuation. By the end of the year he was in France. In July 1916 he was wounded in the Battle of Pozieres. In late August, Richard rejoined the Battalion. He had survived one of the worst battles of the War only to return to the Somme offensive. On Thursday, 9th of November 1916, Richard was killed on the line at Flers. He was 20 years old. Later a friend would write: “I can’t say how sorry I am to hear of young Dick Cooke going under. He was such a happy good natured young fellow, always smiling, the sort of lad everybody liked”. The Kilmore Advertiser described him as “a game, joyous boy and a general favourite”.
He is remembered at the A.I.F. Burial Ground in Flers, France.
In Pyalong, he is commemorated on the Pyalong State School Honour Roll, a Roll of Honour from the Shire of Pyalong, now located in the Community Hall. His name is on a plaque beneath a picture of Saint Joseph in the Pyalong Catholic Church.
In Kilmore, he is commemorated on the doors of the small chapel at Assumption College, on the Honour Board in the Kilmore Memorial Hall and on the Kilmore War Memorial.
Look into Kilmore’s industrial past with a visit to the latest display from Kilmore Historical Society in the foyer outside the Kilmore library. Artifacts from Kilmore’s bottling factory include awards, articles, labels and bottles that illustrate the 136 year history of the factory. The factory was located in Gipps Street, Kilmore. From 1968 the business was operated by the Fatchen family and was commonly referred to by locals as Fatchens. Many families looked forward to their local soft drink arriving in the traditional glass bottles over summer. The family ran the business until they closed the doors in 2000. The display is available to view through to the end of March.
We hope you find it a refreshing update; easier to navigate and quickly find newly added featured content. The site now also has the ability to easily share content with your friends via the social media connectivity buttons and the capability of providing feedback and comments. We hope that you will feel free to share your own Kilmore related stories with us.
As part of our makeover we have also integrated the Kilmore Footsteps page previously hosted by one of our members on their own personal site. Researchers may submit their ancestors’ births, deaths and marriages data and contact details for connecting directly with other researchers and family connections. Kilmore Historical Society does not necessarily hold any records on these families and this page is offered purely as a service to the community. However, research inquiries to the society are most welcome as well as your stories about your Kilmore ancestors.
In early 2007 the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program was launched. The National Library of Australia, in collaboration with Australian State and Territory libraries, began a program to digitise Australian newspapers for access and preservation purposes. By May 2009 Trove had been launched as a resource for information about Australians for Australians. It includes digitised newspapers from 1803-1954, The Australian Women’s Weekly to 1982, journals, articles and datasets, books, pictures, photos, objects, music sound and video, maps, diaries, letters and archives, archived websites, people and organisations and lists.
Trove includes four separate specific newspapers for local research:
The site uses electronically translated text and as such there are some errors, so for this reason think about your search strategy and possible spelling variations when looking for your subject of interest. Once registered, a researcher can correct text. Local news was reported widely so don’t restrict your search to local newspapers only.
This site continues to grow and has become the major online resource for Australian history.
Kilmore, Victoria, Australia. Victoria's oldest inland town