Tag Archives: 29th Battalion

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: John Hammond


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: Harry Vinicombe


Harry Vinicombe was born in Kyneton in 1893, the son of Albert Orchard and Ann Mary Vinicombe (nee McGrath). His mother Ann died in 1900 at Kyneton and his father became a manager of a property at High Camp Plain. Harry attended Pyalong School and later became a motor driver and chauffeur.

He enlisted on July 7, 1915 in Melbourne and for a month was stationed at B Company, Flemington Depot. Harry was then posted to the 2nd Reinforcements, 29th Battalion for training. He embarked on HMAT Demosthenes at Melbourne on October 29, 1915.

By January, 1916 Harry was in the Suez, Egypt, and soon after spent 8 days in hospital with tonsillitis. Following further training Harry was allocated to the 45th Battalion as a private, 1781, on April 2, 1916 at Serapeum.

The 45th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 2 March 1916 as part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division, and arrived in Marselles on June 8, 1916, for transfer to the Western Front. It fought in its first major battle at Pozieres in August, defending ground previously captured by the 2nd Australian Division.

Harry was injured in action with multiple gunshot wounds on August 6, 1916 and next day, being dangerously ill he was transferred well behind the lines to Camiers where he died in the 4th General Hospital on September 14. Harry was buried in nearby Etaples Military Cemetery in France.

Harry was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. It would seem he was promoted to Lance Corporal at some time. His name is recorded on the Pyalong State School Honour Roll.

During the war his father was living in St Kilda where he received by post Harry’s effects including a photo and letters. Later he received Harry’s medals, a memorial scroll and plaque. His brother Thomas also served in World War One returning home in 1919.

Harry Vinicome Photo: Australian War Memorial

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 10 May 2016

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Harold Valentine Wortley


Harold was born at Kilmore on 1 June 1890, the son of Francis Walwyn Wortley and Elizabeth Ann Hammond. He attended Brighton Grammar School, where he joined the cadets.  Harold then served in the 15th Battalion, Australian Light Horse for four years, reaching the rank of corporal.  He listed his occupation as grocer and storekeeper of Kilmore.

Harold volunteered for overseas service on 17 July 1915, promoted to sergeant and after attending Officer Training School and applied on 22 January 1916 for a commission in the AIF. His application was approved and he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the 7/29th Reinforcements on 6 March 1916. On 15 June 1916 he married Daisey Kathleen Keep at St Kilda.

Harold embarked on 4 July 1916 in Melbourne on the HMAT Berrima bound for England.  He proceeded to France on 9 November 1916 and after receiving a knee injury returned to England for treatment in April 1917.  He returned to France in May 1917 but had recurring trouble with his knee and was posted for duty with the 8th Training Battalion. returned to England in June 1917, and posted back to 29th Battalion in France in February 1918.   Harold became sick with mumps in May 1918 and returned to his Battalion in June 1918.

Harold returned to Australia on the liner Port Melbourne arriving in Melbourne on 20 August 1919 and his appointment was terminated in Melbourne on 4 October 1919.

He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. In early November 1919 Harold was appointed by the Kilmore Shire Council as Inspector of Nuisances.  He served in World War 2 and died in Sydney on 25 July 1955.

Harold is listed on the Kilmore Shire Honour Roll, Kilmore State School Honour Roll and the Kilmore Presbyterian Church Honour Roll.

Harold Valentine Wortley c. 9 May 1916 (Photo: Australian War Memorial)
Harold Valentine Wortley c. 9 May 1916 (Photo: Australian War Memorial)


Reproduced in the North Central Review, 29 July 2014, p11