Tag Archives: Kilmore State School Honour Roll

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Claus Valdemar Gronn

Australian_Army_Rising_Sun_Badge_1904

Private 4788

Claus Valdemar Gronn was born in Kilmore in 1897 the son of Valdemar Joseph Lorenz and Helena Priscilla Gronn (nee Poynter). The Gronn family had arrived in Kilmore in 1892, purchasing the tannery in Victoria Parade. After finishing school at the Kilmore State School, Claus (known as Clarence or more so Clarrie) joined his father as a tanner and currier. He also was a sergeant in the local cadets and served 3 months in the Citizens Militia.

With his parents’ permission Clarrie enlisted in Melbourne on September 20, 1915. He undertook training in Bendigo and on December 2, 1916 he joined the 15th Reinforcements, 7th Battalion as a private 4788, and was promoted to Lance Corporal in January 1916.

The Kilmore Free Press reported that “Sergeant Clarence Gronn, who left for the front last week”, was presented with a bible by members of the Kilmore Presbyterian Church. On March 7, 1916 Clarrie embarked in Melbourne on the Wiltshire bound for the Western Front via Egypt and Marseilles where he reverted to private on being taken on strength on July 7, 1916.

Clarrie received a gun shot wound to his thigh in late July 1916 and was transferred to England where he received treatment in Birmingham. Clarrie remained in England on light duties until late June 1917 when he joined the 2nd and then 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers, on the Western Front. On January 16, 1918 Clarrie received a gun shot wound to his left groin and was transferred to England for treatment. Then in October 1918 he rejoined his battalion in France and following the end of the war remained there until April 1919.

Back in England Clarrie, by now aged 21 years, married his girlfriend Marguerite Iris Neale, aged 19 years, at the Registry Office, Warminster, Wiltshire, on May 26, 1919. They embarked on the Konigin Luise on December 18, 1919 for Melbourne. Clarrie was discharged on June 13 1920.

Clarrie 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, on the Kilmore State School Honour Roll and the Kilmore Presbyterian Church Honour Roll. He was welcomed home on February 5, 1920 and attended the presentation of medals by General Birdwood in Kilmore in March 1920.

The Gronn family left Kilmore in 1925 and lived in Melbourne, Clarrie was a member of the Kilmore Historical Society and attended meetings. He died on 23 February 1976 and was cremated at Springvale Cemetery.

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 17 November 2015, p17

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Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Samuel Ernest Crane

Australian_Army_Rising_Sun_Badge_1904

Private – 2140

Samuel Ernest Crane was born in Kilmore in 1882, the son of Thomas and Sarah Elizabeth Crane (nee Wortley). He attended the State School at Kilmore. He later enlisted in the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles as a Shoeing Smith and served in South Africa in 1901.

His occupation before World War One is recorded as an engineer in Kilmore. At age 32 years, Ernest enlisted on 4 March 1915 at Mildura as a private in the 6th Battalion AIF. His prior service was recognised as he was promoted to Corporal in June 1915 and in the same month to acting sergeant.

Samuel embarked on HMAT Wandilla in Melbourne on 17 June 1915. He reverted to private when he landed in Gallipoli in August 1915 and after being wounded he was first transferred to Mudros on Lemnos Island in September, then, via Egypt, to Hampstead Hospital in England in early October 1915. He remained in England for over a year in a training role and was promoted to sergeant.

But Samuel volunteered to return to the Western Front in France in October 1917, on the basis of reverting to private. He took a week’s leave in England in March 1918 and returned in time to take part in the defence of the German Spring Offensive.

Samuel was shot in both feet on 16 April 1918 and died of his wounds on 20 April at Hazebrouk, France. Private Crane was buried in the Arneke British Cemetery at Cassel, France. A memorial service for Samuel was held at the Kilmore Methodist Church on Sunday 19 May 1918.

Samuel’s family received a memorial scroll and his British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star. His name is recorded on the Kilmore War Memorial, Shire of Kilmore Honour Roll, and the Kilmore State School Honour Roll. Samuel’s name is also recorded on the family headstone in the Methodist Section of the Kilmore Public Cemetery.

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 3 March 2015, p10

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Harold Valentine Wortley

Lieutenant

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