Tag Archives: Mudros

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: James Burston

James Burston who was promoted to Honorary Brigadier General after returning to Australia and Honorary Major General prior to retirement in 1920
Colonel James Burston was promoted to Honorary Brigadier General after returning to Australia and Honorary Major General prior to his retirement in 1920

Colonel

James Burston was the first born son (1856) of Samuel Burston and Sophy Keath, who married in Kilmore in 1855. There were 2 other children; George and Agnes. They lived on 5 blocks on the corner of Parade and Lamb Streets. They also had a business in Somerset House on the north east corner of Bourke and Sydney Streets which they sold after a short time and purchased “Oak Park” at Prospect Hill between Kilmore and Broadford.

The family were by this time in the malting business and moved to Flinders Street Melbourne where they bought up several other malting businesses including Victoria Breweries. James and George managed this business after the death of their father in 1886. James married Marianne McBean in Kilmore in 1883, and had 3 sons and 3 daughters.

James had joined the Victorian Volunteers and by 1885 was promoted to Captain of the 2nd Infantry Battalion. In 1897 as a Lieutenant Colonel he represented Victoria for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in London. He served in the Boer War.

In 1900 James was elected to the Melbourne City Council and was Mayor in 1908 and retired by 1912 but continued in public office as Chairman of the Officers Selection Board and on the board of the Bank of Victoria and others.

In 1915 James at the age of 58 was the Commander of the 2nd Infantry Brigade AIF, which saw service in Gallipoli. Deteriorating health saw him repatriated to Mudros on the Greek Island of Lemnos where he became Officer Commanding of Reinforcements. He was repatriated to Melbourne in 1916 and retired in 1920.

James died at his residence at Hawthorn on the 4 March 1920 and is buried in St. Kilda Cemetery. There is an ornate brass plaque in St. Paul’s Cathedral to his memory mentioning his Boer War service.

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 19 May 2015, p10

See also James Burston, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Samuel Ernest Crane

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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: William Paul Boland

Australian_Army_Rising_Sun_Badge_1904

Serial Number 2338

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.

Reproduced in the North Central Review, 26 August 2014, p6