Martin Luther Dyer

Martin Luther Dyer’s photos and memoir have been shared with Wollongong City Libraries by his relatives. The memoir was written following his retirement and contains a great deal of information regarding his service at the front as well as details of his life. Below is and excerpt of the memoir.

 

Life Story of Martin Luther Dyer Born at Cables Siding (Penrose) On the 30th August, 1893.

At the age of four my parents moved to Woonona, after a short stay moved to Bulli and Wollongong, for a period of approx. 28 [?] months. Thence leaving for Blayney, where I commenced school at the age of six. In 1901 we moved to Lithgow for a short period again returning to Woonona, where my father died at the age of 50. I left Woonona Public School at the age of 13 years and 9 months. With my mother, sister and two brothers, again moved to Lithgow where I commenced my first employment in a store at a weekly wage of 2/6.

After twelve months, I transferred to […] Store. Nathan Basser, who shortly after secured the contract for the supply of foodstuff to the 400 navvies, constructing the ten tunnels to replace the Great Western Zig-Zag for the Department of Railways. I was given the job to collect and deliver all goods over a period of 3 years. This entailed riding on horseback & driving through rugged mountain country in all weather. I had two attempts on my life while carrying money from the camps, but came through without injury. One occasion, a stout rope had been tied to two trees across a mountain track. I was riding a powerful horse through driving snow, the horse saw the rope and threw his head down suddenly, pulling me on to his neck, the rope scraped along my back but otherwise it was my lucky break, saved by my horse.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, I moved once again to Wollongong where I set up in business. In 1916 I arranged for a brother to take over, and I enlisted in the War in the 7th Australian Light Horse. After a short period of training we embarked on the [HMAT] Boorara en-route for Egypt. Owing to a submarine scared put into Port Melbourne for a few weeks. It was a nightmare voyage. The Captain stated it was the roughest trio he had ever made, mountainous seas and no lights at night and everyone on the alert. Before reaching Egypt an epidemic of mumps broke out, and I was one of the unfortunate ones. In my case it took a serious turn and I was taken off by stretcher and placed in the Egyptian Gov’t hospital at Port Tewfik, with little hope of survival. However, I pulled through and was sent to the Moasca[sic] training camp in the desert.

Shortly after, we moved to the combat area to make our acquaintance with the enemy…

Martin Luther Dyer in uniform.

Martin Luther Dyer in uniform.

Eventually the Authorities decided to form a train of mule and horse transport to speed up supplies. They selected a number of expert horsemen to return to Moasca[sic] where wagons, mules and horses were awaiting. I was one of the Company… A lot of the time had to be done at night for fear of air raids. Pulling through the deep sand taxed the animals but they stood the test well. We first made contact with our Companies near the Sinai Peninsula.

Our Unit was named the Anzac Mounted Divisional Train… Our first encounter with the front line was near Beersheba where some fierce fighting was taking place. We had to drive at night without lights, which was most hazardous, enemy dead were laying everywhere. Next village encountered was Gaza and from there on we entered the fertile country. Orange groves, vineyards and olive grove were plentiful. After existing on very little but tin ‘Bully beef’ and biscuits for months, a change of fruit and some vegetables plus an issue of wine worked wonders with the health of the troops. Village after village fell to our troops in quick succession – Richon Le Zion, Jaffa, Ludd (or Lydda). Here we had a respite for some weeks as the enemy were entrenched in the hills ahead.

Martin Luther Dyer on his horse.

Martin Luther Dyer on his horse.

Finally, we started the ascent towards Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Here we encountered heavy rain and cold weather. It snows in the mountains at Winter. Being unprepared coming off the desert, colds and pneumonia were prevalent. We took every opportunity to see as much as possible of the Ancient Biblical Scenes…

"Souvenir de Jerusalem " Souvenir book: cover made of wood and contains various images and dried, pressed flowers.

“Souvenir de Jerusalem “
Souvenir book: cover made of wood and contains various images and dried, pressed flowers.

Tragedy struck in another form. Dysentery and malaria broke out, and took a heavy toll. I became a victim and was taken by ambulance to a hospital at Jerusalem and the by hospital train back to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Port Said, where I was a patient for 3 months. Leaving hospital I was sent back to Moasca[sic], prior to going back to the front line. Meanwhile, word arrived from Cairo and the principal City of Egypt for someone with clerical and story ability to go and make an inventory of surgical supplies and equipment. I was selected and arrived at Cairo and completed the job. Just prior to finishing, the War ended, so for a few weeks I had the opportunity to visit some of the principal places of historic interest the great Pyramids, Sphinx, Ali Mohommed Mosque, one of the most beautiful in the world, also many others. Leaving Cairo I returned again to Moasca[sic] to await embarkation for home.

"Rachel's Grab."

“Rachel’s Grab.”

In early February 1919, the long awaited word arrived and we proceeded by Lighter to board the City of Exeter. We had a good top home, called at Colombo for a day and inspected some tea plantations in Ceylon and other interesting sites, arrived in Sydney 19th March and realised there is no place like home…

I went back to business after a brief holiday and on the 13th September 1919, was married at Lithgow by Rev. RC Oakley. On the 3rd July 1920, our first child was born, Winifred Lily and soon gave up the business and moved to Nowra as a representative of a Sydney Firm. On the 9th of May 1922, our second child was born, William Morris. After some months we returned to Wollongong where I entered business until 1924 when I took a position with the Wollongong City Council as a Traffic Inspector and Ranger.

…I became absorbed in various additional positions as years went by, Clerical Assistant, Health Inspector, Building Inspector etc. On the 25th October 1929, James Henry was born. I finally retired on 29th August 1959 after 35 years with the Council. I received a beautiful presentation and a testimonial dinner on retiring.

Martin on his retirement from Wollongong Council.

Martin on his retirement from Wollongong Council.

I was a foundation [sic] member of Wiseman Park Bowling Club and have been in Office for 12 years in nearly every position up to President.

According to the Illawarra Mercury, Martin owned a grocery business on Crown St Wollongong. The article also states that he was the sole supporter of his widowed mother and sister and that he had two brothers, one being in Queensland and the other was his business partner.

Martin Luther Dyer died in April 1971.

"Flowers of Mount Olive."

“Flowers of Mount Olive.”

Charles Duff Irwin

Charles Duff Irwin, son of Thomas Kennedy Irwin Senior, was one of the Irwin sons that enlisted in the First World War. His father and brothers, Thomas Kennedy Irwin (jnr) and William McIntosh Irwin participated in the war.

He was born on 29 March, 1898 at Wollongong and lived at Campbell Street with his family. Charles attended Wollongong Public school and subsequently worked as a ‘dealer.’[1] Charles was also a member of the North Wollongong Surf Life Savers, ‘Water Rats.’

Surf Life Saving medal awarded to Charles Irwin.

Surf Life Saving medal awarded to Charles Irwin (front).

Surf Life Saving medal awarded to Charles Irwin (back).

Surf Life Saving medal awarded to Charles Irwin (back).

According to the National Australian Archives, Charles Irwin enlisted twice. He initially enlisted on 3 March 1916 and was sent to the AIF 53rd Battalion Depot, Bathurst. He was discharged on 25 April 1916 on the grounds of being ‘medically unfit.’ Reports coincide with his discharge, stating that he was in Bathurst Hospital with appendicitis, March 1916.

He enlisted again on 4 October 1916 and was accepted, joining the 13th Battalion 22nd Reinforcements. Charles’ medical examination records state that he had a scar from the appendicitis operation. He embarked on 8 November 1916 from Sydney aboard SS Port Nicholson.[2]

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(Left to right) William McIntosh Irwin, Thomas Kennedy Irwin Snr, Charles Duff Irwin.

 

His service ranged from Etaples, Havre as well as Passchendaele where he received shell wounds in both knees and back resulting in the amputation of his left leg at the 10th CCS (Casualty Clearing Station). Charles died of wounds on 16 October 1917; he was only 19 years of age. He is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium: Plot 21, Row 2, Grace E3.[3]

Grave of Charles Duff Irwin

Grave of Charles Duff Irwin

He received the British War and Victory medals as well as a Memorial Scroll and Plaque, all which were sent to his father. He is commemorated at the Australian War Memorial: Commemorative Area, panel 69.[4]

An obituary was published in Illawarra Mercury under a roll of honour; many family members had their messages published.

Illawarra Mercury: Roll of Honour 1919.

Illawarra Mercury: Roll of Honour 1919.

[5]

Charles Duff Irwin is commemorated on a number of local memorials including: Wollongong Primary School, City Church (formerly Presbyterian Church), Wollongong War Memorial as well as the North Wollongong Surf Club.

 

 

 

NAA: B2455, IRWIN CHARLES DUFF

 

[1] Australian War Memorial, Australian Imperial Force – Nominal Roll – continued, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://static.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_LARGE/RCDIG1067492/RCDIG1067492–145-.JPG&gt; viewed 26 March 2014.

[2] Australian War Memorial, Embarkation Rolls – Charles Duff Irwin, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1903432/&gt; viewed 26 March 2014.

[3] Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1631204/&gt; viewed 26 March 2014.

[4] Ibid.

[5] ‘Obituary,’ Illawarra Mercury, 10 October 1919, p.2.

Thomas Kennedy Irwin (Senior)

Thomas Kennedy Irwin was born c. 1856/7, Antrim, Ireland to James Irwin and Ellen Thompson (nee). He was known as ‘Tom’ by his family and friends. In his youth he moved to Glasgow where he married Elizabeth McIntosh. Shortly afterwards, they immigrated to Australia aboard Bann and upon arriving in Australia, lived in the Bathurst district where Tom had some relatives. However, around c. 1890 he and Elizabeth moved to 1 “Boston Terrace” Campbell St. Wollongong.[1]

Thomas Kennedy Irwin, seated.

Thomas Kennedy Irwin, seated with his sons William McIntosh Irwin (left) and Charles Duff Irwin (right).

Tom Irwin enlisted on 9 January 1901 in the Boer War (1899-1902).[2] He embarked from Sydney to Western Transvaal, South Africa in February 1902 and was listed in Colonel P.L Murray’s book as ex. No 9 Gunner 1st Queensland Mounted Infantry B Company[3] as well as ex. No 876 1st Australian Commonwealth Horse[4]. Tom Irwin returned to Sydney, Australia in July 1902 following the end of the war. The unit officially disbanded on 19 August, 1902. Subsequently, he received the award: Queen’s South Africa Medal.

In the days of the Garrison Artillery at Wollongong, Irwin was a warrant officer and served with the regiment for many years.  He had been an expert in the treatment of animals and when the Veterinary Surgeon’s Act was passed, he registered as a Veterinary Surgeon.

Irwin family (left to right). William McIntosh Irwin, Thomas Kennedy Irwin Snr, Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jnr, Charles Duff Irwin.

Irwin family (left to right). William McIntosh Irwin, Thomas Kennedy Irwin Snr, Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jnr, Charles Duff Irwin.

Relatives have told Wollongong City Library that Banjo Paterson asked Tom to enlist to look after the horses. On 24 September 1915, Tom complied and enlisted; he registered as 50 years of age when in fact, he was much older. Relatives still have the whip which was given to him by Banjo Paterson.  He was accepted into the army and went to Egypt as part of a Remount section to look after the horses of the Light Horse Regiment whilst they were fighting in the trenches at Gallipoli.

IRWIN2

Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jnr and Snr.

Irwin was the oldest returned soldier at the age of 62. He was sent home after the men returned and could take care of the horses. He disembarked on 22 April 1916 aboard HMAT Seeang Bee and was assigned home defence duties until he was discharged on 17 June, 1916. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star Medal, Victory Medal and British War Medal. According to H.W (Herbert Wrigley)  Wilson in The Great War, Sir General John Maxwell was the Commander of troops in Egypt 1915. Thomas Kennedy Irwin Senior was attached to the first embarkment of men and equipment for Mena Camp in Egypt on 17 October, 1915. These operations were kept secret and lasted five days. The equipment included 9 000 horses, 70 large guns, 3 Infantry Brigades, 2 Light Horse Squadrons, 2 Field Artillery Brigades, Engineers and Signal Companies, Ammunitions and Field Ambulances. [5]

Thomas Kennedy Irwin Snr at Waratah March.

Thomas Kennedy Irwin Snr (marked) at Waratah March.

Tom and his wife had twelve children together although only nine survived. Many followed their father’s steps and enlisted in the First and Second World Wars.

He died on 9 May, 1930 at the age of 74. On the day of the funeral a gun carriage was taken up and down Kenny St. Thomas Kennedy Irwin is buried at Wollongong cemetery.

His obituary states that he was a man of very fine personality, straightforward and manly in all his dealings as well as a good friend. He was always ready to do a good deed, and was never known to have done anything dishonourable or dirty.[6]

Illawarra Mercury, 9 May 1930, p.10.

Illawarra Mercury, 9 May 1930, p.10.

NAA: B2455M IRWIN, THOMAS KENNEDY


[1] ‘Obituary,’ Illawarra Mercury, 16 May 1930, p.5.

[2] Australian War Memorial, Australia and the Boer War 1899-1902, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/boer/&gt; viewed 5 February 2014.

[3] Australian War Memorial, Boer War Nominal Roll – Thomas Irwin, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1446219/&gt; viewed 29 January 2014.

[4] Australian War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1439891/&gt; viewed 29 January 2014.

[5] Wilson, Herbert Wigley, The Great War: The Standard History of the all-Europe conflict vol. 5, Amalgamated Press, London, 1916.

[6] ‘Obituary,’ Illawarra Mercury, 16 May 1930, p.5.

Richard Houghton

Richard Houghton was born in Durham, England, in November 1893 to Andrew and Mary Lizzie. When he and his family moved to Australia (1913), resided at Gray Street, Keiraville.

He was worked as a blacksmith before the war but ultimately enlisted as did his younger brother, William.

Richard Houghton - service photograph.

Richard Houghton – service photograph.

Family have shared the typed out reminisces of Richard, typed up by his brother, William Houghton. It also includes hand drawn maps depicting the lines and tactics.

HOUGH_K-07.1

HOUGH_K-07.4

Richard served in the 31st Infantry Battalion, 8 Brigade, 5 Division which was commonly referred to as:

The 31st Battalion was known to the rest of the Aussie Army as Tivvy’s chocs, the reason being that General Tivvy, as a colonel, had been the battalion commander right through until the formation of the new units in Egypt,  when he was promoted Brigadier General in charge of the either Brigade.

And so the battalion was the only one in the Australian army to have a nickname, and they were proud of it.

The brigade was explained as:

The 8th Brigade, consisting of the 29th, 30th, 31st and 32nd battalions, which formed the left flank of the attack had, while waiting in the front line, suffered more severely than the rest of the Australian troops. The reason for this was partly that it lay on the flank, and partly that its front line, running closer to the enemy than that of the other sectors not only received special attention from him, but also caught a number of shells from its own guns intended for the enemy’s wire…

…Several hundred yards farther still could be seen barbed wire entanglements – probably those protecting a German strong-point, known as “Grashof”, then in course of construction. Toll knew that this could not possibly be the “Support Line” referred to in the operation orders, and it appeared to be a strong position. Small parties of the 14th Brigade could be seen away on the right, and Toll tried to communicate with them, and Bernard went out to obtain toich and was immediately shot, – Toll then returned and found that Major Eckersley’s line was still out of touch with any troops on either flank. The sun was setting and from Delangre farm and the houses of Les Clochers village beyond there came this chatter of machine-guns. The enemy’s guns had found and were effectively shelling the unprotected troops, who were also caught by occasional shells from their own guns. The men were consequently under no small strain, and German reinforcements could be seen moving from the year to Delangre farm…

Richard was fighting in Fromelles when he was reported missing in action on July 19, 1916 and was reported wounded in action on July 20, 1916. He was admitted to hospital on July 21 and subsequently died of his wounds in Bevan Military Hospital, Sandgate, England on August 5, 1916. He was 22 years of age.

Richard Houghton is buried at Hatton Lane Cemetery, England; a photo of his grave has been shared below. He is commemorated at Australian War Memorial, panel 118 at the Commemorative area and well as Keiraville Public School’s Roll of Honour.

HOUGH_K-05.1

NAA: B2455, HOUGHTON R 2340

James Dobing

James Dobing was born to Christopher and Elizabeth and raised in Keiraville. He attended Keiraville Public and lived with his parents at Parson St, Zlotkowski via Wollongong.

He was a wheeler prior to enlistment.

James Dobing

James Dobing

James enlisted on 19 January, 1916. He enlisted with and joined the same battalion as Matthew Tubman: 36th Battalion, Infantry. They were both embarked on 5 July, 1916 from Sydney upon HMAT Ajana 31.[1] James, along with Matthew was subsequently killed in action on 22 January 1917.[2]

According to the Australian War Memorial, James was only 24 at his death.  He is buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery.

An obituary was subsequently posted in the Illawarra Mercury:

DOBING-IM 9 FEB 1917 P2[3]

Memorial Service- A largely attended and impressive service was conducted in the Keiraville Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon in connection with the death of Privates Mat Tubman and James Dobing. The Honour Roll, on which the names of the two heroes are inscribed, was draped in black. The Rev. F. Duesbury’s remarks were appropriate to the occasion and special hymns were rendered by the choir. The member of the Glen Wollongong Druid’s Lodge, of which Private Tubman was assistant secretary, were present in regalia.[4]


[1] Australian War Memorial, First World War Embarkation Rolls – James Dobing, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, <http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/person/R1987134&gt;, viewed 29 January 2014.

[2] Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour – James Dobing, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2014, < http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person/R1725619/&gt;, viewed 29 January 2014.

[3] ‘Roll of Honor,’ Illawarra Mercury, 9 February 1917, p. 2.

[4] ‘Keiraville,’ Illawarra Mercury, 23 February 1917, p. 2.

NAA: B2455, DOBING J

Jenkin Rees

Jenkin Rees was born 27 March, 1892 in Wollongong to Edward and Amelia (nee Brown) Rees. They lived at the Cordeaux River and worked as a market gardener at Windy Gully. Jenkin used to cut “pit props” for the coal mines.

Family Bible (1803)

Family Bible (1803)

Family Bible (1803)

Family Bible (1803)

He enlisted at the age of 23 joining the 1st AIF 13/23 Reinforcements and sailed from Sydney on Euripides, 9 June 1916. He arrived at Plymouth, England on 26 October, 1916. Subsequent to his arrival, he was posted at France. Jenkin was wounded in action between 5th and 8th, May 1917 and was taken to hospital in England via Boulogne.

He returned to Australian 6 June, 1918 and was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

'Welcome Home,' Illawarra Mercury, 9/08/1918, p.7.

‘Welcome Home,’ Illawarra Mercury, 9/08/1918, p.7.

Jenkin had one daughter, Joyce.

In 1928 a fire destroyed his home and all his possessions. He wrote to the Base Records office in attempt to retain his military documents which was approved. The form can be found on the National Archives of Australia.

Embarkation records on the Australian War Memorial list his name as Jenken Rees.

Norman McLeod Smith

Norman McLeod Smith, alderman and Mayor of Wollongong enlisted on 10 September 1917. He was born in December 1884 to James and Margaret Anne Smith. After attending the local school he began a career in the public sector until he was appointed as an alderman for Wollongong Council around 1910. Norman was elected Mayor of Wollongong in 1916 and held that position for approximately fourteen years. He was active an active member of the public sphere and engaged in a number of activities such as becoming a member of the Masonic Lodge, Vice President of the Amalgamated Railways and Tramways Union as well as President of Wollongong Bowling Club.

Ald. Smith obtained a leave of absence to join the front in 1917; he was 32 years of age at the time, The Illawarra Mercury reported the incident (21 September 1917), stating that the most recent Council meeting would be Mayor Smith’s last as he was expected to be in the Military Camp by the time of the next scheduled meeting. The issue of whether he would retain office once he returned was also on the agenda. Thus, the council appointed a deputy mayor in his steed meaning that once he returned from the front, he would be able to return to his position. The motion was carried unanimously highlighting his popularity.

Portrait of Norman Smith.

Portrait of Norman Smith.

He joined the 19th Infantry Battalion, 18 to 21 Reinforcements and embarked from Melbourne on 28 February 1918 on HMAT Nestor A71. During his time on active service, he was reported as having trench foot. He returned to Australia on 4 April, 1919. Norman was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

Norman Smith first on the left.

Norman Smith first on the left.

On his return, as agreed upon, he returned to his appointed position as major. Mayor Smith was instrumental in instating public utilities in Wollongong such as the electric light, sewerage as well as the opening of Wollongong’s new, Town Hall in 1927. He married Shannon in 1922, of the Nursing Staff of Wollongong Hospital; together, they had two children.

He died on Friday, 25 May 1928. The Illawarra Mercury contains an extended obituary.

Illawarra Mercury: 25 May, 1928.

Illawarra Mercury: 25 May, 1928.

The whole article can be read on TROVE.

AWM, Embarkation Roll – Norman McLeod Smith, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2013, <http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/person/R1865874/ > viewed 15 January 2014.

‘Death of Mayor of Wollongong,’ Illawarra Mercury, 25 May 1928, p.14.

‘The Mayor Honoured,’ Illawarra Mercury, 25 January 1918, p.8.

‘Wollongong’s Mayor Obtains leave of absence,’ Illawarra Mercury, 21 September 1917.

Edwin George Duchesne

Edwin George Duchesne, known as George Duchesne, was born on 27 September, 1896. He is the younger brother of William Sydney Duchesne; their father owned Crown St Newsagency (opposite NAB today) which was where George worked prior to enlisting.

He enlisted at Sydney on 2 February 1916 as driver. George embarked at Sydney for England on 30 May 1916 with the 3rd Divisional Train, 24th Company, Australian Army Service Corps on the HMAT Persic. He disembarked at Plymouth on 25 July, 1916 and proceeded to France later that year. He was appointed to lance corporal on 2 February 1919 and later appointed temporary corporal (2 April 1919).

George Duchesne's enlistment form,

George Duchesne’s enlistment form,

He was discharged at Sydney on 11 October 1919 and received the British War and Victory Medals in honour of his service.

George Duchesne was the treasurer of Wollongong RSL and was given a Tea Service. He married to Nellie Cutherbert (nee) Kershaw and together, they had two children: Marie and John.

 

NAA: B2455, DUCHESNE G

Henry Edward O’Neill

Doc seated, left.

Doc seated, left.

Henry Edward O’Neill, born on May 10 1892 in Mt Keira to Edward O’Neill and Ann Staunton (nee), enlisted on August 29 1915. Prior to his enlistment, he worked as a driver. He joined the 17th Battalion and was known as “Doc” which can be seen in his diary and letters.

He received letters from his girlfriend at the time, Myrtle while at the front.

Page 1 of a letter from Myrtle to Doc.

Page 1 of a letter from Myrtle to Doc.

Postcard from Myrtle to Doc.

Postcard from Myrtle to Doc.

Doc also kept a diary which depicted an insight into his time at the front and in the trenches.

“[Foe] shelled on April 19th while doing Engineers fatigue, I have the hottest time I ever wish to experience. Shells bursting all round us not 20 yards away, but we get out of it luckily by crouching in a deep sap. I duck under a seat in the sap at the first explosion and there we are praying & …, while 40 odd shells burst round us. After it’s calm, I am pulled up by Major Travers for not saluting him when on the way to […] It’s the last straw, & I feel like roaring, but don’t. Back into the trenches on the same night…”

“We are all ordered into a cellar, but only 3 shells come over. One artillery man has his head blown off outside the hospital, & a lot of gravestones are shattered in the church yard. That night we are treated to a [light] attack of weeping gas. Go on by car.”

Front cover of Doc's diary.

Front cover of Doc’s diary.

Doc returned to Australia on December 18, 1918 and subsequently married Beatrice Blenkinsopp (nee); together they had five children. Altogether, he served for three years and 219 days and was abroad for three years and 55 days. He lived at Church St, Wollongong until his death in 1964.

 

Doc received the British War and Victory medals for his service.

Oliver Holmes Heard

Oliver Holmes Heard, born in 1893 at the Railway House, Bulli to Roger and Sarah Heard was a woodworking machinist prior to the war.

Oliver enlisted on 22 July, 1915 at the age of 21. Initially he joined the 17th Battalion and was later transferred to the 11th Battalion.

Oliver Heard, 1918.

Oliver Heard, 1918.

His diary from the Front begins in October 1915 and ends in 1916. It contains names and addresses  of friends in Wollongong and entries regarding the war and service details.

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Oliver returned home from the war in 1919 and subsequently married Elvira Nellie aka Vera Wakeford, sister of Muriel Wakeford. Together they had three children and lived on Staff St, Wollongong. Oliver then worked at Boyded Industries. He received the Victory, Star and British War medals as recognition for his service in the First World War.

Below is a photo of Vera on the left and Oliver on the right in his WWI uniform, taken around 1940.

Vera left, Oliver right. c1940.

Vera and Oliver in his WWI uniform, at their Staff St. home c1940

Oliver Heard died in 1967 at the age of 74 at Wollongong.