Sunday, 30 November 2014

Stanley Grattan Gould's war

2044 Private Stanley Grattan Gould, 26th Infantry Battalion then 7th Machine Gun Company. Image courtesy AWM. Image DA10564.

Stanley Gould was the younger brother of John Gould, the subject of my last blog entry. Both brothers are featured on page 7 of the Coburg State School Soldiers' Book, which is available online on the Moreland Library Services Local History Catalogue. 

Stanley enlisted in July 1915 aged 19 and sailed for the Front in September that year. He served briefly on the Gallipoli Peninsula before heading for France where he was wounded at Pozieres in August 1916 and evacuated to England with a mild gun shot wound to his arm. He rejoined his unit in October 1916. 

After his return to Australia in April 1919, Stanley returned to the family home at 5 Young Street, Coburg until the early 1930s when he and his younger brother Allan crossed the continent and tried their luck as farmers in Carnamah, Western Australia. 

You can read much more about Stanley (Dick) Gould on the award-winning Carnamah website, which is worth a visit even if you are not interested in the history of the area. It is a good-looking, easy to navigate site that will keep you interested for hours. The blog, the virtual museum, the Biographical Dictionary, the photo collection and all the other treats in store are there to remind all of us how 'alive' history can be.

Allan Gould, known as Angus, was born in Coburg in 1898, tried to enlist in 1916 when he was 18, but was rejected on account of poor eyesight. He tried again in January 1918 and was again rejected. Later, he served in World War Two, enlisting from Carnamah, Western Australia.

The Carnamah website provides more information on Allan (Angus) Gould's life in the West.

A fourth brother, Frank, born at Coburg in 1908, was too young to serve in WW1 but served as a Lieutenant in WW2, having enlisted from Wiluna in Western Australia. He moved to the West in 1926 to join his brothers on their farming venture at Carnamah.

By 1937, Stanley and Allan's partnership had broken up and Stanley was back living in the family home at 5 Young Street, Coburg.

West Australian, 28 June 1937, p.19

Stanley married Beryl Colman in 1939. They lived variously at Port Melbourne and Kew. He died at Kew in 1975 aged 79.

Friday, 28 November 2014

John Gould of Young Street, Coburg visits Paris

The foyer of LĂ“pera, Paris. I found this postcard in an antique shop in Oatlands, Tasmania. It was dated March 1918.

Le Gare d'Est, Paris. Another postcard found in the same antique shop in Oatlands, Tasmania. It was sent home to someone called Earnest. The writing in pencil on the back of both cards is faint but I can just make out that they are from Earnest's brother Alf. I wonder what Earnest made of the splendour of the Opera House, in particular. A far cry from Oatlands, or Young Street, Coburg for that matter. 

It's a long way from Young Street, Coburg to Paris, France, but in November 1918 Sergeant Fred John Gould (known as John) found himself on the streets of Paris at the time of the Armistice. What an experience it must have been!

5387 Sergeant Fred John Gould. The photo is taken from page 7 of the Coburg State School Soldiers' Book, available online through Moreland Libraries' Local History Catalogue. Image courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

The eldest child of Frederick William and Adelaide (Pegler) Gould of 5 Young Street, Coburg, John Gould was a bank accountant when he enlisted in the 8th Infantry Battalion in January 1916 aged 22. As noted earlier, he was on leave in Paris from 2 November 1918 until 15 November 1918. We will never know what he thought of that experience, as it is noted in his entry in the Coburg State School Soldiers' Book that his diary was stolen from him in England, but the following photos will give you a bit of an idea of the scenes he must have encountered at the Peace Procession held in Paris to mark the end of the war.

Image courtesy AWM. Image H18147. Paris peace procession. Paris, France. 1918. Soldiers from many countries who fought with France in WW1 gather around a war memorial after the Peace Procession. (Donor French Official Photograph) 

Image courtesy AWM. Image H18132 Paris, France. 1918. American Army soldiers with flags flying in the Peace Procession. (Donor French Official Photograph)

Perhaps John Gould visited the Maxime Bar while he was in Paris.

Image courtesy AWM. Image H03656. Paris, France. 1918-08-20. A group of Australian, New Zealand and South African soldiers and a lady from the New Zealand Volunteer Service relaxing on leave with a drink outside the Maxime Bar. 

It is likely, too, that he visited the soldiers' club known as a 'Corner of Blighty in Paris'. It was a voluntary organisation for British soldiers, headed by Miss Lily Butler, CBE but it was frequented by Australians, too.

Image courtesy AWM. Image A01190. An informal group portarit of unidentified Australian soldiers outside 'A Corner of Blighty in Paris.

Image courtesy AWM. Image A01192. Soldiers relaxing in the lounge of the 'Corner of Blighty in Paris'. Some of the men are reading, while others enjoy the music being played on the piano. Four women are gathered around the piano. Note the elaborate chandelier.

Image courtesy AWM. Image A01193. Unidentified soldiers and civilian women enjoying the tea rooms in the 'Corner of Blighty in Paris'. A desk and chair are to the left, on the desk is a book, a newspaper, a clock and a bottle, probably an ink bottle and a vase of flowers. The woman in the centre of the photo in the extraordinary hat is Miss Lily Butler, CBE.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

War related advertising

I've become fascinated by the way advertisers used the war to promote their wares.

For example, Havelock tobacco had a range of military themes, including this one directed at officers, or so it seems. Smoking Havelock was clearly going to make you a better officer.

Mount Alexander Mail, 28 June 1917

The Empire Cocoa people got in on the act, too, with their appeal to Australians' sense of duty (with a bit of guilt thrown in for good measure?):
Warrnambool Standard, 18 September 1916

The following ad for 'Bookstall' novels reminds us that soldiers often had free time to read and had a 'hankering for anything Australian':
Australasian, 4 August 1917

I found those ads in country or national newspapers and it made me wonder what sort of patriotic appeals were made to the people of Coburg and Brunswick.
I found no references to the war in local papers in the first months of the war. Some, like this ad for Tarran's Carriage Works, recalled a bygone era. The pastoral scene depicted here seems more suited to a Thomas Hardy novel than a Melbourne suburb at war.
Brunswick and Coburg Star, 8 January 1915, p.4

Then there was the Primrose Dairy ad, reminding us that despite the war, life went on as usual.
Brunswick and Coburg Star, 6 August 1916, p.4.

On the same page, though, was an ad from Green's Newsagency, bringing our attention back to the war and reminding us of the losses involved, with its reminder that it specialised in mourning cards and offered a 'nice assortment of Soldiers' Mourning Cards'.
Brunswick and Coburg Star,6 August 1916.

For those busily knitting garments to send to the front, Hutton's of North Carlton was the place to go.
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 26 November 1915.

Motor cycle riders were not forgotten, either. Andrew Johstone of the Thistle Motor Garage (and Thistle Cycling Club). This rather splendid ad appeared in the Brunswick and Coburg Star on 21 May 1915 and I can't help wondering whether Andrew Johnstone had heard the news yet that his son Donald had been killed at Gallipoli earlier that month (on 8 May).

By Christmas 1916, Grundy's had organised sending gifts to the Front:
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 22 December 1916 (and preceding three months)

Blakeley and Jackson catered for patriotic locals who could have their Christmas cards made up in their particular soldier's battalion colours. I wonder how families who had sons, brothers or fathers in different battalions decided on a colour scheme?
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 19 October 1917

And an important patriotic duty was to ensure a steady supply of tobacco to the Front, as evidenced in this ad for the Southern Cross Tobacco Fund.
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 28 June 1918

I'll give the last word to local builder Robert Irvine, who looked firmly to the future, even in 1916.
Brunswick and Coburg Star, 31 March 1916

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A widower decides to enlist: Hugh McLaughlin's story

Hugh McLaughlin was born in Monreagh, Ireland, but when he and his wife Bridget emigrated to Victoria, they did so from Scotland where their first four children were born. 

After their arrival in Melbourne, three more children were born. Sadly, one died young, then in July 1915 Bridget died, aged only 27, leaving Hugh to raise their six surviving children alone. Their eldest child was just seven years old and the youngest four months old.

In December 1916, when the family was living at 136 Barrow Street, Coburg, Hugh McLaughlin decided to enlist. His motivation for doing so is unclear, as to do so his children had to be placed in orphanages. 

Perhaps it was the regular income that motivated him? The Roll of Honour Circular gives his occupation as a 'bricklayer journeyman', suggesting that he did not have a steady source of income.

Mount Alexander Mail, 21 August 1917

After looking at this Ready Reckoner, I wonder what a widower with six children was paid per fortnight and whether that money was sent to the various institutions that were looking after his children.

Hugh McLaughlin left for the Western Front on 9 February 1917, giving his eldest son, William, of St Joseph's Orphanage, Surrey Hills, as his next of kin.

When he was killed in action in France on 9 August 1918, the news was sent to 10 year old William. Although I first read Hugh McLaughlin's file some time ago, it shocks me still that the wording of the correspondence to this child is in the officialese that went to all next-of-kin. There was no softening of words, so I only hope that one of the staff at St Joseph's Orphanage took pity on the young boy and broke the news gently.

Hugh McLaughlin is remembered in the Memorial Avenue of Trees at Lake Reserve, Coburg. His was the fourth tree planted on the day of the planting ceremony in 1919. Although his son William was invited to plant the tree in honour of his father, St Joseph's sent a letter saying he was too young to attend and the Mayor of the day, Mayor McAlpine, took his place.

The poignancy of the children's situation is brought home in the following letter that was in Hugh's attestation papers.

It is heartening to know that the children had some visitors, such as Mrs Brown, and that they were not completely forgotten. 

Some years later, William McLaughlin wrote from the Marist Brothers Juniorate, Our Lady of the Hermitage, Mittagong, NSW. William later enlisted in World War Two and was killed in action in Ambon in 1945.

I wondered what had become of the six children, orphaned at such a young age until I came across an elaborate and moving family grave at Coburg Cemetery. It's in the Roman Catholic section of the cemetery.

In this not very clear photo taken by me, the headstone makes it clear that the McLaughlin connection to Coburg was not severed with the death of Hugh and Bridget McLaughlin. The last surviving child of the family died in Coburg in 2005. 

The headstone also makes a proud statement about the McLaughlin family and there is a very strong suggestion that the children remained in contact and that they stood firm as a family. 

I hope so, anyway.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Whatever happened to Linda Davis, fundraiser extraordinaire?

I've been thrown the challenge to continue the story of Linda Davis, Queen of Soldiers, whom you will have read about often if you've been following this blog.

Linda Davis, Queen of Soldiers, Table Talk, 2 August 1917, p.18.

I can't tell you much, I'm afraid. I do know that she went on a 'health visit' to Western Australia in April 1918. (Punch, 11 April 1918, p.24) So perhaps she was exhausted after years of fundraising and organising patriotic events.

And I can tell you that she attended a novelty night at the Cooee Social Club dressed as a 'Turkish lady' in September 1920, so she was still on the scene then.

Table Talk, 9 September 1920

She disappears from the electoral rolls after 1919, so I'm guessing that she married at some stage before the 1924 elections. I haven't been able to locate her death anywhere in Australia, so I'm left knowing very little about what happened to Linda Davis next.

Perhaps there is someone out there reading this who can tell us?

And on another matter, is there anyone who can tell me more about the Cooee Social Club? I've been reading articles on TROVE and it appears to be a continuation of a fundraising group from the war years, but I can't find anything to confirm that. There appear to have been many Cooee Clubs and I'm wondering whether they were run under the banner of the Red Cross.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Linda Davis and Glenroy Military Hospital fundraising

Recently I posted a number of blog entries about the Glenroy Military Hospital. In the most recent entry on this topic, I mentioned that Linda Davis, of 'Moreland Hall' in Jessie Street, Coburg, was responsible for a number of fundraising efforts, including several raffles.

I've been trying to find out more about the house that was raffled. It was located in Croydon Road, Canterbury (now listed as Surrey Hills) and you'd think the winning ticket holder would have been over the moon at winning a house valued at £600.

However, by mid-October 1917 no one had come forward to claim the prize! The winning ticket number was advertised a number of times, but what happened to the house remains a mystery.

Argus, 19 September 1917

Yea Chronicle, 18 October 1917

I've checked TROVE for all of 1918 but then it becomes much more difficult to search the newspapers, because very few are online after the end of World War One.

So, if anyone out there knows what happened to the house, it would be wonderful to hear from you. Who did have ticket number 66,120, the winning ticket? And did they ever get to live in the double-fronted brick villa in Croydon Road, Canterbury?

Just to remind you, here is the advertisement for the house being raffled:

Weekly Times, 4 August 1917, p.34