Sunday, 29 March 2015

Coburg Branch of Old Linen Society

Goods made by the Northcote Red Cross Society for sick and wounded Australian soldiers. (Donated by the Australian Red Cross Society) Image courtesy AWM. Image H11735.

 From the Annual Report of Coburg Red Cross Branch. 
Brunswick and Coburg Leader, 10 August 1917, p.1.

Mrs Minnie Yorke was in charge of the Old Linen Branch of the Coburg Red Cross Society. Eighteen women met on Thursday afternoons to prepare the old linen but their efforts were often hampered by lack of supplies. Some of the members of the Old Linen Branch in Coburg were Mrs Edwards, Mrs Rudrum, Mrs Wood (Red Cross Branch President), Mrs Ward (Red Cross Branch Secretary) and Mrs Springhall.

Minnie Yorke, whose husband Robert worked at Pentridge, had two sons at the war: her eldest son Robert and youngest son Roy. 2920 Signaller Roy Yorke, 6th Infantry Battalion was an old boy of Coburg State School and will be featured in Coburg Historical Society’s ANZAC Centenary Project.

Martha Edwards was married to Chief Warder George Edwards and lived in the Officers’ Quarters at Pentridge Prison. Three of her sons – Harold Norman, Sidney Harris and Ernest – served and returned.

Edith Rudrum was the wife of William Rudrum, a Pentridge warder and lived in the Officers’ Quarters at Pentridge Prison. She was the  mother of Lieutenant Arthur (Carl) Rudrum, 8th Infantry Brigade Train. (later Captain, 5th Divisional Train, ASC). Carl Rudrum survived the war and died in 1969 aged 82.

Alice Wood, the Branch President, was the widow of Edwin Wood, former Governor of Sale Prison. He had been appointed Governor of Pentridge, but died suddenly before he could take up the appointment. She then opened a draper’s shop in Sydney Road, Coburg. Alice Wood was the mother of four soldier sons – Carlyle (Carl), Charles, Stanley and Edwin.

Mary Ward, the Branch Secretary, was the wife of John Henry Ward, rate collector and member of the Coburg Recruiting Committee. Their son Leslie (13365 Private Leslie Thomas Ward, 12th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps) died on 12 March 1917 of wounds received near Rouen.  As an old boy of Coburg State School  he will be featured in Coburg Historical Society’s ANZAC Centenary Project.

Elizabeth Springhall was the wife of John Alexander Springhall of ‘Lyndon’, Bell Street, Coburg, a former Post Office Superintendent. Her son Stanley (32376 Gunner Leonard Stanley Springhall, 21st Howitzer Brigade) survived the war, did not marry and died in 1969 aged 82. Interestingly, George Springhall, Elizabeth Springhall’s brother-in-law, married Melbourne pioneer John Pascoe Fawkner’s adopted daughter Eliza Ann. They had two sons who served in the 1st AIF, Clement Pascoe Springhall and Victor Hubert Springhall. Like their cousin Stanley, they both survived the war.

Abbeville, France. The Red Cross Store, Australian Branch, at No 3 Australian General Hospital with a Red Cross car standing by ready for action. (Donor Miss P.N. Robertson, Australian Red Cross Society, Melbourne)
Image courtesy AWM. Image H13602.

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