Louis Lucas (Lou) OLIVER

OLIVER, Louis Lucas

Service Number: 650
Enlisted: 16 September 1914, Yarram, Victoria
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column
Born: Warrenbayne, Victoria, 1897
Home Town: Baddaginnie, Benalla, Victoria
Schooling: Baddaginnie State School and Wangaratta High School
Occupation: Teacher
Died: Natural causes, North Balwyn, Victoria, 1980
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Benalla Uniting Church Memorial Window, Violet Town A.N.A. Branch No 204 Honor Roll, Violet Town Honour Roll WW1, Violet Town Primary School Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

16 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 650, Yarram, Victoria
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 650, 4th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 650, 4th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Barunga, Melbourne
11 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Gunner, 650, 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column
28 Mar 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, 650, 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column

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OLIVER Louis Lucas 650 GNR
2nd Divisional Ammunition Column

Lou, as he was called by his family and friends was born at Warrenbayne. He was the fifth child of Joseph and Mary Oliver, there being seven boys and three girls in the family. He was educated at the Baddaginnie State School where his name appears on the Honour Board, along with his younger brother Cliff who also served in WW1.

His secondary schooling was spent at the Wangaratta High School; while there he was a member of the Junior Cadets.  Then on to Teacher training which lead to posts at Stacy’s Bridge State School where he was a member of the Rifle Club, and then the Violet Town State School from where he enlisted on 16 September 1914 at the age of 21.

Initial training with the 4th Light Horse Regiment at Caulfield Racecourse took him to 21 December when he embarked with the 1st reinforcement aboard HMAT Barunga bound for Egypt. The Light Horse camp at Mena, south of Cairo prepared the troops for desert warfare.  But first they served on Gallipoli which, being of rough terrain and unsuitable for mounted troops, the Light Horse Regiments were deployed without their mounts as infantry.  Much of the Regiment’s time at Gallipoli was spent around Ryrie’s Post.

After the evacuation from Gallipoli the regiment moved back to Egypt until March 1916 when it sailed for Marseilles for defence of the Western Front. Lou remained in Egypt having been admitted to hospital at Heliopolis suffering from debility. Returning to his unit on 24 October at Zeitoun he was transferred to the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column. Late in March he sailed for Marseilles, spending most of the year suffering from illnesses common to the western front, influenza, scabies, boils, dysentery, then in November he was gassed for which he was hospitalized in England.

On 31 December 1918 he returned to Australia aboard the troopship Port Hacking.

He was discharged on 28 March 1919.

Returning from the war he studied Law at the University of Melbourne. On his graduation he joined the firm of Oswald Burt and Co. He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor to the Supreme Court in 1926 and served until 1947. In that year he was appointed Taxing master of the Supreme Court. He served in this positon until his retirement in 1960.  He was well known for his book ‘The Law of Costs.’

He and Violet May Smith from Lurg were married on 21 September 1920. There were no children.  Violet Died in 1991.

Lou has been described as modest, self-deprecating with a gentle kind of humour. He was a perfectionist, always demanding meticulous detail.

He was an excellent chess player, competing successfully both nationally and overseas.

He died in 1980 at his residence in North Balwyn; he was 83.

Service Medals: 1914-15 Star    British War Medal    Victory Medal

Honour Boards: Violet Town State School Honour Board (teacher)
                            Copper Plaque affixed to exterior wall, Memorial hall, Violet Town
                            ANA Honour Board
                            Main Honour Board, Memorial Hall, Violet Town
                             Baddaginnie State School

Tree no 37 was planted in 1917 by F Peacock

In 2013 a Ceratonia siliqua - Carob Tree - was planted by Janet Oliver (niece-in-law)


© Sheila Burnell