Violet Town


Located on the Hume Highway between Benalla and Euroa, Violet Town's history traces back to before Victoria seceded from the colony of New South Wales. The Surveyor-General Major Mitchell stopped at the site in 1836 on what was then known as Violet Creek (now Honeysuckle Creek). Violet Town has an active and growing RSL and a strong tradition of service to Australia in times of conflict from the Boer War. The first memorial to the two soldiers from Violet Town who fell in the Boer War was unveiled in 1901 and the Memorial Hall was opened in 1925 to commemorate the fallen from World War One. For more information about Violet Town, follow the links on the right. 



Soldiers of the King

No holiday camp is that at Broadmeadows, where six thousand of Victoria's young men are daily drilling and becoming inured to the hardships attendant on "the tented field," preparatory to sailing overseas to help uphold the empire flag.
The times are stressful - never more so in the World's history. Great Britain is engaged in a supreme test at the hands of the military machine that has held Europe in thraldom during the past quarter of a century.
Germany has bent every energy and all the resources of an advanced civilisation, to the work of creating a murder-machine pre-eminent in its terrible efficiency.
Yet, when it is said that Germany has done so, we probably libel its millions of peace-loving and admirable citizens-for the average German does not want war. He realises too intensely what it means for himself and others.
The trouble is that the ruling classes, lacking the instinct of the British to grasp the true principles of government, have taken the god of force as their ideal, and have steadily inoculated the nation with the notion that patriotism and duty call for continuous sacrifices to the end that, when "the day" arrived for Germany to dictate her wishes to the world, other peoples should know that those wishes were commands, to be enforced by the mailed fist if necessary.
France, Russia, Great Britain, Belgium, Japan, America, have all been threatened and humiliated in turn, by the knot of military despots who now are using the German war machine with such terrible results to the poor wretches of German peasantry, who are forced by the military laws to march to their doom under the black eagles.
At the fearful cost of over 200,000 men, the German war engine has been thrust, into France, and many thousands of French, Belgian and British soldiers have laid down their lives to save civilisation - to save the world from being dragged at the heels of Kaiserdom.
The Broadmeadows camp is a typical centre where an Australian protest is being prepared, to be presented presently with rifle and bayonet-point; with the pluck and sinew "of a people born of the sunshine of the south, whose nostrils have never drawn other than the breath of freedom, whose blood-canals carry centuries of pioneering civilisation.
These men have sprung forward at the empire call, and are grimly preparing for men's work.
Many of them are boys in years and light-heartedness, but the man-mark is already upon them, as they settle down to the intricacies of drill with oneness of purpose that bespeaks recognition of a stern time ahead, and a resolution that the shock of battle shall find them, at least, fitted to do their best to uphold everything that Britishers mean when the Union Jack is raised aloft.
On Sunday the camp was open to visitors, and the roads leading to Broadmeadows were white with dust and black with conveyances of all kinds, from motor car to banana truck, while thousands of people travelled by train.
Every tent had its quota of friends and relatives, and photographers were busy "snapping" groups of soldiers and friends, pictures that may carry strange histories and memories later on.
At not a few of the tents were to be seen wives with children in arms; in others the husband tossing his little ones in the air in-perhaps a final spasm of home-life enjoyment.
There was little or no foolish laughter among even the groups of merry girls and boys, for the shadow of war was upon all, and a realisation of what that means was apparent even in the most feather-headed.
Despite the number of visitors, routine work went on as usual; squads of men marched with fixed bayonet to change guards; others were stationed between the tent lines, confining the general traffic to main avenues, and on all sides discipline was in evidence.
At 5 p.m. precisely, all visitors were excluded, and the men went to supper, and early to bed, to be prepared for a strenuous day from dawn till dark on the morrow.
The lads are being allowed to visit their home-towns (where, in the majority of instances, they are being publicly "farewelled ) and, later, will tranship for England, whither their future will be followed with the utmost interest by the whole Commonwealth.
"Cooee!"-Britain calling
Children o'er the sea!
Austral sons, responding,
Answer cheerily.

"Cooee!"-Sons of Britain,
Hear the Mother-call!
Guard the frontier, brothers,
Empire-builders all!

"Cooee!"-Let the echo
Round our sea-set isle
Stir the blood, as units
Form in rank and file!

"Cooee!"-Men and brethren,
Up! as springs the stag!
Write your empire-story!
Men, defend the flag!

Violet Town Sentinel, Tuesday 15 September 1914

Submitted by Shirley Beaumont


Honoring the Volunteers: A Successful Farewell Function

A most enthusiastic gathering was that which met at the Mechanics' Institute on Monday last to do honor, and say farewell, to the local soldier boys who are going with the Australian Expeditionary Force to Europe, the hall being crowded. The volunteers present were - Ptes J. Underwood, J. and W. Stevenson and T. Hancock. The other Violet Town representatives were unable to obtain sufficient leave. Proceedings opened with "God Save the King." Cr Johnston Wilson (in the absence of the shire president) occupied the chair, and after referring to their pluck in offering to brave the trials and difficulties of a soldiers life, concluded with words of encouragement to the volunteers.
Mr MacDonald referred to the fine physique of the troops in the camp at Broadmeadows and thought that Violet Town representatives heId their own in that matter. He spoke of the reverses of fortune which must at times be met by the British arms and the Allies, but said there was no occasion for despondency, and they must look forward to the hour of victory, knowing that it must ultimately come. He also expressed sympathy with, the naturalized Germans in the Empire, and referred to the necessity of the British people extending courteous treatment to them, for they were not in the least responsible for the war nor were the German people for that matter, but it was the actions of that military autocrat, the Kaiser, that had brought it about. In concluding he complimented the local lads on their action, and the devotion to the Empire shown by them and others was commendable. The unity of the Empire was thorough, and more men would be sent if necessary, (applause).
Cr. Wilton said he had a presentation to make on behalf of the people of Violet Town, to the local volunteers, but unfortunately the presents (a fountain pen each) had not arrived, but they would receive them before they went back. The people, of Violet Town would watch with interest the movements of their representatives; and would be pleased to hear from them from time to time. They greatly appreciated the spirit that had prompted them to offer their services in the Empire's cause.
On behalf of the Vestry of the Church of England, Rev. D. McEachern presented to each volunteer, a copy of the church Prayer Book, suitably inscribed, and also one for the absent ones, Ptes Miles, Will Rea, and Jack Hoskin (Australian Navy). In the course of his remarks the Rev. gentleman said he was sure the Australian forces would give a good account of themselves.
Mr. Carter, on behalf of the local Oddfellows, presented Pte. Stevenson. with a tobacco pouch;. He urged them not to forget British traditions and to carry themselves as the men of old, with chivalry to the wounded, and to women and children.
Interspersed amongst the addresses were musical items by Messrs F. "Wallace, J. Kelly, T. Hoskin, Stow and Slee the accompaniments being played by Miss Connell and Mr. Harcourt.
This portion of the programme concluded as the '"boys" marched off the platform to the strains of "They are jolly good fellows," after they had received "marching orders" from the chairman.
Dancing was then indulged in till the small hours by a large number of the young people, and one of the most successful functions ever held in Violet Town concluded with "God Save the King."
The ladies, who worked indefatigably towards the success of the evening, and are deserving of whole hearted praise, provided ample and dainty refreshments. It would be invidious to mention names, as the enthusiasm displayed by all was remarkable.
The secretaries Messrs G Neil and C. Croxford are to be commended on the thoroughness of their arrangements, and special mention should also be made of the assistance given them by Messrs Croxford and A. Shaw.
The social a credit balance of £3/15/ which will go to the Patriotic Fund.
A large crowd attended at the railway station on Tuesday last, when the boys departed and they were given hearty cheers as the train drew out. Prior to the social on Monday the members of the local A.N. A. met in the lodge room, and presented a pipe each to the departing members J. Underwood and T. Hancock.

Violet Town Sentinel, Tuesday 15 September 1914

Submitted by Shirley Beaumont.


Farewell to Our Soldiers

Tuesday 14 March 1916 Violet Town Sentinel

A farewell social evening to PTES Ewert, R Ramage, G McCoomb, T White, H Hallawell, was held in the Mechanics’ on Friday evening when there was a very large attendance. The hall had been nicely decorated for the occasion.

An ANZAC Avenue for Violet Town Opening Ceremonial


The shops closed on Saturday afternoon to allow the residents to take part in the opening ceremonies connected with the ‘Anzac Avenue’. Shortly after three o’clock there was a large attendance at the corner near Harcourt’s, from which the avenue is to extend along Murchison Road.
Cr L Ewert (chairman of committee) said –

Ladies and Gentlemen – We are gathered today to plant an avenue of trees in honour of our soldiers. The intention was to plant a tree for each soldier who had gone from the shire, but we could not get the whole work done, and rather than postpone the tree planting, decided to cover the spaces available. The committee decided that each person who worked should plant a tree for some soldier, either brother, relative or friend as well as those who have since joined. It was a pleasure to see Mr Palmer present (who would name the avenue) and also the President, councillors, and officials of the shire, some fresh from elections and looking well (laughter). He called upon Mr Palmer to perform the opening ceremony.
Mr Palmer, who was received with applause, said – I thank you sincerely for asking me to take part in the ceremony. It is an important event and I don’t think we could be better occupied than in seeking to commemorate the names of those who are fighting in our battles…Personally he had the honour of planting a tree in the name of a nurse (Miss Lily Mackay). Nurses were doing a great work. At no previous war have the wounded been so well cared for as in this one. Two sisters had gone from the shire (Misses Lily and Maud Mackay). The men’s part was to kill and the women have to heal. Australia had played a noble part; over 300,000 men had gone to war. None before war could have perceived of raising such a body of soldiers. Every soldier had played his part. In the old country was heard nothing but praise for them…

Excerpt from an article published on Friday 7 September 1917 by the Euroa Advertiser.

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Showing 8 people of interest from Violet Town

RAMAGE, Reginald Wills

Service number 5076
24th Infantry Battalion
Born 1895


Service number 907
22nd Infantry Battalion
Born 1894

USHER, Forrest William

Service number 2674
58th Infantry Battalion
Born 1894

SAXON, Bertie Henry

Service number 2708
2nd Pioneer Battalion
Born 8 Jul 1891

WHITE, James Edwin

Service number 1475
5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
Australian and Colonial Military Forces - Boer War Contingents
Born 12 Sep 1881

YOUNG, John Henry

Service number 519
60th Infantry Battalion
Born 1895

PELLOW, Albert

Service number 3120
37th Infantry Battalion
Born 21 Jan 1892

WHITE, David

Service number 284
5th Machine Gun Battalion
Born 1885


Showing 4 memorials of interest from Violet Town

Violet Town St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Honour Roll

Uniting Church, 33 Tulip Street
Violet Town, Strathbogie - Victoria, Australia

Violet Town Primary School Honour Roll

Tulip Street
Violet Town, Strathbogie - Victoria, Australia

Violet Town WW1 Memorial Lamp

Memorial Hall, Cowslip Street
Violet Town, Strathbogie - Victoria, Australia

Violet Town Upotipotpon Roll of Honor

R.S.L. Meeting Room, Community Complex, Cowslip Street
Violet Town, Strathbogie - Victoria, Australia

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