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  • Be still. The bleeding night is in suspense Of watchful agony and coloured thought, And every beating vein and trembling sense, Long-tired with time, is pitched and overwrought. And for the eye, The darkness holds strange forms. Soft movements in the leaves, and wicked glows That wait and peer. The whole black landscape swarms With shapes of white and grey that no one knows; And for the ear, a sound, a pause, a breath. The hand has touched the slimy face of death. The mind is raking at the ragged past. ……A sound of rifles rattles from the south, and startled orders move from mouth to mouth.
  • Thomas Davidson - who went by [and enjoyed] the nick-name "Jonk" - returned to Campbell Town in 1919. He then wed Alice Clark and together they produced 11 children who all grew strong and healthy. The first three children born were Sylvia, Laurence and Thomas [who went by his second name of Rex]. His nick name even featured in his will- issued in June 1975 - in which he bequeathed his estate to his children. I was given a copy of this will by my father - the above mentioned Laurence [Laurie] Davidson. My earliest memory of my grandfather goes back to 1951 when I was 3 years old. Over the next decade I spent several weeks of school holidays with my grand parents and attended several birthday / wedding type celebrations. Everybody called him "Jonk". His wife, their children, their spouses, the neighbours, members of the Campbell Town rifle club, the footy club and the patrons at the pub in High St. Campbell Town. The use of the nickname "Jonk" was so prevalent that I [and I assume many others] thought that it was his actual name! It seems to be a family tradition to bestow the name of Thomas on a son and then ban the use of it except for official documents. His second son never used the name Thomas - he always went by Rex. My older brother was named Thomas Anthony and has always been known as Tony. So entrenched was the use of the nick-name "Jonk" to identify my grandfather it was used in an obituary for one of his sons who died in April 2019 - some 30 years after Jonk died. In my 71 years I have never heard of any body else called 'Jonk'. At a recent funeral I was told that the nick-name originated with a chap who either had a speech impairment [or mental impairment issues]. Rather than correct the man [perhaps they tried] the nick-name Jonk was embraced by all and sundry - including Jonk! Terry Davidson May 2019
  • Thomas Davidson - who went by [and enjoyed] the nick-name "Jonk" - returned to Campbell Town in 1919. He then wed Alice Lockett and together they produced 11 children who all grew strong and healthy. The first four children born were Sylvia, Laurence Olive (Ollie) and Thomas [who went by his second name of Rex]. His nick name even featured in his will- issued in June 1975 - in which he bequeathed his estate to his children. I was given a copy of this will by my father - the above mentioned Laurence [Laurie] Davidson. My earliest memory of my grandfather goes back to 1951 when I was 3 years old. Over the next decade I spent several weeks of school holidays with my grand parents and attended several birthday / wedding type celebrations. Everybody called him "Jonk". His wife, their children, their spouses, the neighbours, members of the Campbell Town rifle club, the footy club and the patrons at the pub in High St. Campbell Town. The use of the nickname "Jonk" was so prevalent that I [and I assume many others] thought that it was his actual name! It seems to be a family tradition to bestow the name of Thomas on a son and then ban the use of it except for official documents. His second son never used the name Thomas - he always went by Rex. My older brother was named Thomas Anthony and has always been known as Tony. So entrenched was the use of the nick-name "Jonk" to identify my grandfather it was used in an obituary for one of his sons who died in April 2019 - some 30 years after Jonk died. In my 71 years I have never heard of any body else called 'Jonk'. At a recent funeral I was told that the nick-name originated with a chap who either had a speech impairment [or mental impairment issues]. Rather than correct the man [perhaps they tried] the nick-name Jonk was embraced by all and sundry - including Jonk! Terry Davidson May 2019
  • There is an 'urban legend' dating to the 1970s and 80s that the Crimea Cannons were occasionally fired, without authorisation, by Army Reserve soldiers based on the Torrens Training Depot, generally at night when few witnesses were about. The technique was (apparently ) to ram a hand grenade simulator down the bore followed by a rolled up telephone book or a doormat. The resulting explosion would blast smoking bits of shredded phone book across the Parade Ground like pyrotechnic confetti, the boom would echo along the river bank of the nearby River Torrens, seagulls would be startled into flight and random pedestrians would get the fright of their lives. According to the story the cannon fire was on occasion supplemented or replaced by blank fire from several percussion rifles in the upstairs Officers Mess, a fact which seems to narrow the focus on who might have been responsible for these goings on. This practice appeared to die out as the grenade simulators were retired from service (they were probably assessed as a WHS risk) and authorities became less tolerant of the boisterous antics of the local soldiery. .
  • An impressive ceremony marked the un- veiling on Sunday by Brigadier-General Leane of a fallen soldiers' memorial at Magill. Thirty-three of the men who en- listed from the district made the supreme sacrifice. The monument stands in a portion of the Magill School grounds. It is an anistically designed marble stone, and bears the names of the dead. The money for tbe work was raised by public subscription at the suggestion of the Magill Progressive Association, the sec- retary of which (Mr. I. Simcock) did most of the organising work. A large crowd witnessed the service. A cordon was formed around the memorial by a party of returned soldiers from Magill, under W. O.Walker. D.C.M., M.M. and bar, and a company of senior cadets, in charge of Lieutenant Rowe. The chairman of tbe Burnside District Council (Mr. J. A. Harper) said a flagpole and a Union Jack had been presented to the school by three local rejected volun- teers, Messrs. J. Dalby, W. Cooke. and F. Warner. The pole had been placed in the scbool yard immediately to the rear of tbe memorial. In handing them over to the school Mr. Harper referred to the great things for which the Union Jack, stood. The schoolmaster (Mr. Scott) accepted the gift. Brigadier-General Leane, in unveiling the monument, said in the war the Australian had proved himself both a fine soldier and a man. (Applause.) France had paid her mark of respect to the gallant men from the Commonwealth at Amiens, and had proved that she placed the Australian soldiers on an equality with her own (Applause.) In Whitehall, London, there was a Cenotaph in memory of the glorious dead of England and the Dominions, and whenever a man passed it he raised his hat. It had struck him that afternoon in connection with the Magill memorial that it would be a good thing if the chil- dren of the school in passing in and out paid similar tribute to the departed men who fought for them. (Applause.) As the covering from the memorial was removed the "Last Post" was sounded. Mr. W. A. Hamilton, M.P., on behalf of the Minister of Edncabon, accepted the gift. The Speaker of the Assembly (Hon. F. W. Coneybeer) said the memorial would be a record for all time of the heroic sacrifices made by some of the towns- people of Magill, and it would stand as a perpetual reminder of the devotion of Aus- tralia's sons. During the afternoon selections were played by the Magill Band, and floral tri- butes to the departed men were placed upon the monument, wich was prepared by Messrs. Maddaford & Polkinghorne, of Adelaide.
  • The long awaited news of the re-lease, as a P.O.W, of their younger son, Warrant Officer Rhys Roberts, R.A.A.F., has been received by Mr and Mrs K. R. Roberts., of Kadina. On Monday, a cabled message received stated that he had arrived in Liverpool, England, on 15th and was "fit, well and cheerful." This message must be most assuring to his parents after his varied experiences, for more than once his life has been in jeopardy. He was taken a prisoner of war in October, 1942, and previous to that, was shot down in Tobruk. When captured at El Alemein, he was the only survivor of his plane, and had received injuries when bailing out of the burning machine. After being a patient in a front line hospital, he was conveyed to Austria via Greece and Italy, and was a prisoner in three different camps in Germany. His final place of custody was Stalag No 3 in East Prussia, and during transit there, had three days in Berlin. During the time spent in this camp he lectured on sheep and wool, his education proving beneficial to him. He commenced his early studies at St. Peters College, Adelaide, and, on returning to the Kadina High School, won a scholarship for Roseworthy College where he studied for three years. When he will arrive home is not yet known. Kadina and Wallaroo Tines Fri 22 Sep 1940
  • 'For conspicuous gallantry in action near Le Catelet, on 30th September 1918. He led a patrol of five men in face of heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and succeeded in locating the enemy position. By skilful handling of his patrol, he obtained information of the greatest value, which enabled his company to advance more than 1,000 yards, and to clear up an obscure and difficult situation on the left flank of the brigade.' Recommendation date: 7 October 1918 Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10 Date: 29 January 1920
  • 'On 25th April, 1915, during operations near Gaba Tepe, for conspicuous courage and initiative in returning from the firing line under heavy fire, collecting reinforcements, and assisting in leading a successful bayonet charge to the top of a hill, which was eventually held against great odds.' Source: 'London Gazette' No. 6544 Date: 3 July 1915
  • 'At FLEURBAIX, FRANCE, during the successful raid carried out by 9th Battalion on the night 1st/2nd July, 1916 in company with his Officer was first into enemy trenches where they tackled 21 Germans in a large dug-out. In spite of the fact that rifle and revolver fire was directed at them from the dug-out these two went in returning the enemy fire eventually killing seven and disarming and capturing the remainder. Throughout the raid this N.C.O. proved absolutely fearless and set a splendid example of gallantry. He has already been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry on GALLIPOLI.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184 Date: 14 December 1916
  • ‘For conspicuous gallantry in action near BULLECOURT on 3rd. May 1917. In the face of severe shell and M.G fire from the enemy they kept their guns in action supporting our bomb attacks most successfully in co-operation with the Trench Mortars’. Rec by M. Smyth, Major-General, 2nd. Australian Div.
  • Military Medal Recommendation:- 'On the 31st July, 1917, near MESSINES, this N.C.O. was in charge of the bearers working between a Relay Post and a car loading point, a distance of about 4,000 yards. The area between was continually under hostile artillery fire and evacuation was partly by means of hand carriage and partly by trench trampoline. From before dawn until relieved at night, this N.C.O. was continually in the open, directing and encouraging the men under him. On three occasions he acted as a stretcher bearer, when men ran short and completed the whole journey. He showed throughout a total disregard for personal danger and a high devotion to duty. He showed all through a steady and invincible determination and displayed a capacity for leadership in extreme danger. His example was a splendid one for his men.'
  • Writing to his mother from the Ninth Training Battalion, Fovant, Wiltshire, early in February, Corporal Carl Klaus says : — I have had a pretty rough time of did not get a crack. I have been it the last 15 months in France, but turned over a lew times with concussion, but got over it alright. I've seen some rotten sights. Poor old Jack Morgan was Killed at Messines. I suppose you have heard all about that. Our Battalion was right in the thick of it. The first time I ever handled a dead man was at Messines -— I had to help a couple of other chaps to dig George Weatherstone and Jack Morgan out. The dugout was blown in on top of them. And again at Ypres poor old Harry Mallam was killed right alongside of me. I had to lift him out of the line and bury him in a shell hole, as it was too far to take him back to a cemetery. Just took his pay book and private belongings and gave them in to our platoon officer. I suppose you read about the battle of Passchendaele. We were the ring-leaders of that turnout. With the assistance of the Canadians we took the hill about a kilometre from Passchendaele, and the Canadians hopped in and took the town, so now we have nearly all the high ground in Belgium in our hands, and have Fritz in the hollow and chopping hell out of him. Have more artillery behind us now than ever they had before on the western front. In this stunt Bill Eliem was killed and Percy Fisher was wounded. I have met Paddy Lulham, Bert Daley, Stan Tyler from Wardell, and all the old lads of 1st-41st that went away to the Ninth Battalion. They were all doing well until the Ypres stunt, when Jim McDonald from Broadwater was killed, Paddy wounded, Tyler wounded, while Fitzpatrick lost his eye and is going home, and of course Don Livingstone is home long ago. Bert Daley, is still going strong, and looks splendid. I saw him a couple of days before I left France. I am likely to be in England for a six months spell from shell fire anyway, but I suppose there will be plenty work attached to it just the same. Still it will do me. They told me when I left France that they were giving me six months in this Training Battalion at Fovant. I have met Clarrie Fredericks, he is in the 8th of the 41st, and soon will be going over to France. He is training to be a signaller. I also had tho pleasure of meeting another old mate that I went to school with under Mr. Bath, that was Tom Grant from Woodburn. He is a corporal in the 25th Battalion, has been wounded twice, and now they have sent him over to the training battalion for a few months. He is in the 10th, but he is not far away from us. Writing to his brother Rupert, Corporal Klaus says : — I see where the girls are getting married. I don t know how I am going to get on when I go back, there will be none left for me, and I don't like the idea of picking one up here in England to take back like some of them are doing. Well, old Fritz could not get me with his old scrap iron, so instead of giving me fourteen days furlough in London they have sent me here to the 9th Training Battalion for six months. I have seen some rough work over there, not only in the fighting, but rotten weather conditions. Last winter was bitterly cold. All the rivers were frozen up; boats could not work at all, and in some places in Belgium I have seen a foot of snow, and had to carry on through it all backwards and forwards to the trenches, but of course we were only holding the line at that time at Armentieres. We were there about four months, and then we shifted down lower to a place called La Pisset, and from there to Messines. I suppose you have read about the battle of Messines. We were holding the line at Messines right up till the morning of the hop-over. Our brigade was not really in the hop-over, but to my idea we had worse, because we had to do all the carrying parties (after the 9th and 10th Brigades took their objectives) under heavy shell fire all the time — day and night. From there we went down to Ypres in October, and the 11th Brigade was in the battle of Passchendaele. I was right in the thick of it. That is where poor old Bill Eilem (brother of Tom of the Bee-Hive) was killed, and Harry Mallam from Bungawalbin. We had a good possy made, well sand-bagged, and were waiting for the Tommies to relieve us the night after the push, but old Fiitz must have taken a tumble that there was a relief on, and barraged hell out of us for about two hours — Harry Mallam, Ben Hall and another chap I don't know were killed outright by a shell which lobbed right on the parados of the trench. I don't know how I escaped, for I was not above two yards from them, but I was round a bend of the trench. I think what saved me was the ground being soft and the shell, did not scatter much. The three chaps that were killed were huddled up together taking shelter. When Jack Morgan and George Weatherstone were buried at Messines we had to dig them out, for the dugout was blown in on top of them. Jack did not have a mark on the outside of his body, but the concussion killed him. Weatherstone hailed from the Clarence, but we were mates from the time we left Brisbane. He was smashed to pieces.
  • 'ANZAC' insignia Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli will be entitled to wear over the Unit “Colour Patch” on both sleeves of the Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” an indication that the wearer had taken part in the operations on the Gallipoli Peninsula. - Military Order 354 of 1917 Members of the Australian Imperial Force who served on Gallipoli or the Islands of Lemnos, Imbros and Tenedos, or who have served on transports or hospital ships at or off Gallipoli or the Islands above-named, or in AIF lines of communication Units in Egypt will be entitled to wear over their Unit “Colour Patches” on both sleeves of their Service Dress Jacket and Greatcoat the letter “A” as an indication that the wearer had taken part in the Gallipoli operations. - Military Order 20 of 1918
  • https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=8211537
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  • http://www.625squadron.org/associnfo/about.pdf
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  • http://aircrewremembered.com/coleman-gerald.html
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  • http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70790632
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  • https://vwma.org.au/research/home-page-archives/mystery-of-the-black-cat
  • https://www.rslwa.org.au/rwanda-genocide-25th-year-anniversary
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  • https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/29/us-museum-under-fire-over-display-of-skull-of-australian-soldier
  • http://aircrewremembered.com/taylor-james-william.html
  • https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/research/home-page-archives/the-worst-day-in-australian-military-history
  • https://www.numismaticnews.net/article/story-of-emden-told-by-collectibles
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  • https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1896884/
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