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  • News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), Saturday 4 January 1947, page 1 Body Found In Wreck SEREANT - PILOT C. W. Dunning. Spitfire SERGEANT-PILOT Colin William Dunning, of Restormel avenue, Fullarton Estate, was the pilot of a crashed Spitfire found by an aboriginal at Fog Harbor, 45 miles south-west of Darwin, last week. His parents were notified by R.A.A.F. headquarters last night. His remains were found on what would have been the pilot's twenty-second birthday, and will be interred in a military cemetery at Darwin. Missing from a non-operational flight more than two years ago, the late Sgt. Dunning was the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Dunning, of Restormel avenue, Fullarton Estate. After a promising scholastic career at Marist Brothers' College, he won a scholarship for accountancy studies, and had completed two subjects when he joined the R.A.A.F. at the age of 18. After training at fighter schools at Mildura and Deniliquin, Sgt. Dunning went to Darwin with No. 452 Spitfire Squadron, and was lost on an altitude test and training exercises on April 24, 1944.
  • On the 14th September, 1917, at ZILLEBEKE, the 18th Battery position was heavily shelled from 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. with 5.9" and 8". At 3.36 p.m. an ammunition dump alongside No. 1 gun was hit and it and the gun pit caught fire. These men [8360 M.A. COCKER, 8381 D.D. BRADBURY, (8381) Lt E.J. SHEPHERD, (10762) Lt L. CARTHEW] on Lieutenant DODD calling for a party rushed out of the shelter trench in the face of the heavy fire and with water from adjacent shell holes succeeded in putting it out. Later the pit was again hit and it and the ammunition and an adjacent pit caught fire. These men again went out with Lieutenant DODD in the face of the shelling and succeeded in saving the guns and ammunition. They displayed great gallantry and determination in the face of very considerable danger.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31 Date: 7 March 1918
  • Before going into battle in September 1918 Bernard wrote the following letter to his brother Gabriel’s wife, Lottie. Interestingly, it is dated 1 October 1918; apparently it was not uncommon for men to date letters this way as they went into battle. This is believed to be the last letter that Bernard wrote. October 1, 1918 France Dear Lottie, Just a few lines, Lottie, in answer to your welcome letter to hand dated 9 June, was pleased to get a long letter from you and Gabe. So your little girls don’t forget me by what Gabe told me. Well I am expecting to be going to England on leave soon. I have been over here a long time and have been existing well. All the girls getting married, well good luck to them and tell your sisters that I wish them the best of luck as besides fighting hard for years and wasting the best years of my life over here but you know I have a nice little girl over here first for the time being and will close this letter wishing you and the children the best of luck. I remain, Bernard xxx Submitted by Julianne T Ryan, courtesy of Jenny Kingsford (nee Coyte).
  • 'At BROODSEINDE RIDGE East of YPRES this stretcher Bearer was assisting in clearing wounded under the most difficult and trying conditions from 4th to 9th October, 1917. Owing to the severe weather the mud was in places over the knees of the bearers and the route was shelled severely during the greater part of the time. On 9th October he took a squad from the R.A.P. under heavy shell, rifle and machine gun fire for 600 yards to find a Regtl. Stretcher Bearer who had been previously sniped, and dressed and brought him safely to cover. He set a most inspiring example of cheerfulness and devotion to duty.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95 Date: 27 June 1918 AWM
  • An extract from A Day I Never Forget by Marie Harris. I was posted to the Ack Ack Site at Goxhill Haven as a driver in 1943. My duties were to drive all vehicles and any vehicle wherever needed. There were 3 of us girl drivers, Moira Turnbull, Nan Caulfield and myself. Although I say it myself I think we did a darned good job (must have done for they never gave us the sack!). It was quite a good site really, ATS and soldiers all got on well together, taking the good with the bad, no luxuries as such and not many "Passes Out". Occasionally, when there had been a good night of shooting the enemy planes down, the Major and Officers would put on a dance and social night for us in the NAAFI. They would invite so many RAF and so many Yanks. It all helped to make a great night and lift our spirits and to mix or meet others who were doing what we were trying to do, keep old Hitler out. Most of the RAF were Air Crew and you would dance with one or two, get to know them a bit and have a great night, but knowing when you saw the Bombers taking off the following night they were up there doing the BIG BIT and come the next evening you would ask "where's Alec, Bob and Bill?" Just a shrug of the shoulders from their mates and you knew and felt sad, very sad. As I drove around the lanes to wherever my duties took me at a certain time of the day you would see the Bombers going off and up into the clouds and away, you got used to it, up into one circle, two circles and third circle away on their mission and you would say to yourself and often loudly "Good luck lads, come back for that Tango." It was one afternoon in December 1943 around 4.30 as I was driving a load of stores to another site in the Guy Truck, which had an open front and canvas covered back, going along this lane just wide enough for the truck and a ditch each side. Coming up to a farm on my right, it was very low cloud and the Lancasters were taking off into the circles, up and away, as I looked up and raised my right arm in a salute. They were so low and so near I felt I could nearly touch them. One went into this low cloud and I was thinking it's a wonder they don't crash they are so close together, when in a split second as it came out of the cloud, God, it was a head on crash with another Lancaster, one almighty explosion and all Hell was let loose. It was awful, I couldn't believe what had happened practically over my head, just over the farmer's field. I was so stunned, streaks of fire shooting all over the road and my truck. I pulled on the brakes and jumped in the ditch but only for a few seconds thinking some of the crew could be saved, so I ran up past the farmer's house, bits and pieces lying all over, just passing a barn and someone caught hold of me from behind and wouldn't let go, kept saying "NO LASS, NO LASS there'll be nothing". It was the old farmer. In no time at all the fire engines etc. were arriving. I pulled myself together and went back to my truck in a daze and drove onto the site, still couldn't believe what had happened. When I pulled up at the Guard House I was just rooted to my seat and couldn't stop crying, thinking of the Bobs, Alecs and Bills whoever just blown to bits. It was awful and still is. The guard called the Sergeant who took one look at my truck with all the bits and pieces, burns on the canvas and said "she must have been under it." They took me into the Mess and gave me a cup of hot strong tea and 20 minutes by the round stove (they were really kind.) I felt better and had to get on with it, so back to Goxhill. On arriving our MT Officer was concerned; did I need to go to the MO? No Sir, I'll be OK but when I went to bed I couldn't shut my eyes, this terrific explosion flashed before me every time. I was like this for quite a few nights. Another thing I can't bear even to this day to watch a film with planes crashing. I'd shut my eyes or go out of the cinema. Later in life I often used to think and wish I had gone back to see that farmer and I used to wonder if the families knew where their sons were lying. I was very pleased to hear that a Plaque is being dedicated in Remembrance to those poor souls. I can never forget them or what happened to them.. Driver Marie Harris W/44133 ATS.
  • In an example of "peaceful penetration" on 9 July 1918, Captain John Herbert Farrell MM, 6th Battalion, single-handedly captured a German gun crew of eight men and their machine gun near Merris. Just before going into the line at Merris, Captain Carne said to Blue (Farrell) - "I am going to send you to a N.C.O. School when we come out of the line." Bluey dropped his bundle and said - "Cripes, don't do that Captain." Captain Carne humourously replied- "Well Farrell, if you bring me in a little Fritz for identification purposes, I won't send you." That night Captain Carne was sitting in his dugout, when to his surprise there arrived five Fritzes and Bluey with a Fritz Machine Gun on his shoulder. He grinned, saluted and just said "No School." From Ce Ne Fait Rien [No Worries], Magazine of the 6th Battalion. "Tragically, Farrell was later killed in action on 28 September 1918". (* Ed note - there seems to be an incongruity here - he is listed as having died on 28 September 1938) AWM -
  • 'On 4/5th October, 1917 during the attack on BROODSEINDE Ridge east of YPRES this man showed great bravery and skill in the use of his Lewis Gun in the attack on a strong point in the road. He succeeded in preventing the enemy machine guns from causing damage and continued to use his gun after he had been wounded through the side. His gallant action did much towards the capture of this Strong Point. He remained on duty until the Battalion was relieved when he evacuated.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31 Date: 7 March 1918
  • Citation 'One evening this Officer, in company with another machine, attacked five Pfaltz scouts, destroying two; one fell in flames, and one broke up in the air. The officer who accompanied him brought down a third machine out of control. While engaged in this combat they were attacked from above by five triplanes. Displaying cool judgment and brilliant flying, Captain Cobby evaded this attack, and returned to our lines in safety, both machines being undamaged. A determined and most skilful leader, who has destroyed twenty-one hostile machines or balloons, accounting for three machines and two balloons in four days.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919
  • 'An Officer whose success as a leader is due not only to high courage and brillant flying, but also to the clear judgment and presence of mind he invariably displays. His example is of great value to other pilots in his squadron. During recent operations he shot down five machines in eleven days, accounting for two in one day.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919
  • The Lockleys sub-branch of the RSL was formed in July 1935. Ownership of the hall was formally vested in the Lockleys Soldiers’ Memorial Hall Inc in January 1946. For many years the Sub Branch met in the Basement of the Cinema. Clubrooms were later built at the rear of the hall and this building, in combination with the Memorial Hall, was known as the Lockleys Servicemens' Memorial Centre. Ownership of the centre was formally vested in Lockleys Servicemen’s Memorial Centre Inc in February 1954. Ownership of the adjacent land and the cinema complex was transferred for no monetary consideration to the West Torrens Council in October 1991. The Lockleys Sub Branch wound up in 2018 after the last of its Members agreed to transfer their premises to the West Torrens City Council for re-purposing as a part of the re-development of Mellor Reserve. . A memorial is to be erected to commemorate its presence on Mellor Reserve as a key part of the community for 83 years.
  • The Lockleys sub-branch of the RSL was formed in July 1935, and became a tenant in the Memorial Hall / Cinema complex. For many years the Sub Branch met in the Basement of the Cinema, which was enshrined on the Constitution and Rules of the Lockleys Soldiers Memorial Hall Inc. Long time member Laurie Gillespie, 94, recalls that at one stage a poker school used to meet surreptitiously behind the screen of the cinema. Clubrooms were later built at the rear of the hall and this building, became the home of the Lockleys Sub Branch of RSL SA. Ownership of the centre including the Memorial Hall was formally transferred to the Lockleys Servicemen’s Memorial Centre Inc in February 1954. Ownership of the adjacent land and the cinema complex was transferred for no monetary consideration to the West Torrens Council in October 1991 in exchange extensions to the RSL Hall. With age and a diminishing local veteran population, the Lockleys Sub Branch took the decision in 2018 to wind up the Sub Branch when the last of its Members agreed to cease operations. A memorial is to be erected to commemorate its presence on Mellor Reserve as a key part of the community for 83 years.
  • The Lyric Theatre Commencing on Saturday evening 10 October 1925, films were shown in the 360-seat hall and the cinema was known as the Lyric Theatre or Lyric Pictures, (or even more simply as the Lockleys Theatre). From the 1930s to the 1950s the cinema was a focal point of social activity, with a visit to 'the pictures’ on a Saturday night a highlight of the week for many locals. The Windsor / Odeon Cinema years After the acquisition of the lease by B.E. Cunnew and Sons from October 1948 the cinema became the Lockleys Windsor Theatre. At its peak the Windsor group ran cinemas at Brighton and St Morris as well as its two West Torrens cinemas at Lockleys and Hilton. From 1948 Harold Slade was the manager/usher of the Lockleys theatre with Allan Rainey the chief projectionist. In the early 1950s the theatre underwent two substantial redevelopments. The hall was now able to hold 495 patrons. However, as with other cinemas, the coming of television to Adelaide in 1959 immediately affected the theatre’s viability. Despite enjoying some success with occasional showings of Greek and Italian-language films, the theatre closed in February 1963. Over the next thirty years the venue was used only spasmodically. For several years from the mid 1970s the theatre was run by Mr Stephen Buge and operated commercially as the Lockleys Cine Centre. Buge had frequented the theatre in his youth in the 1950s and had vowed to one day manage it. He later recalled that he was married on a Saturday and spent all the next day painting the front of the cinema in preparation for its reopening. During these years the theatre was also used by community groups for fundraising film screenings. In 1992 it underwent a $60,000 upgrade and operated in 1993-2000 as the Lockleys Odeon Star. From July 2000 the theatre was again part of the Windsor cinema group. On 30 August 2012 the Lockleys cinema again closed for the last time.
  • During the advance against the BLUE LINE on the morning of 10th August 1918, Sergeant HOLMES led a patrol against an enemy machine gun position which was effectively holding up his company's advance. By his splendid coolness and skill he succeeded in capturing three prisoners and two machine guns besides inflicting many other casualties upon the enemy. His determination and prompt action enabled his company to continue their advance with comparatively few casualties. Sergeant HOLMES was badly wounded in this operation but refused to leave until his platoon had gained their objective Recommended 18 Aug 1918 Gazetted 15 September 1919
  • 'During operations of 25th and 26th September at POLYGON WOOD this man displayed great coolness and devotion to duty in that he was on duty at a signal station at Battalion headquarters at BLACK WATCH CORNER which was continually heavily shelled. The station was in a tench which was blown in several times and on many occasions partially burying the 3 men on the station. He with the aid of 2 others stuck to the telephones and kept communication open. finally the position was blown out and it was necessary to move to the Pill Box where the work was carried on till the battalion was relieved. On one occasion, when there were no runners available, and telephone lines were broken he, accompanied by Private McRae carried a despatch to the forward Battalion Station and when returning laid a telephone wire and was successful in establishing telephonic communication again. This was done under heavy shelling.' 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31 Date: 7 March 1918
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After the battery officers had been wounded and many casualties sustained by heavy shell fire he took command, and by his splendid example, under very trying conditions, was able to complete the task of bringing the guns into position.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189 Date: 8 November 1917
  • Military Cross ''At Herleville on 23rd August, 1918, this officer was in charge of the communications of the forward observation party. The forward observing officer was killed, and he at once took his place. Throughout the day, under very hostile fire, he moved about the newly captured positions, sending back important information as to our infantry positions and bearings of hostile batteries which were shelling our new position, and which were at once engaged. He displayed an utter disregard for personal safety, and much infromation of tactical importance was received from him.'' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919
  • 'From 5th to 12th June 1917 near MESSINES these N.C.O.s and men [6704 W. BERRY, 4315 F. McKENZIE, 4838 J.J. O'BRIEN, 8460 F.E. NELSON, 6317 P.S. CHARLWOOD, 2085 A.W. SIMMONS, 2206 W.W. ARBERY, 3250 K.C. BASSETT, 3800 J.F. GRABHAM] were employed with the Divisional Pack Transport Troop which was used nightly in taking up supplies, water and ammunition to the various Battalion Headquarters. The various convoys came nightly under heavy shell and machine gun fire and their work was carried out in the dark and under trying conditions. In some cases the supplies were taken up to within a few hundred yards from Front Line. These N.C.O.s and men have been selected in order of merit out of the [no. indecipherable] N.C.O.. and men employed as having set an example of coolness under fire and determination in carrying out their duties.'
  • Recommendation date: 16 August 1918 Distinguished Service Order (altered to Bar to Military Cross) Recommendation date: 5 September 1918 Medals Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During the advance this officer skilfully organized and led an attack on an enemy strong post, capturing one officer and twenty eight other ranks. His work throughout was up to a high standard of efficiency.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 Date: 23 May 1919 Bar to Military Cross 'For conspicuous gallantry and organizing capacity near Proyart on 10th August 1918. He had a storming party under heavy machine gun fire, took the position, capturing twenty five prisoners and two machine guns, and recovered two of our anti-tank guns. He held the position for three hours with only four men, and for nine hours longer when seven more men helped him. On other occasions he was always in the thick of the fighting capturing more machine guns and silencing a "whizz-bang" gun.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 67 Date: 3 June 1919
  • For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Under very head shell and machine gun fire early in the day he controlled and directed the fire of his platoon with skill and ability, and when during the afternoon ground had been lost he augmented his force by details of other units and regained the original position.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 185 Date: 27 November 1918
  • For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Under very head shell and machine gun fire early in the day he controlled and directed the fire of his platoon with skill and ability, and when during the afternoon ground had been lost he augmented his force by details of other units and regained the original position.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 185 Date: 27 November 1918
  • In Loving Memory Of Fredrick Charles Beloved Husband Of Hilda May Lee & Loving Father of Edna Died 13th March 1944 Aged 49 Years And Emily May Infant Daughter Of Above Died 17th Aug 1923
  • Air Ministry, 22nd July, 1941. ROYAL AIR FORCE The KING has been graciously pleased to confer the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned officer in recognition of most conspicuous bravery:— Acting Wing Commander Hughie Idwal Edwards, D.F.C. (39005), No 105. Squadron. Wing Commander Edwards, although handicapped by a physical disability resulting from a flying accident, has repeatedly displayed gallantry of the highest order in pressing home bombing attacks from very low heights against strongly defended objectives. On 4th July, 1941, he led an important attack on the Port of Bremen, one of the most heavily defended towns in Germany. This attack had to be made in daylight and there were no clouds to afford concealment. During the approach to the German coast several enemy ships were sighted and Wing Commander Edwards knew that his aircraft would be reported and that the defences would be in a state of readiness. Undaunted by this misfortune he brought his formation 50 miles overland to the target, flying at a height of little more than 50 feet, passing under high-tension cables, carrying away telegraph wires and finally passing through a formidable balloon barrage. On reaching Bremen he was met with a hail of fire, all his aircraft being hit and four of them being destroyed. Nevertheless he made a most successful attack, and then with the greatest skill and coolness withdrew the surviving aircraft without further loss. Throughout the execution of this operation which he had planned personally with full knowledge of the risks entailed, Wing Commander Edwards displayed the highest possible standard of gallantry and determination.
  • From the Operational logbook on 16/6/1942 - "On this day the squadron completed a total of 69 operational sorties, totalling 40.50 hours, thus establishing a record for this command. Great credit is due not only to the pilots, who carried out the strenuous duties cheerfully and courageously, but to the ground crew who worked unceasingly thoroughout the day, maintaining the necessary high standard of serviceability..."
  • From the Operational logbook on 16/6/1942 - "On this day the squadron completed a total of 69 operational sorties, totalling 40.50 hours, thus establishing a record for this command. Great credit is due not only to the pilots, who carried out the strenuous duties cheerfully and courageously, but to the ground crew who worked unceasingly thoroughout the day, maintaining the necessary high standard of serviceability..."
  • I mind they told me on a noisy hill I sat and disbelieved, and shook my head: “Impossible! Impossible! but still these other men have died, and others bled”. Knees clasped, I sat and thought, unheeding war. The trees, the winds, the streets came back to me; The laughter of his eyes, his home afar, The memory of his hopes, his buoyancy, His dreams, his jests, his moods of wistfulness, The quaintness of his speech, his favourite song; And this, -and this the end so pitiless! The man we knew! The man we knew so long! - To die-be dead-not move, and this was he! I rose and oiled my rifle musingly.
  • William Leonard East What task is this that so unnerves me now? When pity should be dead, and has been dead. Unloose that sheet from round the pierced brow; What matter blood is seen, for blood is red, And red’s the colour of the clammy earth. Be not so solemn,-There’s no need to pray; But, rather smile, - yea, laugh! If pure, thy mirth Is right. He laughed himself but yesterday. That pay-book? Take it from him. Ours a debt No gold can ever pay. That cross of wood About his neck? That must remain, and yet He needs it no, because his heart was good. We’ll house him ‘neath those broken shrubs; dig deep. He’s tired. God knows, and needs a little sleep.
  • The S.M.S. Emden was a Dresden class light cruiser, was built at the Imperial dockyard at Danzig and launched in July 1909. The vessel was part of the German East Asia squadron, based in Tsingtao, and in 1913 came under the command of Karl von Müller (1873-1923). In a daring but short career of destruction in the opening weeks of the War, the Emden wrought havoc in the Indian Ocean. Between 10 September and her destruction by H.M.A.S. Sydney on 9 November 1914, she had captured or sunk no fewer than 23 ships, including a Russian cruiser and a French destroyer in the battle of Penang on 28 October 1914. The combined value of the captures was estimated at £4 million. Arriving off the Cocos Keeling islands the Emden sent 53 men, under the first officer, Kapitänleutnant Hellmuth von Mücke (1881-1957), ashore to destroy the wireless apparatus at Port Refuge. A wireless message sent before those on the station were overpowered by the Germans was picked up by the Sydney, 52 nautical miles away. The Germans believed they had sufficient time to decommission the wireless station and for the landing party to rejoin the Emden, but with the rapid arrival of the Sydney von Mücke’s men had to be left to their own devices while von Müller attempted to retaliate to the superior firepower of the Sydney. Within the space of an hour the conflict had concluded and von Müller beached the Emden on North Keeling island, raising white flags of surrender. In the battle the Emden lost 133 officers and men killed, out of a crew of 376, while Sydney had four crewmen killed and 13 wounded. Von Müller and his surviving crew were captured and taken to Malta, from where in October 1916 he was taken to England and interned with other German officers at Sutton Bonington, Nottingham. In 1917 he led an escape of 21 prisoners through an underground tunnel, but was recaptured and, as part of a humanitarian prisoner exchange, sent to another camp at Noordwijk-am-Zee, Holland. Von Mücke and his landing party seized a derelict schooner, the Ayesha, made her seaworthy, renamed her Emden II, and escaped the attentions of the Sydney by sailing her to Padang, Sumatra. There, a German freighter transported them to Hodeida, Yemen. After many adventures in the Arabian peninsula, including an overland journey along the Red Sea and battling hundreds of armed Bedouin tribesmen, von Mücke and 48 other survivors arrived in Constantinople in May 1915, from where they returned to Germany as heroes.
  • 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 Robert Kearney
  • This descriptor encompasses all elements of the Australian Army in WW2, less the Second AIF, which was raised explicitly for overseas service. The Militia (CMF) was tasked with Homeland Defence and service in specified Australian Territories, into which eligible males were drafted. Many transferred from there to the RAAF and the 2nd AIF. The Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC) was a volunteer force patterned on the UK Home Guard mainly comprising veterans of WW1. Garrison Battalions were also raised, as were Labour Companies which performed construction tasks.
  • In the operations against enemy positions at MONT DE MERRIS near STRAZEELE on night 2nd/3rd June, 1918, Private PERKINS was one of a party of three men under Sergeant PULLEN who attacked and captured three German machine guns in action. The first gun was rushed with the bayonet and the crew either killed or captured: the other two guns were attacked with hand grenades and the crews driven off. Throughout the action he showed great courage and dash, and set a fine example to the men of his platoon who witnessed the act.' Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 23 Date: 12 February 1919
  • From Sydney's diary, his Battalion relieved the 19th Batttalion on Thursday 21 March but he gave no indication of location. Referral to the War Diaries of the 7th Brigade held by the Australian War Memorial indicate they were in camp at Canteen Corner and moved into the line near the villages of Romarin and Kortepyp just inside the Belgian border with France. The entry for Tuesday 26 March, their 2nd in the front line, stated it was 'very lively. Fritz shooting bombs nearly all night. Had to fall back for a while'. On Saturday 30 March Sydney recorded 'Fritz's plane bought by gunfire fell about 300 years from my dugout. Officer taken prisoner'. Sydney then tell that he 'went out with patrol. Spent several hours in no mans land. Very wet and got into swamp on the bank of the River Lys. No sign of Fritz so came in again. Wet through and mud up to knees'. On Tuesday 2 April Sydney recorded it was their 12th day in the line and that the Battalion was relieved by the South Lancashires from the Somme. Following the diary entries, the 26th Battalion spent the night in a camp and on Wednesday 3 April moved to Meteren en route for the Somme. On Thursday 4 April they left Meteren for Caestre 'to load gear on trains working all night'. Sydney records 'it was very wet and slushy'. They left Caestre at 6 am on Friday 5 April arriving in Amiens at 8 pm. Then then marched to Allonville where the spent the night. The next day they marched to La Neuville which Sydney described as 'a small village, left in a hurry by the population as everything was left behind, even cows and a few tame rabbits in out billet'. On Sunday 7 April the Battalion marched to Baizieux to spend some days in support. Sydney states there were 'no billets and have to put up this time in the trench and there are no places to shelter anyway'. On Thursday 11 April Sydney recorded that '3 Hun planes brought down by gun fire. Had no time to go over and see as we were ready to move up the line'. Friday 12 April was the Battalions 'first night in the front line about 4 miles from Albert. Very quiet. Heavy bombardment on our left but nothing our way'. On Friday 19 April Sydney recorded that they were at Franvillers having 'moved back a couple of miles for a couple of days spell. Living in holes in the side of a hill. Light fall of snow during the day. Very cold'. He comments on the 'terrible scarcity for matches' and then on Monday 22 April says he 'heard there were matches at Heilly about 3 miles away. Walked over and managed to get 4 boxes. Going up in line tonight on fatigue'. Wednesday 24 April saw them back in the front line from 11 pm. On 26 April they 'bombarded Fritz's trench with mortars. Knocked out his machine guns'. they were relieved from the front line on Monday 29 April, went into support for a day and then were 'marched out for a couple of days spell'. They were back in reserve on Saturday 4 May and 'had to dig bivies to camp for the night. Dug into bank alongside a railway. 9.2 gun on line shaking hell out of us'. On Friday 10 May Sydney and his mates left for the line arriving 4 pm and went into reserves. Again they had to build bivies, this time in the trench. Sydney records that they went into reserves near Ribemont and 'met my old friend the Queensland mosquito'. He also comments 'I think all the vermin in the world is around this part, not including Huns'. Compiled by Ian Cousens
  • From the 7th Brigade diaries, the 26th Battalion were back in line at Frenchcourt on 14/15 June. When an inspection was carried out at Frenchcourt on 20 June the Battalion consisted of 40 officers and 867 other ranks. They were described as being very smart. Returning to Sydney's dairy, he recorded on Thursday 27 June that they 'took over line at Villers-Bretonneux. D Company in reserve for 10 days living in dugout. Trey Bon'. It was Friday 12 July before they were 'sent out of the line for a rest'. He must have been back in the line on Wednesday 17 July as he noted that the 'Brits hopped over, took Fritz's line, went about 1500 yards and that 'D Coy had 40 odd casualties, 3 killed'. Saturday 20 July was the 4th Brigade Sports and Sydney noted that he 'met half Toowoomba' and names eight people. That was the last entry Sydney made in his diary. Compiled by Ian Cousens
  • Sydney's diary entries cease on 20 July. From the War Diaries of the 7th Brigade held by the Australian War Memorial, the 26th Battalion was in reserve at Glisy and Blangy from 1 August before moving up into the line on 7 August. On 8 August the Battle of Amiens commenced with an attack launched at 4.20 am. The 26th Battalion, working with a section of tanks, was on the right flank and were to advance along the north side of the railway line towards Marcelcave. Objectives ironically included Card Copse where Sydney was initially buried. Reports state there was heavy fog and visibility was restricted to 10 yards for about 2 hours. A large number of casualties were due to men being caught in their own rolling barrage. From reports in the Australian Red Cross Society Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau Files, Sydney was in D Coy and died instantaneously after being hit by pieces of a shell. Pte H Webley 6167 of B Coy 26th Battalion stated 'Casualty happened in the morning of 8-8-18 just after the hop over when still in action'. Pte Webley was wounded by the same shell. Sydney was initially buried on the 9th August in Card Copse British Cemetery one mile North West of Marcelcave before being re-interred in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery on 31st March 1920. Sydney is also commemorated on the Mothers Memorial in East Creek Park and the Soldiers Memorial Hall, both in Toowoomba. Sydney's younger brother, Stanley Clifford Cousens #816 15th Battalion also served in WW1 and was killed in action on 9th August 1916 two years earlier at Pozieres. Compiled by Ian Cousens

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