Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Private Leslie John FLEMING

Leslie John FLEMING enlisted as a Private 125, in the 8th Battalion A.I.F A Company on the 24th of August 1914 at the age of 22 years and 1 month.
He listed his Uncle, John Knight FLEMING of Edi, near Wangaratta, as his next of kin.
Leslie's first cousin, William Finlay FLEMING, 1561 (son of Finlay FLEMING) had enlisted in the 8th Light Horse regiment on the 4th of August 1914.

Below is a photo of Private Leslie FLEMING.
He is wearing a Light Horse regiment uniform as uniforms were scarce at the beginning of the war.

Leslie John FLEMING's photo
 courtesy of his grandson Bill (William Finlay) FLEMING

Leslie was born at Kotupna near Nathalia in Northern Victoria on the 17th of July 1891 to Matilda FLEMING (father not named).
Matilda was the third youngest daughter of William Finlay FLEMING and Ann Jane KNIGHT.  
Her first three children:
Leslie John 1891-1974
Ivy Gifford 1895-1922
Violet Sylvia Maud 1899-1970
All were born under the surname FLEMING.
In 1902 Matilda married Charles Hazelwood WORRALL.
They went on to have six children including one set of twins:
Jane Ethel Mary WORRALL 1902-1930
Catherine Laura 1904-1973
William John 1904-1967
Hannah Hazel Elsie 1906-1975
Amy Irene Beulah 1909-1958
Seth Charles Hazelwood 1911-1970

Leslie John FLEMING was 5 foot 7 inches tall, with fair complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair.
He had spent 8 months in the rifle club.

According to the Battalion diary after training at the Broadmeadows camp, the 8th Battalion embarked on the 19th of October on the Transport "Benalla".

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Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/PB0246/


After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December.
On the 5th of April 1915, they embarked for Gallipoli on the troopship Clan McGillivray.
The battalion later took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave.
On the 29th of April Leslie suffered a sprained back and was admitted to the 17th General hospital at Alexandria.
On the 7th of May, he was moved to the convalescent camp at Mustapha and was discharged to duty on the 19th.

On the 6th of August Leslie was wounded, most likely at the renowned battle of Lone Pine.  He suffered from concussion and in September was admitted to hospital at Mudros where he later developed rheumatism.

Leslie was transferred to the hospital in Weymouth, England but it seems his health did not improve.
In June 1916 his next of kin were informed he was returning to Australia.

Still suffering rheumatism and also shell shock he was repatriated to Australia from Portland in May 1916 on the Themistocles.
Leslie was discharged from the A.I.F on the 11th of September 1916.

In 1920 Leslie married Annie Kathleen REDMAYNE at North Melbourne.
They had four children and lived the rest of their lives at 17 Deakin Street Coburg.
Leslie died on the 27th of July 1974 at the good age of 83 years.





Monday, 27 June 2016

Ivy CARFOOT nee FLEMING

Lately I have been looking further into the descendants of Moses FLEMING who was the eighth child and fourth son of my great great grandparents William Finlay FLEMING and Ann Jane KNIGHT.
Ann Jane nee KNIGHT and William Finlay FLEMING
I've been fortunate to have made contact with a couple of Moses descendants who have come across my blog posts.  I am grateful for their contact.

Moses FLEMING married Mary Catherine HUGHS at Nathalia in Northern Victoria in 1891 and their first child, Ada Christine FLEMING was born there in 1892. 
They then moved up to New South Wales where the birth of their next child, John Henry FLEMING, was registered at Temora in 1893. 
The births of the next four children, all girls, were registered at Marsden in New South Wales. 
Marsden is just an area which is on the intersection of the Newell Highway-Mid Western Highway.
The births of the last three children, all boys,were registered at West Wyalong.

Today I decided to look for any further information regarding the second daughter of Moses and Mary.  
Ivy FLEMING was born in 1896, her birth was registered at Marsden.
In Trove I found Ivy and her sisters mentioned a few times attending local balls and cricket matches.  
From the many news articles, it seems Ivy had a full social life.

Ivy married a Reginald C Carfoot in 1925.  Their marriage was registered both at West Wyalong (registration # 17031) and Annandale (registration # 1703) near Sydney where I assume Reginald came from.
In 1930 Ivy and Reginald Carfoot were living at King Street in Junee, New South Wales (South of West Wyalong)  Reginald's occupation was Clerk.
1931 saw a tragic accident which appears to have involved Reginald.

Transcription:-
Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW : 1868 - 1931), Tuesday 12 May 1931, page 2
Motor Accident.
Death of Mr. Theo. Quick
At the court house on Friday Coroner Weekes continued the 
Inquiry concerning the motor accident at Coolac on April 21, when Theo. Quick lost his life. Constable O'Connor deposed; On 24th April received a message that there was a car accident at Coolac. On arrival at the spot on the Gundagai road, near the 10-mile peg, saw an upturned car and two men lying near it on the roadside. The first one examined, Theo, Quick, I found to be dead, and he appeared to have his neck broken. The other person, Reginald Carfoot, was unconscious and had a bad cut on the top of his head. Rang up Dr. Byrne and he arrived shortly afterwards, The doctor pronounced Quick dead and ordered Carfoot to be taken to Gundagai Hospital. Heard the occupants of the car came from Junee. The driver Quick was sober, but I could smell drink on Carfoot, and there was also two bottles of beer under the car. The car was a Baby Austin. Could not find any license in the car. Understand deceased's wife owns the car, Reginald Carfoot deposed : Am a clerk and have been residing at Junee; Have known deceased about three years. Last saw him alive on April 24. Was travelling with him in a car towards Coolac.
Have no recollection of any accident happening. The last I remem ber was driving along the road after leaving Gundagai. Left Junee between a quarter and half-past 5 p.m. We had two drinks of ale at Junee before we left and two at Gundagai. Deceased was perfectly sober. My memory Is defective In consequence of the injury received, Can't re member being taken to Gundagai Hospital. Have often driven with deceased before, and he was a good driver. Presumed deceased had a license. Deceased was a married man with one child. Generally de ceased was a hard-working man. The onlv time I use to see him was when his wife was away. Have never heard of him drinking. His position would not allow it. We were going to Queanbeyan for deceased's wife, I was going as far as Yass to catch the train for Sydney. Think we were travelling about 30 miles an hour at times 
To the Sergeant : Left Gundagai about 7.30 p.m. Don't think I was asleep, but It could be possible at the time of the accident. Purchased three bottles of beer at Junee and drank one at Nangus. Only had two drinks at Gundagai. At time ..... no idea what pace we were travelling. 
- Dr. Byrne deposed : On 24th April, at 9 p.m., was called to Coolac by Constable O'Connor in conse quence of a motor accident at the 10-mlle peg, On arrival saw de-ceased's body lying on tbe road. On examination found life was ex-tinct, and there was a large pool of blood alongside the body. Had the body removed to Hospital morgue and found very extensive fractures on the skull extending from ear to ear. The skull was fractured in many places, could not smell liquor on deceased. At the scene of the accident found Carfoot lying on the road, He was semi-conscious and there was a smell of drink on him. He was suffering from fracture of the skull. In my opinion death ln Quick's case was instantaneous. The corner where the accident happened is a very dangerous place, especially to one not used to the road.
Frederick Hlgham deposed : Live in delicensed Coolac hotel. On 24th April, about 8.20 p.m., was in the house and heard a car pass, Heard someone speaking in the car and immediately heard a crash. My wife said there was an accident. We ran out to where the car was It was turned upside down, with lights burning. Saw two hats on the roadside near the car and a man's hand on the ground. Said 'Is anybody hurt ?' Got no reply and saw no movement.. Ran to nearest house for assistance. A man named Hurley came. Went for my son and another. When we returned several men were there, and got the two men from under the car. Some ladies assisted and and rubbed the men with brandy This would account for the smell of liquor on the men. Constable O'Connor arrived and afterwards the doctor. The cause of the accident was the car striking a post at the corner. The post was knocked out of the ground. The car also struck another post. The car was overturned. The car seemed to be travelling fast and went off the road before It struck the post. Have heard travellers say the spot is the most dangerous on the road from Sydney. 
The Coroner gave his verdict that death was purely accidental. At the same time he, expressed his opinion that the spot on the road is a very dangerous corner and said It ought to be brought under the notice of the Shire Council. There was no evidence that the driver was under the Influence of liquor, and Mr. Higham's evidence quite accounted for the smell of liquor on Carfoot.

Perhaps Ivy and Reginald were separated or maybe the accident caused difficulties in their marriage but I don't find them together in any further electoral rolls after this accident.
I am not certain of this so open to confirmation or contradiction.

From 1931 to 1936 Ivy is listed at Kooyong, Auburn (a suburb of Melbourne) at Denmark Hill Road.  
No other Carfoots are at that address.
In 1954, at Ann Street, Williamstown Ivy is listed at the same address as Richard Reginald CARFOOT, a tiler.  I assume this is her son.  Richard later married Nancy Lorraine (surname not known)
Ivy's sister Ethel also lived in Williamstown with her husband William HANCOCK.

A9301 156226 CARFOOT RICHARD REGINALD : Service Number - 156226 : Date of birth - 24 May 1926 : Place of birth - SYDNEY NSW : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE : Next of Kin - CARFOOT IVY
Access status: Not yet examined Location: Canberra
1939 - 1948
He died in 2005 and would have been 78 years old.

I couldn't find anything further on Reginald Carfoot apart from a traveller by the name of Reginald Cameron Carfoot who was living at Musgrave Road, Red Hill, Paddington, Brisbane and a death for the same name in Western Australia, year not stated, aged 65.

Ivy CARFOOT nee FLEMING died in December 1958.
She is buried at Williamstown cemetery.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Letter to New Zealand by Dolly KELLY (Johanna Margaret BINDON nee BARRETT)

 Johanna Margaret BARRETT was born in New Zealand in 1885 and was adopted by my great great grand uncle, Thomas KELLY and his wife Juliana. 
Thomas had gone to New Zealand from Australia in 1862 to follow the gold rushes.  
He married Juliana BASSETT in 1867.
Thomas died in 1912 and Juliana in 1929.
Later Thomas' nephew, Alexander MORGAN, joined him in New Zealand.
Alexander was the older brother of my paternal great grandmother, Mary ADAMS nee MORGAN.
Alexander married Lavinia (Vena) Stuart in 1894.  
Alexander died in 1929 and Lavinia died in 1954.
I am extremely grateful that descendants of Alex and Vena have shared with me many of his letters and photos.  I am amazed at what he kept.

Johanna BARRETT and her adoptive mother Juliana KELLY
Dolly (Johanna KELLY) and her adoptive mother Juliana KELLY nee BASSETT.
 A letter written to Vena MORGAN by Dolly from Sydney in 1933.
In this letter Dolly mentions the above photo.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Private Ernest John (Ah KING) KING

The KING (AH KING) family are a challenge to research, even more so in recording the war service of the three youngest boys of Thomas AH KING and his wife; my great great grand aunt, Euphemia nee MASON.
Thomas AH KING who was born about 1843 in China had died in 1900 when Ernest was aged thirteen, Edmund eleven and David only five.  All eleven of the children's births were registered with Thomas KING/AH KING as father.

I have previously written about the war service of the two youngest, Edward (Edmund) James  and David Alexander.
None of the boys listed their mother as next of kin on their attestation papers.

When their mother married Richard POPE (pretty quick) in 1900  it is said he didn't want a chinese child in the house so their youngest sister, three year old Rachael, was "put on the State" (made a ward of the state).
She never got to know her family....... another story to come.

Richard POPE died in 1915 and Euphemia married Frederick ELLIS in 1920.

I haven't yet found where the boys were living at the time but it seems likely they were with their eldest sister Margaret who had married William CLOVER in 1894.  Margaret died in 1914.

When researching Edmund and David I didn't know that Ernest had also enlisted in the First A.I.F. until I found their mother's death notice in the newspaper archives at Trove .

In the war service records there was only one Ernest KING born at Birchip.  He enlisted into the 14th Battalion on the 4th of November 1916.  He was later in the 29th Battalion. 
His address was given as Holbrook, New South Wales, next of kin was first listed as a friend, Henry COLLYER also of Holbrook.  Later the next of kin was changed to cousin, Miss F HOWARD of Upper Edmonton, London.



It looks as though Ernest may have cut all ties with his mother and siblings.  
He declared "I Ernest John KING have no occasion to make a will" and to me it looks like the words "Parents forgotten" crossed out.


On the 17th of November 1916 Ernest embarked from Sydney on the SS Port Napier.  By March 1917 he was in France.  In October that year he sustained severe gunshot wounds to the thigh and face and in November was sent to hospital in England where he spent some months recuperating.

April 1918 saw Ernest at the No 1 Command depot at Sutton Veny.
On the 10th of December 1918 after some further medical issues Ernest returned to Australia on the "Somali" and was discharged from the A.I.F in March 1919.

On looking for further records of Ernest I came across a Will in New South Wales which named his wife as Lydia Violet Thorburn. His occupation was farmer and grazier.
Ernest died on the 8th of January 1940.
Ernest and Lydia had married at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales in 1919.  They had 5 children.
In the electoral rolls Ernest's address after the war was Coppabella near Holbrook, New South Wales.

 Interestingly Lydia had been married previously but her first husband turned out to be a bigamist.
From the 1919 New South Wales police gazettes I learned that a warrant was issued in Albury for the arrest of Private William LANE reg # 6887 of the same battalion as Ernest.  William was on active service abroad and was also from Holbrook.
He was being charged with bigamy as when he married Lydia at Holbrook in 1916 he had already been married in England, and was still, to an Ann GRIFFITHS of High Ercall in Shropshire.


Monday, 20 June 2016

Trooper David Alexander KING (AHKING)

David Alexander AHKING (surname later changed to KING) was born in 1895 at Wirrimbirchip (now known as Birchip) Victoria, Australia.
David was a first cousin of my great great grandmother, Margaret HART.

He was the tenth child and sixth son of Euphemia Margaret MASON (1859-1942) and Thomas AHKING.  Thomas was born in Canton, China in 1843.  He died at Maryborough in 1900. Euphemia is recorded as marrying Richard POPE in 1900. At the time of her mother's remarriage, the youngest child Rachel AHKING was a ward of the state.  It is said that Richard Pope didn't want a Chinese child in his house.

The older surviving children may have already left home and sadly David and his brother Edmund James were both killed in the war.

On his attestation paper of December 4, 1914, David named his older brother Arthur as next of kin.
Arthur's address was recorded as Kellerberin, Doodlakine, Western Australia.
David enlisted at Culcairn, New South Wales on the 28th of November 1914 and was recorded as 22 years old, 5 foot 11 inches tall in one record and 5 foot 9 inches in another.  He weighed 160 lbs with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light brown hair.

A timeline of David's war service from the National Archives.
20 Feb 1915 embarked at Sydney per HMAT A21 Marere
18 July 1915 Sick with influenza
23 July 1915 Admitted to 1st A.C.C.S
27 July 1915 Admitted to NZ Hospital Port Said.
3 August 1915 Admitted to 1st A. StynHpl Mudros
13 August 1915 Admitted to 24th CCS Mudros
20 August 1915 Insubordination at Mudros.  72 hours detention
24 August 1915 Rejoined regiment ex-hospital.
3 October 1915 Pyrexia - adm 1st Aust Cas clearing stn to hosp
5 October 1915 admitted to 21st G Hpl Alexandria. Enteric.
12 October 1915. Reported sick to HPL
10 November 1915 Adm to enteric conv camp Port Said.
13 December 1915 Invalided to Aust for 3 months. change ex Suez.
13 December 1915 Sailed from Suez on Wandilla Arr Melb 1/4/1/16 (sic) enteric fever

4 April 1916 return to duty 2nd M.D
10 July 1916 Trans to Camel Corps ex 2nd L.H.T. Rgt
15 July 1916 Taken on strength No 11 Coy 1 Camel Corps.
25 July 1916 App T/Lance Cpl.
11 November 1916 Trans from 6th L.H. & T.O.S of 3rd Anzac Bn 1CB de (states T/L.Cpl)
13 December 1916 sick to Hpl. ex 1. C.C No 12 Coy
15 December 1916 Adm to 24th Styn Hpl. Disorders of Accommodation.
15 December 1916 Adm to 24th Stat Hpl.
17 December 1916 disc to duty
18 December 1916 reported for duty X Hpl

28 January 1917 Insolence to an NCO "In the Field"
4 Feb 1917 Deprived of 5 days pay (states 12th Coy I.C.C)
28 Feb 1917 Delay in obeying an order in the field
1 Mar 1917 Awarded 3 days F.R. No.2 (Pte)
19 April 1917 Reptd. "wounded in action" Near Gaza & to Hpl same date.
19 April 1917 Shell wd Lt shldr 4th fld Coy Amb
29 April 1917 Died of wounds GSW Chest at 2nd Aust Sty Hpl
29 April 1917 GSW Back & through lung.  Died at 2nd Aust Sty Hpl El Arish
Buried by W.A. Moore C.F. Chaplain

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Witnesses state that about 8 am on the 19th of April 1917 during the second Gaza Stunt (2nd Battle of Gaza) David King suffered dangerous gunshot wounds to the chest while at the front of enemy lines.  "He was well liked by all, jolly and cheery always".

Several letters in 1920 and 1921 record the War office searching for Arthur King's address regarding who is next of kin of David. Correspondence had been sent to the recorded address of Arthur being c/o Hedge's Store, Koolberrin, via Bruce Rock, W.A.

NAA: B2455, KING D A

NAA: B2455, KING D A

The Bruce Rock postmaster informed that his address was unknown, believed to have returned to Victoria.
The manager of Hedge's Store later informed Base Records that Arthur King's address was now Birchip, Victoria.
Nearest next of kin was to be established for the disbursement of David's medals.

Eventually, David's mother, Mrs. E Pope of Stawell made contact with the War Office and was granted his war gratuity and medals.

Private Edward James King (Edmund James AhKing)

Born Edmund James AH KING in 1889 at Wirrumbirchip, (now known as Birchip) Victoria, Australia.
The seventh of eleven children (fourth son) of Thomas AH KING and my great great grand aunt Euphemia MASON.
He married Caroline PENNY in 1911.  They had no children
Private Edward James KING, of Warracknabeal, Vic enlisted in the 22nd Battalion on 1 March 1915 and was killed in action on 5 August 1916 at Pozieres in France.


commemoration
Edward's father on his war graves information is given as John Henry KING but John (Jack) was his older brother.  Perhaps Edward's wife Caroline got the names confused as she was next of kin and most likely gave the details.
Edward's eldest sister Margaret had married William CLOVER in 1894.  Margaret had died in 1914 and her youngest son Leslie Vernon CLOVER (born 1911) was recorded in Edward's service record as applying for his war pension.  This was declined as Leslie was not "a dependent as defined by the act"  I'm not sure why Leslie, or more likely his father William acting for him, applied for the pension when Edward had a wife.


private edward james king
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Studio portrait of 1155 Private (Pte) Edward James KING, 22nd Battalion, of Warracknabeal, Vic. Pte KING enlisted on 1 March 1915 and was killed in action on 5 August 1916 at Pozieres in France. His brother, 727 Trooper David Alexander King, 3rd Australian Battalion Imperial Camel Corps, died of wounds on 29 April 1917 in Egypt.
Australian War Memorial DA08427

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Sapper George William HULME

George William HULME, eldest son of John William HULME and Alice Morgan REID, was born on the 10th of August 1884 at Edi near Wangaratta in North East Victoria.

George enlisted at Sydney in the No 1 Field Company engineers on the 19th of August 1914.  He had been apprenticed at a power house in Hawkesbury, New South Wales and later trained and employed in mechanical and electrical engineering at one of the New South Wales Government workshops.

On the 3rd of March 1915, his unit embarked to Alexandria.  After 3 months service at Gallipoli George was admitted to hospital with Influenza.  He soon became jaundiced and was transferred via the hospital ship Neuralia to Malta in August and by early September he was in hospital in London.  The Neuralia had also taken on board soldiers who were rescued from the troopship Southland on the 2nd of September.
Men rescued from the troopship Southland after it was torpedoed in the Aegean Sea near Agistrati Island while it was carrying Australian troops to Gallipoli. The men are removing lifebelts after ...
Men rescued from the troopship Southland after it was torpedoed in the Aegean Sea near Agistrati Island while it was carrying Australian troops to Gallipoli. The men are removing lifebelts after reaching the deck of the hospital ship Neuralia.Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
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George had served in the A.I.F for one year and 84 days landing at Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915,  His time at the Dardanelles was spent making bombs.
Due to an ongoing foot problem and after much corresponding back and forth with the Australian military office, George was officially discharged as unfit in January 1916.

Rather than return to Australia where he felt employment opportunities would be in short supply George had applied to do Home Service in England.  He was given a position doing munitions work at the Royal Dockyard at Woolwich.

http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameSearch/Interface/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=7031878
It seems George was having difficulty in later being repatriated to Australia.
In 1919 he sent a letter to Andrew Fisher, the High Commissioner at Australia House requesting his help.


By 1922 George had returned to Australia and that year he married Clarice Jane BENNETT (known as Cassie).  There is no mention in his records about how he got back to Australia, whether he returned under his own steam or the A.I.F repatriated him.

I have found no record of children for George and Cassie and as it appears no-one else has either (a search of ancestry trees) I will assume the couple remained childless.

In the 1949 electoral roll George and Cassie were living at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College where he was employed as an engineer.

In 1967 George wrote a letter to the Army Records Section in Melbourne applying for his Anzac commemoration medallion and badges.

George passed away at the good age of 93 years on the 9th of November 1977 at Tamworth, New South Wales.
Cassie had predeceased him in 1971.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Private William Finlay FLEMING

On his enlistment into the A.I.F on the 4th of August 1915, at Seymour, William Finlay FLEMING was aged 22 years and 1 month.




*above photos used with permission from then owner.


He was 5 foot 5 and a half inches tall and weighed 150 lbs.
His complexion was ruddy and eyes and hair brown. 
William's surname was spelt FLEMMING in some records.

Like his younger brother David Claude FLEMING, his religious denomination was Presbyterian.
William was the eldest son of Finlay FLEMING and Jessie nee SPLATT of King Valley.
Only 4 years before his enlistment he narrowly escaped severe injury in an accident that was reported in the local newspaper.

The North Eastern Despatch.  
Wednesday, March 22, 1911 - page 2
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A narrow escape - Wm Fleming aged 20, a son of Mrs. Finlay Fleming, King Valley, had a remarkably narrow escape from serious accident on Monday.  He was driving a draught horse attached by chains to a log, 8 feet long by about 2 feet in diameter, when the animal became fractious, and in an endeavour to regain control, Mr. Fleming fell.  The horse trod on his chest, but fortunately did not rest it's full weight on him.  As the animal moved away, the leg grazed the side of Mr. Fleming's body, making numerous bruises.  There was a good deal of internal bleeding and the sufferer was brought into D. Henderson, who found that his injuries were fortunately not serious.

further information at 
William's unit the 8th Light Horse Regiment, 12th Reinforcement embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915.

Troops on board HMAT Ascanius (A11), as it departs.  A small boat is seen in the left foreground.
Troops on board HMAT Ascanius (A11), as it departs. A small boat is seen in the left foreground.Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
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In December 1915 William reported for duty at Heliopolis.  In February 1916 they marched out to Serapeum and some other places they were recorded at were Port Said, Abasan, Tripoli and later Moascar which was a hospital camp.  
I can't find any mention of why he was there.

At one stage at Port Said William was reported for being "Out of Bounds" and deprived of 28 days pay.
In August 1917 he trained as a Gunner and passed in the Hotchkiss gun course.

William returned to Australia per PT Sydney on the 5th of March 1919 and was discharged on the 21st of March 1919.

He died at the age of 80 years on the 24th of April 1974 at Wangaratta.  It seems he didn't marry.



Sunday, 12 June 2016

Sapper David Claude FLEMING

David Claude Fleming was born on the 8th of January 1897 at Kotupna (parish of Barwo) near Nathalia in Northern Victoria.
His parents were Finlay FLEMING and Jessie nee SPLATT.

Finlay and Jessie had nine children who all lived to adulthood, many to a ripe old age but sadly that was not the case for Finlay.
The family moved to the King Valley in North East Victoria in the early 1900s where they took up farming.
Finlay died there aged only 46 years,  the eldest of their nine children being only 16 years old.

David Claude (known as Claude) was the third eldest child and second son.  He and his older brother William Finlay were the only boys and both served in WW1.

Claude was 19 years and 8 months of age when he enlisted at Shepparton.  He was 5 foot 5 and a half inches tall, weighed 124 lbs and had grey eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion.
His religious denomination was Presbyterian and his occupation was a railway porter.


On the 28th of August 1916 David was appointed as a Private to the Divisional Signal Company 2, Reinforcement 17 He attended the Seymour signal school and later became a Sapper.

His battalion embarked on the "HMAT Ulysses A38" at Melbourne on the 25th of October 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth on the 28th of December that year.

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Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
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On the 18th of February 1917, they marched out to Shefford and he was granted 5 days leave from the 19th to 23rd of February.

I can't find much on his active service and a lot of the record is very difficult to read.

NAA war service records

They proceeded to France on the 29th September 1917 and on the 25th of November he was appointed driver under the A.I.F order 785.
5th of March 1918 saw him in the hospital.  He rejoined his unit on the 15th of March 1918.

In early September 1917 and August 1918, Claude was reprimanded and fined for neglecting to obey orders.

From the 3rd to the 18th of October 1918 he was on leave.

Group portrait of four unidentified signallers. The men on the far left and the far right are holding signalling flags, and there is a tripod mounted heliograph in front of the group. The man second from the left is holding a pad and pencil to note down signals sent or received.Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
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On his return trip to Australia in June 1919 on H. T Ormonde, Claude was admitted to the hospital for a day.

I am told that David "Claude" Fleming later married Agnes Frew Johnston and in the 1930s they were living at Essendon.


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