William Agland. Image courtesy Orange City Library
William Edwin Agland was born in the family home in Shadforth in 1895. The family moved to Orange when William was boy, living in Park Street, and later Spring Street. William and his siblings attended Orange East Public School. The family later purchased a property in Peisley Street, where they operated an auction room and real estate agency. William’s father was also named William Edwin Agland, and was an Alderman and Mayor of East Orange in 1910.
William was working as Assistant Town Clerk in Orange when he enlisted in WWI. The 21-year-old embarked in Sydney in September 1916, arriving in Plymouth the following month. A private, later General, in the 4th Battalion, William saw action in several battles, including the second battle of the Somme, as well as heavy fighting around Pozieres. He was wounded in the hand whilst operating a Lewis gun, and almost had his feet amputated due to severe trench foot and subsequent gangrene.
After the war Captain Agland continued reserve duty with the 6th Light Horse until just before WWII. He and his comrades participated in the re-enactment of the famous WWI charge on Beersheba, which was filmed in Orange as part of the 40,000 Horsemen film.
Mr Agland worked tirelessly for the Orange Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League, dedicating 73 years to the organisation. The RSL Museum in Anson Street is named in his honour. He was awarded an MBE in 1971 for his service to the community.
William Edwin Agland died in Orange in February 1982, aged 86. He is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll and the Orange East Public School Honour Roll.
William Edwin Agland’s headstone. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.
Fred Agland enlisted in November 1915 and was appointed as a private in 19th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement, embarking from Sydney the following month. He was admitted to hospital in February 1915 suffering from mumps. Agland was reported “Missing in Action” on 14 November 1916, but this was later revised to “Killed in Action”. Details of his death are not known, and he has no known grave. Fred was the nephew of Alderman William Edwin Agland, Mayor of East Orange in 1910.
Sir Neville Howse VC. Image courtesy Orange City Library.
During the Boer War in 1900 Neville Howse became the first Australian to be awarded a Victoria Cross. When WWI began in 1914 Howse – then Mayor of Orange – was appointed the principal medical officer to the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force that went to German New Guinea. He then went to Gallipoli and was based in London when the AIF moved to France. After the war Howse became the federal member for Calare and held several ministerial portfolios, including Defence and Health.
John Patrick Hamilton VC 1919 Image courtesy Australian War Memorial
John Hamilton was born in Orange on 24 January 1896 to William and Catherine Hamilton. His parents were married on 11 April 1893 in St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Orange. Catherine was the daughter of Ambrose Fox and his wife Ann Elizabeth [nee Frost] who was the eldest daughter of Samuel Frost the Orange brickmaker. Samuel made the bricks for many of the principal buildings of Orange, including the Holy Trinity Church and the Orange Public School. (more…)