William Charles Fubbs was born in Orange in 1879 to William Andrew Fubbs and his wife Emma. William Junior’s grandfather – Joseph Fubbs – ran a confectionary shop on the corner of Anson and Byng Streets during the 1880s.
William moved to Sydney, marrying Ada Jamieson Scanlan in 1908. The couple was living in Surry Hills when William enlisted in November 1916, aged 37.
He embarked from Sydney in January 1917 and arrived in England in late March. Private Fubbs served in the 1st Pioneer Battalion, 10th Reinforcements, in England and France. He was hospitalised twice during his service; in October 1918 with acute colitis, and again the following month suffering from myocarditis.
William returned to Australia in March 1918 and was discharged from the AIF the following month. William and Emma travelled to the Central West during the shearing season, where William worked as a shearer and Emma, a shearers’ cook.
Walkure by unknown Frenchman. Image courtesy American Forestry Magazine via Wikipedia.
The Bombardment of Papeete occurs in French Polynesia. German armoured cruisers SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau enter the port of Papeete on the island of Tahiti and sink the French gunboat Zélée and freighter Walkure before bombarding the town’s fortifications.
The German submarine U-9 sinks three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue and the Cressy, in the North Sea in just over one hour. 1,400 sailors are killed; the British are alerted to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine, which had been generally unrecognized up to that time.
The German light cruiser Emden bombards Madras in British India. The action lasts just half an hour, by which time the Germans destroy British oil reserves. 26 British sailors are injured; at least five are killed during the action or die later of injuries. There are no German casualties or losses.
First British air raid on Germany. Britain bombs German airship sheds at Cologne and Düsseldorf
The first use of wireless telegraphy from aeroplane to artillery is conducted by the British Royal Flying Corps
The Battle of Zanzibar is fought between British Royal Navy and the Imperial German Navy. HMS Pegasus is sunk by the German light cruiser Konigsberg. 39 British sailors are killed and 55 wounded. There are no German casualties or losses.
South African forces occupy Luederitzbucht in German South West Africa. This is the first German territory to be entered by Union troops.
The Battle of Flirey starts. The battle cuts most of the roads and railways to the strategically important fortified city of Verdun in north-eastern France. It lasts until 11 October and results in a German victory.
German New Guinea and surrounding Colonies capitulate to Australian Expeditionary Force
Serbian forces in Syrmia withdraw. Semlin is evacuated.
Admiral Souchon of the Imperial German Navy assumes control of the Turkish Navy
The “Race to the Sea” begins; the German, French and British armies move north from the Aisne and try to outflank each other. The offensive continues until 16 October when the lines reach the Belgian coast.
Norman Douglas Sherwin. Image courtesy Molong Express and Western District Advertiser.
Norman Douglas Sherwin was born in Cargo in 1894, one of seven children born to Arthur Sherwin and his wife Catherine. Norman’s father, Arthur, became the Boree Shire Council Clerk in 1906, a position he held for many years.
Norman was educated at St Joseph’s Convent School in Cargo. As a student Norman and his siblings entered their school and handiwork in regional shows throughout NSW and Victoria. Norman regularly won first prize (and sometimes second prize as well) for his neat handwriting and tidy exercise book. Between 1905 and 1912 he won awards in many towns, including Cudal, Cumnock, Manildra, Canowindra, Parkes, Peak Hill and Dubbo. At the Orange Jubilee Show in April 1912 he won 1st prize for his exceptional handwriting.
Norman was one of the earliest recruits for WWI, enlisting in Sydney in September 1914. He embarked in December that year, a Trooper with the 6th Light Horse Regiment. In June 1915 at Gallipoli Norman sustained a gunshot wound to the left hand, which turned septic, necessitating his hospitalisation in Greece. He returned to his unit the following month, but would be hospitalised on two other occasions; in August 1915, with sunstroke, and in February 1916 with mumps.
During his time at the front Norman wrote many letters home to his friends and family. Most of these were published by the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser.
On 28 March 1918 Trooper Sherwin participated in the attack on Amman in Palestine, during which he was wounded. He was later reported to be reported missing in action, having been taken as a prisoner of war by the Turks. He was subsequently shot and died and was buried in an unmarked grave. He was 23. In the words of fellow prisoner of war Trooper A. Crockett:
He was wounded in the leg by a machine gun bullet about 2.30pm on the 28 March 1918 at Amman. He was taken prisoner with me and was shot through the stomach by the Turks soon afterwards by a rifle bullet. We were taken to Amman Station and put on the train and he died at 4am next morning. The Turks buried him about ¼ mile from the Station near the Railway Line. No identification was put on his grave.
Norman is remembered on his mother’s headstone in Cargo General Cemetery.