30 March 1915

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29 March 1915

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28 March 1915

Drawing of the sinking of the Elder Dempster liner Falaba, 28 March 1915. Image courtesy Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150422-47-2.

Drawing of the sinking of the Elder Dempster liner Falaba, 28 March 1915.
Image courtesy Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19150422-47-2.

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27 March 1915

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James Stuart McLean

James Stuart McLean was born in Walgett in 1893, one of ten children born to James Fletcher and Sara McLean. In 1894 the family moved to the Parkes district, where they remained for several years.

By 1914 the family had relocated to Orange, where the family worked Cranley at Bloomfield. In October 1914 James junior volunteered his services to the AIF and, in December, embarked for overseas service.

Private McLean was a regular correspondent to his family. In a letter written from 7th Australian Light Horse Camp at Ma’adi he describes the difficulty of completing training drills in the sand: “The ground here is worse than Maroubra; everywhere there is sand.”

In April 1916 James was transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade at Tel-el-Kebir; in June he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France as a Bombardier. In January 1917 he was promoted to Temporary Colonel, and, in June, to Colonel.

Colonel McLean suffered an attack of appendicitis in January 1918 which saw him transferred to the Tidworth Military Hospital in England. In March he wrote home from Hurdcott Convalescent Camp praising the quality of the cuisine and the amusements. He also recalled that this is now the fourth Easter that he has seen in the Army.

In June 1918 Colonel McLean rejoined his unit in France, and in November he returned to Australia. James returned to Orange on the train with Alfred Joseph Allan. They were greeted at the Orange Railway Station by the Mayor, Ald Bouffler, as the Model Band played Home Sweet Home. They were then escorted through a guard of honour to the Town Hall for a civic reception. James was given a second welcome home reception at Bloomfield several weeks later.

In January 1919 James married Florence Emma Allen. The couple later moved to Sydney, where James was an employee of NSW Tramways. They lived at Penshurst until their deaths. James died in the Repatriation General Hospital at Concord in 1966, aged 72.

James is commemorated on Bloomfield Honour Roll and the St John’s Presbyterian Church Orange Honour Roll.

James’ brother Alfred Fletcher McLean also served in WWI.

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26 March 1915

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Vernon James Williams MM

Vernon James Williams. Image courtesy Julia Williams.

Vernon James Williams MM c1953.
Image courtesy Julia Williams.

Vernon James Williams MM became an Orange lad when he moved to Amaroo in 1904 at age 15. His parents, James and Elizabeth Williams moved from Collector to allow James to take up his position as school teacher at Amaroo School.

Vernon was born in Sutton on 29 July 1888 and lived in Collector between 1894 and 1904. He came from a close knit rural family which, for two generations, had been involved enthusiastically in church and community affairs. Education had been important to the family over several generations.

Vernon secured his first position as a schoolteacher in 1907, at the age of 19 and taught in several small schools including High Range, Jellore, Mandemar and Winduella.

Vernon enlisted on 1 May 1916 and trained at the Musketry school at Liverpool. Vernon, like many of the men who enlisted around this time, would have realised that he was going over to the Western Front to fight a difficult war which had already claimed the lives of many Australians and had stagnated in trench warfare. On 31 October 1916 his family and friends from Amaroo, Nyrang and Cudal presented Vernon with a watch and other gifts at a farewell social. (more…)

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25 March 1915

Otto Liman Von Sanders by American Press Assn. The Project Gutenberg eBook, The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Otto Liman Von Sanders by American Press Assn. The Project Gutenberg eBook, The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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24 March 1915

Under the cross where the South winds blow,
Down by the deep south sea,
Where the oceans meet and the spring tides flow,
That’s where I love to be.

At the call to-day of the dear old land,
I follow the flag away;
I am going to give the Tommies a hand,
So I’m leaving you all to-day.

On our flag is the cross and a big star too,
For Australia bright and free,
With the Union Jack set in blue,
And we’re taking the flag to sea.

So I’m off to-day from the land of song,
Over the rolling main,
And take it from me it will not be long,
‘Ere we come home again.

Good bye to you all, and the girl I love,
Farewell to the kiddies too;
Our good old cross in the sky above
Will lead me back to you.

Oh, poor dear land of sunshine,
The world now weeps with thee,
For gone are joy and laughter
That makes prosperity.

Gone are the homes and churches;
Your nation’s heart is sore,
Yet you have clung to Honor,
The pearl your fathers wore.

We hear the wail of mothers,
Who mourn beside their dead;
We see the babes and women,
Whose blood the Germans shed.

We shrink from tales of horror
That stain their boasted name,
And cause the men of England
To bow their heads in shame.

But oh dear land of sorrow,
Keep fast your faith in God;
In His own time the Kaiser
Will fall beneath his rod.

And then come joy and laughter,
That sorrow sent away,
For Time will heal your anguish,
When Peace returns to stay.

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23 March 1915

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