The first aerial bombing of London occurs as German Zeppelins release 120 bombs along the Thames. Seven people are killed and 35 are injured. 41 fires are ignited and seven properties are destroyed, causing £18,596 worth of damage. There would be a further ten airship raids over London during 1915 and 1916, and one in 1917. Murder by Zeppelin: London Attacked!
Lionel Brizzolara, 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Lionel Brizzolara was born in Lucknow in 1896. He was one of four children born to Luigi and wife Catherine (nee Callinan). Lionel attended Lucknow Public School, and later Orange Public School. As a youth he served in cadets and the militia and was a keen footballer.
Lionel trained as a wheelwright, securing employment at Gardiner’s coach factory in Orange, and was working there during 1913. When he enlisted in May 1915, Lionel gave his address as 24 St Hilliers Road, Auburn, where his parents resided.
Private Brizzolara embarked from Sydney in July 1915, proceeding to Egypt. He joined the 2nd Battalion at Gallipoli in early November. Lionel returned to Egypt following the evacuation of Gallipoli in December 1915, and proceeded to France in March 1916.
Private Brizzolara was part of the first wave of troops to fight in the Battle of Pozieres. He sustained severe shell wounds to his right leg at about 12.30am on the night of 22 July – in the first hour of a bloody battle that would continue until 5 August and cost Australia 23,000 casualties. Lionel was transported to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance, where his leg was amputated. Lionel survived for a further two days; he died from his wounds on 25 July 1916, aged 21. He is buried in Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery in the Picardie region of France.
On 25 April 1917 the second ever Anzac Day service in Orange was held at the Orange Public School. Mayoress McNeilly placed a laurel wreath on the Union Jack for each fallen soldier who had attended the school, including Lionel Brizzolara.
Lionel is commemorated on the Lucknow Public School Honour Roll. In September 1964 tree was planted in front of the school in his memory. It was one of thirteen trees planted to commemorate those ex students and teachers who had died during WWI and WWII.
Lionel is also commemorated on the Auburn District Memorial in Sydney.
The Turks attack Quinn’s Post at Gallipoli. Heavy fighting ensues, during which the enemy is driven out. During the fighting Captain Hugh Quinn (after whom the post is named) is killed.
The Ottoman Empire passes The Temporary Law of Deportation, authorising government and military officials to deport anyone perceived as a threat to national security. Many Armenians are marched south into the Syrian desert and abandoned in camps. Within a year close to 1 million Armenians – almost half the population – are dead. By 1918 this number increased to 1.5 million. By the early 1920s there would be only 100,000 Armenians left.
Armed Turkish soldiers march Armenians to prison in Mezireh, April 1915. Image in public domain.
The Leader reports that “the good Sisters [of St Joseph’s Convent School] are straining every nerve to have the students note and letter perfect” for the upcoming concert in support of Belgium, to be held on 9 June. St Joseph’s Belgian Concert
The British destroyer HMS Rattlesnake and men of the 9th Battalion launch a night attack on a Turkish trench near the beach at Gaba Tepe, the aim of which is to persuade the enemy that a major offensive is to take place.
British battleship HMS Majestic is torpedoed by the German submarine U-21 at Cape Helles. The Majestic sinks and 49 men are drowned. This is the third battleship to be torpedoed off the Gallipoli peninsula in two weeks.
The last moments HMS Majestic. Image courtesy The War Illustrated, 26 June 1915.
William George Hines was born in Albury in 1886. He was one of 11 children born to John and Eva Hines. The family lived in Victoria, where John worked in the mining industry, until 1914, when they relocated to Orange.
William remained in Victoria, having married Rita Vivian Harcourt in July 1911. The couple was living in East Melbourne where William was working for the Melbourne Tramway and Omnibus Company at as a gripman (or driver) when he enlisted in May 1915.
He spent nearly two months in training camp, before embarking HMAT Demosthenes in Melbourne on 16 July, a private in the 6th Battalion, 7th Reinforcements. In September Private Hines joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and proceeded to Gallipoli. He served for just one month before being hospitalised, suffering from influenza. He was transferred to 1st Auxiliary Hospital in Heliopolis, then a convalescent camp in Helouan until early December, when he was discharged to light duties in Egypt. Ill-health plagued Hines; he was hospitalised on numerous occasions with influenza, appendicitis and trench fever.
In September 1916 Private Hines proceeded to England, where he undertook further training, and in June 1917 he was transferred to France. It was here that William was killed in action on 29 April 1918.
William’s family remained in Orange, his father John was a businessman until his death in 1935, and his mother Eva worked tirelessly for both the Red Cross and the Comforts Fund during both world wars.
William is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll and on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph. There is also a commemorative plaque in Orange Cemetery, Church of England Section W, Grave 99/100.
Two of William’s brothers also served in WWI; Phillip Edward Hines and John George Hines, both of whom returned safely to Australia.
William’s family inserted the following poem in the Leader a year after his death:
It seems but a year since we bade him good-bye.
His heart full of hope and his spirit so high;
How little we thought when he left us that day,
The grim hand of death would soon tear him away.
So gentle and kind, how we miss his dear face,
Now we know that on earth we can ne’er fill his place.
Though asleep in a soldier’s lonely grave unknown,
In sorrow and tears are his loved ones at home.
William George Hines’ commemorative plaque, Orange Cemetery. Image courtesy Lynne Irvine.
A soldier uses a periscope rifle in a trench while his mate observes for him through a periscope, Gallipoli Peninsula 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Soldiers at Anzac Cove begin to manufacture periscope rifles. A homemade invention of mirrors, boxwood and wire, the periscope rifle allowed the user to sight and fire a rifle over the parapet without exposing himself to enemy fire.
Turkish snipers open fire from a new trench near the Nek, wounding 50 Australians in Monash Valley
Turkish troops shell four destroyers offloading Allied troops at Anzac Cove. Four soldiers and a seaman are killed; 41 others are wounded, seven of whom later die from their wounds. The decision is made to conduct all subsequent landings under the cover of night.
The Australian Mesopotamian Half Flight arrives in Basra. Australia was the only British dominion to set up a flying corps for service during WWI.
Italy announces a blockade of the Austro-Hungarian coast
The Leader announces that now that Empire Day has passed and Orange has done its bit for the Belgians, it is time to support wounded soldiers by establishing a fund for their welfare. A Fund For The Wounded
British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith forms a Coalition government as tensions rise over his handling of the war. David Lloyd George, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer is appointed Minister of Munitions to increase the production of weapons. Winston Churchill resigns as First Lord of the Admiralty over disagreements with Lord Fisher and the Dardanelles campaign.
Australian burial parties burying Australian and Turkish dead during the armistice, 24 May 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
A truce is declared at Gallipoli to allow Allied and Turkish troops to bury their dead
Empire Day is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth. Observed on Queen Victoria’s birthday, Empire Day was introduced in Australia in 1905. The Day was aimed primarily at schoolchildren, who were given lessons in the history of the British Empire and performed patriotic recitations and songs, before having a half-day holiday, often concluding in bonfires and fireworks. Empire Day Pageant 1915
We’ve watched you playing cricket
And every kind of game,
At football, golf and polo,
You men have made your name.
But now your country calls you.
To play your part in war,
And no matter what befalls you,
We shall love you all the more.
So come and join the forces,
As your fathers did before!
We want you from all Quarters
So help us south and north!
We want you in your thousands,
From Falmouth to the Forth!
You’ll never find us fail you
When you are in distress.
So answer when we hail you.
And let your word be ”Yes.”
And so your name in years to come
Each mother’s son shall bless.
Oh! We don’t want to lose you—
But we think you ought to go,
For your King and your Country
Both need you so,
We shall want you and miss you,
But with all our might and main,
We shall cheer you, thank you, bless you,
When you come back again.
The following birth notice appears in the Leader, the parents obviously sympathetic to the Belgian cause:
Birth notice appearing in the Leader, 24 May 1915.