Vernon Hopkins writes the poem From Quinn’s Post while serving in the 5th Field Ambulance at Gallipoli:
Celestial star that crossed my path,
Leaving fair visions in my soul;
Oh! Why did you e’er leave your realm
And break my heart? With mournful dole
Now restless night doth me pursue,
And fiends do tempt my soul to hell.
Ah! Gentle maid, if you but knew
My inner shrine, and it could tell
My hidden love, as deep, as true,
As gentle as sweet birds at play;
Drift back, bright star, and comfort me
In this unending, dreary day.
Claude Lord was born in 1887 at Blayney, the son of Edward and Alice Lord.
Edward Lord was a Police Constable in Victoria, before moving to NSW. Edward married Alice Jobbling in 1883 and they had two children, Mabel born in 1884 and Roy, born in 1885. Edward joined the NSW Police Force in 1886. He spent some years at Blayney, then Cudal and Cargo, and in 1898, at Cumnock. Claude and his younger brother, Raymond (born in Cargo in 1890), attended school in Cumnock and their names are listed on the WWI Honour Board at the Cumnock School. In 1904, the newly promoted Sergeant Lord and family moved to Orange.
Claude followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Police Force in 1908. He resigned from the Police Force and enlisted on 21 August 1914 at Randwick, aged 27 years. His next of kin was listed as his father, Edward Lord, Police Station, Parkes. Private Lord embarked from Sydney on 20 October 1914 on HMAT Euripides A14 and sailed to Albany, Western Australia. At Albany, the Euripides combined with 37 other troopships as part of the first detachment of the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces, and on 1 November 1914, set sail for Egypt. After four and a half months of training near Cairo, the Australians departed by ship for the Gallipoli Peninsula.
On 25 April 1915, Private Lord, as a member of the 4th Battalion, took part in the second and third landing waves at Gallipoli. The battalion then maintained defence of the beachhead and Claude spent time as a stretcher bearer. On 1 August 1915, Private Lord transferred to the Mounted Military Police, 1st Infantry Brigade. He remained at the Gallipoli Peninsula until 11 November 1915, when he was transferred to Transport Details near Cairo and was promoted to Lance Corporal. Lance Corporal Lord left Alexandria on 22 March 1916, arriving in Marseilles on 28 March 1916. He served in Belgium with the Anzac Provost Police Corps, and in September 1916, transferred to the 1st Pioneer Battalion.
Claude’s younger brother, 1198 Private Raymond Sylvester Lord of the 18th Battalion, died of wounds received in battle on 15 November 1916 in France. Their elder brother, 4700 Private Roy Lord of the 18th Battalion, had enlisted on 1 January 1916 and was awarded a Military Medal for assisting in saving wounded men under heavy fire on 9 August 1918 near Rainecourt, France. He survived the war and returned to Australia on 5 April 1919.
From 20 March to 17 June 1917, Claude was hospitalised at various hospitals in France for the treatment of scabies and dermatitis, then rejoined the 1st Pioneer Battalion. On 26 October 1917, he was promoted to Sergeant. He had leave in London in October 1917 and in Paris in January 1918. On 2 March 1918, Sergeant Lord was attached to the Pioneer Training Btn, and in May and June 1918 attended a Bombing School at Lyndhurst in Hampshire.
On 11 April 1918 Claude wrote a letter to the Red Cross Society which was printed in the Western Champion, Parkes on 27 June 1918, p. 25 under the heading:
RED CROSS SOCIETY, TICHBOURNE CIRCLE:
Sutton View, Wiltshire.
Dear Mrs Campbell. I received your muffler sent in a parcel by the Parkes War Chest for which I thank you very much. I have written to the Hon. Sec. Mrs Dalton, thanking the people of Parkes for same. The parcel contained nice warm things just what the boys require at the front. I have been in Parkes a few times, but my people lived there for a time and just recently went to Moss Vale, no doubt you have met my people in Parkes. I have been away since 1914 and have been sent over here for a few months rest from France in a training Battalion, but as things are not too good over in France at present probably all fit men will be returned at an early date. Again thanking you for the muffler.
Please accept kindest regards and best wishes from sincerely yours, No 33 Sergt Claude Lord.
Sergeant Lord became ill with dyspepsia and asthma in June 1918, and returned to Australia on 29 December 1918. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star Medal, the British War Medal 1914-20, and the Victory Medal.
Claude Lord married Mona Jessie Pretty in 1927 in Sydney. From 1930 to 1954, the couple lived at Campsie, Sydney, and Claude worked as a labourer. Around 1958, Claude and Mona had retired to Bega to live. Claude Lord died in 1974, aged 87 years.
The first Women’s Institute meeting is held in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey in Wales. The Institute was formed to encourage British countrywomen to grow and preserve food to help to increase the supply of food to the war-torn nation.
Edmond Arthur Ashdown. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Edmond Arthur Ashdown was born in Mackay in 1881, the first son of Edward Parker and Florence Eleanor Ashdown. Edward was the manager of the Mackay branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. He was later transferred to Newtown, then Inverell and later Bega. In April 1899 he was appointed manager of the Orange branch, a position that he held until his death in March 1909.
Edmond was educated Crown Street Public School, where he served in the School Cadets. He was living in Mosman and working as a clerk when he enlisted in February 1915. Assigned to the 13th Battalion, he embarked with the 4th Reinforcements on HMAT A9 Shropshire on 17 March 1915.
He proceeded to Gallipoli in May, but was evacuated in September with enteritis and septic poisoning. In June 1916 Edmond joined the British Expeditionary Force in France. On 11 August 1916 he suffered gunshot wounds at the Battle of Somme. After repatriation to England for convalescence, he returned to France in December 1916.
On 11 April 1917 Edmond was wounded by a shell while acting as an observer outside Battalion Head Quarters. He was conscious when taken to the dressing station by the stretcher bearers but later died of his wounds. He was 36.
A fellow soldier, Corporal Walton, described Edmond as: “very popular…a splendid soldier…he was very well liked.”
Edmond is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll where his father had been a church warden, and on the western face of Mosman War Memorial. He is also commemorated on his father’s grave in Orange Cemetery.
Edmond’s name appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte AE Ashdown”; presumably Edmond. It was donated by Dr Arthur Edmund Colvin. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Three of Edmond’s brothers and one of his sisters also served in WWI: Cecil Parker was killed in action in France in July 1916, Ernest Ewen and Clive returned to Australia in March 1916 and August 1918 respectively; Staff Nurse Maud Ashdown was discharged from the Australian Army Nursing Service in March 1917.
Edmund Arthur Ashdown headstone, Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy, France. Image courtesy Sharon Hesse.