Brodie steel helmet. Image courtesy Imperial War Museum.
Day 455 of the war
The Methodist Church in Orange holds a thanksgiving and intercessional service in relation to the war. They Say
General Sir Charles Monro cables Lord Kitchener recommending the evacuation of Allied Troops from the Gallipoli peninsula
British soldiers on the Western Front begin to use the Brodie combat helmet. Inexpensive and simple to manufacture, the helmet’s steel is highly resistant to shrapnel, airburst fragments and other flying debris. The Brodie Steel Helmet
Albert Edward Carroll (left), shortly before the 19th Battalion departed for Gallipoli. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Albert Edward Carroll was born in Orange in 1893, the second son of William and Elizabeth Jane Carroll. He was educated in Molong and Cobar.
Upon enlisting in Liverpool he was posted to the 19th Battalion and described as an engine driver. In civilian life he was also a fireman.
Albert went off to war on 25 June 1915, embarking from Melbourne on HMAT Ceramic A40. On 24 September 1915 he was promoted to Lance Corporal then to Corporal on 6 January 1917.
Albert was wounded in Gallipoli on 16 August 1915.
He arrived in Alexandria via the ship Mudros on 7 January 1916.
Lance Corporal Carroll left Alexandria on 18 March 1916 to join the British Expeditionary Force, disembarking in Marseilles on 25 March.1916.
Albert fought in the second battle of Bullecourt in May 1917. After initially being reported as missing, Albert was declared to have been killed in action on 3 May 1917. He was 23.
Albert is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll and the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in Picardie, France. His name also appears on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.
A commemorative plaque honouring Albert can be found at the Orange Cemetery, Church of England Section C, Graves 175/177.
A letter from Albert’s brother William James Carroll to the War Records Office, dated 29 September 1920, states that he, William, is Albert’s next of kin as both parents are deceased. In a letter dated 20 June 1938 to the Base Records Office, William states that he has a copy of Albert’s will.
The story of the return of Albert’s will is intriguing. His army pay book was brought to Sydney in 1938 by a crew member of Count von Lucknor’s yacht Seetoufel. In the back of the pay book was pasted his will, written in pencil. The witnesses to this will were GS Lowe and Arnold A Dent. Charles Muller, the crew member, was handed the book before he left Germany by F Danne, a German war veteran. A letter of thanks was given to Muller to deliver to Danne on his return to Germany. Soldier’s Will Comes Back
Francis William Courtenay Bootle was born in Moree in 1890, the eldest son of Francis James Essington and Elizabeth Margaret Sarah Bootle. He attended Forbes and Morpeth Public Schools until the family moved to Orange, where Francis’ father secured employment as a surveyor with the Orange Land Board Office. Francis attended Orange Public School followed by Sydney Grammar School and Hawkesbury Agricultural College.
Francis was working as a farmer at Larras Lake Settlement Area at Copper Hill in Molong when he enlisted on 6 February 1915. He embarked from Sydney just two weeks later, a private with the 4th Infantry Battalion 1st Australian Veterinary Corps. Private Bootle served initially in Egypt; in March 1916 he transferred to the 1st Field Artillery Brigade on the Western Front where he was promoted to Sergeant.
In December 1916 Sergeant Bootle joined the No 6 Officer Cadet Battalion at Balliol College in Oxford for further training. Less than a week later he was “seriously ill” according to his service records and admitted to hospital. He was discharged to duty later in the month; only to be readmitted in early February, again “seriously ill”. Sergeant Bootle died on 14 February 1917; his records cite “nephritis and bronchitis’ as the cause of death. He was 26 years old.
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 “Sgt EW Bootle”, presumably Francis. It was donated by WR Campbell. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Francis 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. He is also remembered on a commemorative plaque on his parents’ grave at Orange Cemetery, Church of England Section N, Graves 91/92.
Francis’ two younger brothers also served in WWI: Norman Austin Charles Bootle and John Carlisle Bootle, both of whom returned to Australia.
Francis William Courtenay Bootle commemorative plaque. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.
The Leader publishes a letter from William Holland to his grandparents in Anson Street. William was killed in action just days after writing it. From The Front
Orange architect JE Lundholm places a public notice in the Leader to confirm that he is not German. He states:
It having come to my knowledge that some persons are circulating a statement to the effect that I am a German I desire to make the following public announcement:
1. I am not a German
2. I never was in Germany, and have no German relations.
3. My sympathies are strongly with the Allies in the present great war.
4. I was bom in Koping, Sweden, and came to Australia when I was 22 years of age and, except for a time spent in England, have been in Australia ever since. I am now 51 years of age.
5. I am a naturalised British subject since 1st March, 1909.
6. These facts I have demonstrated by documentary evidence to the editor of this paper.
(Signed) J. E. LUNDHOLM,
Lord’s Place, Orange.
Charles William Gordon Conroy was born in Thames, New Zealand in about 1874. It seems that he remained for some time in the area; according to his attestation papers he served in the Rifle Corps at Waihi for a period of six months. He later completed a six-year apprenticeship with the Thames chemist, Frederick James Ray.
Charles later moved to Australia. In 1909 he married Mary Jane Pendergast in Orange. The couple settled in the town; it seems that they did not have any children. Charles’ nephew, AM Huntley, also lived in Orange.
Charles was one of twenty-two men who joined the Coo-ees when they arrived in Orange on Saturday, 23 October 1915.
Conceived by Captain “Bill” Hitchen of Gilgandra, the Coo-ee March was a recruitment drive in response to dwindling enlistments following the heavy casualties sustained on the Gallipoli Peninsula and in the trenches of France. On 10 October 1915 Hitchen left Gilgandra with 25 men to march the 515km to Sydney, collecting recruits along the way. A total of 264 recruits reached Martin Place in Sydney at noon on Friday 12 November, where they were greeted by Prime Minister Billy Hughes and a crowd of 100,000 people.
After completing the Coo-ee March Private Conroy went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. He embarked from Sydney on 16 February 1916 and arrived in Egypt on 22 March. The following month he was transferred to the 54th Battalion. In June Charles joined the British Expeditionary Force in France. Less than a month later, on 19 July, Private Conroy was reported missing during the Battle of Fromelles.
According to eyewitnesses Conroy was struck in the left side of the chest by a piece of shell between the 1st and 2nd lines of the German trenches. He has no known grave.
Charles Conroy is commemorated on VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial at Fromelles, France.