The proprietor of the Star Theatre in Orange holds a fundraiser for “proper camp comforts” for local soldiers stationed at camp in Dubbo. The evening’s entertainment features live music and “a specially selected programme of all star films.” Helping our Soldiers
Lions wreak havoc at a British outpost in German East Africa, killing 40 sheep and goats intended to feed the troops. Lions in the Trenches
Russian soldiers near Lake Naroch rescue 300 casualties from the frozen lake. The thaw resumes, turning the battlefield again to mud and slush.
German soldiers gain a footing on Haucourt Knoll, south-west of Malancourt in the Battle of Verdun
Anglo-Egyptian forces under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip James Vandeleur Kelly occupy Jebel el Hella in the Sultanate of Darfur
Ernest Ewen (Pat) Ashdown. Image courtesy Sydney Mail.
The seventh of nine children, Ernest Ewen Ashdown was born in Mackay in 1888, where his father Edward Parker Ashdown was the manager of the local branch of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. Edward 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.
Ernest, also known as Pat, was the first of four Ashdown boys to enlist in WWI, doing so in Liverpool in January 1915 at age 26.
A private in the 13th Battalion, Ernest embarked from Sydney in March 1915. In August 1915 Private Ashdown was wounded in action at Gallipoli, sustaining a gunshot wound to the right knee. He was evacuated to Malta and later transferred to the 3rd London General Hospital in England.
Private Ashdown returned to Australia in March 1916 and was discharged from the AIF in August the same year.
In 1944 Ernest married Doris (Doll) Thelma Park at Mosman; the couple later settled in Manly. Ernest died suddenly at Balgowlah Golf Club in August 1949; he was 61 years of age.
Three of Ernest’s brothers and one of his sisters also served in WWI: Cecil Parker and Edmond Arthur were killed in action in France in July 1916 and April 1917 respectively, Clive returned to Australia in August 1918; Staff Nurse Maud Ashdown was discharged from the Australian Army Nursing Service in March 1917.
Ernest Ewen Ashdown is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, where his father had been a church warden, the St Clement’s Church World War 1 Roll of Honour and on the south face of the Mosman War Memorial.
Arthur Thomas White (left) and Thomas Miles in Egypt. Image courtesy Cathy Laughton.
Arthur Thomas White was born in Paddington in 1881 to Alfred and Elizabeth White. Following his education Arthur trained as a schoolteacher. He settled in the Riverina district, and married Christina May Fong in Temora in 1908. When he enlisted in March 1916 Arthur was teaching at Ariah Park.
Private White embarked from Sydney in October 1916, arriving at Suez in early December. He proceeded to the 1st Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar in Egypt, and joined the Imperial Camel Corps at Abbassia later that month. In February 1918 he was transferred to the 67th Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps.
Arthur served for the duration of the war, and managed to avoid being wounded in action. He was hospitalised on several occasions with several different medical conditions including gastritis, a mouth abscess and appendicitis.
Arthur arrived back in Australia in February 1919. He returned to Ariah Park, where he was head teacher from 1924 to 1926. In 1927 Arthur and his family relocated to Orange and he took a teaching position at Lucknow. In January 1943 he was appointed head teacher at Nashdale Public School. Arthur remained in Orange until his death in July 1950. He was survived by his wife, May, three sons and four daughters. May remained at the family home in Thomas Street until her death in 1965.
Arthur Thomas White’s grave. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.
Cigarette card featuring Sir Archibald Murray 1915. Image courtesy WD & HO Wills.
General Sir Archibald Murray is appointed British commander-in-chief in the Middle East. He would later lead the Allied forces, including the Australian Light Horse, in the war against Turkey in the Sinai and Palestine.
HRH Edward Prince of Wales 1915 by HD Girdwood. Image courtesy British Library.
Day 585 of the war
HRH Edward Prince of Wales arrives in Egypt. The Prince is appointed Staff Captain to Commander in Chief of the British forces, Lieutenant General Sir John Maxwell
Russian forces launch an offensive at Lake Naroch near Verdun, in an attempt to relieve the German pressure on French forces. They employ 271 guns to bombard German positions for three hours, before sending in the infantry. Their advance grinds to a halt as they are overrun by German reinforcements. The operation is a complete failure; Russia sustains 4,000 casualties compared to Germany’s 200. The Battle of Lake Narotch
British and South African forces surround German positions at Kahe, south of Mount Kilimanjaro, beginning the Battle of Kahe. The Battle is the last action between German and Allied forces before the German retreat from the area. Allied forces inflict heavy casualties and capture German artillery. 686 German soldiers are killed and 200 taken prisoner. British casualties number 21 dead.
The French destroyer Renaudin is torpedoed by the Austrian submarine U-6 in the southern Adriatic Sea off Durazzo, Albania. The commander and 46 crewmembers are killed, 36 crew are rescued.
Maud Ashdown was born in Mackay in 1886, the fifth of nine children of Edward Parker and Florence Eleanor Ashdown. Maud’s father, 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.
In December 1914 Maud qualified as a member of the Australasian Trained Nurses’ Association. She volunteered her services in October 1915, the third member of her family to do so. Two of her brothers had enlisted earlier in 1915, and two more would enlist later the same year.
Nurse Ashdown embarked for overseas service from Sydney in October 1915 aboard HMAT Orsova, a staff nurse with the No 2 Australian General Hospital Special Reinforcements. In March 1916 she was assigned to No 1 General Hospital at Heliopolis in Egypt. Five months later she was hospitalised with a peritonsillar abscess and sent to Bulkeley Rest Home in England to recuperate.
Maud resigned her appointment and was discharged on 7 March 1917, following her marriage to James Septimus Mann, a merchant seaman. The couple returned to Australia and settled at Sydney’s northern beaches. James passed away in Manly in 1946, aged 60; and Maud in Dee Why in June 1975, at the age of 88.
Maud Ashdown is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, where her father was a church warden, and also on St Clement’s Church Mosman World War 1 Roll of Honour and on the south face of the Mosman War Memorial.
Four of Maud’s brothers also served in WWI: Cecil Parker and Edmond Arthur were killed in action in France in July 1916 and April 1917 respectively, Ernest Ewen returned to Australia in March 1916 and Clive in August 1918.
The Duke of Westminster’s armoured car unit of the Western Frontier Force drives some 200 kilometres into Libya to Bir Hakeim and rescues the surviving 91 crew members of the HMS Tara and the HMS Moorina, sunk by German submarine U-35 on 6 November 1915. Rescue of HMS Tara survivors
Food shortages in the United Kingdom increase the price of food by 48% since the start of war
The Belgian sewing class in Orange is forced to close its doors due to lack of funds. The class has made more than 1,500 items of clothing for Belgians in need during its nine months of operation. Belgian Sewing Class
SS Tubantia. Image courtesy http://www.machuproject.eu/
The Dutch liner SS Tubantia is torpedoed without warning in the North Sea. En route from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires, the liner is anchored 90km off the Dutch coast for the night, awaiting daylight. At 2.30am she is struck by a torpedo from the German submarine UB-13 and begins to sink. All 80 passengers and all 294 members of the crew are rescued, but the liner sinks – the largest neutral vessel to be sunk during WWI. Tubantia sank with a reputed £2 million worth of gold coins, and in 1924 was the subject of a salvage dispute. British war hero Sydney Vincent Sippe spent three years and £100,000 trying to access the gold, but abandoned the attempt concluding that it was too dangerous. The Sinking of the SS Tubantia
French forces repulse five successive German attacks on Vaux in the Battle of Verdun
Anglo-Egyptian forces under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Philip James Vandeleur Kelly invade the Sultanate of Darfur. Darfur 1916
General Pierre Auguste Roques succeeds General Joseph Gallieni as French Minister of War. Roques is credited as the founder of the French air force.
Portrait of French general Pierre Auguste Roques by unknown artist. Image courtesy L’Illustration.