Born in Orange on 11 January 1887, Keith William Evans was the second of four children of William Cunningham Evans and Harriet Priscilla nee Mackey, who had married in Balmain in 1883.
Keith’s father, William, was a journalist who had purchased the Orange Advocate newspaper in 1878. The family moved to Sydney following the William’s bankruptcy in 1890. Keith’s mother Harriet died in Balmain in October 1903, and William less than three months later, in February 1904.
On 15 September 1908 Keith, aged 21 years, enlisted in the Australian Naval Force. He served for five years as a stoker, 2nd class, aboard the Pyramus. Keith returned to Sydney following his engagement and resumed work as a station hand.
In November 1915 Keith enlisted for service in WWI, doing so at Casula. He nominated his sister Madeline (aka Madge) as his next of kin. He embarked HMAT A15 Star of England in Sydney on 8 March 1916, a private in the 4th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement.
Private Evans was transferred to the 56th Battalion at Serapeum in Egypt in April 1916, before proceeding to France in July.
In October 1917 Keith attended the Bomb School of Instruction, and, in January 1917, was detached to 14th Brigade Mining Company.
In mid July 1918 the 56th Battalion was stationed hear Bray on the Somme, conducting patrols along the enemy wire checking for gaps. On 18 July Captain Williamson recorded in the battalion’s diary:
The 55th Battalion relieved us tonight. It was a nasty wet night and the trenches were very sloppy. The relief was complete by 1.25am. Pte Evans, KW of B Company was killed. 3 other ranks were wounded.
The details surrounding Private Evans’ death are unknown.
Keith William Evans is commemorated on panel number 162 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Four members of the Harrison family from Lucknow volunteered to serve in the First World War. One of them – Thomas Harrison – did not return; he was killed in action at Villers-Bretonneux in France on 17 July 1918, at age 24.
Thomas was born in Lucknow in 1893. His father, Frederick, had arrived in Australia in March 1885 and was employee of the Wentworth Mine at Lucknow. By the late 1890s the family had relocated to Neutral Bay in Sydney, where Thomas attended the public school.
On 1 February 1916 Thomas enlisted at Casula. He gave his occupation as a slater and tiler and nominated his mother Annie Eliza as his next of kin. He embarked for overseas service on 9 April and disembarked at Plymouth on 7 June after a brief stopover in Alexandria, Egypt, to change ships.
Thomas undertook further training at the 5th Training Battalion before proceeding to France on 17 August, a private in the19th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement.
On 16 November 1916 Private Harrison was wounded in action, receiving a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. He was evacuated to England where he was hospitalised and rehabilitated, followed by three weeks of furlough. He then spent ten months at Perham Downs before rejoining his battalion in Belgium on 14 October 1917.
Nine days later Thomas was shot for a second time, this time in the right arm. He was admitted initially to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital, but was again transferred to England for treatment. He did not rejoin his unit for a further four months.
At daybreak on 17 July 1918 the 19th Battalion succeeded in capturing a German post near Villers-Bretonneux. Private Harrison was stretcher-bearing, transporting a wounded German soldier to safety when he was hit by an enemy shell, killing him instantly. Thomas was buried in the nearby Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery.
In 1912 Joseph and Martha Ann Parrish emigrated from Wales to Australia and settled in the Newcastle district. Six years later they would lose two of their sons within seven days of each other, both victims of the hostilities on the Western Front.
On 16 October 1915 Joseph Parrish jnr joined the Coo-ee Recruitment March at Wellington. He completed his medical at Wellington, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Orange on the 24 October 1915. At the time of his enlistment Joseph was living at Creek Reserve, Boolaroo, where he was employed at the colliery.
After completing the Coo-ee March Joseph proceeded to Liverpool Camp as a reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. On 8th March 1916 Private Parrish and his fellow Coo-ees departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, arriving in Egypt on 11 April.
On the 16 April 1916 Joseph was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir. Six weeks later, on 4 June, he embarked HT Scotian at Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force in Marseilles, France.
Private Parrish was transferred to the 4th Machine Gun Company on 12 May 1918. On 10 June 1918 the company was engaged near Villers-Bretonneux when Joseph received a gunshot wound to the neck. He was admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance and later transferred to the 53rd General Hospital at Abbeville.
Joseph failed to recover from his wounds; he died on 27 June 1918, aged 21 years; the cause of death being listed as gunshot wound to neck and bronchopneumonia. He was buried in the Terlincthun British Cemetery at Wimille.
Joseph Parrish is commemorated on panel number 176 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
George Henry Goode c1916. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
In the early hours of 2 June 1918 former Millthorpe grocer, George Henry Goode, was delivering canisters of hot tea to his comrades on the front line at Morlancourt near Villers-Bretonneux when an enemy shell exploded nearby, killing him instantly. George was the second member of his family to die in service; his brother Ernest Harold Goode had been killed in action in February 1917.
Born in Millthorpe in 1887, George was the seventh of ten children of farmer William Goode and his wife Elizabeth Grace nee Pascoe.
Following his education George worked as a grocer for Messrs W and E Hayes Trade Palace Stores in Millthorpe.
George enlisted in December 1915 and was assigned to 17th Battalion, 13th Reinforcements.
On 29 December 1915 the Millthorpe Methodist Church congregation farewelled a group of local soldiers – George included – on the eve of their departure for camp. Superintendent of the Sunday School, Mr Bacon, wished them well, stating:
You are worthy sons of worthy parents. We thought a lot of you before – we think a thousand times more of you now. I trust that your mission will be fully realised. I think the Kaiser is sin personified, and the world should be rid of him.
The following morning many townspeople saw the recruits off from the railway station as they set off for camp at Lithgow.
In late April the privates returned to Millthorpe for final leave before embarking for overseas service. The Methodist Church hosted an evening of entertainment for the soldiers and presented each of them with a pocket bible. Mr Bacon again addressed the congregation:
On this occasion my feelings are too great for words. These young men are going to fight for their King and country. I am glad that the spirit of their forefathers is strong in them. As instructor of the cadet corps which was here once, I just looked up the records a few days ago to see how many had enlisted, and I find that 24 out of the full strength of 30 have answered the call. Maybe before this terrible struggle is over we older ones will be wanted, and I for one will be there, for I would sooner die a free Britain than live a German slave.
Private Goode embarked HMAT A55 Kyarra in Sydney on 3 June 1916. He disembarked in Plymouth exactly eight weeks later, on 3 August 1916. The following month he was taken on strength with the 33rd Battalion, proceeding to France on 21 November.
In early March 1918 Private Goode was granted two weeks’ furlough in England. He rejoined his unit on the Western Front on 20 March, where he served for a further ten weeks before he was killed in action.
George Henry Goode was buried in the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery at Picardie, France. He is commemorated on the Honour Rolls at the Orange Methodist Church, Millthorpe Methodist Church and on panel number 122 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Informal group portrait of soldiers from the 18th Battalion prior to embarkation c23 September 1915. Ernest Goode is in the back row on the far left. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
On 4 August 1916 Private Ernest Harold Goode was wounded in action at Pozieres in France. A private in the 18th Battalion 6th Reinforcements “Ern” received a gunshot wound to the head amid heavy enemy shelling.
Private Goode was evacuated to the nearby 2nd Australian Field Ambulance. The following day he was transferred to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, then admitted to the 11th General Hospital at Camiers. On 9 August he was conveyed to the hospital ship HS Dieppe at Calais and evacuated to hospital in England.
Private Goode recovered from his wounds; he rejoined his unit in France in November 1916.
Ernest was wounded a second time, but this time his injuries proved fatal. On 25 February 1917 he was stretcher bearing at Butte de Warlencourt when a shell exploded nearby killing him instantly. Eyewitnesses claimed that he died from concussion, and that he body was unblemished.
Company Sergeant Major Butler of the 18th Battalion later observed:
Private Goode was well known to many for his excellent conduct and good service as a stretcher bearer
Pte. Goode was born locally, spent all his school days here, and enlisted here not very long after the beginning of the war. He bore an unblemished reputation, and an upright character, and was highly respected by all who knew him.
Ernest was born in Millthorpe in 1885, the sixth of ten children of farmer William Goode and his wife Elizabeth Grace nee Pascoe. He attended Millthorpe Public School and later took up farming.
In July 1915 Ernest enlisted at Liverpool. He embarked for overseas service on 2 November 1915 and proceeded to Egypt, where he served until joining the British Expeditionary Force in France in March 1916.
On Sunday 1 April 1917 the Reverend WT Dyer preached his final sermon at Millthorpe Methodist Church. During the sermon he paid tribute to Ernest and the congregation joined in singing the following hymn in his memory.
Thou who hast all Thy people in Thy sight,
To Thee we come.
Be Thou their guide, their comfort and their light
Afar from home.
Keep Thou their souls, in steadfastness and right
Remember, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.
Gone from the humble cottage in the dell,
From home, sweet home.
Gone from the dear ones whom they love so well
To face the storm;
Gone from the mansion to defend the right-
Remember, Lord Australia’s sons to-night.
Sons are now dying, ’tis the cost of war,
Have Mercy, Lord;
Wilt Thou prepare them ere they cross the bar?
Have mercy, Lord:
Burst Thou Death’s glooms by Heaven’s celestial light
Remember, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.
Be Thou their refuge in the darkest hour,
Be Thou their stay;
Stretch forth Thy hand, shew Thine almighty power
In Thine own way;
Thou did’st on Galilee reveal Thy might-
Oh! comfort, Lord, Australia’s sons to-night.
On Sunday 9 November 1919 Captain Chaplain Wilson conducted a memorial service at Frape’s Hall at Millthorpe for local fallen heroes, including Ernest.
Ernest Harold Goode is commemorated on the Millthorpe Methodist Church Honour Roll and on panel number 85 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Ernest’s brother George Henry Goode also served in WWI; he was killed in action in France on 2 June 1918.
James John Fleming was born in Orange in 1886. His parents James Patrick and Ellen Letitia Fleming lived at Eulalie in Stuart Town and James snr worked as a miner.
On 16 July 1917 James jnr enlisted for war service at Albury; he was 31 years of age. His younger brother Hughy had enlisted in Queensland in January 1916. James proceeded to Liverpool camp and embarked for overseas service on 31 October.
Private James Fleming disembarked at Devonport on Boxing Day 1917 and was marched in to the 1st Training Battalion at Sutton Veny. Two weeks later he was admitted to the Group Clearing Hospital suffering from mumps.
James was discharged from hospital on 22 January 1918. He returned to the 1st Training Battalion for a further three months before proceeding to France on 23 April. James’ brother Hughy was killed in action in Belgium one month earlier, on 16 March. It is unclear whether James was aware of his brother’s death.
On 30 April 1918 James was taken on strength with the 3rd Battalion. On the evening of 20 June 1918 he was serving in the trenches at Strazeele in northern France when an enemy shell fell nearby, instantly killing Fleming and two others.
When James enlisted he nominated his father as his next of kin (his mother having died in 1902). He named his cousin Rachael Charlton of Dubbo as executor and beneficiary of his will.
James snr had died in Stuart Town on 8 May 1918, just six weeks before James jnr’s death in action. The coroner returned the verdict:
The deceased died from the effects of poisoning self-administered.
James snr had committed suicide by ingesting strychnine, presumably after learning of Hughy’s death.
In February 1919 Rachael received James jnr’s personal effects. Both James’ and Hughy’s war medals were issued to their brother Ambrose.
James John Fleming is commemorated on panel number 36 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Harry Cleveland Goodsir. Image courtesy The Harrower Collection.
Harry Cleveland Goodsir was born in Newcastle on 3 September, 1891. He was the second of four children of Port Stephens sawmill manager Reuben Goodsir and his wife Eliza nee Aston.
Harry was educated in Newcastle at the Hamilton Superior Public School and later moved to Toronto, on the shores of Lake Macquarie, where he became a member of the local Rifle Club and enjoyed playing football.
In January 1916 Harry volunteered to serve in WWI. He embarked HMAT A72 Beltana in Sydney on 13 May 1916, a private in the 36th Battalion D Company. He arrived in Devonport, England, almost two months later, on 9 July. After four months’ further training Private Goodsir proceeded to France.
In June 1917 Harry received two promotions: firstly Corporal, then Temporary Sergeant Major.
The following month Harry’s unit was serving in Belgium, when Harry was wounded in action, receiving an injury to his ankle. He was admitted to the 11th Australian Field Ambulance, rejoining his unit on 7 August. Three days later he was promoted to Sergeant.
In November Harry spent three weeks’ leave in England, rejoining his unit in Belgium on 4 December 1917.
In February 1918 Harry was again promoted; this time to Company Sergeant Major. On 28 February Company Sergeant Major Harry Goodsir was recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal. His commanding officer stated:
This N.C.O. has at all times shown great devotion to duty and keenness in his work both when (in) the trenches and billets. When in action his coolness and cheeriness has inspired all ranks with the utmost confidence. His courage has been frequently in evidence and has been reflected in the morale of the men under his control.
On 30 April 1918 the 36th Battalion was disbanded in order to reinforce other 9th Brigade units, and Harry was transferred to the 35th Battalion.
On 1 June 1918 the 35th Battalion was engaged near Villers-Bretonneux when Harry was mortally wounded. According to Commanding Officer of the 35th Battalion, Lieutenant Turnbull, Harry sustained:
Severe wounds on upper part of body and head caused by enemy grenade explosion, while occupying a froont line position.
Death was instantaneous, occurring in the early morning of 1 June.
The burial was conducted on 2 June 1918 at the Chalk Pitt Cemetery, Captain Chaplain Osborne, 35th Battalion officiating.
Company Sergeant Major Harry Goodsir was later reinterred at Villers-Brettoneux Memorial Cemetery.
Harry was awarded a Mentioned in Despatches honour promulgated in the London Gazette on 28 May 1918, and the Commonwealth Gazette on 24 October 1918.
In 1920 Harry’s family left the Newcastle district for Mullumbimby where they ran the local newsagency. In 1925 they relocated to Orange where Reuben became the well known operator of the newsagency and stationers located in Summer Street opposite the Strand Theatre.
Harry Cleveland Goodsir is commemorated on the Toronto Soldiers’ Memorial, the Toronto Red Cross Honour Roll, the Hamilton Superior Public School Roll Of Honor, the Booral and District Honour Roll and on panel number 125 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
He is also remembered on a commemorative plaque in Sandgate Memorial Cemetery in Newcastle and on his mother Eliza’s headstone in Orange Cemetery, Presbyterian Section, Block 8 22.
Harry’s brother, James Roy Goodsir, also served overseas in WWI; he was invalided home in August 1915.
Harry Cleveland Goodsir commemorative plaque. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.
Sidney Harold Tom Lister. Image courtesy thetreeofus.net
Sidney Harold Tom Lister was born in Orange on 11 October 1895. He was the ninth of eleven children born to Thomas Sydney Lister and his wife Emily Australia (nee Tom).
Sidney was the grandson of Bathurst pioneer John Hardman Lister, who was the publican of The Rocks Inn from 1846 until his accidental death in 1850. Sid’s uncle was John Lister who first discovered gold in the Orange district.
When Sidney was a young boy his family moved to Day Street in Marrickville, and he attended West Marrickville Public School.
When 21 year old Sidney enlisted in the First World War in July 1917 he was working for Sydney Railways as a booking clerk. Private Lister was assigned to the 17th Battalion, 21st Reinforcement and embarked from Sydney for overseas service on 31 October 1917.
Sidney disembarked in Devonport on 26 December 1917 and was marched in to the 5th Training Battalion at Fovant. On 1 April he proceeded to France and on 9 April was marched out to his unit at Beaumarais.
Private Lister survived just five weeks on the Western Front; he was killed in action on 14 May 1918, aged 22 years. He is buried at the Dive Copse British Cemetery at Sailly-le-Sec in France.
Sidney Harold Lister is commemorated on Marrickville War Memorial and on panel number 83 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Members of the 21st Reinforcements of the 17th Battalion. Sid Lister is in the back row on the far right. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Victor Turnbull. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
Born in Carcoar in 1898, Victor Turnbull was the first of three boys of Joseph Pearson and Edith Turnbull (nee Baldwin).
When Victor was a boy the family moved to Wellington, where Joseph worked as an engineer for the Co-operative Flour Mill.
On 28 February 1917 Victor travelled to Orange and enlisted at the Drill Hall. He gave his occupation as “farmer” on his attestation papers but, according to Edith, Victor was working as a grocer for Wellington storekeeper A Hossack.
In early March 1917 the Wellington Baptist community gathered at the church to farewell Victor and his mate Thomas Hilton Hubbard prior to embarkation. The pair of friends were gifted an illuminated wristlet watch each.
The following week the staff of Hossack’s store farewelled Victor and presented him with a fountain pen.
Victor and Thomas embarked HMAT A15 Port Sydney on 9 May 1917. They arrived in Suez on 20 June. On 26 July Private Turnbull was marched in to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar. In August he was transferred to the 7th Light Horse Regiment at Tel-el-Marakeb.
In May 1918, the 7th Light Horse Regiment was operating in the Es Salt area of Palestine when they became the object of an air raid. A bomb landed on Private Turnbull’s unit, killing seven men, including Victor. Thomas described the event in a letter home:
Just retired from a flutter with Jacko. All hands in bivvy, and I think most of them asleep, when I heard a peculiar sound (well known to us), and lifting up the flap of my tent saw a bomb descending — saw it drop into the midst of B Squadron, just where I knew Vic Turnbull ‘s tent was pitched. I rushed over and found poor Vic and six others killed. I can tell you it gave me a nasty turn to see my old mate among the number. Vic was a real white fellow, a good soldier, a good Christian, and a true friend. He was killed instantly and I think while asleep. We buried him next day with military honors. I am truly sorry for his poor mother and father. The loss of such a boy is a loss indeed. I will write them and also send Victor’s Bible (his best friend), which I know his parents will value above all their boy’s possessions, though it is battered.
Nineteen year old Victor was buried the following day in the Jerusalem War Cemetery by Chaplain Milton Reeves Maley.
the church was suitably draped in purple and white, and the flags of the Allied nations were also in conspicuous places … The hymns for the service and the reading of the texts were selected by the parents of the fallen lads, and Mrs Bamford played appropriate music … The service throughout was of a very solemn character.
Victor Turnbull is commemorated on Wellington Cenotaph in Cameron Park, the Wellington Baptist Church honour roll, the Bodangora WW1 Roll of Honour and on panel number 6 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Thomas Hilton Hubbard survived the war; he returned to Australia in April 1919.
On 15 July 1918 the SS Barunga was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine off the coast of Cornwall. Nearby destroyers rushed to the rescue and managed to save all 800 sick and wounded Australian soldiers aboard, who were on their way home from the war. The vessel was also transporting many packages containing the personal effects of soldiers who had died in service for delivery to their next of kin. Among them were the last possessions of Sidney Charles Woods and William Alexander Woods, brothers who were killed on the Western Front nine days apart. When the Barunga sank so too did William and Sidney’s personal effects, never to be recovered.
Sidney was born in Orange in 1889, the youngest son of William and Mary Ann Woods. When he enlisted for service in May 1916 he was living with his mother in McLachlan Street, East Orange, and working as a miner. He was also a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters.
Sidney embarked from Sydney in September 1916, a private in the 2nd Battalion, 20th Reinforcement. He spent several months undertaking further training at the 1st Training Battalion at Perham Downs before proceeding to France in February 1917. He served on the Western Front for a full year before proceeding to England for two weeks leave.
In February 1918 Sidney rejoined his battalion in France. Two months later, on 17 April, he was inside a barn at Sec Bois near Hazebrouck in Northern France when it was hit by a German shell, killing him. Sidney was buried the same day at Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension at Bailleul.
According to Sidney’s commanding officer, Lieutenant HW Parle:
Pte Woods was considered by my fellow officers and myself, who he was under for several months, to be a splendid soldier and an example to others. Needless to say his death was regretted by all
Sidney Charles Woods is commemorated on the Ancient Order of Foresters Orange Roll of Honor, the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph and on panel number 35 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
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 “Gunner SC Woods”; it was donated by Orange District School. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Ancient Order of Foresters’ Orange Roll of Honor. Image courtesy Orange City Library.