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Scotch honours newly-discovered World War I sacrifices

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MR PAUL MISHURA SCHOOL ARCHIVIST

During the Easter 2015 holidays Scotch added 29 new names to the World War I honour roll at the front of Memorial Hall.

They were all Old Boys whose service in World War I led to their untimely deaths through various causes. Mostly through my research, Scotch has only learned of their deaths in the past 17 years.

The existing roll had 205 names on it. It was unveiled by His Excellency Baron Huntingfield KCMG, Govenor of Victoria, on 24 April 1936 and was partially funded by the Scotch College Dramatic Society.

Unfortunately nine of those 205 names were there in error. While Robert Scott Erwin was a Scotch boy, his death was not service-related. A J Kerr was a Wesley Collegian with no connection to Scotch. A M Brown had the same initials as a Scotch boy but was not a Scotchie, as was also the case with W A Leslie – no doubt mistaken for Scotchie William Alexander Leslie who served, returned, and died aged 91. W J Stephens may have been confused with Old Boy Wilmot Ira Stephens, who served and survived. G H Greenwood, T J Robinson, E R Smith and C A Stewart have no connection with Scotch.

With my assistance, Dr Mark Johnston is researching and writing the service history of every Old Boy and staff member who served in World War I, beginning with those who died as a result of service. As each man’s record is completed it is being added to the Scotch College commemorative website: www.scotch.vic.edu.au/ww1/index.htm. Full lists of Scotch’s World War I and II dead can be found at oscanet.com.au under ‘OSCA Anzac Centenary’ beneath the ‘About OSCA’ tab.

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ABOVE: THE 29 NEW NAMES ADDED TO MEMORIAL HALL'S HONOUR ROLL.

Some of the 29 newly-honoured Old Boys already appear on Scotch’s website and others will appear in time. Accordingly, only brief details of their service, recent discovery and deaths appear on the following pages. Dr Johnston and I discussed each man’s service history and death before recommending their addition to the Scotch College Council. Some are commemorated by the Australian War Memorial (AWM) and/or the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC). A number succumbed to wounds or illnesses received in service, and are in a large group of servicemen the AWM now considers to have been overlooked for appropriate commemoration.

Although private war memorials can determine their own criteria for inclusion, we were guided by the AWM’s and CWGC’s criteria, and I discussed specific men with the AWM. In time we hope all will be officially recognised (including some on Scotch’s original roll). The AWM’s Roll of Honour includes those who died from 4 August 1914 to 31 March 1921, when the 1st AIF was disbanded. Individuals must have ‘died during or as a result of service while a member of an Australian military force or unit which was or could be sent overseas … and died within the specified periods’.

The CWGC includes those who died from 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 ‘who have died during the designated war years in service or of causes attributable to service.’ The CWGC also commemorates over 67,000 Commonwealth citizens ‘who died as a result of enemy action during the Second World War’ although it does not do likewise for World War I.

Men correctly named on Scotch’s existing Roll of Honour died from 1915 to 1920. The CWGC recognises citizens who died in World War II, as does Scotch’s Roll of Honour. Despite this, we considered that there is no good reason why Scotch’s only known civilian victim of World War I should not be commemorated in the same way as his World War II counterparts.

The 29 men described on these two pages gave their lives for their beliefs in World War I. Their deaths have only become known to Scotch since 1998 and Scotch now honours them in Memorial Hall.

John Johnston Addison (born 23 February 1881, SC 1897) was a lance corporal in the British Army’s Seaforth Highlanders. On 10 October 2009, I discovered that John was killed in action at Aubers Ridge, France, on 9 May 1915.

Eustace Mars Annandale Aron (born 2 November 1885, SC 1894-97) was a Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve sublieutenant. On 22 September 2009 I discovered he was killed in action at Beaumont-Hamel, France on 13 November 1916. He attended Jesus College, Cambridge University, which commemorates him.

Herbert Buckley (born 26 December 1877, SC 1891-92) was a sapper in the AIF (1916-19). Scotch had long known that he died on 24 May 1920. However, not until 21 May 2014, as I re-examined the causes of death of men who died in the prescribed war period, did I discover he died of wounds in the military ward of the Austin Hospital, and is commemorated by the AWM and CWGC.

Robert Andrew Buntine (born 19 November 1868, SC 1884-86) served in the Boer War but was a civilian when his ship the SS Galway was torpedoed and sunk in the Bay of Biscay on 12 September 1918, as Scotch has long known. Although a departure from AWM and CWGC guidelines, it was felt that as a civilian victim of the war he should be commemorated in the same way as World War II civilian victims.

Henry Gascoigne Davies (born 8 February 1879, SC 1897) served as a private in the AIF (1915-16). While assisting with research on a draft biographical Glamorgan school register in the late 1990s, I recognised his unusual name and discovered that he was killed in action at Fromelles, France, on 19 July 1916.

Arthur Hilton Dight (born 1 April 1878, SC 1888-89) served in the AIF (1915-17) and was a lance corporal. On 23 October 2012 I discovered that he died on 6 June 1918 at Narrandera, New South Wales from the ‘effects of a certain deadly poison known as cyanide of potassium wilfully administered by himself while suffering from temporary derangement … the result of shell shock… [incurred] on active service’. Suicide as a result of war service was the cause of many deaths that are accepted by the AWM and CWGC.

Frederick Eyton (born 24 March 1862, SC 1875-?) was a munitions worker in England. I discovered on 16 April 2010 that he died at Paddington on 13 April 1918. For his part in the war effort he is commemorated by the AWM and CWGC.

Joshua Alexander Forrester (born 2 January 1887, SC 1902-03) was one tough Scotchie. Known as Alexander, he was wounded multiple times after his enlistment in 1914 but always returned to battle as soon as he could. Scotch learned about his death when I received a call on 4 June 2009 from a researcher investigating servicemen from Footscray. As a lieutenant he was killed in action near Meteren, France, on 2 May 1918.

Robert Hare Hammond (born 16 February 1893, SC 1907-09) served in the AIF (1915-16) as a private. On 25 July 2014 I discovered that he died on Anzac Day 1919 in the Caulfield Military Hospital, and subsequently obtaining his death certificate confirmed he died of war-related illnesses.

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GUY NEALE LANDALE LABERTOUCHE

Percy Sylvester Hobbs (born 25 October 1897, SC 1905) was a corporal in the New Zealand Army. On 7 September 2009 I discovered that he died at Featherston Reinforcement Camp on 15 December 1917 as a result of suicide. He was in charge of the Papawa Camp post office.

Jacob Borwick Percy Hunter. See The interesting deeds of uncelebrated Scotchies in the September 2014 Great Scot.

Walter Ulysses Ker (born 17 June 1872, SC 1883-85) served as a private in the AIF (1916-17). While researching his fate on 5 March 2010, I discovered that he was killed in action at Bullecourt, France, on 5 May 1917. As he had gone to Western Australia his classmates may have lost track of him.

Guy Neal Landale Labertouche. See Scotch’s first sacrifice in World War I in the December 2014 Great Scot.

Jacob Alexander Linklater (born 27 March 1871, SC 1886) was a private in the AIF (1915-16). On 13 September 2011 I discovered that he had died of wounds at Ypres, Belgium, on 14 October 1916.

John Sydney Lyon (born 17 August 1872, SC 1887-88) served in the AIF (1916-19). The 1926 Scotch history’s incomplete and frequently erroneous War Services listing includes a John Alva Sturges Lyon who had nothing to do with Scotch, but does not include John Sydney Lyon, whom I discovered on 16 March 2010 died of influenza at Paris on 23 February 1919. He is commemorated by the AWM and CWGC.

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JOHN SYDNEY LYON

James Moore MacRoberts (born 4 January 1874, SC 1888) served in the AIF as a private (1915-16). I discovered on 15 December 2010 that he was killed in action at Fleurbaix, France, on 2 May 1916. Strangely, his brother, Andrew Hamilton MacRoberts (SC 1891-92), Geelong College teacher (1904-38) and vice principal (1923-38) does not seem to have told Scotch about his brother’s death.

Percy Carter McKinnon (born 21 April 1884, SC 1899-1900) served in the AIF in 1915 as a private. On 23 September 2009 I discovered that he died of pneumonia on board the HMAT Euripides in Colombo harbour, Ceylon on 25 May 1915.

Eric McLeod (born 23 March 1891, SC 1906) served in the AIF as a private (1914-16). On 8 June 2010 I discovered that he was killed in action at Pozieres, France on 15 August 1916.

Albert Frederick Henry Mishael (aka Albert Henry Traynor). See The Mishael Mystery in the May 2015 Great Scot.

Harry Innott Naylor (born 2 January 1874, SC 1889-90) served in the AIF (1915-18). On 13 December 2010 I discovered that Harry was a lieutenant when he was killed in action on 10 August 1918 at Harbonnieres, France.

Charles Reginald Perrin (born 4 November 1877, SC 1890-92) served in the AIF (1916-18) and became a lance corporal. On 11 March 2010, I discovered that Reg was killed at Harbonnieres, France, on 9 August 1918 when a fragment from a high explosive shell hit him in the head.

William Arthur Peters (born 1 March 1896, SC 1909-12) was known as Bill and served in the AIF as a gunner (1915-16). It was long known by Scotch that he died on 20 February 1919, but in re-examining deaths in the prescribed war period I discovered on 16 February 2015 that Bill had died in the Austin Hospital of war-related illness.

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WILLIAM EDWARD RILEY

William Edward Riley (aka Edwin Hayes). See Boy Soldier: A Forgotten Scotchie in the December 2010 Great Scot. On 22 October 2009 I discovered his wartime alias and tragic death, aged only 16.

Harold Ryan (born 27 March 1877, SC 1895-96) served in the AIF (1914-17) as a warrant officer in New Guinea, where he contracted malaria. On 11 March 2011 I discovered that he died at Wellington, New Zealand, on 28 September 1919, with his death certificate and newspaper articles subsequently convincing us that his was a death due to war-related illness.

George Christian Schylder (born 27 January 1888, SC 1903) served in the AIF as a private (1915-18). On 28 July 2009 I discovered that he was killed in action at Mont St Quentin, France on 1 September 1918.

Robert Smith (born 1 April 1889, SC 1904-05) served in the AIF as a private (1916-17). In a letter to the Scotch Archives dated 20 July 1998, his granddaughter advised that he was killed in action at Glencorse Wood, France, on 26 September 1917.

John Hearn Snowball (born 21 August 1886, SC 1898) attended Melbourne Grammar School from 1899 to 1904. He was a lieutenant in the British Army. On 4 September 2004 I saw his distinctive name in Liber Melburniensis and discovered that he died of wounds in France on 15 September 1916.

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JOHN HEARN SNOWBALL

Charles Stanley White (born 28 June 1896, SC 1911-13) served in the AIF (1917-19), becoming a sergeant. His death at Canterbury on 3 May 1921 was long known to Scotch, but only when re-examining prescribed war period deaths did I discover on 18 April 2013 that the CWGC recognises his death as one from war-related illness.

Norman Mackenzie Wood (born 14 May 1885, SC 1899-1900) served in the British Army’s 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment as a corporal. In attempting to find this elusive man I discovered his death notice on 19 January 2011, revealing that he died of war-related illness at the Randwick Military Hospital in Sydney on 30 March 1919.

These 29 Scotch Collegians all chose to risk their lives in a war in which they believed, with all ultimately dying as a result of that commitment. They are now appropriately honoured along with their other Scotch brothers.

On 21 April 2015, after the addition of the names of the 29 men above, I discovered another ‘new’ World War I death. Russell Frank Clarke (born 21 January 1897, SC 1911-12) had already been recorded in Scotch records as having died on 22 November 1958. However, it proved impossible to verify the source of that date, and in doing further research it was discovered that Russell had actually served in the British Army from 1914 to 1917 and was a second lieutenant when he was killed in action at Arras, France on 21 May 1917.

Until the fate of every Old Boy and staff member of service age is known we cannot definitively say that the list of those who died as a result of World War I is complete.

Updated: 3 October 2016