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Sunday, April 26, 2015

44..4 Anzac Centenary - 1919 and beyond - Gallipoli Moments 25th April 2015

100 Years Later  -

Dawn, 100 years later, in a place which we now call home, the sun rose, just as it did in 1915.

Today all across Australia and the World, people commemorated the day that Australia and New Zealand became a Nation.  The day when we remember the thousands who gave their life in firstly the islands of the South Pacific, then the hills and gullies of Gallipoli, and onto the battles on the Western Front in Europe and then the hot dry lands of Egypt.

An ABC of their heroics

No Mans Land
Torn apart

We joined 10,000 others in a brilliant autumn sunshine, and remembered them.  There was even a 9th Re-inactment group really well done

A fantastic effort from a rather small town and it was a privilege to honour not only Monty but all those other brave Durnford cousins who have featured in these stories.


Gallipoli was not only an Australian or New Zealand event, it was the beginning of a Theatre of War.

The number of people involved was staggering.  140,000 lost their life in one small peninsula.

It is therefore fitting that the Whole of the World Community Pause to Remember Them.

Central London came to a standstill, as thousands of Australians and New Zealanders gathered at the Cenotaph to watch the Queen lay a wreath in remembrance of the Allied forces at Gallipoli 100 years ago.

She was joined for the ceremony by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband among other dignitaries. Dressed in a black overcoat, fedora hat and white scarf, the Queen laid the first wreath, followed by Mr Cameron.

In the eight-month Gallipoli campaign 140,000 soldiers lost their lives, including more than 34,000 British troops, more than 8000 Australians and almost more than 2500 New Zealanders.
The streets of Whitehall were closed as a wave of colour, pomp and ceremony unfolded, led by the Grenadier Guards in the traditional red uniform and bearskin hats followed by the Royal Marines and Scots Guards.

Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer and his New Zealand counterpart, Sir Lockwood Smith, joined diplomats from 17 nations including Turkey, France, Canada, India, Pakistan and Belgium. Despite heavy security following the arrest and charging on Friday of a 14-year-old boy on charges of inciting terrorism overseas, the traditional two minutes' silence at 11am was broken only by the whirr of photographers' cameras.

- See more at:

While at Gallipoli

“They did their duty; now, let us do ours. They gave us an example; now, let us be worthy of it. They were as good as they could be in their time; now, let us be as good as we can be in ours.

“Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli because we believe the Anzacs represented Australians at their best.

“Because they rose to their challenges, we believe it is a little easier for us to rise to ours. Their example helps us to be better than we would otherwise be.”

Prince Charles brought tears to the eyes of some crowd members with his strong reading of a diary entry of Company Quartermaster Sergeant Benjamin Leane, of the 10th Battalion, written to his wife on the night of the landing.

“In case the worst happens and I am unable to make any more entries I will take this opportunity to bid you goodbye, dear girl,” Prince Charles read.
“I trust that I will come through all right, but it is impossible to say and I must do my duty whatever it is. But if I am to die, know that I died loving you with my whole heart and soul, dearest wife that a man ever had. Kiss little Gwen and our new baby, who perhaps I may never see, and never let them forget Daddy.”

Australia’s Defence Force Chief, Air Marshall Mark Binskin, was the first to address the crowd.
“One hundred years ago today, the quiet stillness of dawn and the gentle sound of the waves on this beach gave way to the flash and roar of gunfire over the painful cries of the wounded,” he said.
“For so many, the rising sun that day would be their last.”


While so many did not come home, so many families suffered an agonising wait

One of those was Trooper Wilson.  His family were searching for answers.  They were advised he was dead, then they were told he was arriving back to Melbourne, and to meet a ship.

What a horrible experience.  Trooper Wilson was dead, the trooper Wilson arriving in Melbourne was not their relative.  

Just one more casualty of a very confused series of events that marked the loss of thousands.



Turkey 1919

Year: 1919

In the hands of children and had collected materials from the land, there are bones of martyrs in front of them.

Some words from the soldiers:

CSM G.S. Feist, wheat agent, Mount Kokeby WA  wrote a letter in May 1915, unfortunately he was killed in September 1916.

"I was in the second tow and we got it, shrapnel and rifle fire bad.  We lost three on the destroyer and four in the boat getting to land.  The Turks were close on the beach when we got there.   We had to fix bayonets and charge.   We jumped into the water up to our waists and some of them their armpits ...we had to trust the penknife at the end of our rifles.  When I got there it was not long, but..,I tell you, one does not forget these things... all we thought of was to get at them.  One would hear someone say "They've got me" and you register another notch when you get to them".

Trooper I.L. Idriess, miner, Grafton NSW The Desert Column p 46 Diary September 1915.

........immediately I opened...(my tin of jam) the flies rushed..all fighting among themselves.  I wrapped my overcoat over the tin and gouged out the flies, then spread the biscuit, then held my handover it and drew the biscuit out of the coat.  But a lot of flies flew into my mouth and beat about inside...I nearly howled with rage...Of all the bastards of places this is the greatest bastard in the world"

Captain D.G.Campbell, grazier, Bombala, NSW Letter August 1915 (KIA October 1917)  The worst things here (Turks excepted) are the flies in millions, lice ...& everlasting bully-beef and biscuit, & too little water.  Also it will be good thing when we get a chance to bury some of the dead."

Private Tom Usher, 9th Battalion, AIF in an Interview 1984.

You're up to your neck in water, and a lot of them got drowned, too, with  the weight of the packs and that - then scramble ashore and take shelter as quick as you could  You're only looking after yourself, you couldn't worry about the other bloke, you had to get ashore as quick as you could - just keep the rifle above your head, keep it dry ....I could see these cliffs, and I ran for it.  You didn't care who you were with as long as you got away from the fire.  ...I remember one block he got hit in the mouth - he lost part of his tongue, I couldn't understand what he was talking about.

I didn't like the dirty conditions - you couldn't even clean the old flaming shirt, couldn't get a new issue and you'd have to go and wash it in the sea water.  There was no fresh water to wash your clothes in - gee.  It was filthy  ..The fatigue work with water was an awful job, carrying two tins of water from the beach back up to the trenches....It was two hours off four hours on for that...

You can't imagine what it was like, the filthy conditions and especially using those latrines with all those paper blowing all over the shop.  And flies!  Look you'd open the tin and there'd be millions of them, Crikey filthy filthy conditions...

Private Frank Parker, 5th Battalion AIF Interview 1984

It was very steep terrain, steep gullies and it was very hard going.  We didn't see many Turks at all.  It was just a matter of going for your life.  We all go mixed up.  We were all over the place - there was the 5th Battalion mixed with the 6th Battalion, the 8th Battalion - all over the place.  The higher up we got the worse it got!  We had to pull ourselves up in the virgin country and here they were in trees and God knows what they had a sitting shot at us.  Then we started to get heavy fire and the casualties were very very high, and after that we got orders to dig in..................."

Bill Gammage, The Broken Years and Hervey Broadbent, The Boys who came home


Gallipoli 2015: Soldier almost left behind during Anzac Cove retreat, digger reveals in private recording of final days of war            By John Taylor

Photo: Before the war: 5th Light Horse Regiment, B squadron, C troop at Brisbane's Enoggera Barracks. Dave Clark is third from the left in the back row. (Supplied: Beryl Holmes)

A fascinating interview with a Gallipoli veteran has been made public, detailing how a soldier was nearly left behind during the famous evacuation in December 1915.

In 1981, former Light Horse Trooper Dave Clark sat down with his daughter Beryl Holmes and a tape recorder.  Mrs Holmes has only now decided to make the private interview public.

"I had an uncle who kept saying to me, 'Have you ever talked to your father about the war?'" she said.
"When I interviewed him then he just came out with it because I was fairly professional."

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

In a wide-ranging discussion with her father, they discussed his war experience in Egypt, the Middle East and Gallipoli.
Mr Clark arrived on the Turkish peninsula a month after the campaign began and stayed until the end.
"Did they have much trouble keeping up morale?" Mrs Holmes asked during the interview.
"They didn't have any trouble at all," he replied.
"That is the thing that would be amazing to most people today - that when you think that there were the hard conditions you had to put up with."
'Sneaking away and leaving mates behind'
Then 24 years old, Mr Clark was among the very last men to leave Gallipoli during the historic evacuation.

His best friend Sam Smith was killed and buried at Gallipoli.
Mr Clark said despite the enormous danger, one supper before they left a friend admitted he found it hard to consider leaving.
"He says, 'There's one bloody thing I don't like - this sneaking away and leaving our mates behind.' Well, I've never forgotten those words," he said.

Mr Clark left his position to board a boat in socks donated to him by a South Australian grandmother, but he wore them on the outside of his boots.
"It was that big it would be absolutely impossible to wear on your feet," he said, laughing.
"And it was warm and when you walked along you didn't make any damn noise at all."

The veteran told a tale of how as the final boats were preparing to leave an officer realised something was wrong.
"They were going round counting. Going round counting, and I said, 'Wonder what the bloody hell's wrong?', he said, "We're one ... one man missing."

An official history of the Fifth Light Horse published in 1927 backs Mr Clark's recollection, and confirms that a man named Trooper Murray had been left at his post.

"And there he was. He stood on that damn trench, all on his own - none to the left, none to the right," Mr Clark said.
"He was there on his own probably for nearly 10 minutes."

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

He was retrieved by two of his mates.
As they all safely sailed away, Mr Clark told of when a time-delayed bomb exploded near the Turkish trenches.

"There was a scene that was probably never happened before in warfare and can never, never happen again, because ... when we let this blast over and they thought we was going to attack," he said.
"There wasn't one man left on Gallipoli, yet they were pounding all these trenches, all our trenches everywhere with shells.

"They were machine guns flashing, there was bombs going off, there was big flares going up in the sky to make this thing light to see what was happening in front of them.
"Even their artillery was firing - everything you could think of - that was going on bashing into all our empty trenches.

"There's no doubt about it, if you could [imagine] anything like that - yes, we were sneaking away."

Mrs Holmes said she remained very proud of her father's place in history and the recordings she made.
"I think our war history in Australia is a little overdone," she said.
"The land settlement of Australia is a much more interesting story than the war history of Australia, but we talk on and on about war - like it was Australia's only history.

"So I think we need to get a perspective about ... our history as Australians. But if we're going to concentrate on that little bit, I'm pleased to be there."

Mr Clark became a soldier settler at Dorrigo in northern New South Wales and had 10 children.
He died in 1990 at the age of 98.


From the 9th Battalion Site

An amazing audio clip sent in by  Trudy Bostock who's grandfather (and Jimi Bostocks) was a 9th Battalion Original and was one of the very first to land.

In the clip Pte James Bostock describes those first few minutes to the BBC in 1955 as part of the 40th Anniversary of the landings. The first part of the clip is the recollections of one of the Midshipmen that piloted the boats to shore that morning, well worth listening to as well.…/the-first-anzac-at-gallipoli


Musical instruments played in Gallipoli trenches restored by Australian War Memorial ahead of Anzac centenary

Posted Sat at 8:35am

Photo: For Sydney Symphony Orchestra trumpeter Paul Goodchild, playing  an instrument that was played in the trenches at Gallipoli is an emotional experience. (ABC News: Ruby Cornish)

Instruments played by Australian troops in the trenches at Gallipoli are now being heard again for the first time in 100 years.
Bugles, horns and whistles used on the battlefields have been carefully restored at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra ahead of the centenary of the landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli.
Until very recently, it ran against museum practice to use historic items like instruments for their original purpose.
The preference was to store or display such items without ever playing them.
But that is no longer the case.
"I think these sounds deserve to be played," AWM curator Chris Goddard said.
"People deserve to hear them," he said, "it can be really chilling to hear these sounds and know the context".
A free concert at the High Court in Canberra on April 12 will bring together several instruments that were played in the trenches and have rarely, if ever, been heard since.
The concert will feature music composed and played at Gallipoli, as well as the instruments that played it.
Anzac Centenary cultural fund fellow Chris Latham has dedicated years to scouring diaries, letters and other first-hand accounts of Gallipoli to discover what role music played at the iconic battleground.

'A place where music didn't exist'

Gallipoli was believed to be too grim for music to exist.
Unlike on the Western Front, where soldiers could sometimes retreat from the frontline to nearby towns to drink and hear music, Gallipoli offered no such solace.
"Music sustains the human spirit in a really fundamental way throughout these experiences," Mr Latham said.
"Gallipoli had been described as a place with no music."
There were records of gramophones being played at Gallipoli, but only recently did Mr Latham discover the identity behind the tale of a trumpeter whose music rang out over the trenches.
Sergeant Ted McMahon played a cornet to soothe the spirits of fellow diggers, placing a handkerchief inside the bell of the horn to muffle its sound.
The night before the Battle of the Nek in August 1915, Sergeant McMahon played a popular tune called Rosary.
In modern war we have radio, radar, satellite - but back in those days the bugle was the instrument of war.
ADFA bandmaster Graeme Reynolds
Reports from the time tell of how the guns gradually fell silent on both sides of the battlefield as he played.  After he finished the three verses, Turkish troops could be heard clapping and banging their meal tins in appreciation.
Sergeant McMahon's step-granddaughter Kerry Everett has loaned his silver cornet for the Gallipoli-themed concert.  The well-made horn has been put through its paces by Sydney Symphony Orchestra trumpeter Paul Goodchild.
Mr Goodchild said playing an instrument that was played in the trenches at Gallipoli was an emotional experience.  "It's like having a game of cricket with Don Bradman's bat," he said.
"It's just the most gorgeous instrument and it's an absolute privilege to play it," he said.

A clear call to arms

Together with the barrage of artillery and gunfire, the sounds of bugles and whistles playing were part of the everyday cacophony of war at Gallipoli.  Bugles were essential to order on the battlefield.
Many Australians are familiar with the brass horns as the instruments used to play solemn tunes of reflection like The Last Post and Reveille.

But they were also functional tools of battle, issuing orders that could be heard above the din of artillery and gunfire.Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) bandmaster Graeme Reynolds, who is also an Army bugler, has been called upon to play bugles from Gallipoli.
Photo: Trench whistles were used by commanders to order their men into battle.
  (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

"It was just an incredible honour for me," he said.
"In modern war we have radio, radar, satellite - but back in those days the bugle was the instrument of war. Primarily tasked with relaying messages to different sections on the battlefield; to lay down heavy fire, to charge, to do a number of different things.

"They would have relayed that sound from trench to trench just in the event that they couldn't hear them over the gunfire." An even more prosaic instrument of war was the trench whistle - used by commanders to order their men into battle.

Some officers purchased their own whistles with distinctive sounds to make sure their commands were heard and understood by the troops. The AWM's Mr Goddard said a range of such whistles is part of the memorial's collection.
"These whistles, because they're associated with mass attacks and mass slaughter are really one of the defining objects of the First World War," Mr Goddard said. In the collection is the silver whistle used to launch the attack on Lone Pine in August 1915.

Brigade major Dennis Malcolm King blasted the police-style whistle three times to signal the start of the offensive. The Turks suffered more than 6,000 casualties, while more than 2,000 Australian died in the battle.

The Australian War Memorial replied to my request for information about Monty's bugle.  They don't hold it, and only accept items from known sources, so buried somewhere in the sands are at least two bugles.


The last of six Victoria Crosses "won before breakfast" by the Lancashire Fusiliers during the Gallipoli landings has been reunited with the other five.
The Fusilier Museum in Bury was searching for the medal for a centenary exhibition to start on 25 April.
It owned two, was loaned three and has now been handed the remaining VC, won by Maj Cuthbert Bromley, which was last heard of in the 1980s.
Maj Bromley's nephew Nick presented the medal to the museum.
The Six VCs Before Breakfast exhibition will be the highlight of the museum's special programme over the weekend of 25-26 April - the first time the VCs have been displayed in one place.

Nick Bromley's family has loaned the medal to the museumNick Bromley and Col Brian Gorski, Chairman of The Fusilier Museum.
Staff traced Maj Bromley's family through genealogical research after first appealing to find the medal in January 2014.
The major, who was temporarily promoted from captain, received Britain's highest award for bravery along with Cpl John Grimshaw, Pte William Keneally, Sgt Alfred Richards, Sgt Frank Stubbs and Capt Richard Willis for their actions when the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers landed at Gallipoli in Turkey on the morning of 25 April 1915.
The battalion lost more than half of its men as they landed on W Beach, which was later renamed Lancashire Landing.
In total, 18 men from the Lancashire regiment were awarded the VC during World War One
Maj Bromley was honoured in his local church, St Leonard's, Seaford and had a road named after him in the East Sussex town.
Eighteen men from the Lancashire regiment were awarded the VC during World War One.

All six medals will be displayed until 16 May.

If that image doesn’t give you the chills, then you may want to pinch yourself to make sure you’re still alive. This incredibly fitting tribute to all our serving armed forces standing guard over Sydney is something for every Australian to feel proud about; young or old. 

Some Gallipoli moments

OR The wrecks in the Strait    -  Diving onto the shipwrecks.  The Ships in the Dardanelles 

Anzac Day Original Song   

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda:

Central London has come to a standstill, as thousands of Australians and New Zealanders gathered at the Cenotaph to watch the Queen lay a wreath in remembrance of the Allied forces at Gallipoli 100 years ago.
She was joined for the ceremony by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband among other dignitaries.
Dressed in a black overcoat, fedora hat and white scarf, the Queen laid the first wreath, followed by Mr Cameron.
In the eight-month Gallipoli campaign 140,000 soldiers lost their lives, including more than 34,000 British troops, more than 8000 Australians and almost more than 2500 New Zealanders.
The streets of Whitehall were closed as a wave of colour, pomp and ceremony unfolded, led by the Grenadier Guards in the traditional red uniform and bearskin hats followed by the Royal Marines and Scots Guards.
Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer and his New Zealand counterpart, Sir Lockwood Smith, joined diplomats from 17 nations including Turkey, France, Canada, India, Pakistan and Belgium.
Despite heavy security following the arrest and charging on Friday of a 14-year-old boy on charges of inciting terrorism overseas, the traditional two minutes' silence at 11am was broken only by the whirr of photographers' cameras.
Earlier at the dawn service close to 5000 people thronged to the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner.
Emily Bonney, 29, and 30-year-old Amanda Morris from Brisbane live and work in London and queued together from 2.30am to grab a good spot.
'It's a really Australian thing, patriotic, and it brings us all together to remember the efforts of the Anzacs,' Ms Bonney told AAP.
'For me, it is uplifting and important to remember what people who came before did for us and the sacrifices made,' Ms Morris said.
A service of remembrance at Westminster Abbey will also be attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
- See more at:

Remembering Monty.

How often did he play The Last Post?

On 25th April 2015, he and the thousands of others who were played a part in that war and all others, will be remembered, at Anzac Day Services across Australia and the World.  

The Ode     

The Last Post

Corporal Matthew Creek of the Royal Military College Band plays The Last Post at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day. In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day's 


Memorial stained glass window, Class of 1934, Royal Military College of Canada showing officer cadet playing the bugle call for the "Last Post" or "The Rouse"

During the 19th century, the "Last Post" was also carried to the various countries of the British Empire. In all these countries it has been incorporated into military funerals, where it is played as a final farewell, symbolising the fact that the duty of the dead soldier is over and that they can rest in peace.

"Last Post" is used in public ceremonials commemorating the war dead, particularly on Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations. In Australia and New Zealand it is also played on Anzac Day usually before the two-minute silence, which concludes with "The Rouse".
When the post is played during services such as Anzac Day it is required of all current serving military members to salute for the duration of the call. During services organised by the Royal British Legion the recommendation is that no salute is given by either officers or troops as during the "Last Post" and Silence the recommendation is that all troops will have removed head dress (as in church service prayer), have heads bowed, weapons inverted, with flags and standards lowered.

So where ever you may be, take 60 seconds to remember them.  

 The Bagpipes and Flowers
 of the Forest.

The origins of the lone piper are obscure, although a lone piper has been a feature of Scottish military ceremonies for several hundred years. The bagpipes are the traditional instrument of the people of the Scottish highlands and have been carried into battle with Scottish soldiers from the days of William Wallace in the 14th century to the Falklands War of 1982. Traditionally, in Scottish units a lone piper takes the place of a bugler to signal the day’s end to troops (see Last Post) and also bids farewell to the dead at funerals and memorial services.
It is unclear when pipers first became a feature of Australian memorial services. In the early decades of the 20th century, Australia had a large expatriate Scottish community, represented by several Scottish battalions in the Militia. It seems likely that the ceremonial presence of a piper became established during the 1920s.
Flowers of the forest is the tune usually played on these occasions. It is a traditional Scottish lament (song of mourning and remembrance).

             For the fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free. 
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears. 
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe. 
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them. 
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam. 
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night; 
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

The History of the Emu Plume and the Australian Light Horse
© 2002 Robert Thomas BA

“And you’ll know him by the feathers in his hat!”
(Banjo Paterson, “Queensland Mounted Infantry”, 1900)

The habit of embellishing the truth and creating a “good story” or highlighting some point of difference and holding it up as an identifying mark is a carry over from 19th Century Queensland when the colony was seen as a marginal frontier by those from Southern Colonies. The story of the Emu Plume first worn by Queensland Light Horsemen, and later by all Light Horsemen in Australia, is an example of the habit which possibly raises that habit to a level rarely seen.

The 1891 strike by workers in the wool growing industry had its genesis in the growing labour movements of the era and the fierce opposition to change among the squattocracy that controlled the main industry in Queensland. Having won an agreement in 1890 that precluded the use of non-union labour and payment of an agreed rate, the unions were not impressed by the recision of this agreement by the squatters for the 1891 season. On the 6th January 1891, 200 shearers and rouseabouts were present at Logan Downs (East of Clermont) when the new shearing agreement was read and the roll called and George Taylor, representative of the men, said they were all members of the Queensland Shearers’ Union and would shear only under the verbal agreement of that union.

By January 31st the Brisbane Courier was reporting that labour was being recruited in southern states by the Pastoralist Union and sent to Queensland by ship to break the strike and the Queensland Police began to despatch police to the areas of concern in central and south-western parts of the state, with a “body” of police arriving in Roma on February 11th. By 20th February, the Colonial Government had grown concerned to the extent that it called out the defence force to provide a show of force to the union movement, to prevent the breakdown of public order and maintain the peace.

Moreton Mounted Infantry were mobilised on 21st February and sailed for Rockhampton on the Steamship Wodonga under the command of Major Percy Ricardo. This initial call out of troops was followed by an escalation of military involvement and by April 29 all mounted units except Redcliffe had been posted to areas of conflict or those where large groups of unionists were based. In total 1442 members of the Queensland Defence Force were posted for special service. 

These included the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry, Mackay Mounted Infantry, A (Warwick) and B (Toowoomba) Companies of Darling Downs Mounted Infantry, Charters Towers Mounted Infantry, Ipswich Mounted Infantry, Rockhampton Mounted Infantry and Townsville Mounted Infantry, in addition to other non-mounted units of the Queensland Defence Force.

The tension reached its peak when 200 troops swooped on the strike committee's headquarters at Barcaldine and arrested twelve of the leaders, charging them with conspiracy. The strikers were outraged, some men calling for revolution. 
At Gympie soldiers fixed bayonets to disperse a menacing crowd, while at Rockhampton 200 strikers heckled police guarding the twelve arrested at Barcaldine, when they came to trial. During the trial, the judge Mr Justice Harding was scarcely impartial, stating that he would have shot the strikers if he had been one of the police. 

He sentenced the twelve including George Taylor and William Hamilton, who later became members of the Queensland Parliament, to three years hard labour each. These severe sentences provoked another outburst of violence.

Although the strikers voted to stay out on strike, signs of weakness began to appear. The first crack came when threats of long-term sanctions by the squatters forced wool carriers back to work. On 11 June 1891, union leaders announced that the strike fund was exhausted and that the strike was over. 

Although they had been defeated by the combined forces of the Government and the Pastoralists many claimed that in the long term it had led to victory because the unions were convinced of a need for a political Labor Party to fight their cause in Parliament.

There are many stories regarding the inception of the tradition of the Emu Plume worn by Light Horse units. One story from Capella suggests that it was Rockhampton Mounted Infantry that first wore the plume. It has been suggested by researchers from the area that this group, under the command of Provisional Lieutenant William Joseph Kelly, rode from Rockhampton to Capella (Between Emerald and Clermont) and that during the trip the troops ran short of rations and shot emus for food, placing the plumes in their hats. 

This is refutable on a number of grounds; firstly, Rockhampton Mounted Infantry, in conjunction with the Mount Morgan detachment, were called out for service on 20th February 1891 and travelled by train from Rockhampton to Clermont. On arrival, Unionists jeered them when they attempted to ride horses provided by pastoralists. 

 They left Clermont at midnight and rode immediately to Wolfang Station so it is unlikely that they were short of rations. Secondly, provisional Lieutenant William Joseph Kelly was appointed to that rank on 23rd April 1891, precluding any possibility of his having been in charge of the troop at that time.

Another version has it that the habit arose from the actions of Major Percy Ricardo and Captain Harry Chauvel when they were serving in the West Moreton Mounted infantry together. It has been suggested that these two were socialising at “Franklyn Vale”, and then managed by Ricardo. A pet emu had died and its hide had been nailed to the saddle shed by some of the stockmen. According to the story, they picked up some of the feathers that were nearby and placed them in their hats. Mrs Ricardo commented that they looked smart and so began the habit.

The difficulties with this story arise from the fact that Ricardo served in the Moreton Mounted Infantry (based in Brisbane) and Chauvel was part of the Darling Downs Mounted Infantry (A Company, based in Warwick) There is also the added problem that the officers of all Queensland Mounted units had been wearing Green Cocks Plumes in their hats since 1884, as part of their official uniform, and not until 1897 did officers wear Emu Plumes.

 This story also suggests that the only unit to wear them during the Shearers’ Strike was the West Moreton Mounted Infantry, which even if we ignore the error of the additional West in the name, the Queensland Government Gazette quoted below points out the error of that suggestion. However a major negative point of the story is that there were two Mrs Ricardo’s and the Mrs Ricardo referred in this case is presumably the second marriage which did not occur until 1898 well after the time period of the events discussed.

Yet the most damaging evidence to this story is the fact that Percy Ricardo was working in Brisbane as manager of the Brisbane Ice Works at the time of the formation of Brisbane Mounted Infantry on 2nd April 1884 (renamed Moreton Mounted Infantry, 23rd May 1885), not managing Franklyn Vale.

The most common story reports that a patrol of Wide Bay Mounted Infantry under the command of Lieutenant Vivian Tozer was near “Coreena” Woolshed when they met another patrol of the same unit under the command of Captain W Shanahan. This group were chasing an emu. Bill Leishman claimed to have been in the Tozer patrol and is reputed to have shot the emu, He and Terry Rogers pulled feathers from the emu and placed them in their hat bands, and the rest of the Patrol followed suit.

 This is reported in Starr & Sweeney however the two references given in that volume, for what is presented as a quote from Mr Bill Leishman, are his obituary and a report of a reunion in Gympie in 1961 in which Mr Leishman’s daughter repeated his claims in slightly varied form.

While there is conjecture about the origin of the emu plumes, the Leishman version appears to be less fanciful than some of the other versions which speak of horseman galloping down emus and pulling feathers from their tails while on the run, a very skilful act and almost impossible under the wet and boggy conditions of the time of the strike. Yet it is in the obituary of the officer that Leishman refers to that the most likely story appears.

Vivian Hoyles Tozer died on 5th September 1954, after a career as a citizen soldier, solicitor and Member of Parliament. Vivian Tozer was the son of Horace Tozer, the Chief Secretary of the Colonial Government. Tozer junior was working in Gympie and studying to become an Articled Clerk, passing his exams in July 1892. According to the Gympie Times of September 11th 1954, he joined the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry in 1889. He was appointed provisionally as a Lieutenant in the Queensland Defence Force on 3rd March 1891; 9 days before the call out of the Gympie Company for special service during the Shearers’ Strike. The obituary continues:
Mr Tozer was in charge of a group of men returning to base camp when a mob of emus was sighted. The men all wanted to shoot, which was against regulations. Mr Tozer compromised by granting one shot which was successful. The men rode up, dismounted, and in their elation decorated their slouch hats with feathers from the fallen bird. On return to camp, Mr Tozer incurred the displeasure of his commanding officer who ordered the feathers to be removed. 
Some discussion took place among the men and as a result Mr Tozer approached his commander to ask General Headquarters to have the emu feathers as part of the dress of this regiment.
The wearing of the emu plume was initially restricted to the “other ranks” of the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry. Officers of all mounted units in Queensland had for some time worn Cock’s Feathers in their hat and GO No 719 of 1892 gives a full list of the dress regulations of that time and specifies that the Cock’s Plume worn would be green in colour.

 While that order stresses the need for uniformity across all troops in the Queensland Defence Force, and the dress regulations of 19th September 1893 confirm the wearing of the Cock’s Plume by officers, the details for the non-commissioned officers and men of the Mounted Infantry Listed in G.O No 743 of 1892 specifies the hat worn in detail (height of crown, width of brim, colour) and when compared with the officers hat specification it is clearly without a plume.

A special correspondent to The Queenslander at the Lytton Encampment provides the first printed record of the wearing of plumes by the other ranks of the Wide Bay Mounted Infantry in the report of March 1894.
The horses this year are better than usual, and the Gympie division as usual bear the palm in this respect, the fine company of the Wide Bay men with their attractive plumes of emu feathers being a credit to their district and their officers.
This small comment is the beginning of a major part of the history of the Australian Light Horse. From here the plumes spread in a steady flow through the Queensland Force. In September 1894 the privilege of wearing the plumes was extended to all non-commissioned officers and men of all mounted units in Queensland. 

It is here that the earlier recognition is alluded to when the Plume is referred to in G.O. No 159 as being to Sealed Pattern No 68, as worn by Wide Bay Mounted Infantry. It should be noted that the plume was provided to the men but they still had to pay for them. Three years later (probably to ensure a uniform presentation at the Celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in London during that year). General Order No 265 extends the privilege of wearing the emu plume in place of the green cock’s plume to all officers of Queensland Mounted Infantry.

The plume became a major focus of the Esprit de Corps of the Queensland Mounted Troops. This spirit was an important part of the strength of the troops recruited to serve in the South African War and formed such an attraction to other member of the Queensland Defence Force that they began to wear the plume without permission, prompting a notice in the Gazette pointing out that it was to be worn ONLY by members of Queensland Mounted Infantry. 

The attachment of the men to their plume was such that they were immortalised by Banjo Patterson in his poem, Queensland Mounted Infantry, where he makes much of their unique style and dress and their distinguishing emu plume and Harry Chauvel, then serving as the unit Adjutant, stresses the attachment of the troops to their plumes when writing to his family about General Hutton; “He has put us into helmets so we have quite lost our individuality and our interest in further proceedings”.

When the Colonial forces were reorganised to form the Commonwealth Military Forces, many changes were required. These entailed changes to command structures and the amalgamation of purchasing and supply groups. Yet the biggest change was the reformation of the units. But for the strenuous efforts of the Queensland commanders and politicians, the name of Queensland Mounted Infantry and the plumes that identified it would have faded into history. 

Federal politicians were lobbied and Major General Edward Hutton was pressured to ensure that some individuality was retained (It was Hutton who bore the brunt of Chauvel’s ire in South Africa when he ordered the wearing of helmets in place of the plumed slouch hat!).

Hutton concurred and although he renamed all mounted troops Australia wide Australian Light Horse, he recommended the retention of local titles (in parentheses) within the new name. Thus the new Queensland based units were known as 13th, 14th and 15th Australian Light Horse (Queensland Mounted Infantry). As well as retaining their name, they had also retained their emu plumes as part of their uniform.

It was during World War One that the pride that Queenslanders held for their origin and the distinguishing marks that had carried since the 1890s showed at its strongest. After having been permitted to retain their plumes as part of the new Commonwealth Forces uniform officially in the 1903-1912 dress manual and unofficially after the 1913 revisions, the Queensland raised 2nd Light Horse Regiment set out to have an exception made to the basic uniform of the Australian Imperial Force. 

When each new unit of the Australian Imperial Force was raised following the declaration of war in August 1914, one of the first items mentioned in the Regimental Histories of 2nd, 5th and 11th Regiments is the design and manufacture of a banner. These items were usually made by the wives of the senior officers and in the case of 2nd Light Horse the banner was presented to the unit by the young daughter of the Commanding Officer.

It was this officer, Lieutenant Colonel Stodart, who then began a campaign to have the beloved Emu Plume of QMI approved so that the Queenslanders could stand out from the crowd. Stodart wrote to Government officials and Ministers, pressing his case without success until he was able to organise a meeting in Melbourne with Prime Minister Fisher and Defence Minister Pearce in September 1914. 

During this meeting he was able to present his case using the effect on the esprit de corps of the Regiment of such an emblem as his main argument. Fisher finally acceded to the request and when he announced to the Regiment the next day at Flemington Showgrounds that they were to be permitted to wear the plume, he was greeted with deafening cheers. This privilege of wearing the plume was granted exclusively to the Queensland units on the grounds of their previous active service use in South Africa.

During March 1915, the 3 regiments of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade (8th Regiment from Victoria, 9th Regiment from South Australia and the 10th Regiment from Western Australia) arrived in Cairo and marched into the Heliopolis Camp with Emu Plumes in their hats. This “gross assumption of privilege” raised the ire of the Queensland units (2nd and 5th Regiments) already in that camp and Stodart, in his letter to the Commander of 1st Light Horse Brigade (Colonel Harry Chauvel, a most sympathetic ear!) demands an inquiry.

Chauvel’s reaction was to add a supporting letter of his own, dated 23 March 1915, and forward the two onward to Major General W.T. Bridges, Commander of the 1st Australian Brigade. In his letter Chauvel clarifies and expands on the claims on exclusivity expressed by Stodart, adding his personal knowledge gained while serving with Darling Downs Mounted Infantry and Queensland Mounted Infantry prior to Federation and during the South African War.

Bridges prevaricated and passed the decision further up the line of command with Major General A.J. Godley, Commanding Officer of the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps, supporting the Queensland claim with the comment that the “emu plume conveys the idea of Queensland Mounted troops” and expresses the hope that their wish can be arranged. However Bridges dodged the issue and referred the matter back to Prime Minister Fisher, who in the manner of politicians, took the easy option, approving the wearing of plumes by all Light Horse Units, as long as they paid for their own plumes.

While some units of the A.I.F never took up the option of wearing Emu Plumes in the field or on parade (notably 6th & 7th Regiments from New South Wales and 4th Regiment from Victoria according to records and interviews conducted with members of the units by Ian Jones that are now held in the A.W.M.) in 1923 Military Order No 90 stated:
Approval is given for the wearing of emu plumes and hat puggarees by members of Light Horse units, provided supplies can be arranged regularly without expense to the public.
And so it came to be that all light horse units in Australia wore the Queensland emu plume that is still worn today by Armoured units of the Australian Army.

Hill, A.J., 1978, Chauvel of the Light Horse, Melbourne University Press, Carlton.
Starr, J & Sweeney, C., 1988, Forward, The history of 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (QMI), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane
Svensen, Stuart, 1989, The Shearers’ war: the story of the 1891 shearers strike. St. Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press.

And that brings to a close the story of one young member of the Lighthorse, who wore his slouch hat and emu feathers with pride, who carried with him his bugle.  
However he failed to play it at the end of the day, on Sunday 25th April, 1915.

The story of Montague John Durnsford finalises the Durnford Family Blog, descendants of Jemima Isaacson and  Andrew Durnford, who settled in Australia in 1852.

Montague John Durnford is another of those military Durnfords who lie buried beneath the sands of far away places, not this time,associated with the Royal Engineers, but with his very brave friends of the 9th Battalion at Gallipoli and joined by death with Durnford cousins from UK and Canada, who bravely served in the most horrific war, The Great War, World War 1.

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