On arriving at the firing line grim sights confronted us. Dead & wounded lay in heaps behind the parapet and worn-out Australians crouched close under cover. The looks in their faces and on the faces of those lying on the ground greatly impressed me. Chaos and weird noises like thousands of iron foundries, deafening and dreadful, coupled with the roar of high explosives or coal-boxes as they ripped the earth out of the parapet, prevailed as we crept along seeking first of all the serious cases of wounded. Backwards & forwards we travelled between the firing line and the R.A.P. [Regimental Aid Post] with knuckles torn and bleeding due to the narrow passage ways. “Cold sweat”, not perspiration, dripped from our faces and our breath came only in gasps.
W.J.A. Allsop, diary entry on the Battle of Fromelles
One of the Build-a-thon small group discussions was around local honour boards and honour rolls. I have started a Google Spreadsheet with an index of memorials and a sheet for each.
In my digital tools talk at the Build-a-thon I mentioned Zotero, a powerful research management tool created by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. For an overview of what Zotero can do, have a look at the Quick Start Guide.
The two Franks, one blind and the other paralysed, became a familiar sight in Mosman, indeed a sort of living war memorial. They had a motor bike and side car which Cluett, an engineer by training, had modified so that he could drive it while sitting in the side car, with Morris on the bike saddle.
If we’re going to gather information about Mosman’s WWI servicepeople, first we have to find out who they were. The names on the Mosman War Memorial and George Franki’s research provide us with a great starting point, but there may be many others waiting to be identified.