Darragh Christie, 9 August 2015 · # · · Comment [1]

Remembering Major T.H. Redford, at The Nek

George W Lambert
Cartoon for ‘The charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek’

One hundred years ago Light Horse regiments attacked well-entrenched Turkish positions at “The Nek.” Their fate — charging into certain death — lives large in the Australian psyche. Among those killed that day was Major Thomas Harold Redford of Holt Avenue, Mosman.

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Darragh Christie, 19 May 2015 · # · · Comment

The death of a gallant and erudite soldier

Studio portrait of Major General Sir William Bridges KCB CMG. Photographer: Alice Mills, Melbourne. (AWM A02867)

“Anyhow, I have commanded an Australian Division for nine months…”

These are the reported last words of Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges on board the hospital ship Gascon en route to Cairo on the 18th of May 1915. In the words of C. E. W Bean1, “he knew he was dying.”

A few days earlier, he had been picked out by a sniper in Monash Valley. The bullet had severed several major arteries in his thigh. Now gangrene had set in. His doctors knew that immediate amputation for this 53 year old man would be fatal, and it was better for nature to take its course, which in William Bridges’ case was 3 days.

His last recorded instruction “was that his regret should be conveyed to the Minister for Defence that his dispatch concerning the landing was not complete — he was too tired now.”

We can only surmise as to the mental processes of this proud man as he slipped in and out of consciousness. He may have remembered his life experiences and those closest to him, memories of time spent with his family and friends around Sydney’s foreshores, in particular his posting to Middle Head.

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Andrew Brockett & Bernard de Broglio, 2 February 2015 · # · · Comment

Letters returned unread

Valentine William Kelly — a slim, dark-haired draper from Victoria — was 25 when he signed up for the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) in July 1915. His parents James and Emily Kelly lived in Mosman at a house named “Alda” in Calypso Avenue.

Local philatelist Andrew Brockett recently came across some poignant postal covers that tell something of his story.

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John Bryan, 2 February 2015 · # · · Comment

Miss Evans and the Anzac buffet

Portrait of Miss Annie Evans, Commandant Anzac Buffet, Sydney, 1916-1920. (AWM H16369)

Many Mosmanites were “doing their bit” closer to home as members of the military, voluntary workers, entertainers and fund raisers.

One of the most prominent of these was Annie Alethea Evans who was widely known and referred to as simply Miss Evans. She was active in a number of voluntary capacities and as Commandant of the No 8 Mosman Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), established and ran the Anzac Buffet from late 1915.

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Darragh Christie, 24 November 2014 · # · · · Comment

HMAS Sydney mast dedication — 80 years ago today

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the dedication of the HMAS Sydney Memorial Mast at Bradleys Head, Mosman. The ceremony took place on 24 November 1934, attended by thousands who watched from land and sea.

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