Cobbers remembered: Mosman's dead

Darragh Christie, 19 June 2016 · #

Goodbye to all of this

Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Fleurbaix. Photo: Bernard de Broglio

Before action was published 2 days before William Hodgson, MC, was shot through the neck. His poem asks for the courage to face his fate. It also expresses gratitude for his short life. In Wilfred Owen words, it is an anthem for a doomed youth, those who charged into the valley of death, 100 years ago:

Before action

By all the glories of the day

And the cool evening’s benison,

By that last sunset touch that lay

Upon the hills where day was done,

By beauty lavishly outpoured

And blessings carelessly received,

By all the days that I have lived

Make me a soldier, Lord.

By all of man’s hopes and fears,

And all the wonders poets sing,

The laughter of unclouded years,

And every sad and lovely thing;

By the romantic ages stored

With high endeavour that was his,

By all his mad catastrophes

Make me a man, O Lord.

I, that on my familiar hill

Saw with uncomprehending eyes

A hundred of Thy sunsets spill

Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,

Ere the sun swings his noonday sword

Must say goodbye to all of this;--

By all delights that I shall miss,

Help me to die, O Lord.

William Noel Hodgson (1893-1916)

Their Name Liveth for Evermore

Mosman men who fell at Fromelles

  • ANDERSON, David Samuel 24; KIA 19/7/1916; 54th Battalion. Jeweller, 21 Holt Avenue.
  • ASHDOWN, Cecil Parker 19; KIA 20/7/1916; 7 Field Co. Engineers; Engineer, 25 Muston Street. Maud Ashdown, IAustralian Army Nursing Service, wrote to her family: “Our darling baby boy’s death has been one huge blow and will make such a huge gap in our lives … poor old Mother will be well nigh heartbroken.”
  • BOONE, Claude Arthur 31; KIA 19/7/1916; 54th Battalion; Clerk, 22 Royalist Road.
  • CHARLES, William Spencer 34; KIA 19/7/1916; 59th Battalion. Window-dresser, Spit Junction.
  • ELDERSHAW, Athol Gale 21; KIA 20/7/1916; 57th Battalion; Bank clerk, Moran Street.
  • ELLIOTT, Robert Bruce 24; KIA 20 7 1916; 15th Field Company; Electrical engineer, 1 Boyle Street.
  • GARLAND, Charles Stewart 30; KIA 19/7/1916; 30th Battalion; Mining overseer, "Corona" 9 Heydon Street.
  • HEALEY, Reginald Alfred Charles 26; KIA 19/7/1916; 54th Battalion; Painter, Osborne Road.
  • HILLYAR, Alexander Unwin 19; KIA 19/7/1916; 53rd Battalion; Clerk, Gerard Street.
  • LAING, William Lewis 22; KIA 19/7/1916; 53rd Battalion; Clerk, “Kaituna” McLeod Street.
  • MAYO, Bruce Selwyn 22; KIA 20/7/1916; 54th Battalion; Station employee.
  • MENDELSOHN, Berrol Lazar 25; KIA 20/7/1916; 55th Battalion; Clerk, “Ullenbar” 67 Raglan Street. In 1921, Abigail Mendelsohn wrote to Army Records stating: “I am still waiting and hoping that the grave of my darling son has been found, but so far have not had that consolation”. Mrs Mendelsohn died in 1945. In 2010, Berrol Mendelsohn’s remains were identified and he is now buried at Pheasant Wood Cemetery.
  • MITCHELL, Alan 22; KIA 20/7/1916; 30th Battalion; Builder, “Eulalie” Shadforth Street.
  • PAIN, Ralph Oswald Cleveland 29; KIA 19/7/1916; 53rd Battalion; Traveller, "Carranmore" Milson Road.
  • ROURKE, Harold George 34; KIA 20/7/1916; 56th Battalion; Farmer, “Augalonga Flats” Musgrave Street.
  • SCOTT, William Francis 20; DOW 30/7/1916; 30th Battalion; Electrician, “Fernleigh” 27 Glover Street.
  • WILLIS, Edward Emerson 24; KIA 20/7/1916; 30th Battalion; Grazier, "Innisfallen", Mosman.
  • WILSON, Eric Robert 19; KIA 19/7/1916; 53rd Battalion; Labourer, “Myall” Wolseley Road.
  • WILSON, Samuel Charles 29; KIA 19/7/1916; 53rd Battalion; Labourer “Myall” Wolseley Road.


Pieces of Australian kit on the old Fromelles battlefield found on 11 November 1918 by official historian Charles Bean. Image: AWM E04037

The story continued…

1. Cobbers remembered: Fromelles 19/06/1916

2. Cobbers remembered: Allan Allsop’s ‘terrible night’

3. Cobbers remembered: Lost Diggers of the 53rd

4. Cobbers remembered: Mosman’s dead

5. Cobbers remembered: Fromelles recommended reading