Jul 25, 2014

James John ROBERTS 1889 - 1968

Owen ROBERTS - my great great grandfather - married his second wife - Mary Jane LISTON - in Horsham in 1880 and they had six children.

Mary Jane ROBERTS       (1881 - 1975)
Annie Owena ROBERTS  (1883 - 1968)
Ellen Louisa ROBERTS    (1884 - 1968)
Agnes Maud ROBERTS   (1886 - 1961)

James John ROBERTS    (1889 - 1968)
Owen Thomas Gerald ROBERTS (1891 - 1984)

The children were all born around Wonwondah East and Burnt Creek area near Horsham in Victoria, Australia.

James - or Jim as he was known - was born on 8th August 1889 at Wonwondah East.



image of what the area looks like around Wonwondah East.

image of Jim ROBERTS and his brother Owen ROBERTS around 1904

By the 30 September 1916, Jim had enlisted in the AIF at Horsham and was joined to the 22nd Battalion. His service number being 6430.

Jim ROBERTS

image of Jim and his brother - Owen ROBERTS


He embarked Melbourne on the 23rd November 1916 on board the HMAT HORORATA arriving in England in January 1917.  The following week he was marched into the 6th Training Battalion at Larkhill.
HMAT Hororato at Port Melbourne

From July 31 1916 to November 1917 was the Battle of Passchendaele. It was also known as the Third Battle of Ypres or the The Battles of Ypres 1917. Each "phase" of the battles had it's own name. Where Jim was wounded was - I believe - "The Battle of Menin Road".

On the 18th September the Battalion was at Westhoek Ridge and the next day near by Ypres.
At 5.40am on 20 September, 1917, after 5 days of bombardment, 11 divisions of the 2nd and 5th BEF armies struck the Germans on a 13 kilometre front. The Australian 1st and 2nd Divisions, along with a Scottish Division, were the centre of the assault along Westhoek Ridge facing Glencorse Wood, with a combined front of 1,800 metres. It was the first occasion in the war in which two Australian Divisions attacked side by side. The Australians overcame enemy infantry opposition and advanced steadily for almost one kilometre to the first objective known as the "Red Line". It ran along a sunken road, the north edge of Glencorse Wood to Honnebeck swamp and bogs in the None Borsden Copse.Then on the 23rd the Battalion were at the support line moving to Dominion Area.  All part of the Battle of Ypres. On the 23rd there were 12 killed and 14 injured from the 22nd Bn.

According to Jim's Medical Report: "the casualty is classified (shell shock wounded) Blown up by shell since then he has had giddiness, short wind and shaky. Pulse increased on slight exertion
".




Many men suffered SHELL SHOCK, described as uncontrollable shaking, terrifying nightmares and severe convulsions were among the most devastating symptoms suffered by the many First World War soldiers.

By the end of the war, more than 80,000 men who had endured the horrors of battle were struggling  to return to normality.

Jim was returned to Australia on 12th May 1918 via the Troopship GAIKA departing from Plymouth.  He was discharged from the AIF in August 1918 with his disability being listed as "dilated action of the heart.".

Ten years later he married Olive Mary DUNN in Horsham and the following year they had a son they named Leo James ROBERTS. Leo was born on 16th June 1929 and was their only child.


24th May 1928 in Horsham

James John ROBERTS driving a cart at his farm in Brimpaen with his brother Owen ROBERTS, sister-in-law Mary-Ann GWYNN and son Leo ROBERTS at the back.

James John ROBERTS with his mother
Mary Jane LISTON and younger brother Owen ROBERTS


James John ROBERTS on the 28th July 1968, died of broncho pneumonia & fractured femur at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital at the age of 78 years.

Leo - the son of Jim Roberts - went on to marry and have four children of his own. Three sons and one daughter. Leo died on 23rd June 1991 at home - Raewood - at Brimpaen and was buried at the Brimpaen Cemetery on the 25th June 1991.



may they rest in peace



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a very busy project!


Over the past year or so I have been researching and gathering photos and information on the members of my family that served in both World Wars.

My 'goal' has been to document what I can in memory of these men that fought in such horrendous conditions so that we may experience some form of peace today.


if anyone has any extra data on any of the above, do please let me know.
           
Leone Fabre





Donald William McTAVISH 1888 - 1916



Donald William McTAVISH  was born in 1888 in Horsham, Victoria, Australia, the third child for Donald McTAVISH and Anne CHANDLER.

At the age of 27 years, Donald - a farmer - enlisted in the AIF on 24th July 1915 to the 22nd Battalion 4th Reinforcement with service number 2296. He enlisted the same time as his cousin - Harold McTAVISH who was given the service number 2295.





The following is a group image of the 22nd Battalion prior to departure for overseas, date and place taken is unknown.



After their training, both Donald McTavish and his cousin Harold embarked at Melbourne on 27th September 1915 on board the HMAT HORORATO. Bound for the Middle East via Fremantle.
Unfortunately, Donald failed to re embark the Hororato in Fremantle and had to wait for the HMAT Osterley departing on 5th October.

HMAT Hororato

HMAT Osterley

The 22nd Battalion spent some time in Moascar in Egypt with field training.



In March 1919, George Lambert described the Moascar camp as: "Miles and miles of tents and desert, thousands of sweating, sun-bronzed men and beautiful horses"(Lambert 1938, p. 79).

On 20 July 1919 he wrote to his wife: "... the well-appointed camp that two years ago spread out from here to the Desert for miles and umpteen miles, a white city of tents. There are still tents, a mile or so ... but the tents are slowly coming down, the incinerators are throwing off long, low lines of blue smoke ... Outside this bit of shade, 111 Fahrenheit, there is a blaze of almost colourless light, and it takes even for an experienced savage like myself, a few seconds to locate the difference between sand, tents and sky. In this blaze work still goes on - army work ...".

On the 19th March 1916 they departed Alexandria on board the LLANDOVERY CASTLE bound for Marseille, in France.






In March 1916, the 22nd Battalion embarked for France and experienced their first service on the Western Front in reserve breastwork trenches near Fleurbaix at the end of the first week of April 1916. The battalion’s first major action was at Pozières, part of the massive British offensive on the Somme.


By the first week of July in 1916 they were in the Bois Grenier Line, near Steenwerck in France.  From there they were entrained towards Lealvillers and by the third week of July marching towards Albert.

The Bois Grenier Line - a support trench - was about 70 yards to the rear of the front line and then a further 1000 yards back was the reserve line.

Australian soldiers on their way to the front-line trenches at Bois Grenier, 5 June 1916

An Australian soldier in the trenches near Bois Grenier, 5 June 1916

Australians in the trenches near Bois Grenier, 3 June 1916

22nd Battalion in France

By the 26th July 1916 they were on march from  Lealvillers to Albert.... at 5.30pm the Battalion moved off passing thru Albert to Sausage Valley where the Battalion was issued with picks, shovels, two mills bombs each and two sandbags. At 11pm Battalion moved off to relieve 6th Battalion AIF in POZIERES.


at 4.30am on 27th July 1916 they were occupying trenches in Pozieres. Enemy shelling commenced at 6.30am in response to the Battalion artillery fire. Shelling was intense. On this day, in the 22nd Battalion, 21 KIA, 19 MIA, 129 wounded. 




Battle of Pozieres ~ one year and three days from time of enlistment. Army records state that Donald William McTAVISH died between 27th July and 4th August. (4th Aug was when his cousin was severely injured) But his death was always remembered as being on 27th July each year.



View across the Pozières plateau in August 1916

22nd Battalion Cross Erected at Pozieres

Donald William McTavish is remembered with honour at
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial

No known grave


Donald William McTavish is remembered at the 
Australian War Memorial.





Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Donald William McTavish's name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory at the AWM in Canberra on:
  • Tue 19 August, 2014 at 5:17 am
  • Thu 2 October, 2014 at 11:15 pm
  • Tue 25 November, 2014 at 4:30 am
  • Mon 19 January, 2015 at 8:38 pm
  • Thu 12 March, 2015 at 6:03 am
  • Sun 26 April, 2015 at 10:01 pm
  • Sun 7 June, 2015 at 12:17 am
  • Tue 14 July, 2015 at 6:54 am
These dates and times are estimates. The actual time of projection could change as a result of weather and other factors, so it is advisable to check closer to the date. In the rare event of a temporary loss of electrical power, the names scheduled for display in that period will not appear until the next time listed.


With grateful thanks to:

The Australian War Memorial
The Australian National Archives
Australians on the Western Front

for further information and the use of their images off their sites.

LEST WE FORGET






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Jul 24, 2014

remembering the DALITZ brothers of Dimboola ....

we have heard these words so many times, over and over again .... and will even more so over the coming months.

But it IS important to remember them ... and by "them" I mean all of the soldiers, sailors and airmen that fought in all wars. It IS important to pass on what we know to the next generation as well.

How else will they know that their ancestors fought and died so that they can enjoy the freedom they have today?




In my family pedigree I have over 80 family members that fought in World War one and two. I am trying to capture as much information as possible on each of those men and women and to document what is available for future generations.



So while thinking about 'family' this week, I paid particular attention to the four DALITZ brothers of Dimboola (Victoria, Australia) that went off to war in 1915 and in 1916.

But to step back a few years, Heinrich DALITZ and Maria WUTTKE married on 13 August 1885 in South Australia. They had fourteen children, four daughters and ten sons.

Unfortunately in 1897 one of the daughters died due to her clothes catching fire, she was just 7 years of age.




Heinrich and Maria were farmers so to have ten sons able to work on the family farm was certainly a 'bonus'.  Then in 1915 - the day the AIF first landed in Gallipoli on the 25th April -  Maria died at just 53 years of age.

Heinrich - or Henry as he was known - continued on with the family farm with the help of the children. But soon after the death of their mother, two of the sons enlisted in the AIF.  They were Alwin Clarence DALITZ and Friedrich Wilhelm DALITZ who both enlisted on the 12 June 1915 and by the 15 September 1915 - had embarked Melbourne aboard the SS MAKARINI bound for Egypt. 

The next one to enlist was Carl Walter DALITZ who signed up on 19 February 1916 and then it was Heinrich Charles DALITZ's turn.  He enlisted on 3rd April 1916. Both Carl and Henry (as he was known) embarked Melbourne on 4th May 1916 aboard the HMAT PORT LINCOLN bound for Egypt.

So here we have the four brothers enlisting in the AIF to fight in the war!

I have added a short summary of each of them at the end of this blog post and will concentrate on the eighth child of the family: Carl Walter DALITZ. 

Carl was born in Dimboola, Victoria, Australia on 23 October 1896, (twin to Gustav Edwin DALITZ) their parents being Heinrich DALITZ and Maria Elisabeth WUTTKE.

When he was just 19 years of age, he enlisted in the AIF at Horsham on 19 February 1916 and was immediately assigned to the 6th Machine Gun Company. 3rd Reinforcements. His occupation at the time was that of a grocer.  Six weeks later his brother Heinrich enlisted in the AIF and was also assigned to the 6th MGC.


Three months later - on 4th May 1916 - he embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT A17 PORT LINCOLN with his brother Heinrich Charles DALITZ.



He was in France by March 1917 and just two months later Carl was killed in action at the second Battle of Bullecourt on 3rd May 1917. One day short of 12 mths since he departed Melbourne.

"A minute to go; forms rise up from the shell holes in readiness … 30 seconds to go; we glance back to the dark stillness of the western horizon, so silent, but we know packed with artillery batteries with gunners standing tense and ready … a vicious boom – the French artillery open up. Still the rear horizon is silent and menacing – then a terrific ripping flash! A thousand guns speak as one; such awe–inspiring roar and rend and flash and crash as surely man never saw or heard before; we’re off!"

Corporal Frank Fitzpatrick, quoted in Lieutenant W A Crane, In Good Company: An Account of the 6th Machine Gun Company AIF in Search of Peace, 1915–1919, Melbourne, 1937, p.329

*above Framed Print of Second Battle of Bullecourt 1917 from Mary Evans

Australian soldiers loading an 18 pounder gun at the second Battle of Bullecourt (Battle of Arras) on the Western Front in France during World War I in May 1917.

Carl Walter Dalitz

is remembered with honour 

at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.

There is no known grave.




Carl Walter Daltiz is remembered with honour on the WWI Honour Roll at Dimboola Memorial High School - seen below with wreaths laid on Anzac Day, 2008 (by David Thompson)





Carl Walter Daltiz is also remembered on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.


Carl Walter Dalitz's name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory at the AWM in Canberra on:
  • Mon 15 September, 2014 at 12:54 am
  • Tue 4 November, 2014 at 1:55 am
  • Sun 28 December, 2014 at 5:34 am
  • Fri 20 February, 2015 at 3:53 am
  • Fri 10 April, 2015 at 2:25 am
  • Fri 22 May, 2015 at 12:10 am
  • Mon 29 June, 2015 at 6:21 pm
These dates and times are estimates. The actual time of projection could change as a result of weather and other factors, so it is advisable to check closer to the date. In the rare event of a temporary loss of electrical power, the names scheduled for display in that period will not appear until the next time listed


let us remember, while we are having dinner tonight smiling and laughing, that in another house somewhere in Australia .....

......there is an empty chair where a hero should be sitting. They gave up their life so that we can sit with our family. So take a moment to think about those heroes who did not make it home and those who are still serving around the world ....



The DALITZ brothers - in summary:

____________________________________________________________________

Carl Walter DALITZ

[23 Oct 1896 - 03 May 1917]

Carl was born in Dimboola, Victoria, Australia on 23 October 1896, (twin of Gustav Edwin DALITZ)

Their parents being Heinrich DALITZ and Maria Elisabeth WUTTKE. Carl was the eighth of their 14 children.

When he was just 19 years of age, he enlisted in the AIF at Horsham on 19 February 1916 and was immediately assigned to the 6th Machine Gun Company. 3rd Reinforcements. His occupation at the time was that of a grocer.

Three months later - on 4th May 1916 - he embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT A17 PORT LINCOLN with his brother Heinrich Charles DALITZ, also in the 6th MGC.

He was in France by March 1917 and was killed in action at the second Battle of Bullecourt on 3rd May 1917. One day short of 12 mths since he departed Melbourne.

He is remembered with honour at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France. There is no known grave.


_________________________________________________________________

Heinrich Charles DALITZ

[1891 - 1972]

03 April 1916 - enlisted in the AIF  6th MGC (Machine Gun Company).

04 May 1916 - embarked Melbourne - with his brother Carl Walter DALITZ -  aboard the HMAT PORT LINCOLN bound for Egypt.  His occupation at that time was as a brick layer.

17 October 1917 - admitted to hospital with Trench Fever and kidney trouble.

10 April 1918 - again admitted to hospital, this time with scabies.

08 August 1918 - GSW to the right forearm (and gassed)  in the Battle of Amiens.

20 October 1918 - RTA medically unfit due to GSW

07 September 1920 - married Alice Mabel Ruby HIRTH

24 November 1972 - died aged 81 at Dimboola, Victoria, Australia

_______________________________________________________________

Friedrich Wilhelm DALITZ

[1887 - 1959]

12 June 1915 - enlisted in the AIF 14th Bn

15 September 1915 - embarked Melbourne aboard the SS MAKARINI bound for Egypt.

19 October 1915 - dangerously ill in hospital with dysentery.

11 April 1917 - Rec'd the Military Cross

17 May 1918 - WIA - gassed in France

07 April 1919 - RTA HMAT TRASAS MONTES - arrived in Australia 22 May 1919

1924 - married Hazel Blanche DRUMMOND

14 Nov 1959 - Died at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital aged 72.

____________________________________________________________

Alwin Clarence DALITZ

[1894 - 1969]

12 June 1915 - enlisted in the AIF 14th Bn.

15 September 1915 - embarked Melbourne aboard the SS MAKARINI bound for Egypt.

28 August 1916 - WIA. (Wounded in Action) GSW to the groin & pelvic area.

16 January 1917 - returned to duty in France after being wounded.

11 April 1917 - POW - became a Prisoner of War at the First Battle of Bullecourt and was interred at Limburg.

31 March 1919 - RTA - repatriated back to Australia arriving on 12 May 1919.

29 Jan 1969 - died at Nhill, Victoria, Australia at the age of 74.

__________________________________________________________________



                                                            LEST WE FORGET

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