Friday, September 30, 2016

Ulladulla Public School at war 1914 – 1918

During World War I, the girls knitted socks, mufflers and balaclava caps instead of the usual sewing lessons. Even the boys joined in. Funds were raised by dances and sports for the soldiers as several of the school’s ‘old boys’ had joined the Forces. At the end of the war a Combined District Sports Carnival was held at the Milton Showground.

War effort and fund raising was done by all communities in wartime and in the Sydney Morning Herald 9 April 1917, it was reported that

At Ulladulla Miss Gruer has been doing useful work conducting a babies’ kit class, where, under her direction, clothes are made up for the destitute families of the Allies. The school children also materially assist. A great deal of work has been accomplished, and letters of thanks received from unfortunate mothers. In Belgium (they) express gratitude for the handsome and useful articles of clothing forwarded from this small village in far away Australia.

Ulladulla has also helped in many of the funds in connection with Milton. The several schools of this district did well in their efforts on behalf of the Belgian Fund, on Empire Day in May 1915, Croobyar School, with an average attendance of about 20, raised over £80. Woodstock School, with an average attendance of less than 20, raised £15, and Ulladulla School, with an attendance of about 40, raised over £40. These all conducted sales of work and produce. Milton School confined its operations to subscription lists, and raised about £8. (Sydney Morning Herald, 26 May 1915). Further research Ulladulla Public school actually raised £42/13/6.

badgeaifww1Students from Ulladulla Public School who served in WW1

3807 BONNYMAN, John Charles – 4th Pioneer Battalion
3370 CLUGSTON, Thomas Richard – 52nd Battalion *
7500 DOYLE, Rexford James – 15th Battalion
1302 DOYLE, John Clifton – 5th Light Horse Regiment
EVANS, Elizabeth Evans – Nursing Sister    #
3406 IRELAND, Aubrey Oswald – 2nd Light Horse Regiment
Edward King17210 IRELAND, David Oscar, February 1917 – Reinforcements
52648 IRELAND, Robert Thomas – 11th Light Horse Regiment
15585 JOHNSON, Eliot Powell # – 5th Field Artillery Brigade
1970 KING, Edward – 1st Battalion * MM (pictured)
916 KING, Frank Harris – 30th Battalion
2478 LATTA, Arthur Henry – 4th Battalion
586 LATTA, Bertie Roy – 39th Battalion
3525 LATTA, John James –  18th Battalion*
3181 LATTA, Robert Gibson –  45th Battalion *
92857 LATTA, William Clyde  Discharged due to father’s objection on the grounds that two of his sons had died and one wounded at war.
6085 LICEY, Ernest – 17th Battalion, Aboriginal
6086 LICEY, Louis – 17th Battalion, Aboriginal
1650 McGRATH, Francis William – 1st Light Horse Regiment
1860 McGRATH, Joseph – Tunnelling Companies
3312 MILLARD, Eric – 18th Battalion
6731 MILLARD, Stanley – 55th Battalion
943 NELSON, Victor – 35th Battalion

* ‘KIA’ Killed In Action
# Father – Principal of Ulladulla Public School
MM Military Medal

Extracts from letter from Private E. King, dated 17th September 1917 as published in Ulladulla and Milton Times 11 December 1915

‘Did you get a letter from Malta?  I could not write on account of my arm being wounded, so a Minister told me he would, write to you., I was only there a week. I am in King George’s hospital in London now, but am going out to-morrow to the Australian Convalescent hospital; that is just out of London. We are having a fairly good time over here. We go but for motor rides three times a week. I went to Lady Hamilton’s yesterday, [How-would you like to be me!] I have not received a letter since I left Australia. Remember me to all friends…  It is five weeks to-day since I got wounded, I suppose you read about the four days fighting, beginning 6th Aug. I was in that and it’s a wonder to me I ever got out of it.  The following Monday I got hit in the head with a piece of bomb, but it only knocked me out for three hours. I soon got over that. The 8th August I will not forget all my life. We were in the trenches all day that Sunday, and my shoulder was sore from firing. I saw Private Lewis get wounded; but could not tell where he was hurt. I only had time to shake hands and say good bye.’

Private Edward King didn’t come home. His final actions during the war are recorded in the Commonwealth Gazette.

‘Edward King served in the war at Egypt, Gallipoli and the Western Front. He died of wounds October 1918 in France. Gunner King’s perseverance and that of his comrades resulted in their finding a wounded man to whom they rendered first aid and then carried to a dressing station. This man (King) is a telephonist and has repeatedly shown the same valour and disregard for danger in carrying out his work under heavy fire. His conduct is worthy of special recognition. Awarded Military Medal 19th November, 1917.’ (Commonwealth Gazette No. 110)

Conditions at Ulladulla Public School weren’t so good either. Inspector G. James sent the following report to his masters in Sydney. Remarks: Old stone building. Main room very poorly lighted. The back wall is a partition between school room and residence. The corners are very dark. Common forms and desks without backs. Classroom rather overcrowded. Light is very glaring for teacher.

In the year 1917: Ulladulla Public School

ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

© Cathy Dunn

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