This page is under development and will include photos that have become available after the publication of the book. If you have photos or information regarding the 19th Battalion and would like to see them here, please contact us.
ROBERT JAMES BENNIE
DESMOND JAMES HAMMOND
GEORGE BERTRAM LANG
EDMUND HERBERT LEWIS, MSM
BRIGADIER-GENERAL EF MARTIN, COMANDER 5TH BRIGADE
COLONEL WILLIAM W. R. WATSON CB., CMG, LEG D’ HON (FR) VD
Photos and Watson story courtesy of the Maryborough Military & Colonial
Commander of Infantry Battalion AN&MEF and 24 Battalion AIF, Lone Pine & Western Front
Joined the NSW Scottish Rifles in 1896 and later served in the Boer War as a Lieutenant in the NSW Mounted Rifles. On June 1900 he rode unarmed in to Pretoria for General Roberts and demanded the immediate surrender of the town from General Botha. It was expected that this would be the end of the war. However, guerrilla warfare commenced and it was another two years before peace was declared.
Mentioned in despatches for his services in South Africa and promoted to the rank of Captain.
Commanded the New South Wales detachment of the Australian Coronation Corps to England for the Coronation of King Edward V11 in 1902.
Appointed commanding officer of the Infantry battalion as part of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) raised in August 1914 to seize German territories in New Guinea.
Mentioned by Colonel Holmes in final dispatch. (Holmes was later the commander of the 4th Division and was mortally wounded in Jul 17 whilst accompanying the Premier of NSW around the battlefield).
Upon his return to Australia he was given command of the newly raised 19th Battalion for several weeks before traveling to Victoria to command the 24th Battalion AIF which landed at Gallipoli on 10 Sep15. From then until the withdrawal in late December, the 23rd & 24th Bns shared the responsibility of defending the Lone Pine position. Due to the continual bombing by the Turk artillery this was a most unhealthy place to be located. In November his headquarters was blown up and a number of the occupants either killed or seriously wounded. For his services at Lone Pine he was appointed a Companion of the Bath (CB) and mentioned in despatches. Only 18 CB’s for Gallipoli.
After a few months in Egypt, he led his Battalion to France and during the Pozieres battle on 7 August 1916 an enemy shell again landed in his headquarters and killed every officer excluding Watson who was rescued in a state of collapse. He continued as CO until July 17 when he was promoted to Colonel and spent the remainder of the war as commander of training units in France and England.
Awarded CMG and mentioned in despatches for services in the European theatre. The French Legion D’Honneur Chevalier was conferred on him in 1920 for conspicuous services rendered whilst serving with the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in 1914.
Married Minnie, daughter of Samuel Hordern at Sydney in 1904. They had no children and Watson died suddenly in June 1924 and is buried at South Head cemetery.
Naming on medals Companion of the Bath (CB)
Companion of St. Michael & St. George (CMG)
QSA w/MID Capt.W.W.R.WATSON. N.S.W. M.R.
1914/15 Star COLONEL. W.W.R.WATSON. 1/A.N.& M.E.F.
British War Medal COLONEL. W.W.R.WATSON. 1/A.N & M.E.F.
Victory Medal w/MID COLONEL. W.W.R.WATSON. 1/A.N.& M.E.F.
1902 Coronation (EV11)
Colonial Auxiliary Forces Decoration (EV11
The French Legion D’Honneur Chevalier
This photo of Pte Jacob Van Emden appears on page 403 of the book. At the time of publication, we had not been able to identify who the second soldier in the dark uniform was. Now, with a little help from the family and contacts in France we have solved the mystery of the second man.
Jacob Van Emden was born in Holland and left home as a seafarer, arriving in Australia in about 1912 where he allegedly jumped ship. He could speak Dutch, French and English fluently as well as some German. He joined the 20th Reinforcements of the 19th Battalion in May 1917, declaring his civilian occupation as being a cook as he was a chef at Adam’s Hotel in Sydney. He was wounded twice in action, the second time being during the assault on Mont St Quentin before returning home in late 1918 with an English war bride. After the war he worked for the NSW Tramways and regularly attended the Tramways Union RSL Anzac Day gatherings.
The photo shows Jacob with his brother Moses (also known as Morris) Van Emden in Belgian army uniform. A close analysis of his cap badge shows the letters ‘OA’ which means ‘Ouvrier d’Administration’ or the Commissariat soldiers of the Belgian army. They took the opportunity to have their photo taken after a chance meeting in Belgium in 1917.
Acknowledgements to Mr Jack Van Emden of Sydney and M. Sylvestre Bresson of Peronne, France for providing further information.
956 Edward Proctor was an original member of C Company, 19th Battalion. He was a boilermaker before enlisting on 17 February 1915. This photo was taken in London on the day of his marriage to wife Mary, whilst on leave from the Western Front. He later was promoted to Sergeant and was a Company Sergeant Major. He returned to Australia in March 1918 after being wounded in action.
Photo courtesy of grandson Steve Proctor of the UK.
JAMES WILLIAM HODGES McCULLOUGH
James McCullough served in New Guinea with the AN&MEF in 1914 as a Corporal cook with that force’s medical unit. He later enlisted into the First Divisional Signals Company on 18 November 1915. He served on the Western Front in various places as a postal clerk. He was later transferred to the 19th Battalion and returned to Australia in 1920.
Photo courtesy of grandson Malcolm Allen.
JOHN RAYMOND SWAIN DARBY
John Raymond Swain Darby, from Enmore NSW had previously served in a militia artillery battery before enlisting in the AIF. He was an original member of D Company 19th Battalion who enlisted on 23 March 1915. He was a bugler in the battalion and also performed duties as the brigade bugler as required. His original instrument, which he carried throughout the war, is still held by his family. In the latter part of the war he transferred to the Australian Flying Corps as a cook, after being wounded and gassed on the Western Front. He returned to Australia in August 1919.
Photos courtesy of grandson Peter Clarke.
WILLIAM JOHN KIRKUP
William John Kirkup was an original member of D Company 19th Battalion, who enlisted on 10 March 1915. He won the military medal on Gallipoli in August 1915 for carrying messages under heavy rifle fire, although being wounded. He subsequently served on the Western Front and was in charge of the stretcher bearer party which recovered the body of his friend Cpl John Ignatius Mooney from the banks of the Somme River on 30 August 1918 after an unsuccessful attack the night before. He then participated in the Battalion’s successful assault on Mont St Quentin above Peronne on 1 September. He returned to Australia in August 1919.
Photo courtesy of Kirkup family.
WILLIAM JAMES McFARLANE
William James McFarlane, a motor driver from Orange NSW, enlisted into the 18th reinforcements of the 19th Battalion on 29 June 1916. He had previously served in the NSW Mounted Rifles & Lancers. He was seriously wounded in action in October 1917 and repatriated to Australia in October 1918.
Photo courtesy of grandson Randal McFarlane.
FRANK GREEN WEBSTER
Frank Green Webster was a railway ganger before enlisting as an original of C Company 19th Battalion on 5 April 1915. He died of wounds received in the Battalion’s first engagement in the vicinity of Hill 60 on 23 August 1915. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.
Photo courtesy of great-niece Liz Hoffmann.
CHARLES VINCENT KELLY
Charles Vincent Kelly of Katoomba, NSW enlisted on 13 December 1915 by adding two years to his real age of 16. He was also a bugler who carried his bugle throughout his service. When his real age was discovered, he was serving on the Western Front and was transferred out of the front line to the Australian Corps Working Party. He returned to Australia in November 1918.
Charlie Kelly also served in WW2 as a member of the 2nd Garrison Band in NSW and was one of three buglers with WW1 service to play the Last Post at the opening of the AWM in Canberra in 1941.
Photos courtesy of the Morrah family of Tathra, NSW
Patrick McGuire enlisted in the AIF on 17 February 1916 aged 42 years and was a member of the 15th Reinforcement draft of the 19th Battalion. He served on the Western Front and returned to Australia in July 1917.
Photo courtesy of great-nephew Robert McGuire.
THOMAS VOLNEY SMITH
Thomas Smith of Bega, NSW enlisted into the AIF on 2 August 1915, aged 19 years. He had previously served in the militia with the 34th (Werriwa) Battalion. Smith was a member of the 6th Reinforcements of the 19th Battalion and served on the Western Front and was captured at Bullecourt on 3 May 1917 along with 17 other men from the Battalion. During his time as a POW he was moved between various camps, including Dulmen, Holtzminden, Soltau and finally to Hamlen before being repatriated in 1918.
Photo courtesy of grandson Ian Hibberson.
PRIVATE WILLIAM DICKSON
Postcard celebrating 1000 days of active service with the 19th Battalion addressed to Mrs E. Hocking. The card shows significant locations visited during this time. The postcard was sent from France by 5330 Private William Dickson, originally from Sheffield, England but living in Glebe, NSW when he enlisted into the 14th Reinforcements of the 19th Battalion on 29 September 1915. Dickson returned to Australia in June 1919.
PRIVATE ALEXANDER McCOLL
Memorial Scroll for 2507 Private Alexander McColl of the 5th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion who enlisted on 31 July 1915. McColl was a stock and station agent from Paddington, NSW. He was discharged in February 1918 with debility. He died in 1923 of complications from the wounds he had received while serving in the AIF.
Photo courtesy of Graham Quinton, Sussex Inlet RSL.
PRIVATE JAMES CHRISTIAN BARNES
Photo taken in the winter snow in France of 4660 Private James Christian Barnes of the 12th Reinforcements, 19th Battalion who enlisted on 27 January 1916. Barnes was a laborer from Campsie, NSW. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Flers on 14 November 1916 and then discharged with debility resulting from these wounds on 21 November 1917.
Photo courtesy of great-grandson Luke McCarthy.
PRIVATE WALTER JOSHUA LESLIE ATIKINS
Photo of 6437 Private Walter Joshua Leslie Atkins, a laborer of Seaforth, NSW who enlisted into the 18th Reinforcements of the 19th Battalion on 20 October 1916. Atkins was wounded twice in action. The first time he was gassed in April 1918 and the second time on 31 August 1918 during the operations approaching the capture of Peronne on the Somme River, which resulted in the amputation of his left middle finger. He returned to Australia on 20 October 1918.
Photo courtesy of Rob and Liz Atkins.
WO1 ARTHUR HORACE LESLIE GRAY, DCM
No. 7 Arthur Horace Leslie Gray was an original member of the 19th Battalion who enlisted on 11 August 1914. He came from Dulwich Hill, NSW. He was the 19th Battalion’s first Regimental Sergeant Major. Gray had previously served in the Boer War with the 5th Commonwealth Horse and then with the AN&MEF in New Guinea in 1914. He was killed in action in the trenches near Flers on 10 November 1916 and has no known grave. His name is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France.
Photo courtesy of grandson John Gray.