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Compiled for Darebin Heritage by Brian Membrey

The Great War : … And From Northcote …


Given that Northcote was beaming with pride at just being declared a city (net rate revenue having reached the legal minimum of £20,000), it was somewhat surprising that no such similar list appeared for the early volunteers.

Perhaps it was the foresight of the Shire of Preston in organizing a send-off function for the first Preston contingent that allowed the Leader to collate the names of the group.  

Most of the editions of the Leader after war broke out carried bits and pieces of news of those that had enlisted -  whether this was even close to a full list is unlikely, the paper relying on families advising them of their son or sons "joining the colours" - but it seems no one in a position of civic influence in both Northcote and Preston ever thought of establishing a register of just who had volunteered.


The first attempt that the Leader made at a Northcote "honour roll" was just before the first embarkation in late September; the accuracy and completeness of the list is uncertain, but by then there were over 80 names included, somewhat too many to track their individual fates.

The Argus reported 79 Northcote volunteers in the Broadmeadows Camp were presented with a "keepsake on behalf of the citizens".  

Again, there were a few spelling errors an no indication of any relevance as to the sequence in which the names appeared.  Known casualties are marked with an asterisk, corrections to the original list (in parenthesis).

W. W. Harris, G. L. Trevillan (Trevillian *), W. Rasmussen, C. Macaw *, C. Christensen, F. Schofield, E. Sullivan, O. Metcher, W. Winchcombe, L. W. Booth, C. J. McIntyre, W. J. Ogden, R. S. Dutton, A. W. Pretty *, R. G. Webster, W. Mathieson *, H. C. Nott, H. H. Charge, W. Hine, A. S. J. Evans  *, E. R. Carrick *, J. Barker *, A. R. Tutton, L. M. Robertson, F. C. Brown, J. S. Hopkins *, P. Blackman, F. D. Johnstone, S. F. Barnett *, L. Sinden, H. Campbell, J. Warnock, - Jones, - (Frederick John) Pitman, - (Edwin Henry) Sturkey, R. Sandy, T. Byfort, S. Hopkins, - (Reginald Arthur) Le Plastrier, S. May, L. Smith, W. Earl, F. O. Oliver, A. M. Leacy, A. Harvey *, J. H. Ryan *, C. H. Ellis, W. G. Terril, H. W. Ransom, V. Hutton, R. A. Hammett (Rupert Alan Hammet), J. C. S. Flanagan, W. Joynson, L. G. Ridout, H. Howard, D. Schmutsch, G. Murray, A. A. Blaskett, W. H. Saunders *, - Hilton, E. Heron, F. G. Tunks, R. Field, H. Marshall, -(Ronald Spencer) Bailey *, A. Orchard, J. B. Hacking, W. C. Faull, C. Young, - (Frank Charles) Howgate, - McColl, T. H. Dinsale, G. Marlow, F. P. Brown, - (Crozier) Durham, - Mackerell.

Like most of the lists and rolls compiled, some initials and spellings may be incorrect, but there are several for which there is no apparent embarkation record : Winchcombe, Hilton, Robertson and Mackerell.  

Twelve of the 78 were killed as indicated by the asterisk - given some of those listed may not have embarked, the casualty rate is fairly close to the average of roughly one in six.


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