November 4 - 10, 2018: Issue 382


Remembrance Day 2018 - 100 years From Armistice Day 1918: Some Pittwater Veterans from the first world war

Peace jubilation in Martin Place, Sydney at 12pm and 3pm, 13 November 1918. Image No. : a9635008h  courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Remembrance Day 2018

Remembrance Day was formerly known as Armistice Day and commemorates the cease-fire at the end of World War I. The First World War ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918. On the 11th day of the 11th month at 11am, one minute's silence is observed, to reflect on the loss and suffering caused by all wars. 

2018 Services 
Pittwater RSL Sub Branch
This Remembrance Day commemorates 100 years since Armistice. Please join us at the lower Cenotaph at the club. Sub Branch Members will March on Parade at 10.40 hours.

Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch
Commences 10.40 hours at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotpah

Palm Beach RSL
Commences 10.40 hours at Palm Beach RSL Cenotpah

Remembrance Day Memorial Service – Manly Dam
Friday 9 November
Manly Dam War Memorial Park
King Street, Manly Vale
Service commences at 10.45am
Presented by the Manly Warringah War Memorial Park Remembrance Trust

Remembrance Day Memorial Service – Manly
Sunday 11 November
Manly War Memorial, The Corso
Service commences at 10.45am

World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, originated in Europe and lasted from July 28th 1914 to November 11th 1918. 

Described as the "war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. An estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilians died as a direct result of the war, while it is also considered a contributory factor in a number of genocides and the 1918 influenza epidemic, which caused between 50 and 100 million deaths worldwide. 

Military losses were exacerbated by new technological and industrial developments and the tactical stalemates caused by gruelling trench warfare. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and precipitated major political changes, including the Revolutions of 1917–1923, in many of the nations involved. Unresolved rivalries at the end of the conflict contributed to the start of the Second World War about twenty years later.

The terms of the armistice are :
The immediate evacuation of Belguim, France and Alsace Lorraine.
Luxemburg to be evacuated within 14 days, to be followed by occupation immediately by Allied forces.
Total surrender of the German army, with 5,000 guns, 30,000 machine guns, 3,000 minewerfers
and 2,000 aeroplanes.
Germans to fall back behind the Rhine, of which the left bank is to be neutral and under the: administration of the Allied forces, with the control of the three principle bridges.
Immediate repatriation without reciprocity of all Allied prisoners;..
All locomotives, railway waggons and means of transport to be handed over forthwith.
Navy to surrender 160 submarines, others to be paid off, disarmed and placed under Allied control, and to be interned in a neutral port to be designated by the Allies.
Allies- to receive six battlecruisers, 10 battleships, six lightcruisers, and 50 destroyers.
All other ships to be disarmed and paid off.
Allies navies to have free access to the Baltic. 
CONDITIONS OF THE ARMISTICE. (1918, November 13). The Southern Districts Advocate (Katanning, WA : 1913 - 1936), p. 2. Retrieved from 

When the report came through that Germany had signed the armistice, Sydney went wild with delight. This photograph (specially taken for "The World's News") shows a crowd of young men and young women, who took possession of one of the big Corporation water lorries and went around thereon, whilst it was still sprinkling the streets.

"ARMISTICE DAY" IN SYDNEY. (1918, November 16). The World's News (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 1955), p. 12. Retrieved from 

In Pittwater every family was affected in some way. Some lost sons, others came home irreparably scarred in either body or mind or both and some never recovered. Below run a few examples of those who left from Pittwater or returned to Pittwater and chose to live here for the rest of their lives. They range from those who were just teenagers to husbands who were leaving young wives and little children behind. Their dates of Service show they were present at some of the early battles while others, enlisting in the last year and months of the war, fulfilled duties that would have equally haunted them for the rest of their days.

Of those that left many did not come home. Those who were killed in action were buried near where they fell and are honoured in local churches, schools, surf clubs and the war memorials that were placed in each Pittwater suburb so those who did not have a grave they could visit could honour them there. They are also honoured in the nations they served.

There were a larger number of people going out from here than may be imagined. A search of the Australian Government's National Archives of Australia Discovering Anzacs website brings home how many served in the 'war to end all wars' and the broad range of their experiences - from teenagers who contracted venereal diseases in foreign places, to those who willingly went amid the roar of gunfire and cannons to save their 'mates' and were Mentioned in Despatches as a result.

'For Australia, the First World War remains the costliest conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.' - Australian War Memorial.

On this centenary of the first Armistice Day we honour those who ran towards danger instead of from it and share a few examples to underline how the young and old came forward to serve everyone and maintain the cause of peace by giving themselves to conflict-:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” —Nelson Mandela

Palm Beach (& Barrenjoey) Carl Beeston GOW

Regimental number 2261
Date of birth --/03/1889
Place of birth Newcastle New South Wales
Religion Congregational
Occupation Mail order manager
Address Nobbys Road, Newcastle, New South Wales
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 26
Next of kin Father, Robert Gow, Nobbys Road, Newcastle, New South Wales
Enlistment date 7 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll 28 May 1915
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 3rd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/20/2
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A63 Karoola on 16 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll Commissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll Captain
Unit from Nominal Roll 55th Battalion
2nd Lieutenant 
Unit: INF55
Promotion date: 2 August 1916 Lieutenant
Unit: INF55
Promotion date: 9 February 1917 QMR & HON CAPT
Unit: INF55
Promotion date: 2 August 1917
Recommendations (Medals and Awards) Military Cross
Recommendation date: 11 November 1916
Mention in Despatches 
Recommendation date: 20 September 1917 Military Cross
Recommendation date: 8 March 1918
Mention in Despatches Awarded, and gazetted, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 30448 (28 December 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 57 (18 April 1918).
Fate Returned to Australia 8 April 1919
Medals Military Cross
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165
Date: 24 October 1918
Other details Medals: Military Cross, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Born Carl W J Beeston Gow at Newcastle in March 1889, the youngest son of Robert and Mary, most people think of Gow’s wharf and boatshed, of the Gonsalves family, and of the Gow’s (brother David and father Robert who also worked there as a relieving and second lighthouse keeper) at Barrenjoey Lighthouse or the ship’s wheel from the Helen B Stirling in the foyer of Club Palm Beach (Palm Beach RSL) whenever they think of Carl Gow.

Many an old salt or those who were knee high and met this man were unaware that he was decorated as a result of his service in WWI, that he went in a private and came our a Captain. Carl was wounded at Gallipoli but remained on duty for two days until sent to hospital. He then went on to serve on the Western Front, took the opportunity to visit Paris when on leave, but just ‘got in with it’ when he finally came home.

Signing up on May 28th, 1915 in Liverpool NSW  he gave his employment as Mail Order Manager or ‘Under Manager’. By the 16th of June he was embarking on HMAT Karoola A63 as part of the 6th Reinforcements of the 3rd Battalion AIF (New South Wales) [1st Infantry Brigade]. The Karoola was one of a fleet of transport ships leased by the Commonwealth government for the specific purpose of transporting the various AIF formations to their respective overseas destinations. His Majesty's Australian Transports (HMAT) were also detailed to carry various commodity exports to Britain and France. The fleet was made up from British ships and captured German vessels.

Carl was allotted – 3 blankets, 1 waterproof, 1 jacket/tunic, 1 pair dungarees, 1 Whity hat, 1 pair of boots, 2 singlets but no socks. 

Mr Gow was assigned to the 3rd Battalion. The 3rd Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. Like the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions it was recruited from New South Wales and, together with these battalions, formed the 1st Brigade.

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the Anzac landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves and served there until the evacuation in December. 

In August, this battalion took part in the attack on Lone Pine.(1.)

Carl survived this battle but on the 21st of August 1915 he was wounded. His records state he remained on duty and 'Wounded MFC', meaning 'Mortar Fire Controller' is next to this notice in his War Records. On the 23rd of August he was sent to hospital and on the 24th was transferred to Mudros as a result of his wounds and admitted into the 1st Australian Casualty Clearance Station there. 

Mudros is a small Greek port on the Mediterranean island of Lemnos.  It was utilised during World War One as a base from which to launch the Gallipoli campaign as the Allies attempted to seize control of the Dardanelles Straits, some 50km away. There is a cemetery there in which fifty Australians are buried.

His father had this to say about his being wounded so soon after being deployed:


Mr. Robert Gow, of East Newcastle, has recieved an intimation from the Defences Department, that his son, Prtvate Carl B. Gow, had been wounded at the Dardanelles. In forwarding the information for pubIication, Mr. Gow says:--"I may state he enlisted in June last, and was only one weekend In camp, when he left with the 6th Reinforcements of the Third Battalion, on 16th June, arriving In Egypt on 17th July. He spent only seven days in Egypt, and then went to the front, He never had a day's training In his life, and I think greater care should be taken, not to allow untrained lads to go straight into the fighting line, no matter how keen their desire to get there may be. Before he enlisted, my son was employed at Winn and Company's, Oxford-street, Sydney. He was in charge of their country order department. He had been with Winn and Company since he was fourteen years of age. He is now 20. PRIVATE CARL GOW. (1915, September 14). Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , p. 5. Retrieved from

Carl was transferred to base 2.10.1915 and rejoined his unit 6.10.1915, so his wounds took over a month to heal. He was promoted to L/Corporal on the 20th of November, 1915. By the 13th of February, 1916 he was in Tel El Kebir as the ANZACs withdrew from Gallipoli.

Tall al Kebir or Tel-el-Kebir ('great mound') is 110 km north-north-east of Cairo and 75 kilometres south of Port Said on the edge of the Egyptian desert at the altitude of 29 m. During the Gallipoli landings and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War, Tel el Kebir was a training centre for the First Australian Imperial Force reinforcements, No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital, and also a site of a large prisoner of war camp. Some 40,000 Australians camped in a tent city at Tel-el-Kebir of six miles in length. A military railway was eventually constructed to take troops from the camp to their vessels in Alexandria and elsewhere for embarkation.

The Tel-el-Kebir village was described by an Australian soldier in 1916 as 'a very dirty little place with a few dirty shops in it'

An Allied War Memorial Cemetery is situated about 175 metres east of the railway station and the Ismailia Canal. The War Memorial Cemetery was used from June 1915 to July 1920, and was enlarged after the Armistice with many graves being transferred in from other temporary interment sites. The camp was converted for use as a holding camp for refugees fleeing the Russian Civil War from what used to be southern Russian Empire.

On the 19th of February, 1916 Carl Gow, along with what was left of the 3rd Battalion was transferred to the 55th Battalion. The 55th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 12th of February 1916 as part of the “doubling” of the AIF. Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 3rd Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. 

Carl’s war Records state that in March the 55th Battalion embarked at Alexandria on the HMT Caledonian and disembarked at Marseilles, France soon after.

The Australian War Museum states: 

Reflecting the composition of the 3rd, the 55th was predominantly composed of men from New South Wales. The battalion became part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.

Arriving in France on 30 June 1916, the battalion entered the frontline trenches for the first time on 12 July and fought its first major battle at Fromelles a week later. The battle was a disaster, resulting in heavy casualties across the division. Although in reserve, the 55th was quickly committed to the attack and eventually played a critical role, forming the rearguard for the 14th Brigade’s withdrawal. Despite its grievous losses the 5th Division continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months.

The Australians were given a gradual introduction to the Western Front fighting conditions. It was a new experience for them. They trained with some of the latest weapons of modern warfare including poisonous gas. Things became more serious when they moved into the front line trenches in a section around Armentières which had been dubbed "the nursery".

Meanwhile the British army, under Sir Douglas Haig, was about to conduct a mighty offensive in the Somme region, 100 km away to the south. The battle was set for 1 July, and it would continue for five months. It began disastrously; there were 58,000 casualties on the first day and little ground was taken. As the fighting went on three Australian divisions, the 1st, 2nd and 4th Divisions, were eventually drawn in, leaving the 5th Division under Major General James McCay, behind. This newly arrived 5th Division would be the first to see heavy action.

Just beyond the line held by the Australians in the nursery sector was the shell-damaged village of Fromelles standing on a strategically important ridge behind the German front line. The surrounding battlefield had been fought over by the British during 1915, and now a fresh attack against the ridge was planned. It was hoped that a strong diversionary attack here would prevent the Germans sending troops to reinforce their defences on the Somme. The attack was set for the evening of 19 July and the Australians and another untried British division, the 61st, were chosen to make the effort.

The attacking troops were not familiar with Fromelles itself because it was in German hands; for them the nearest village was Fleurbaix which stood behind their own lines. For a long time afterwards many would refer to the events about to unfold as the battle of Fleurbaix, but eventually the name of Fromelles stuck and today it is by that name that the battle is known.

On this battleground the opposing trench lines faced each other across a flat, boggy and overgrown no man's land criss-crossed with drainage ditches and a small stream. Because of the high water table, the trenches were mostly above-ground breastworks. Of deadly concern, sited within the enemy lines was the "Sugarloaf" salient. This was a heavily manned position with many machine-guns that jutted towards the British lines. Fire from here could enfilade any troops advancing towards the ridge. The enemy held the high ground and all of the advantages.’(1.)

Although the Australian Imperial Force strength in France varied in response to battle casualties and problems with recruiting, it never fell below 117 000 men. Its battle casualties for three years of trench warfare between 1916 and 1918 amounted to over 181 000 men of whom more than 46 000 died. Another 114 000 were wounded, 16 000 were gassed and almost 4000 taken prisoner. In terms of total deaths per 1000 men mobilised, the Australian Imperial Force figure was 145 – the highest of all the British Commonwealth armies.

Carl Gow was promoted to R.Q.M.S.W.O. Class II on the 14th of April,1916 (Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant) - The RQMS is the senior assistant to the quartermaster of a regiment or battalion and also usually functions as the deputy regimental sergeant major. Some units have more than one. RQMS was a separate rank until 1915, when it became a warrant officer appointment with the creation of the rank of warrant officer class II. 

Carl Gow was promoted again to 2nd Lieutenant on August 2nd, 1916 and Lieutenant on the 9th of February, 1917. 

As a Quartermaster he made trips to and from Rouen. During the First World War the British used Rouen as a supply base and there were many military hospitals. It is also the place well known for being where you may find Notre Dame cathedral and an astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century, though the movement is considerably older (1389), is located in the Gros Horloge street.

Other famous structures include Rouen Castle, the Gothic Church of St Maclou (15th century); the Tour Jeanne d'Arc, where Joan of Arc was brought in 1431 to be threatened with torture (contrary to popular belief, she was not imprisoned there) and the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics which contains a splendid collection of faïence and porcelain for which Rouen was renowned during the 16th to 18th centuries. (2.)

Carl Gow was mentioned in dispatches 25th December 1917; London Gazette; Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch

He was Awarded the Military Cross on the 4th of June 1918. The Military Cross is granted in recognition of "an act or acts of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land to all members, of any rank in Our Armed Forces…"

Carl Gow’s records record these words and also the dates ‘from 26.2.1917 to 25.9.1917’. From those who met him when he came to Palm Beach:

You still quite young when you met Carl?

Peter Verrills: he was a wonderful man. A man full of knowledge. 

Did you know he was a Captain at the end of WWI?

Peter: yes, in the Army, First world war. He got blasted to buggery – they sent him to France and then he walked away. 

John Arblaster: he found this solider with his leg blown off, and he threw his greatcoat over him, to keep him warm until the Medics got to him. Later on in life when he was here at the boatshed, there was a fella that bought a house up on the hill there. His name was Harold Richardson and this turned out to be the solider who he had saved.

Peter Verrills: Harold Richardson, unbeknown to Carl, was his batman. They were good mates until he died and Harold became the secretary of the Palm Beach RSL when that first opened. I remember Harold as a kid; he used to get around in a Ford with a big gas burner on the back of it because there wasn’t enough petrol then.

During this period the 55th Battalion, after a freezing winter manning trenches in the Somme Valley, were part of the early 1917 advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Although spared the assault they did defend gains made during the second battle of Bullecourt. Later in the year, the AIF’s focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 55th’s major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September.

MILITARY HONOURS. The "London Gazette" contains the following list of members of the Australian and New Zealand Expeditionary Forces who have been decorated: BARS TO MILITARY CROSSES. Australians.-Captain F. E. Fairweather, Lieutenant J. H. Julln. MILITARY CROSSES. Australians.- Quarter masters R. J. Forrest, C. B. GowMILITARY HONOURS. (1918, June 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from

Later that year he was granted Leave and went to Paris – 27th of September 1918. On the 13th of December 1918 Carl was made an Honorary Captain. 

On March 1st 1919 he was sent on Leave to the U.K. for Investiture, reporting to the Headquarters in London on the 4th of March. 

In 1920 he also received the 1914–15 Star, a campaign medal of the British Empire, for service in World War I, the British war Medal and the Victory Medal.

Meanwhile his father, Robert sent a letter from Barrenjoey Lighthouse dated 13.3.1919 requesting information about Carl who is still in France or on way home??? No one knew where he was.

Carl Gow returned to Australia per the ‘Traz os montes’ or ‘Eros Montes’ as spelled in some files. 

He disembarked on the 22nd of May 1919 and made his way here to be reunited with his family then lightkeepers at Barrenjoey where he also then worked as a relieving lightkeeper. It was a few days over four years when he finally came home and days before he resumed or took up a new way of life.

His smile from the few photographs* shared by those who knew him show he just decided to get on with life. Mr Gow was, after all, a man who thought nothing of rowing from Barrenjoey to Newcastle to take part in a SLS Boat Carnival once he did get home and became part of the permanent Palm Beach community, becoming one of the founding members of the Palm Beach RSL club.

A few of their adventures as members of PBSLSC: PALM BEACH TO NEWCASTLE. SURFERS' EXPERIENCES. NEWCASTLE, Friday. The surf boat containing the members of the Palm Beach crew-the three Gonsalves brothers, Goddard, and Gow-who will compete at the surf carnival, arrived at Newcastle shortly after noon to-day, after an exciting trip up the coast. Leaving Palm Beach at 4 a.m. yesterday, they were expected, at Newcastle before dusk last night, but a message arrived later that they bad landed at Terrigal to spend the night. Upon landing, the captain (A. Goddard) said that soon after starting they had to face a strong nor'-'easter, and after a hard row they decided to land at McMaster’s Beach. As they turned the boat shorewards he was knocked overboard by a huge wave, and the next wave washed him further from the boat. “I was very glad," he said, "when they turned towards me, and eventually hauled me aboard, as the place has a bad reputation for sharks."
Later, on there appeared to be no chance of reaching Newcastle before dark, they decided to land at Terrigal. A start was again made at 6 o'clock this morning, and after rowing a few miles, they were picked up by the North Coast steamer Urana, and arrived off Newcastle about noon. The visitors wore welcomed by the president of the Newcastle Surf Club (Dr. Idris Morgan),and entertained at lunch In the Surf Club's pavilion. BOAT TRIP. (1926, February 13). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from

He was also a friend of fellow 55th Battalion Soldier Reginald Howlett and the two went into business together at what would later be known as the Gow-Gonsalves Boatshed, tucked under Observation Point.

He was truly a Honorary Captain both on land and at sea.

Carl Gow at far right, back row. Image Courtesy Tom Gilbert who is wearing the white hat, pictured with members of Lipscombe, Gilbert and Gonsalves families

Careel Bay (& Narrabeen) Jack Lawson HASTIE

Regimental number 59256
Place of birth North Sydney New South Wales, birth registered at St. Leonards - born 28th of July 1898 to Charles J and Margaret Flemming (nee Hamilton - married 1896 in Sydney)
Religion Church of England
Occupation Motor driver
Address Manly, New South Wales
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 19
Next of kin: Mother, Mrs M Fleming-Boulton, Gladstone Street, Newport, New South Wales
Enlistment date 30 May 1918
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name New South Wales Reinforcement 12
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/111/5
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 17 July 1918
Rank from Nominal Roll Private
Unit from Nominal Roll 18th Battalion
Fate Effective abroad (still overseas)

Jack Lawson Hastie Image No.: a871628h, courtesy State Library of NSW

Jack Hastie was sent into France on the 27th of September 1918, attached to the 18th Battalion. 

In early 1918, following the collapse of the Russian resistance on the Eastern Front, the Germans had been able to transfer a large number of troops to the Western Front. As a result, in March, they launched their Spring Offensive. With the Germans making rapid gains, Australian units, including the 18th Battalion, were moved south from Belgium where they had spent the winter and they were thrown into the line to help blunt the attack around Villers-Bretonneux, which lay before the strategically important rail hub at Amiens. After this, in August the Allies were able to launch their own offensive, which subsequently became known as the Hundred Days Offensive and ultimately brought about the Armistice. During this offensive, the battalion fought at Amiens and Mont St Quentin before assaulting "Beaurevoir Line", which was the third (and final) fortified line of the Hindenburg Line. There, at Montbrehain, on 3 October 1918, Lieutenant Joseph Maxwell earned the battalion's first and only Victoria Cross in what was ultimately to prove their last engagement of the war. After this the units of the Australian Corps, severely depleted due to heavy casualties and limited reinforcements, were withdrawn from the line upon the insistence of the Australian prime minister, Billy Hughes, for rest and re-organisation and did not return to the front before the Armistice was declared on 11 November 1918. [1.]

On the 1st of February 1919 Jack was attached to the Australian Graves Detachment and sent into Belgium. He served there until the 24th of March 1919. On the 16th of March 1919 he was attached to the Graves Registration Detachment sent into France. He served there until the 16th of August 1919. 

Above: Members of the Graves Registration Detachment, Australian section, of the Imperial War Graves unit loading bodies from a mass grave to be put in single graves. The bodies are wrapped in groundsheets with ID tags after exhumation and prior to reburial in permanent war cemeteries. Image P04541.001, courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Unidentified members of No 5 Company of the Australian War Graves Detachment at work digging graves at the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery. Image No.: E05494, courtesy Australian War Memorial.

The Graves Registration Detachment served a sacred duty to those who would not be sent home, although obviously the work these men, with Jack just 20 years of age by then, would have haunted them for the rest of their lives.

It would be the 18th of December 1919 before Jack embarked to come home, aboard the Kryja Luise. He was discharged on the 1st of March 1920.

His grandparents were Charles John Hastie and Eliza Lawson who emigrated to Australia in 1833. They had been married in 1830 and had two children Jessie (Janet Jessy) and 'Creamer' (?)  prior to coming to Sydney. NSW Births, Marriages, Deaths indexes shows five children born in NSW - Eliza (1834) Charles John Lawson (1839) John Sutherland (1842) Margaret R M L (1845) and Alexander Bunyan (1849).

Charles, a baker, passed away in 1859 or 1860 and Eliza remarried -

HORTON-HASTIE-At the Scots Church, by special license, by the Rev. Dr. Lang, M.P., on Thursday, the 30th January, Mr. William Horton, farmer, Kingsgrove, a native of Portsmouth, England, to Mrs. Eliza Hastie, relict of the late Mr. Charles Hastie, of Sydney, and sister of Alexander and John Lawson, Esqrs., veterinary surgeons, Bolton and Manchester, a native of Paisley, Scotland. Family Notices (1862, January 31). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1875), p. 1. Retrieved from

Her daughter Eliza passed away in 1874:

THE FRIENDS of Messrs. CHARLES and JOHN HASTIE are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their late deceased SISTER, Eliza : to move from their mother's residence, Parramatta-street, near Abercrombie-street, on THURSDAY MORNING, at half-past 8 o'clock. J. and G. SHYING and CO.

THE FRIENDS of Mrs. ELIZA HASTIE are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of her late deceased DAUGHTER, Eliza; to move from her residence, Parramatta-street, near Abercrombie-street, on THURSDAY MORNING, at half-past 8 o'clock, for Necropolis. J. and G. SHYING and CO., 120, Oxford-street. Family Notices (1874, April 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

Eliza senior passed away in 1877

DEATHS. HASTIE-BAKER.-July 26. at Sydney. Eliza Lawson Hastie, in her 66th year. Family Notices (1877, August 24). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 2. Retrieved from

HASTIE-BAKER.—July 26, at Sydney, Eliza Lawson Hastie, in her 66th year, relict of the late Charles Hastie-Baker, and mother of Mrs. M. Harrison, Castlereagh-street. Family Notices (1877, September 1). The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 549. Retrieved from 

FUNERALS THE FRIENDS of CHARLES and JOHN HASTIE are invited to attend the Funeral of their deceased MOTHER, Eliza ; to move from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. J. Dent, Parramatta-street, THIS (Friday) AFTERNOON, at a quarter past 2, for the Necropolis. J. and G. SHYING and CO., Undertakers, 120, Oxford-st. THE FRIENDS of Mr. THOMAS GATES are invited to attend the Funeral of the late Mrs. ELIZA HASTIE ; to move from the residence of her daughter, Mrs. J. Dent, Parramatta-street, THIS (Friday) AFTERNOON at a quarter past 2, for the Necropolis. Family Notices (1877, July 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

Charles John Lawson Hastie married Annie (sometimes spelled Anna and Hannah)Maria Wright in 1864. NSW Births, Deaths and Marriage records lists the following children from the union:


HASTIE-— August 13, at 14 M'Dougal-street, North Shore, John, the beloved son of Charles Hastie, Broken Bay, aged 23 years.  Family Notices (1894, August 14). The Australian Star (Sydney, NSW : 1887 - 1909), p. 1. Retrieved from


Annie passed away in 1895.

HASTIE. - June 24, at St Vincent's Hospital, Hannah Maria, wife of Charlie Hastie. Family Notices (1895, June 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from

HASTIE.—In memory of our beloved mother, Annie Maria Hastie, who departed this life June 26th, 1895. Beloved by all who knew her. Inserted by her loving sons and daughter, Charles, William, James, Alick, Joseph, and Eliza Hastie, Dead, but not forgotten. Family Notices (1897, June 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved  from

Charles John Lawson Hastie Senior married Margaret Flemming Hamilton in 1896. NSW Births, Deaths and Marriage records lists the following children from the union:


Mr. Charles John Lawson Hastie senior passed away in September 1912, his residence per the funeral notice given as 11 Harwood Lane, Pyrmont. He was interred at Rookwood in the Presbyterian section.

Margaret remarried in 1913, the marriage was registered at Canterbury, her husband was Richard Boulton. Richard was a son of William and Sarah Boulton (sometimes spelled Bolton) - the Boultons who had the Newport Hotel (from 1882), Mona Vale farm prior to that (from 1872), and ran the coaches as well as mail. Richard was born in 1874. His brother Edward was born in 1877, sister Eva in 1881.

Only one child shows up in the timespan allowed in NSW BDM's Records:


More Boultons (James - died 1934 and George - died 1927 - are missing from this list):

BOULTON.—August 30, 1941, suddenly at Newport, John Boulton, dearly beloved brother of Richard, Samuel, William, Henry, and Edward Boulton, aged 76 years. Family Notices (1941, September 2). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 12. Retrieved from 

William Boulton passed away in 1897. 

BOULTON -December 28 at Newport, William Boulton, sen., aged 67 years. Family Notices. (1897, December 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 

The Boulton family held on to the hotel until 1919, meaning that everyone who leased the hotel between 1884, when William Boulton first started transferring the liquor licence and lease to others, and 1919 were leasing it from the Boultons:

NEWPORT HOTEL. WILLIAM BOULTON begs to inform the public that, having taken the above, he is prepared to offer the best accommodation to pleasure - seekers and others. Choicest Assortment of LIQUORS kept. Coaches run from Manly MONDAYS, WEDNESDAYS, THURSDAYS, and FRIDAYS, at 8 a.m., for Newport and Gosford ; FRIDAYS for the Hawkesbury River, at 3.30 p.m. Advertising (1882, April 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 12. Retrieved from 

SYDNEY. FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10. At Half-past Eleven O'clock. By Order of the Trustees of the Estate Late WILLIAM BOULTON, NEWPORT, PITTWATER, On the Water-front of This Beautiful Seaside Resort, the Newport HOTEL, A Popular, Up-to-date House, so Easy of Access to the City by Regular Motor Service, Close to the Ocean Beaches. Adjoining The Newport Wharf.  Erected on Land Having 167ft. 6in. to Queen Street, at the Foot of Beaconsfield Street, and 349ft. to Queen's Parade. The South-Eastern Depth Line is 297ft., Extending in Part to and Having a Large Frontage to the waters of Pittwater and to the Wharf Reserve.

"RICHARDSON and WRENCH LTD. will SELL by AUCTION, at the rooms, 92 Pitt street, Friday, 19th September, at half-past eleven o'clock The above well-Known WATER-FRONTAGE HOTEL, NEWPORT.- PITTWATER. Messrs. A. J. Reynolds-and White, 88 Pitt street, solicitors to the estate.-.' Classified Advertising. (1919, September 6). The Argus(Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 22. Retrieved from

Margaret passed away in 1957:

BOULTON  MARGARET FLEMMING 10750/1957 80 YEARS DEE WHY MANLY - NSW Births, Deaths and Marriage records

Richard passed away in 1963.

Charles John Lawson Hastie Junior married Isabella Jane Harris in 1890, they had two sons and three daughters, 


According to Ned Robinson the area along Careel Bay was known as 'Hastie's Flat'.

Charles and Isabella lost their first born son just seven years after he was born:

FUNERALS. HASTIE.-The Friends of Mr. and Mrs. CHARLES HASTIE are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their late dearly loved SON, Charles John; to leave their residence, 2 Little Arthur-street, North Sydney, THIS FORENOON, at 11 o'clock, for St. Thomas' Church of England Cemetery. COFFILL and COMPANY, Funeral Directors. Family Notices (1903, February 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

Soon after they lost Archibald too, aged just three:


HASTIE. The Friends of Mr. and MRS. CHARLES HASTIE are respectfully invited to attend the Funeral of their late dearly loved son. Archibald Charles; to leave their residence, 2 Little.Arthur-st., North Sydney, THIS DAY, at 3.35 for St. Thomas Cemetery. COFFILL and COMPANY, Sydney, Balmain, North Sydney, Pyrmont, etc. Tel. ... Family Notices (1903, April 14). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1883 - 1930), p. 8. Retrieved  from

In 1904 the school launch was taking children to Bayview school, then run by Samuel Morrison. Among the children conveyed from Careel Bay are Eric, Jack, Jessie and Isabel Hastie.

Charlie Hastie, a well-known fisherman of Pittwater, says that black bream, flathead, and flounder are now fairly plentiful about Careel Bay and the mouth of Pittwater, and advises anglers to give the place a trial. FISHING NOTES. (1906, February 3). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 5. Retrieved from


The school at Newport on Saturday was gay with bunting, on the occasion of the flying for the first time of the flag sent from Newport. Isle of Wight. There was a large gathering, scholars being present from Narrabeen, Newport, and Mona Vale. Mr. J. B.. Nicoll - presided and Mr. J. A. Hogue 'broke' the flag amid loud cheers. Mr. Hogue, Minister for Public Instruction, said the interchange of Sags was in the best interests of the Empire. It was a new growth of patriotism, that .brought the distant ports of the Empire Into closer touch. and strengthened the bonds of the nation. No country strove so much for peace, as did Great Britain. The reign of King Edward was one of unbroken peace. Other speakers were Councillors Powell, Nott, and Quirk, and Mr. De Wilde, who gave a history of Newport, Isle of Wight. Mr. Watt sang 'The Death of Nelson,' and the Mona Vale Band played selections. The children of the different schools rendered choruses, and , were regaled with refreshments. The ladies who worked during the day were Mesdames Greig, Powell, Morris, Hastie, Proven, Harper, and Aster, and Miss Harper. EXCHANGE OF FLAGS. (1910, June 20). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 8. Retrieved from

Jessie Hastie (born 1896)married Frederick James Wilson (born 1889) in 1914. Frederick was the son of Thomas and Frances (nee Oliver) Wilson. His grandfather was the Thomas Wilson who first came to Pitt Water in 1841 as the lessee of “Mona Vale” farm. The above mentioned Albert Turner was married to his aunt, Nancy (b.1852, married Albert H. Turner 1872).

Mrs J Wilson and Miss Hastie, Careel Bay ladies, winning the Ladies Double Sculls at the Pittwater Regatta, during the 2nd Regatta for 1921 - held on December 31st. This image appears in The Sydney Mail, 4 January 1922, page 18. The caption for the image includes the following details: 'The winners had a handicap of 15s, the distance being a mile. Mrs Hendrie and Miss Beaumont were second, and Mrs Allen and Miss K. Bolt (3s) third.' Image 12152 courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum. SeePITTWATER REGATTA : THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL'S WIN. (1922, January 4). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 18. Retrieved from

The December 31st 1921 Pittwater Regatta rowing results:


YOUTHS' SINGLE SCULLS HANDICAP (18 years and under).— C. Johnson, 25sec, £2, 1; R . Ellis, scr, 2. Won easily by 10 lengths.

LADIES SINGLE SCULLS ALLCOMERS' HANDICAP.— Mrs. Willsber, 7sec, £5, 1; Miss M.Gray, 8sec, £2, 2; Miss N. Lorvick, lOsec, £1,3. Won by five lengths, with three lengths between second and third.

GENTLEMNS DOUBLE SCULLS LOCAL HANDICAP (with coxswain).— G. Godholt and W. Oliver, 90sec, £5,1; J. Wilson and G. Hastie, Scr, £2, 2; R. R. Hickson and F. Hall, 45sec, 3.

LADIES' DOUBLE SCULI.S (all-comers, with coxswain).— Mrs Jessie Wilson and Miss Isobel Hastie, 15sec, £5, 1; Mrs. Hendrie and Miss Beaumont, scr, £2, 2; Mrs. Allan and Miss K. Boati, 3.-cc. £1, 3. A great race. Won by half a length, with three-quarters of a length between second and third.

OLD BUFFERS' SINGLE-SCULLS HANDICAP.— F. Anderson, scr, £2/5/, 1; Jas. Boulton, 25 secs £1, 2; G. Godbolt, 30sec, 10/, 3. Won by three lengths.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN'S DOUBLE SCULLS (all-comers).-Mrs. Jessie Wilson and Mr. Joe Arblaster, 20secs, £5, 1Miss Isobel Hastie and Mr. Jack Wilson, scr, £2, 2; Miss Myrtle Gray and Mr. Fred Gray, 45 sec, 3. Won by a length, with one and a half length between second and third.

GENTLEMEN'S SINGLE SCULLS (local handicap).— J. Wilson, scr, £5, 1; G. Erickson, 22sec,£2, 2; J. F. Duffy, 10.sec, £1, 3. A close finish. Won by three feet, with two feet between second and third. PITTWATER REGATTA. (1922, January 1). Sunday Times(Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 8. Retrieved from 

Primary Application - Charles John Hastie 2 acres on Bay View Road & Careel Bay, Pittwater in Parish Narrabeen County Cumberland Shire Warringah Volume 3946 Folio 207 Date range: 01/05/1926 to 11/12/1926 (from State Records, NSW).


SYDNEY. Tuesday. 'Buster' was an Australian terrier and was the pet of the family of Addison Parker, of Careel Bay, Newport. 'Buster' was .found dead between his home and the local wharf. Parker examined the tracks with a magnifying glass, measured foot-prints, and came to the conclusion that 'Buster' had been strangled. Today, before Judge Cohen and a Jury in the District Court, George Moule, caretaker for Dr. Elliott, of Careel Bay, sued Parker for £400 for alleged libel. According to Moule, Parker wrote a letter to Elliott, in which he said that about 2 a.m. on August 28, a commotion was heard at the back fence of Elliott's residence. 'Buster' had not been poisoned, but strangled, and the body carried a few yards up the track 'leading from the public wharf to Parker's place.' There the culprit cut the tie from the dog's neck.' said the letter.' A powerful magnifying glass discloses that the dog had been laid down and the tie cut at that spot, but the clumsy criminal left evidence and the article that he used for the purpose' The tracks of the man Indicated that he was a tall man. The only men that slept In Careel Bay that night were Hastie, Wilson, Moule, and myself. Neither Hastie nor Wilson would do such a thing as this, the act is traceable to a clumsy, unintelligent, heartless and common man. It was cold-blooded murder. I have been frequently annoyed by your caretaker. That our dog was murdered at your back fence at 2 a.m. is without a doubt.' Some men would have rushed to the police , straight away without employing Sherlock Holmes: I believe I have acted honorably in writing to you,' the letter added. The case for Moule was, that the letter meant that Moule had killed the dog and was a person of low character and of a vicious nature. Parker denied the libel alleged. After the case for Moule had been outlined, Parker offered an apology and offered to pay the costs of the suit. This was accepted, and the case lapsed. "DOG WAS MURDERED". (1926, April 27). The Newcastle Sun(NSW : 1918 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

Another version of this report:
Careel Bay is a quiet, sleepy little place of about half a dozen cottages — several of them the week-end resorts of commercial men who repair there on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the fresh breezes, the sunlight on the sparkling waters, and the back-to-nature feeling. One of those business men is Dr. Elliott, of Elliott Brothers, manufacturing chemists. He employs as a caretaker at Careel Bay an elongated gentleman named Charles Moule. Another resident is Mr. Addison Parker, who lives permanently there by the waters of the Hawkesbury. Now the wife of Mr. Parker was possessed of a dog of which she was very fond. It was the usual doggy dog, but rather well 'brought up' in that Mr. Parker had a properly wired fence constructed right around his property for two very good and sufficient reasons. The first reason was so that 'Buster'—for that was the animal's frisky appellation — could not get out., The second good reason was that other animals of Inferior social caste could not get in. They didn't.....
'The idea evidently was to give us the impression that he was crawling up to his kennel and had died on his tracks, but the fool placed his tail towards his kennel and his head away from it.’ He then went out of the same gate still under cover, and the bracken shows his tracks. Other unmistakable evidence, just at the moment, I am naturally keeping up my sleeve.' It was clearly the act of a male human being, and the only men that slept in Careel Bay .that night were Hastie, Wilson, Moule and myself. 'Basil Monckton is away in the country. Neither Hastie or Wilson would do such a thing. Furthermore, both are well known to me, and are honourable enough, and sufficiently straight forward to come to me and complain if Mrs. Parker's dog had been a nuisance to them.' Honourable men such as I know them to be, would have at least given me warning. If Hastie is not a good churchgoer, he has, at least, one good trait in his character, one that any decent Protestant working man has — that he would not do anything despicable or underhand such as this.'My experience of Hastie and Wilson is that they are outspoken.'In addition, I am vain enough to say that they are kindly disposed to Mrs. Parker, and I am sure, would never stab her in the back.'I have conclusive evidence that the article that severed the tie from the dog's neck does not belong, nor ever did belong, to any member of the Moncktons, Hasties, or Wilsons family.....'Dogging the "Murderer.". (1926, May 2). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from

In 1926 Jack Lawson Hastie married Eva M Bottle. Eva was born in 1905 to Henry Charles and Martha E Bottle. The birth is registered at Marrickville and Henry Bottle was the gentleman who brought transport vehicles to Pittwater, indicating that Jack returned to his chosen vocation as a motor driver on making it home. He had been living in Narrabeen prior to enlistment. Narrabeen was where the Bottle's business was based.

Mona Vale, Pittwater, N.S.W. ; Bottle's car, Pittwater Road, ca. 1900-1927, Sydney & Ashfield : Broadhurst Post Card Publishers, Image No.: a106171h, courtesy State Library of NSW.: 

Transport -  H. C. BOTTLE'S LINE Of Fast, 'Fiat' Motor Char a Bancs' Continuous Service from Tram Terminus. COLLAROY BEACH to PITTWATER, Etc.Mon. to Sat. — lb Mona Vale and Newport : 10.25 a.m.,12.25, 2.25, 3.25, 6.5 p.m. To Mona Vale,- Bayview and Church Point : 12.25, 2.25, 4.25 p.m. For Narrabeen Lakes; Cars meet every Tram. From Newport : 6.45,11.15 a.m., 3, 4, 6.45 p.m. From Bayview : 6.45 pm. (Mon. : only), 1,10, 5.10 p.m.  Optional. *Saturday excepted. 'Saturday only. Phone, 249 Manly; . Advertising. (1913, May 4). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 3. Retrieved from

The Bottle family lived at Narrabeen and ran their 'buses' for almost three decades. Mr. Bottle passed away in 1949. He had lost his first wife, remarried, and was living at Blackheath when he left.

Jack Hastie ended up living on Collaroy, a member of the Dee Why R.S.L. club.

The Charlie Hastie of Careel Bay passed away at his home in Careel Bay

HASTIE.—September 13th 1940, at his residence Careel Bay, Newport, Charles John Lawson Hastie, dearly beloved husband of Isabella Jane Hastie and loving father of Jessie (Mrs. Wilson) Isobel (Mrs. Colwell) and Bessie (Mrs. Baker) Aged 75 years. Family Notices (1940, September 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from


The family name of Hastie continues in Pittwater

Bilgola Walter Oswald WATT

Place of birth Bournemouth England
Religion Church of England
Occupation Grazier
Address 3 Bent Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 38
Next of kin Uncle, Walter A Watt, 3 Bent Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Enlistment date 1 March 1916
Rank on enlistment Captain
Unit name Australian Flying Corps, No 1 Squadron, Reinforcement 1
AWM Embarkation Roll number 8/4/3
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A67 Orsova on 16 March 1916
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Morea on 30 May 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit from Nominal Roll Australian Flying Corps
Fate Returned to Australia 6 May 1919
Legion D Honneur : Chevalier (France)
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 191
Date: 12 December 1918
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

by Tony Dawson and Anne Spencer

Colonel Walter Oswald Watt, O.B.E., was the youngest son of the late Mr. John Brown Watt, M.L.C., who came to Australia in 1842, and who, in 1851, founded the shipping firm of Messrs. Gilchrist, Watt, and Company. Colonel Watt was born at Bournemouth, England, on February 11, 1878. His early schooling was interfered with seriously by illness and by a burning accident which he met with in 1890. In 1899, however, he obtained a third class in the Natural Science Tripos at Cam-bridge. He left Trinity College in the same year, and came to Sydney early in 1900. Two years later he married Miss Muriel Williams, daughter of Mr. Justice Williams, of Victoria. He left a son, aged 15 years, who is now at Wellington College, England.  

It was in aviation that Colonel Watt achieved his greatest distinction. He was, in fact, one of the first in Australia to take it up seriously. He started flying at Salisbury in 1911, and gained his pilot's certificate there. The Royal Aero Club's certificate was issued to him on July 5, 1911, and it was the first certificate of its kind to be issued to any Australian.

After gaining his certificate Colonel Watt returned to Australia, but did not engage further in flying until the winter of 1913-14, when he went to Egypt, and while there bought a Bleriot monoplane. While in Egypt he made the acquaintance of most of the noted French airmen of the day, including Messrs. Bleriot, Vedrines, Conneau, Garros, Louis Noel, Guillaux, and others, most of whom later on did excellent work in the Great War.

Colonel Watt was at this time anxious to become thoroughly proficient in the art of flying, which was still practically in its infancy. He therefore proceeded to France, and entered Bleriot's factory on a six months' apprenticeship. Before he was able to complete this period the war suddenly broke out, and threw Europe into a fever of excitement. France declared war on August 2— two days before Great Britain—and on the same day Colonel Watt offered his services to the French Government, expressing his willingness to serve in any capacity. At the same time he handed over his monoplane to the French Government as a free gift.

His services were readily accepted by the French Government. This was regarded as a great compliment and an excellent testimony to the value of his services as an aviator, as at that time there were only seven foreigners who were allowed to serve with the French army. He was one of the most popular pilots in the French army, and, for the first 18 months of the war, he flew regularly every second day, and met with the greatest possible success.

Above: In Winter kit before his plane 'Advance Australia'

An indication of the courage with which he tackled his task was given by the fact that on one occasion, after securing information of the utmost importance to the French army, his aeroplane was hit no fewer than 36 times, and he succeeded in getting back to the French lines. The deed for which the late Colonel Watt gained the Legion of Honour was a particularly striking one. He had been forced to land midway between the French and German lines. He and his observer immediately came under a heavy fire from the enemy's trenches, and, after disentangling themselves from their machine, had to run a distance of 300 yards, still under the enemy's fire. They succeeded in reaching the French lines safely, and the information which they brought back proved to be of the greatest possible value. Some little time afterwards the late Colonel Watt was awarded the Croix de Guerre, to which were subsequently added three of the highly-coveted palm leaves. These were personally presented to Colonel Watt by General Joffre.

In the French Army Colonel Watt remained a poilu, but enjoyed the titular rank of "captain," his pay, however, being ½d per day. This was due to the fact that he was not a naturalised French subject, which was a necessary condition if he desired to take command of a French squadron. The French Government realised that an officer of Colonel Watt's calibre was being wasted in the inferior rank which he was compelled to hold. They therefore suggested that he should join the Australian Flying Service, which had just been formed. Colonel Watt followed this ad-vice, and was sent to Egypt with the rank of major. After being second in command for some time, he took the No. 2 Squadron to England. On September 21, 1917, he flew his squadron of 24 machines across the Channel to France, and arrived without a mishap. The type of machine used by this squadron was the D.H.5.

The record of Colonel Watt's squadron during the following nine months in France was one which has seldom, if ever, been excelled. They were a happy family. Many of the pilots   were killed, but the squadron gained a large number of D.S.Os., Military Crosses, and other decorations. 

In 1917 Colonel Watt was appointed to command the new training wing at Tetbury, Gloucestershire. He hoped to take the wing to France, but in this he was disappointed.

He was able, however, to keep the three Australian squadrons in France well supplied with brilliant pilots. The wing at Tetbury was the last word in efficiency, and only those who visited the headquarters of the two aerodromes which comprised the wing could realise the remarkable spirit which prevailed. At the end of the war Colonel Watt was presented by those who served under him with a magnificent miniature aeroplane in silver, a trophy of which he was very proud. He brought his wing back to Australia in the Kaisar-Hind, which arrived here in June, 1919, Colonel Watt being officer in charge of the troopship. Since resigning his command, Colonel Watt's interest in those who served with him remained unabated, and he was constantly endeavouring to aid those who had served with him and to see that they were given a fair start in civil life. Last year he was offered the position of Controller of Civil Aviation, but was compelled to decline it owing to business calls. He was also invited to stand for Parliament, but again declined.

The late Colonel Watt was president of the Australian Aero Club, and vice-president of the United Service Institution. He was also a partner in the firm of Messrs. Gilchrist, Watt, and Co., and a director of Messrs. Gilchrist, Watt, and Sanderson. Ltd., the Australian Alum Company, the Sogeri Para Rubber Company, and several other commercial enterprises.

Colonel Watt was a brother of the late Mr. William Holden Watt, who died in 1909, and of Mr. Ernest Watt, of Elizabeth Bay-road. His three sisters are Mrs. William Caldwell, of Scotland, Mrs. Gordon Caldwell, of Surrey, and Mrs. Bethune, of Scotland.

Mr. E. J. Hart, hon. secretary of the Australian Aero Club, has been asked to make arrangements for a military funeral. He stated last night that permission had been obtained for uniform to be worn. The funeral will take place at St. Jude's churchyard, Randwick, at 4 p.m. to-day. Members and ex-members of the Australian Flying Corps Royal Air Force, and Australian Aero Club will form a guard of honour. They will assemble at the churchyard at 3.30 p.m., and report to a senior officer. COLONEL WATT. (1921, May 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

Newport The Sons of Robert and Ann Porter

Mr. Robert Porter Snr. came to Newport from Manly – he was a maintenance man on the roads, appearing in a Warringah Shire Council minute of meeting as early as their 12th Meeting in 1906 , 'attesting to the accuracy of his worksheet'. Acounts passed for payment at this Meeting were: '£9 - 2 - 10' - Robert Porter. 

Mr. Porter's work stretched from the 9 mile peg to Barranjoey as well as to Bayview and Church Point. He also ensured Newport Public school had adequate firewood during the colder months for years when this was the means for keeping pupils warm.

PORTER-RATTLEY. - At Waverley, in the Wesleyan Church, by the Rev. K. A. Corner, Robert Porter, late of Hoddesdon, Herts, to Ann, third daughter of Mr. David Rattley, of Stroud. Family Notices (1884, August 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 1. Retrieved from 

Hoddesdon is a town in the Broxbourne borough of the English county of Hertfordshire, situated in the Lea Valley. It grew up as a coaching stop on the route between Cambridge and London. - Wikipedia 

Ann was born in 1859 to David (some sources state ‘Daniel’) Rattley and Ann Horwood, the 3rd eldest daughter of seven girls and two sons. Her parents married shortly before immigrating to Australia, arriving on board the "Rose of Sharon" on  April 13, 1855. They couple were devout Methodists; a faith Carl also practiced, and gave to his sons, and promulgated in word, action and attitude, even after or especially because of what he had experienced.

The children of Robert and Ann Porter, and year of birth:

20261/1894  PORTER CARL H ROBERT        ANN      MANLY
4582/1899  PORTER LUCY M ROBERT        ANN      MANLY

The family’s home, in the Avenue, Newport, is on early cartographic sales maps dated 1900, and was called simply “Home” during a prolonged era when people gave names to their homes. This choice may indicate a family that wanted just that, a home, or that the warmth and love that fills a house and makes it a home thrived there.

 Section from: Sales plan for land in Mona Vale, New South Wales. "A.W. Stephen, licensed surveyor RPA, 47 Castlereagh Street". Sales plan of Mona Vale estate, Pittwater. Mona Vale [cartographic material]. Mona Vale estate, Pittwater [cartographic material] 1900 - 1909. MAP Folder 103, LFSP 1554. Courtesy National Library of Australia.

The article that began inspired an investigation into the Porter brothers service:



Mr. and Mrs. Robert Porter, of Newport, have reason to be proud of their sons, five of whom have enlisted and are at, or on their way to the front. 

The first of the sons to get into khaki was William, aged 23. He went away from Sydney with one of the first contingents, and going through the famous landing at Gabe Tepe on April 25 scatheless, he was in the trenches for nearly four months before he was wounded. His parents were officially advised of his casualty at the time, but since then no news has reached them as to his condition, notwithstanding the fact that a number of inquiries have been made. 

Robert, the eldest son, aged 29, was the next one to see his path of duty. The other three sons, Sydney, aged 23, Carl, 21, and Bert, 19, left recently with one of the contingents from Sydney for the front. FIVE SOLDIER BROTHERS. (1916, January 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 10. Retrieved from 

Private (Pte) William James Porter, 13th Battalion, was a policeman prior to enlistment. He embarked with B Company from Melbourne on HMAT Ulysses on 22 December 1914. 

Right: Studio Portrait William James, courtesy Australian War Memorial

He was killed in action at Hill 60, Gallipoli, Turkey, on 22 August 1915, aged 25. 

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine. 

Robert Daniel Porter enlisted on July 2nd, 1915, at Liverpool - listing his age as 28 years and 8 months and stating he had done a 5 year apprenticeship with G S Brock, listing his trade as ‘Carpenter’. He left Australia on October 5th1915, arriving 6/1/1916 at Tebel Kebir. 

Appointed Lt. Corporal ‘In The Field” 26.10.1916

5.12.1916 – admitted to Hospital ‘Influenza’ – at New Zealand Staff Hospital (in the Field) – was transferred to Ambulance Train and sent to No 6 General Hospital in Rouen. He finally was released on December 19th and ‘marched to his unit’ and listed as ‘ex-Hospital’ on 5/1/1917 in France. 

Promoted to Corporal 6.2.1917

Transferred to England as Instructor on 22.3.1917, attended Number 1 Officers DNCO’s School and qualified 18.6.1917. In command at Musketry school at Tidsworth – ex 1st Eng., Btn. Durrington 2.7.1917

On 8.10.1917 he was ‘absorbed on strength to 1st Btn. A.I.F. sent to France 20.11.1917

22.11.1917 – sent to hospital – sick  – his condition listed as ‘Influenza’ once again. 5.2.1918 – sent to hospital again - sick.

On the 17.4.1918 he was wounded in action, his files records '20.4.1918 – requests to be returned to unit'

5.6.1918 – promoted to Sergeant

On the 18.9.1918 he is wounded in action again and sent  to B’ham War Hospital Rednal on 28.9.1918 –"(S.W. abdomen and GSW Bullet in right hip) – 2nd incident – invalided to UK"

On the 30.8.1918 he is Awarded Military Medal.  24.1.1919 – sergeant returned to Australia per “Gargha” or ‘Yargha’

Sydney (spelt in his records ‘Sidney’) George Porter enlisted on October 4th, 1915. He enlisted at Holdsworthy, was assigned to 14th Rein., 3rd Battalion, listing his age as 23 and his occupation as ‘Labourer’. He embarked on the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley” on January 15th, 1916. He was transferred from Alexandria on 29/3/1916, per ‘Transylvania’ to France.

On June 14th he was wounded ‘slightly’ – then, on June 16th he was wounded in action at Wimereux (GSW – Gun Shot Wound, to the chest, and another to right hand) – 17/6/: admitted to 2nd. Australian Field Ambulance and transferred to England per “St. Denis” where on the 25th of June, 1916 he was admitted to York House Hospital, 1st Auxiliary Hospital. A telegram sent to his father listed this wound as ‘severe’, who wrote in July 1916 inquiring if there was any further news.

On October 1st, 1916 he left England and was assigned to the 53rd Battalion in France.

He too is noted as doing the Musketry Course in January 1917 and he too was sent to hospital sick on April 7th, 1917 only his condition is listed as ‘S.T. ABR Feet’ – more commonly known as ‘Trench Foot’, a condition many soldiers fighting in the First World War suffered from. This was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and insanitary conditions and where men had to stand for hours and days in waterlogged trenches. If untreated, trench foot could turn gangrenous and result in amputation. Trench foot was a particular problem in the early stages of the war. As an example, during the winter of 1914-15 over 20,000 men in the British Army were treated for trench foot. Brigadier-General Frank Percy Crozier argued that: " The fight against the condition known as trench-feet had been incessant and an uphill game."

Sydney’s clearly did not get better, as on April 18th he was diagnosed with ‘I.C.T. – left foot’ and transferred to England again, this time on the H.S. ‘Princess Elizabeth’.

He was discharged on June 11th, given some furlough, and told to report to Perham Downs in July. Soon afterwards he was sent back to France and rejoined the 53rd Battalion in the Havre.

On the 28th of September 1917 he was listed as ‘killed in action in the field’: ANZAC Section G.H.Q. British Expeditionary Force.

The 53rd Battalion was raised in Egypt on 14 February 1916 as part of the "doubling" of the AIF. Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 1st Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 1st, the 53rd was predominantly composed of men from the suburbs of Sydney. The battalion became part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division. 

The battalion arrived in France on 27 June 1916, entered the front line for the first time on 10 July, and became embroiled in its first major battle on the Western Front, at Fromelles, on 19 July. The battle of Fromelles was a disaster. The 53rd was part of the initial assault and suffered grievously, incurring 625 casualties, including its commanding officer, amounting to over three-quarters of its attacking strength. Casualty rates among the rest of the 5th Division were similarly high, but despite these losses it continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months. 

The 53rd spent the freezing winter of 1916-17 rotating in and out of trenches in the Somme Valley. During this period the battalion earned the nickname "the Whale Oil Guards" after the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Oswald Croshaw, ordered the troops to polish their helmets with whale oil (issued to rub into feet as a trench foot preventative) for a smart turn out on parade. In March 1917, the 53rd participated in the advance that followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. It was spared the assault but did, however, defend gains made during the second battle of Bullecourt. Later in the year, the AIF's focus of operations switched to the Ypres sector in Belgium. The 53rd's major battle here was at Polygon Wood on 26 September.  

Third Battle of Ypres

The Third Battle of Ypres was the major British offensive in Flanders in 1917. It was planned to break through the strongly fortified and in-depth German defences enclosing the Ypres salient, a protruding bulge in the British front line, with the intention of sweeping through to the German submarine bases on the Belgian coast. The battle comprised of a series of limited and costly offensives, often undertaken in the most difficult of waterlogged conditions - a consequence of frequent periods of rain and the destruction of the Flanders' lowlands drainage systems by intense artillery bombardment. As the opportunity for breakthrough receded, Haig still saw virtue in maintaining the offensives, hoping in the process to drain German manpower through attrition. The main battles associated with Third Battle of Ypres were: 

- Pilckem, 31 July to 2 August 

- Langemarck, 16-18 August 

- Menin Road, 20-25 September

- Polygon Wood, 26 September to 3 October 

- Broodseinde, 4 October

- Poelcapelle, 9 October

- Passchendaele (First Battle), 12 October

- Passchendaele (Second Battle), 26 October to 10 November.

Australian Divisions participated in the battles of Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. In eight weeks of fighting Australian forces incurred 38,000 casualties. The combined total of British and Dominion casualties has been estimated at 310,000 (estimated German losses were slightly lower) and no breakthrough was achieved. The costly offensives, ending with the capture of Passchendaele village, merely widened the Ypres salient by a few kilometres.

Soldiers of an Australian 4th Division field artillery brigade on a duckboard track passing through Chateau Wood, near Hooge in the Ypres salient, 29 October 1917. The leading soldier is Gunner James Fulton and the second soldier is Lieutenant Anthony Devine. The men belong to a battery of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade. Australian War Memorial E01220. Frank Hurley Photograph. 

The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was a campaign of the First World War, fought by the Allies against the German Empire. The battle took place on the Western Front, from July to November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, 5 miles (8.0 km) from a railway junction at Roulers, which was vital to the supply system of the German 4th Army. The next stage of the Allied plan was an advance to Thourout–Couckelaere, to close the German-controlled railway running through Roulers and Thourout.

Further operations and a British supporting attack along the Belgian coast from Nieuwpoort, combined with Operation Hush (an amphibious landing), were to have reached Bruges and then the Dutch frontier. The resistance of the German 4th Army, unusually wet weather, the onset of winter and the diversion of British and French resources to Italy, following the Austro-German victory at the Battle of Caporetto(24 October – 19 November), enabled the Germans to avoid a general withdrawal, which had seemed inevitable in early October. The campaign ended in November, when the Canadian Corps captured Passchendaele, apart from local attacks in December and the new year. In 1918, the Battle of the Lys and the Fifth Battle of Ypres were fought before the Allies occupied the Belgian coast and reached the Dutch frontier.

A campaign in Flanders was controversial in 1917 and has remained so. The British Prime Minister Lloyd George opposed the offensive, as did General Ferdinand Foch the French Chief of the General Staff. Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commanding the British Expeditionary Force, did not receive approval for the Flanders operation from the War Cabinet until 25 July. Matters of dispute by the participants, writers and historians since the war, have included the wisdom of pursuing an offensive strategy in the wake of the Nivelle Offensive, rather than waiting for the arrival of the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

The choice of Flanders over areas further south or the Italian front, the climate and weather in Flanders, the choice of General Hubert Gough and the Fifth Army to conduct the offensive, debates over the nature of the opening attack and between advocates of shallow and deeper objectives, have also been controversial. The passage of time between the Battle of Messines (7–14 June) and the opening attack of the Battles of Ypres, the extent to which the internal troubles of the French armies motivated British persistence with the offensive, the effect of the weather, the decision to continue the offensive in October and the human cost of the campaign on the soldiers of the German and British armies, have also been argued over ever since.

Battle of Polygon Wood 

Australian infantry with small box respirator gas masks, Ypres, September 1917. Photo by Captain Frank Hurley. - This image is available from the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: E00825 

The Second Army altered its Corps frontages soon after the attack of 20 September, for the next effort (26 September – 3 October)so that each attacking division could be concentrated on a 1,000 yards (910 m) front. Roads and light railways were extended to the new front line, to allow artillery and ammunition to be moved forward. The artillery of VIII Corps and IX Corps on the southern flank, simulated preparations for attacks on Zandvoorde and Warneton. At 5.50 a.m. on 26 September, five layers of barrage fired by British artillery and machine-guns began. Dust and smoke thickened the morning mist and the infantry advanced using compass bearings.[108] Each of the three German ground-holding divisions attacked on 26 September, had an Eingreif division in support, twice the ratio of 20 September. No ground captured by the British was lost and German counter-attacks managed only to reach ground to which survivors of the front-line divisions had retired.

Australian soldiers at the Battle of Polygon Wood. Australian soldiers in trenches at the Battle of Polygon Wood. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales 

At the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916, where the battalion took part in the first stages of the Allied attack they suffered over 600 casualties, a total which equated to around a third of their total casualties for the war. 

Sydney is also listed in AWM records as having ‘No known grave’.
His name is listed: The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 53), Belgium
The Menin Gate Memorial
 (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.
The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.
Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Battle of Fromelles, 19–20 July
The Battle of Fromelles was a subsidiary attack to support the Fourth Army on the Somme 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the south, to exploit any weakening of the German defences opposite. Preparations for the attack were rushed, the troops involved lacked experience in trench warfare and the power of the German defence was "gravely" underestimated, the attackers being outnumbered 2:1. On 19 July, von Falkenhayn had judged the British attack to be the anticipated offensive against the 6th Army. Next day Falkenhayn ordered the Guard Reserve Corps to be withdrawn to reinforce the Somme front. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground and deflected few German troops bound for the Somme. The attack was the début of the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front and "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history". Of 7,080 BEF casualties, 5,533 losses were incurred by the 5th Australian Division; German losses were 1,600–2,000, with 150 taken prisoner.
Soldiers of the 53rd Battalion, Australian 5th Division, waiting to attack during the Battle of Fromelles, July 19, 1916. Only three of the men shown survived the attack and those three were wounded. Credit line: Donated by Lance Corporal C.H. Lorking of the 53rd Battalion - This image is available from the Collection Database of the Australian War Memorial under the ID Number: A03042 

Battle of Zonnebeke 1918 Hurley - Battle of Polygon Wood -Australian soldiers in trenches at the Battle of Polygon Wood. The Battle of Zonnebeke, 1918- Photo by Capt. Frank Hurley

Albert (Bert) Edward Porter was 18 years and 11 months when he enlisted on the 15th of September, 1915, at Holdsworthy, listing his occupation as “Labourer” – his height was 5 feet 6 ½ inches, his weight 138 pounds. Due to his age he was required to get the signature of both his parents on a consent form. Albert was assigned to the 14th Rein., 3rd Battalion.
His file is scant - listing soon after the information above "Killed in action between 22nd and 27th of July 1916 ‘in the field’ in France.

Effects that came home; a Testament, a devotional book, balaclava, a writing pad, 15 coins and some buttons, a handkerchief and a letter.
His parents later received three medals – the British Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal and a Memorial Scroll.

From Australian War Memorial records:
Private (Pte) Albert Edward Porter, 3rd Battalion, of Newport, NSW. A labourer prior to enlistment, embarked with the 14th Reinforcements from Sydney on RMS Osterley on 15 January 1916, was transferred at Alexandria via the Transylvania' on 29/3/1916, arriving in Marseilles 4/4/1916. 

Albert was killed in action at Pozieres, France, on 22 July 1916, aged 19. 

He has no known grave and is commemorated at the Australian War Memorial at Villers Bretonneux France.

The 3rd Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. Like the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions it was recruited from New South Wales and, together with these battalions, formed the 1st Brigade. 

The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. The battalion took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves and served there until the evacuation in December. In August, the battalion took part in the attack on Lone Pine. For his valorous action in defending Sasse's Sap at Lone Pine on 9 August, Private John Hamilton was awarded the Victoria Cross. 

After the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the battalion returned to Egypt. In March 1916, it sailed for France and the Western Front. From then until 1918 the battalion took part in operations against the German Army, principally in the Somme Valley in France and around Ypres in Belgium. The battalion's first major action in France was at Pozieres in the Somme valley in July 1916.

From Wikipedia:
The Battle of the Somme (French: Bataille de la Somme, German: Schlacht an der Somme), also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and Frenchempires against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of theRiver Somme in France. It was one of the largest battles of World War I, in which more than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. A Franco-British commitment to an offensive on the Somme had been made during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian, British and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. The main part of the offensive was to be made by the French army, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

When the German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, many French divisions intended for the Somme were diverted and the supporting attack by the British became the principal effort. Thefirst day on the Somme (1 July) was a serious defeat for the German Second Army, which was forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank and by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road. The first day on the Somme was also the worst day in the history of the British army, which had c. 57,470 casualties, mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. 

Battle of Fromelles, 19–20 July
The Battle of Fromelles was a subsidiary attack to support the Fourth Army on the Somme 80 kilometres (50 mi) to the south, to exploit any weakening of the German defences opposite. Preparations for the attack were rushed, the troops involved lacked experience in trench warfare and the power of the German defence was "gravely" underestimated, the attackers being outnumbered 2:1. On 19 July, von Falkenhayn had judged the British attack to be the anticipated offensive against the 6th Army. Next day Falkenhayn ordered the Guard Reserve Corps to be withdrawn to reinforce the Somme front. The Battle of Fromelles had inflicted some losses on the German defenders but gained no ground and deflected few German troops bound for the Somme. The attack was the début of the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front and "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history". Of 7,080 BEF casualties, 5,533 losses were incurred by the 5th Australian Division; German losses were 1,600–2,000, with 150 taken prisoner.

Second phase: July – September 1916
Battle of Delville Wood, 14 July – 15 September
The Battle of Delville Wood was an operation to secure the British right flank, while the centre advanced to capture the higher lying areas of High Wood and Pozières. After the Battle of Albert the offensive had evolved to the capture of fortified villages, woods, and other terrain that offered observation for artillery fire, jumping-off points for more attacks, and other tactical advantages. The mutually costly fighting at Delville Wood eventually secured the British right flank and marked the Western Front début of the South African 1st Infantry Brigade (incorporating a Southern Rhodesian contingent), which held the wood from 15–20 July. When relieved the brigade had lost 2,536 men, similar to the casualties of many brigades on 1 July.

Battle of Pozières Ridge, 23 July – 7 August
The Battle of Pozières began with the capture of the village by the 1st Australian Division (Australian Imperial Force) of theReserve Army, the only British success in the Allied fiasco of 22/23 July, when a general attack combined with the French further south, degenerated into a series of separate attacks due to communication failures, supply failures and poor weather.[29] German bombardments and counter-attacks began on 23 July and continued until 7 August. The fighting ended with the Reserve Army taking the plateau north and east of the village, overlooking the fortified village of Thiepval from the rear.
Australian casualties for the Battle of the Somme are listed as 23,000, with July 1916 listing the most casualties of the conflict at 196,081 with 158,786 being British and their allied forces (Australia and allies).

Carl Horwood Porter enlisted on October 13th, 1915, listing his occupation as ‘bread carter’, his age as 21 and his birthplace as Manly. He embarked on January 15th, 1916 aboard the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley" with the rank of ‘Private’ as part of the 3rd Battalion, A.I.F. He too is transferred per the ‘Transylvania’ and disembarked in Marseilles. 
On the 24/7/1916 he has a gun shot wound to his left arm and is sent to the 12th General Hospital 1916 Rouen before being transferred to Westham Hospital two days later.

Carl, suffering from an eye condition from an early age (stated as ‘recurrent iritis’, which began in his right eye at age 8, in his War Records and recurred every year and each attack last from 6 weeks to 2 months), came home blind. 

Iritis is inflammation of the iris (the coloured part of the eye) which may be caused by trauma to the eye, or as a complication of many diseases such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, and collagen vascular diseases such as lupus.

His war records regarding treatment for his eye state he “had bronchial pneumonia when in the trenches in February 1917, was sent to No.7 Canadian Gen. Hosp. Etaples (Étaples or Étaples-sur-Mer - a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France) and was there 2 months. In July 1917 the right eye is still badly infected and he has ‘intense photophobia’.
By September 1917 both eyes are rated 6/9, both irises ‘conjucted’ and he needs to wear dark glasses. He is sent to London, goes through ‘drops’ treatments and further deterioration of his sight but then is ‘A.W.L.’ from the end of 1917 until January 22nd 1918 and forfeits a days pay as penalty.
Perhaps he wanted to look around at all he could while he could.
On the 13th of June 1919 he married Clara Clark of 7 Fernhill Street, Woolwich(father Thomas – Gardener)at Bartford, Kent Registry Office, and was granted ‘Furlough’.
On the 26th of July 1919 he was returned to Australia per the HMAT A64 ‘Demosthenes’, disembarking on the 19th of September, 1919.

That three sons were sent on the same ship at the same time, the H.M.A.T. R.M.S. “Osterley" on January 15th, 1916, indicates why the above article was published. 

Of the brothers who stayed home, the seventh son, Septimus (born 1901 and too young to serve), was the first pupil of Newport PS to pass the “Q.C.”, winning a place at Manly Commercial School as a result. 

Walter, twin to Albert, passed away when quite young:

PORTER.-October 3, 1938, at Manly, Walter Stanley, dearly loved son of Mrs. A. Porter, of Newport, and beloved brother of Robert D., Carl H., Sep E., and Lucy M. (Mrs. C. Sturman), aged 41 years. For ever with the Lord. Family Notices (1938, October 4). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), , p. 10. Retrieved from

Of the four Porter boys sent to Northern France none escaped a gun shot wound (G.S.W.) and only Carl, due to the problem with his eyes, and Robert, who suffered through at least three cases of having Influenza, two 'wounded in action'; the second time including a gun shot wound to his abdomen, and having displayed qualities 'in the field' that lead to him sent to be trained to be an officer and absent from the battlefield, came out of those arenas alive.

Robert, having survived two incidences of being wounded, was also lucky to survive his bouts of Influenza too - the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed three times more the people than had died as a result of the Great War (WWI). Some records estimate that somewhere between 20 and 40 million people died as a result, others state the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world's population then) resulted, and 500 million people across the world were infected. This is still cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. 

What marked this pandemic is that most influenza outbreaks disproportionately kill juvenile, elderly, or already weakened patients; in contrast, the 1918 pandemic predominantly killed previously healthy young adults. Modern research, using virus taken from the bodies of frozen victims, has concluded that the virus kills through a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system). The strong immune reactions of young adults ravaged the body, whereas the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in fewer deaths among those groups. (Vilensky, J. A.; Foley, P.; Gilman, S. (2007). "Children and encephalitis lethargica: a historical review". Pediatr Neurol 37 (2): 79–84. doi:10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2007.04.012. PMID 1767502)

This influenza was called 'Spanish' as wartime censors were minimising the reports of this disease causing illness and death coming out of France, Germany, Britain but had no problem with its effects in Spain being reported.

The virus was in Australia by late 1918. Hospitals soon filled to capacity and other buildings were taken over to house and nurse the sick. Volunteers and nurses succumbed to the virus - estimates state that around 12, 500 Australians died during the pandemic.

With this many millions of people lost through conflict, or this deadly virus as people were returning home once peace was declared, why people wanted to party by the 1920's, or renew their faith more deeply, can be understood.

Carl Porter had four sons who served in the Second World War, one of whom was 412681 Flying Officer Sydney Larner Porter, 23 Squadron RAAF, who was accidentally in a flying accident off the coast of Queensland, near Horne Island on 4 May 1944, aged 23.
Image No: PO7663.004 courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Flying Officer (FO) Sydney Larner Porter, 23 Squadron RAAF, of Newport, was a produce salesman prior to enlistment.

All Four sons were members of Newport SLSC, one serving as Captain post WWII.

Another fitting tribute, on the weekend the 2015-2016 Surf Life Saving Seasons closes is this image from the 1945-1946 Season of Newport SLSC members, with 'N. Porter - Captain' - sitting 5th from left:
From and courtesy of Newport SLSC's - Newport Surf Life Saving Club - The First Century 1909 2009 - compiled by Guy Jennings.

A small insight into Carl H. Porter's focus as his sight diminished:

A Seaside Resort
From Manly to Palm Beach a number of small but growing villages line the picturesque seashore, and a settled population, together with the week-enders and those who take their longer holidays at the sea, have led successive ministers to watch for openings for the church's ministries on this coastline. There are only two circuits, Manly and Dee Why, but they have between them opened Methodist causes in almost every centre.
Recently a church hall was opened at Collaroy, with encouraging results. The latest development is at Newport, where some time ago Mr. Carl . Porter, a blind soldier, began a church service in his home. Later Mr. Stan Porter opened a Sunday School in the back room of a shop, and at his death, Mrs. Colwell, widow of the late Rev. Fred. Colwell, continued the work in a hall over the Surf Club's premises, and has won the sympathy and interest of old and young in her splendid endeavour to build up both Sunday School and Church service. A gratifying success has attended this missionary work. The scheme matured, and at the meeting of the Management Committee of the Home Mission Society, held last week, permission was given for the erection of a school church. The sum of money in hand collected from various sources will be augmented by a loan from the Church Development Fund, to be repaid within a period of five years. Thus in the Dee Why Circuit, which was originally part of the Manly Circuit, there will be churches at Dee Why, French's Forest, Brookvale, Mona Vale, South Creek Road, Narrabeen, Collaroy, and Newport. Rev. B. H. Willis and his people are to be warmly congratulated on this latest development of the circuit.
Sunday last was observed as thanksgiving day in the Manly Circuit, with special thank offerings for the further reduction of church trust debts. At the Manly Church inspiring services were conducted by the Revs. F. H. Rayward and A. M. Sanders, former superintendents of the circuit. The present minister, the Rev. R. H. Doust, received and dedicated the thank offerings. These amounted to £168, in addition to £23 received in the ordinary collections, a total of £191 for the day. This splendid result, coupled with the thank offerings from the other churches of the circuit, means that the trust debts have been reduced by well rover £1,000 in a little more than two years. A Seaside Resort. (1939, October 28). The Methodist (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

Opening of New Church at Newport
The Newport development from a Sunday School in a house ten years ago, then in a surf shed, to a Church hall opened last Saturday, was a thrilling story as told by the superintendent minister, Rev. B. H. Willis, at the dedication service addressed by the ex-President, Rev. R. H. Campbell. A brief report of the steps leading up to the Church hall appeared in 'The Methodist' a few weeks ago. Mrs. Colwell, widow of late Rev. Fred Colwell, who has done a magnificent service in keeping the children together in Sunday School, and helping the Church service, was requested to turn the key end open the hall. Memories of the early struggles to establish the cause, and the blessing of God that he’d rested upon all the efforts to provide a Church building for school and church purposes, overcame her emotions, and she spoke but a few words. The hall was quite full for the service of dedication. Rev. B.H. Willis presided, and he was assisted by Mr. W. Cress well O'Reilly, Student Dean (who has been engaged in the circuit for the long vacation), and Rev. F. W. Hynes. Rev. R. H. Campbell preached the sermon. 'The Church of the Living God' was the basis of an inspiring address. The Church hall was the outcome of the Home Mission Church Development policy, in which Mr. Campbell had been so deeply interested, and he was naturally elated and grateful at this latest success of the policy. The sum of £160 was loaned to Newport Trust free of interest for five years. With subscriptions and organised efforts, £120 was raised. The Church cost £300.The minister and his wife, and the ladies and the men of the Church, worked hard to bring the scheme to fruition, and they were abundantly rewarded by the manifest interest of a large company at the opening, including Methodists from other parts. They believe that the new Church will make an effective witness in this sea-side resort, and they will not rest until the whole of the money is raised to liquidate the remaining debt. It will be a satisfaction to all who are watching the progress of Sydney Methodism that within a very short time the Dee Why Circuit has built two new churches — one at Collaroy, and this one at Newport. Opening of New Church at Newport. (1939, December 16). The Methodist (Sydney, NSW : 1892 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved  from 

All the loved ones Carl Porter lost during these two horrific conflicts only seemed to strengthen his resolve to love others more deeply and do more for them. 

In 1969 Carl Horwood Porter was awarded the British Empire Medal, Civil Division, ‘For, services to blind ex-servicemen’.

Mr C. Porter was President of the Newport P & C Association, continued doing what he could at Newport, for others.
He passed away in 1979.

Max Dupain, 'Nine Mile Store', Newport, circa 1930 

Reconstructed Eleven Mile Store (Porters Store) - courtesy Guy Jenning's The Newport Story 1788 - 1988

Scotland Island (& Bayview) Herbert Charles Lewis GODBOLD + Albert WATERER

Herbert Godbold: Service Number: 300
Rank: Gunner
Roll title: SAB [Siege Artillery Brigade] and 1 Reinforcements (July 1915)
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Date of embarkation: 17 July 1915
Place of embarkation: Melbourne
Ship embarked on: HMAT Orsova A67
Born: 27 October 1889
Died: 4 November 1962

Albert Waterer: Service number: 164
Rank Corporal
Roll title SAB [Siege Artillery Brigade] and 1 Reinforcements (July 1915)
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Date of Embarkation 17 July 1915
Place of embarkation Melbourne
Ship Embarked On HMAT Orsova A67

Herbert Godbold was the second son of Emily Mary Ann Elizabeth (daughter of Martha Catherine Benns) and George Sigby Godbold. Her stepfather was the man named Joseph Benns, Ambrol Josef Diercknecht, who, with Charles Jenkins, leased Scotland Island in 1855 for seven years. When they discovered those who had claimed ownership of the island did not have title they ceased paying rent and continued living there, building a home and cultivating the land. Mr. Benns was a master mariner and owned at least two ships.

Department of Lands,
Sydney. 18th November, 1884.
NOTICE is hereby given that application has been made by the parties hereunder mentioned to maintain a jetty in front of their property, particularized in the annexed description; and all persons interested are invited to state, within one month from this date, their objections, if any, why they should not be permitted to maintain the jetty in question.

Name of Applicants.
Joseph Benns and Charles Jenkins.
County of Cumberland, parish of Narrabeen, at Pitt Water, Scotland Island: Commencing on the high-water mark of Pitt Water, on the western side of Scotland Island; and bounded thence on the north by a line bearing westerly 168 feet; thence on the west by a line at right angles bearing southerly 5 feet; thence on the south by a line parallel to the first-mentioned boundary bearing easterly to to the aforesaid high-water mark ; and thence on the east by that high-water mark northerly, to the point of commencement. APPLICATION TO MAINTAIN A JETTY. (1884, November 25). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 7906. Retrieved from  

The jetty was about 3 perches, they paid 5 pounds annual rent for this - LEASES FOR SPECIAL PURPOSES.—OBJECTIONS CALLED FOR. (1885, January 6). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 242. Retrieved from 

In 1883 they attempted to bring it under the provisions of the Real Property Act, but were unsuccessful at that time. A David Dickson, to whom they had stopped paying rent, wrote from Adelaide on 18 April 1889, stating that Scotland Island was the property of himself and his brother James, who was living in England and suffering from mental disability. However, he was unable to prove their ownership satisfactorily, and Certificates of Title were issued to Joseph Benns and Charles Jenkins on 8 February 1892, mainly on the grounds of continual possession. - Shelagh and George Champion OAM's, Profiles of the Pittwater Pioneers

Soon after they gained ownership Charles Jenkins passed away, naming this only child of Martha and 'Joseph' as executor - the  gentleman named was a solicitor, not her father:

In the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
In the will of Charles John Jenkins, late of Scotland Island, Pittwater, in the Colony of New South Wales, farmer, deceased.
APPLICATION will be made, after fourteen days from the publication hereof, that probate of the last will of the above named deceased may be granted to Emily Mary Ann Elizabeth Godbold and Stephen Mountain Stephens, the executrix and executor named in the said will,—Dated this 14th day of June, A.D. 1892.
W. H. PIGOTT, Proctor, 28, Castlereagh-street, Sydney. In the Supreme Court of New South Wales. PROBATE JURISDICTION. (1892, June 17). New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900), p. 4947. Retrieved from 

Emily Mary Ann Elizabeth (names of her Mother's sisters) married George Sigby Godbold in 1887. 3485/1887: GODBOLD, GEORGE and STEVENS EMILY - MANLY - NSW State Records - Births, Deaths Marriages

The first born Godbold children spent their formative years on Scotland Island. Family records state Herbert and his six siblings, five sisters and a brother, were all born on the island. The family moved to Bayview in 1903 or 1904. 

Herbert was a Member of the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery at the time of his enlistment in the AIF. One of his sisters, Harriet, married an ex-Imperial Yeomanry soldier, Albert Waterer on August 16th 1913.  Mr. Waterer also served in WWI and was a was a Member of the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery prior to enlistment. The couple had two daughters, Winifred born February 2nd 1914 and Amy born June 20th 1915, with both births recorded as being at 'Steele Point'. The Steele Point Battery is a small fort, located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the eastern Sydney suburb of Vaucluse. In 1924, Robert Waterer (Bob) was born - who many remember with love and who also served - only in the war that came after the 'war to end all wars'.

Group portrait of men of No 6 Company, Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, 3rd Military District who fired Australia's first shot in the Great War at the German merchant ship, SS Pfalz. Back row, left to right: Gunner (Gnr) W Carlin; Gnr J Gregory; Bombardier (Bdr) H L Hope; Gnr J Ryan; Corporal (Cpl) W W Young; Gnr A Brown; Cpl R A Britnell; Gnr E V Quirk; Sergeant C R Carter; Gnr J Russell; Cpl J J Jack; Gnr F J Mealey; Bdr J Purdue; Bdr J Edwards; Gnr A Murray. Front row: Captain M D Williams; Lieutenant Colonel A H Sandford; Company Sergeant Major E H Wheeler. The ship had been trying to escape into Bass Straight through Port Phillip Heads until stopped by this warning shot. Place made Australia: Victoria, Queenscliff in 1914 - courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Herbert and Albert both enlisted on the same day - the 5th of June, 1915, both listing their occupation as 'Labourer':

Gnr. H. GODBOLD, S.A. Bde., Pittwater. NEW SOUTH WALES. (1915, September 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

He served with the 54th Siege Battery, 36th Australian Heavy Artillery Brigade. Only one Australian battery – the 55th Heavy Artillery Battery – was equipped with the 9.2-inch (233-millimetre) howitzers. At first, the battery had just four guns, and this was later expanded to six. The battery, and the 54th Heavy Artillery Battery, which had 8-inch (203-millimetre) howitzers, on wheels, were placed together as the Australian Heavy Artillery Group (HAG). These two siege batteries, and their headquarters, moved from Britain to France in March 1916 and became the first Australian units to go into battle on the Western Front.

Unlike other formations of the AIF, which were created from civilian volunteers, the heavy batteries had been formed mostly from permanent artillerymen of the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, with some reinforcements from the militia; the same regulars and citizens’ force soldiers who had been manning the forts guarding Australia’s ports and coastline. Early in the war, after it was decided that there was little direct threat to the coastal cities, the brigade was drawn together in Melbourne from the different states’ drafts, and sailed for overseas service in July 1915. On arrival in Britain the unit, with its two batteries, was numbered the 36th (Australian) HAG. - Australian War Memorial. 

Picture: 54th Siege Battery with its 8 inch howitzers, Western Front.- by Frank Hurley - Australian Commonwealth Government
Photograph of a battery of 8 inch Howitzers of Australian 54th Siege Artillery Battery, Western Front, 1917. The gun is mounted on the Vickers firing platform, with the traversing rail visible beneath the end of the trail.

Mr. Godbold was wounded in action with gunshot wounds to his left hand, right leg and back on 26 September 1917. After treatment in the 1st Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France, he returned to duty on 23 October 1917. He was again wounded two days later on 25 October 1917. His facial wound was treated at the British 17th Casualty Clearance Station and he returned to duty on 29 October 1917.

Gnr. HERBERT GODBOLD, Pittwater (previously reported ill) NEW SOUTH WALES (1917, November 15). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 

Gnr. HERBERT GODBOLD. Pittwater (2nd occasion). DOUBLE CASUALTY LIST. (1917, December 10). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from

Herbert was transferred to the 1st Australian Ammunition Unit, Australian Army Ordnance Corps in July 1918. After he returned to Australia in October 1919, he resumed service with the Army and was a resident of Mosman.

Albert Waterer also came home. 
Both gentlemen received the medals given for their Service. Mr. Waterer was Mentioned in Despatches twice - one of these:

Growing up on Pittwater Herbert was a fine rower, excelling in Pittwater Regattas as well as those held at Manly. Something he probably got from his mother and grandmother. His and his brother's names regularly appear the place getters:

Albert Nichols and Herbert Godbold will row George Gayers and John Holden for £5 or £10 a side, the distance of one and a half to three miles. ROWING. (1906, September 19). Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW : 1900 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from

Photos: The 1st Australian Siege Battery in action at Lock 8, near the Ypres-Comines Canal (the canal bank is on the left). From this position the Battery assisted in the great barrage preceding the attack on Polygon Wood by the Australian troops on 20 September 1917. Identified: 121 Corporal (Cpl) G. Purdue DCM (1); 77 Gunner (Gnr) F. Doonan (2); 65 Bombardier (Bdr) Henry Stuart Bourchier (3) (later a Victorian Member of Parliament); 124 Bdr W. J. Purcell DCM (4); 97 Gnr J. A. Jackson MM (or 112 Gnr C. J. Martin), Signaller (5); 57 Cpl G. G. Barker (6); 409 Bdr A. G. H. Boughen (7); 104 Bdr R. Aiken (8); 349 Gnr R. C. Coppins (9); 828 Sergeant (Sgt) L. Proops (10); 308 Gnr R. Hartney (11); 300 Gnr H. Godbold (12); 403 Cpl J. Purdue (13); 27461 Gnr Fowler (14); 311 Gnr C. Jackson (15); 698 Gnr W. Fenton (16); 829 Gnr P. N. F. Clarke (17); Staff Sergeant Knight Croix de Guerre (18); Lieutenant Hendely (19); Cpl Jack (20); 818 Gnr Budgeorge ? (21). See E01918KLEFT and E01918KRIGHT for position of those named in this caption.

Mona Vale (& Palm Beach) Reginald augustus hOWLETT 

Regimental number 3062
Place of birth Sydney New South Wales
Religion Church of England
Occupation Clerk
Address Newport Road, Mona Vale, New South Wales
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 21
Next of kin: Father, H.N. Howlett, Newport Road, Mona Vale, Manly, New South Wales
Enlistment date 28 July 1915
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 3rd Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/20/2
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 October 1915
Rank from Nominal Roll Private
Unit from Nominal Roll 55th Battalion
Fate Returned to Australia 8 April 1919

Reginald Augustus Howlett was educated at Bay View school when that still existed, listed with his brother William as among those who won prizes in 1905, and his father, Henry Neil Howlett (born 1863), was an early member of the newly fledged Pittwater Progress Committee, a forerunner of the Bayview-Church Point Residents Association, alongside Kathrine Roche's husband. 

A ballot was taken of the electors at Bayview Post-office last Tuesday for the purpose of filling three vacancies in the Pittwater Progress Association. There were six candidates, viz., J. J. Roche, James Booth, Henry Howlett, James Symonds. Leon Houreux and J. W. Austin. The three first named were elected. _ MUNICIPAL COUNCILS. (1902, June 28). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from

Henry Howlett had a store at Mona Vale and was clearly keen on cricket - on a then much larger Mona Vale Village Park:  

Pittwater club.
At the annual general meeting of the Pittwater Cricket Club held at Howlett's store, Mona Vale, the report showed that the club was in a promising condition. There was a credit balance, and new members were coming forward satisfactorily. The following office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year: — Patron, Colonel Ryrle, M.P.;- president, Councillor A. Ralston; captain, Councillor J. F. Duffy; vice-captain, Mr. J. W. Austin; treasurer, Mr. F. Douglas; secretary, Mr. R. Howlettselection and subcommittee, Messrs. C. Price, H. Howlett, and F. Douglas. CRICKET. (1912, September 5). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 5 (FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 

Reginald Howlett's uncle, Alfred Howlett, appears in records for Brookvale from at least 1893 and in the earliest 1906 handwritten Warringah Shire Council minutes of meetings as one of the gentlemen working on building roads and the tramway from Manly to Brookvale and then further. He wasresponsible for finding a metal quarry in the vicinity of Brookvale with which to turn dust to navigable ways. 

The Howlett family also supported and helped build Methodist churches and congregations wherever they were - whether at Camden, where father of Henry and Alfred, William Howlett lived (born 1832 in Parramatta to William 1877-1833 and Lydia - William Howlett being one of 250 convicts transported on the ship Larkins, 24 July 1817) or at Brookvale. 

Reginald was living with this uncle and probably working with him as a clerk prior to enlisting to serve in the A.I.F. in World War One, as his enlistment papers dated July 28th, 1915 state. 

By February 1916 he was in Tel-El-Kabir and was moved from the 3rd Battalion to the 55th Btn. and then sent into France.
Carl Beeston Gow, whose family were at this time serving as Light-Keepers at Barrenjoey, was also part of the 55th Btn. Carl was 20 years old, Reginald 21 when they signed up. Reginald's records indicate he was frequently ill - sent to hospital in France a few times during 1916 and 1917 - possibly trying to survive the influenza that killed hundreds of thousands during and straight after WWI.

Both young men were lucky, despite illness, and being wounded in Carl's case, they survived and were able to come home. Unfortunately Henry, Reg's father, died a few days after he disembarked on May 25th, 1919 - he was discharged July 18th, 1919, Carl May 22nd. 
Reginald's also lost an uncle and an aunt within months and another aunt, to the same pandemic, 12 months later:

HOWLETT.—June 11, at Manly, Henry Neil, dearly loved husband of Sarah Howlett, of Mona Vale, and dearly loved father of Harold, Reginald, William, and Ivy, aged 56 years. Interred in Church of England Cemetery, Manly, Thursday, June 12. Family Notices (1919, June 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from 

Edwin Howlett, brother of Mr George Howlett, of Hornseywood, and the late Mrs John Adams (whose death was reported in last issue) died at Camden on the 4th instant from pneumonic influenza. Deceased, who was 63 years of age, had lived in the Camden district all his life. He leaves a wife and a large family. The funeral took place on Saturday, the interment being in the Methodist Cemetery, Camden. About a month ago a brother of deceased,Henry Howlett, died at Manly, at the age of 56 years. He leaves a wife, three sons and one daughter. The cause of death was pneumonia. Obituary (1919, July 12). Nepean Times (Penrith, NSW : 1882 - 1962), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Mrs Mary Ann Howlett, wife of Mr. Robert Howlett, of Epping, and well known in this district, died at her residence, Epping, on Friday of last week, at the age of 59 years. She was the daughter of the late Mr. James Campbell, of Luddenham, at which place she was born. She leaves one brother, Mr. Kenneth Campbell, ex-Mayor of St. Marys and the undermentioned five sons and one daughter. Another son was killed at Gallipoli. Mrs. Howlett was twice married. Her husband is the son of the late Mr. Howlett, of Luddenham, and is a brother of Mr. George Howlett, Alf Howlett (Brookvale), Mr. Jones Howlett and Mr. William Howlett (the latter two in other parts of the State). Two of his brothers died about this time last year from pneumonic influenza, and about the same time he lost a sister-the wife of Ald. J. Adams, of Penrith..
The late Mrs. Howlett had been living at Ryde for about five years...St. Marys (1920, June 26). Nepean Times (Penrith, NSW : 1882 - 1962), p. 5. Retrieved from 

The NSW Public Health Department report that in 1919, almost 40 per cent of Sydney's total population had influenza. In some areas of Sydney, the deaths from influenza accounted for 50 per cent of all deaths and 6000 were lost from influenza across NSW. So much loss on coming home, on top of being witness to so much devastation, can make someone reach out for life with both hands. 

The engagement is announced of Miss Katie Chrystal, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G Chrystal, Ormiston, Berowra, and Mr. Reginald A. Howlett, late 55th batt., A.I.F., second son of Mrs. Howlett, Mona Vale. The wedding will take place early in March. WOMEN'S NEWS (1920, February 29).Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 3. Retrieved  from 

HOWLETT -CHRYSTAL.— A military wedding was celebrated at St. Mark's Church' of England, Berowra, between Miss Katie Chrystal and Pte. Reg. Howlett (late 55th Batt, A.I.F.). The Rev. Wade, of Hornsby, officiated. The bride's gown of ivory pailette was hand embroidered and trimmed with silk Maltese lace and seed pearls. Her veil of tulle was encircled with a wreath of orange blossoms, and she carried a shower bouquet tied with ribbons of the bridegroom's colors. The bridesmaid, Miss Maggie Chrystal, wore a frock of cream crepe de-chine, hand-embroidered, and a cream hat, and carried a bouquet of pink roses tied with the battalion colors. Capt. C. B. Gow, M.C. (late 55th Batt.), was best man. The reception was held at the Berowra Hall, where the bride's mother received about 90 guests. Her gown was of silver-grey taffeta, and was worn with a hat to match. Mrs. Howlett, mother of the bridegroom, wore a black pailette costume and a hat en suite.

WEDDINGS (1920, April 25). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from 

Carl Gow and Reginald Howlett subsequently went into business together, taking over the original landing place for those thinking of visiting Palm Beach as tourists or holiday makers, described in 1912 as:

How many of the Sydney folk have heard of Palm Beach, situated on the neck of land adjoining the Barrenjoey Lighthouse reserve and Pittwater Harbor? One of those most glorious spots, given by Nature to the Sydneyites, where rest from the weary toils of the week may be enjoyed. As a comparative stranger in your midst, I would never, perhaps, have feasted on its exceptional beauty and the environs surrounding it had I not chanced upon a small red booklet, circulated on account of a land sale held there on Friday afternoon. I took the trip, at a cost of 2/6 return — cheap enough in all con-science ! — and on arrival at the pretty little jetty on the estate was so charmed with the natural beauties and picturesqueness of the scene that I feel it a duty to enlighten others of this most charming spot. A glorious day, one of happy Sydney's best, and the beauty of the scene at Palm Beach will long live in my memory. The harbor, with its beach of sand, hard and white, its clear and placid waters for the children, the wild, natural scenery of the hills, the living fragrance of the bush and the beautiful Palm Beach for the surfers, with its ever sounding ocean roar, contrasting strangely with the harbor's peace, and calm, the stately palms in the numerous gullies, and the whole scene clothed with a sea and sky, of exquisite blue. From the hills cape after cape comes into view, both north and south, and to the west we see the Pittwater Harbor, with its numerous bays, "The Basin," Kuringai Chase, the majestic and awe-inspiring Lion Island, Ettalong, and several other points of interest. If you have never been to Palm Beach, go. It would be difficult for me to express the treat in store. There is nothing I have seen on your coast to approach it, and it is a matter of much wonder to me that with a splendid service of cars from Manly, and subsidised by a regular launch service (1 1/2 hour from Manly), it has not been availed of ere this. The opening up of the estate will probably attract the populace, and I am informed Palm Beach is an ideal surfing one, and with all its other natural attractions should bring many an advocate to the shrine of its temple. The land facing the beach has been dedicated to the Council as a reserve for a public park. I understand that every lot was sold at satisfactory prices, including the pretty little bungalow residence recently erected, and the vendors must be highly complimented on opening up such a beauty spot for the permanent use of the people. BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY. (1912, January 28). Sunday Times(Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from 

        Observation Point, Palm Beach, Newport Digital Order Number: a106120 circa 1912, Broadhurst Image, courtesy State Library of NSW.

"The Jetty, Palm Beach" places the spectator on a high grassy bank, with trees, below which stretches a sandy shore and a breadth of dimpling water. The warm, purplish haze which hangs over the further coast is very tenderly suggested, and the eye dwells upon it both with pleasure and instruction.THE LISTER EXHIBITION. (1917, May 8). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from

Above and Below: Gow's Store in its early days courtesy Peter Verrills

Gow's jetty was link with the outside world for visitors to Palm Beach - this image circa 1920-21. Courtesy Peter Verrills.

Carl Gow and Reginald took over this property from a man named Ellis who in turn had taken it over from James Booth, a well-known early builder employed by the Barrenjoey Company. Above this jetty (known as Gow's Wharf) the first General Store, originally called 'Booth's Store' after James Booth, the stonemason/builder credited with constructing that first wharf became a Howlett-Gow concern. A few other threads indicate late 1919 as being when the pair had taken over the jetty and store. Carl seems to have had a talent for being on the water and around boats, becoming a successful fisherman, so it may have been Reginald and his bride who kept the store to begin with:

DISTRICT COURT. (Before Judge Backhouse.)  CONTRACTOR'S CLAIM.  Alfred Wrigley Ellis, of Palm Beach, near Barrenjoey, sued Bernard Stiles, of Yarrandi, Church-street, Newtown, medical practitioner, and P. M. Stiles, his wife, for money alleged to be due under a contract. The claim, £68 19s 1d, was for time and money lost owing to the stopping by the defendants of their contract with the plaintiff for the erection of a cottage at Palm Beach. The defendants paid £18 15s into court, and denied further liability. Mr. A. R. J. Watt, instructed by Messrs. John M’Laughlin and Son, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Clive Teece, instructed by Mr. J. T. Ralston, for the defendants. His Honor returned a verdict for the plaintiff for the amount paid into court. DISTRICT COURT. (1918, March 13). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

PALM BEACH.-Furnished Cottages to Let and For Sale.- Gow and Howlett, Store. Phone. 24. Advertising. (1921, April 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from

This, despite the wonderful spelling of their names, indicates the pair were part of the Palm Beach landscape, and had been for a while:

The first general store was at Palm Beach, on the Pittwater side near the jetty, as early as 1914, and was known as Booth's store. Later it became Ellis' store, and then after the last war two returned Diggers, Mr. Fred Howlett and his partner, Gowe, took it over. Their general supplies came by ship from Sydney by the Erringhi and the Kallawatta, and meat and bread came by launch from Newport. They made their own ice-cream in those days, and froze it in old fashioned freezers with coarse salt. It was just as popular as the well known brands are today. 

It was not until 1929 that Howlett's store was established on the beachside of Palm Beach. Before that there was no road through from Pittwater, and the top road was used by residents. Palm Beach setting for smartest sea and sun togs. (1946, January 12). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 22. Retrieved from

Beginning last night at 12 o'clock, and continuing till the sun was in the sky, an invitation dance, in the Interests of the Palm Beach Life-saving Club, was held at Howlett's Ocean Beach Store. Innumerable flags, palms, and flowers were used for the decorations, which were carried out on a brilliant scale, and a novel bouffet supper was among the attractions. About 200 guests attended. SOCIAL [?] PERSONAL. (1934, January 1).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from 

Above and enlarged section below below from: Society Colonizes at PALM BEACH (1932, January 3). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 17. Retrieved from 

Mr. Howlett was a staunch supporter of the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club and also became a property owner on the ocean side:

At Palm Beach 
Mrs. Laurie Seaman, who always arranges a novel entertainment at her charming Palm Beach home, will leave on Friday with her two sons, Bruce and Laurie, for the seaside. This popular resort will be gay as usual. In addition to private parties, at least two dances nave been arranged by the Life Saving Club, to be held at the Howlett Store, at which the Beer garden" will be an innovation. Mrs. Adrian Curlewis will leave on December 23, for Palm Beach, with her children, Ian and Philippa, and for part of the time will be joined by her mother. Mrs. S. H. Carr. AT HOME (1935, December 17). The Sun(Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 20 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from 

PALM BEACH was en fete yesterday afternoon for the super cocktail party given by the committee of the Palm Beach Life Saving Club in celebration of the acquisition for a club of Mr. Chorley's former home and about two hundred visitors went for the fun. As the Pirates' dance, organised by the club, was held later in the evening at Howlett's store, many of the guests went along in their pirate clothes. The greatest revelry was the order of the day and night, and everyone of the Palm Beach habitues was present. Among the crowd assembled were: Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Curlewis, Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Curlewis, Mr. E. Moser, Miss Moser. . Mr. and Mrs. Warwick Fairfax, Mr. and Mrs. George Campbell, Miss Sheilah Pring, Mr. and Mrs. Graham Pratten, Mrs. Alrema Samuels, Mr. and Mrs. F. B. Langley. Mrs. Byram Mansell, Captain Rex Beale, Mr. and Mrs. Laurie Foster. Mr. and Mrs. Dan Carroll, the Misses Rutherford, Mrs. W. Barnes and the Misses Barnes, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Meyers, Mr. and Mrs. Moss, Mr. and Mrs. John Ralston. Mr. Hagon. Dr. and Mrs. R. M. Mackay, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Spencer. COLORFUL LEAP YEAR CARNIVAL (1936, February 23). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 36. Retrieved from 

ONE of the cheeriest dances of the season was the Pirates' Dance, staged by members of the Palm Beach Surf Club, at Howlett's Store, Palm Beach, last Saturday.
Apparently the idea of the correct costume for a pirate is not a universal one, for the dancers displayed a marvellous variety of ideas in their dress. Massive ear-rings, knotted bandanas, and a profusion of blood-curdling scars, half-covered by long, black moustachios and beards, were the chief disguises of the men, but further than that they refused to agree.
Some of them wore full, short skirts of garish cotton cloth; some were in shorts with knee-boots; and others proclaimed by their costume that no pirate wore anything but long, black trousers with black shirts and gaily-coloured scarves round the waist.
Tattooed skull-and-cross-bones across their chests and backs were featured by many of the men, while dozens of bottles of red ink must have been used to achieve the gory stains on daggers, cutlasses, and ragged shirts.

"A piratical maid-of-all-work"-Miss Jean Black. 
Mrs. F. R. Gale is captivated by Mr. Colin Gildefs realistic piratical make-up.
Miss Joy Flower looked a very attractive "pirate" lass as she danced with Mr. O. Davis.

Very few of the women appeared in full pirate dress, preferring to wear their ordinary shorts or slacks with a bright spotted or striped scarf tied round the waist, with sometimes a matching scarf at the neckline.
Those who did dress the part had brief tattered shorts and torn shirts with bizarre coloured bandanas, and brilliant red and black was used for most of the costumes. Black was used, too, for the hats, with a white skull grinning above crossed bones.
(Top, left.) Commander C. M. E. Gifford and the leader of the orchestra entertain the "pirates" with a concertina song-and-dance. (In circle.) As Mr. Jim Singer swings his cutlass, Miss Marjorie Middleton and Miss Betty Munro express joy and horror respectively. (Above.) A fierce struggle between Mr. Geoffrey Moss and Mr. Des. Carr is watched by Miss Joy Flower and Miss Josephine Powell.

Not so very long ago, dancing in Sydney was looked upon as solely a winter pastime, as none of the men cared to wear their thick dress-suits and career around a dance floor during the hot summer months-and, after all, the girls could hardly have a dance without any male partners.
But since some bright soul had the brilliant idea of holding a "beach dance" to which the guests were bidden to come in shorts and shirts, the vogue for summer dances has been steadily increasing.

At all the popular summer resorts such at Palm Beach, Collaroy, and Terrigal, scarcely a night passes with-out someone entertaining at one of these informal parties.
Women have quickly adapted their fashionable wardrobes to provide for these occasions. In addition to their more useful outfits for day-time wear at the beach, they now appear in the evenings in slacks or shorts of gaily patterned silks with matching shirts or quaint sun-tops.
"Pirate" stories are being exchanged in this group.-From, left to right (standing): Miss Laurie Barnes, Mr. Geoffrey Major, Mr. Len. Randerson, Miss Jean Hosking, Miss Cynthia Butler, Miss Margaret Anderson, Mr. Peter Ruelberg, Mr. Des. Carr, Miss Joy Flower, Mr, O. Davies. Sitting (from lejl to right): Miss Bobbie Mayo, Miss Josephine Powell, Mr. Bill Bathgate, and Mr. J. Else-Mitchell.
The dance was held to celebrate the acquisition of Mr. Chorley's former home as a new clubhouse for the members, and they entertained at a cock-tail party there before the dance. It is a two storied house, facing right on to the beach, and has two wide verandahs, which will probably be used for many of the surf club dances next season.
A quaint flight of curved stone steps leads up to the back of the house, where there is a flagged stone porch opening on to the lawns, surrounded by palm trees and natural bush.
Many of those who attended the cocktail party in their beach shorts and shirts were quite un-recognisable when they appeared later at the dance in the pirate disguises. Pirates (1936, February 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12 (Women's Supplement). Retrieved from 

Eric Campbells . . . at Palm Beach in Howletts' new house on the hill.
Betty Tilley, the Ross Arnotts, Bob and Betty Arnott . . . at Collaroy.
Jim Kendalls and two Dalmatians . . . Palm Beach.
The Bill Moses', Mrs. Alf Morgan. . . Palm Beach.  Jottings of the Week (1940, January 6).The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 31. Retrieved from 

SEVERAL buses and about thirty cars will be used to transport 200 returned soldiers from Randwick Graythwaite and Callan Park Hospitals on a days outing on December 12. This Christmas party is the last of many entertainments arranged for the Diggers during the year by Mrs A D Mcintosh. The men will be entertained at lunch at Howletts Store Palm Beach and donations by various city firms have bee made towards the refreshment and transport Mrs Mcintosh was recently awarded the Certificate of Meat and gold badge of the Federal Congress of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia in recognition of her work for ex-servicemen. FETE TO HELP ANZAC BUFFET (1940, December 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from 

Fines of £100 plus additional penalties of £400 were imposed today on each of two men who pleaded guilty in Central Summons Court to having furnished a false income tax return.
Fined were: Reginald Augustus Howlett, described by Mr. W. M. Brady (for the Taxation Department) as "the universal provider of Palm Beach," and Patrick Francis Dolan, veterinary surgeon, of Pacific Highway, Chats-wood, Mr. Brady said that Howlett described himself as a storekeeper. "Actually, he conducted a tearoom, car park, newsagency, estate agency, and general store-keeping business," he said. Howlett's return for 1945, which stated gross income at £11,564, was understated by £580,  tax evaded being £394, said Mr. Brady. Mr. Lionel Dare (for Howlett) said that Mr. Brady had given a grossly exaggerated and colored hearsay statement. "There is no suggestion of fraud," said Mr. Dare. "Howlett runs a weatherboard shop slung up on the seashore. He and his wife have worked seven days a week for seven years, and he has not had a tea-room since 1941." Mr. Dare said that during the war Howlett built a house in his wife's name, as he had never paid her wages, but the department had included the rent from the place as part of his income. 
"Not Deliberate" 
Mr. Denton, SM. In fining Howlett, said that there was no suggestion of deliberate misrepresentation on his part, but he …
Fined £500 . . Reginald A. Howlett. TWO FINED £500 FOR FALSE TAX RETURNS (1947, March 20). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3 (LATE FINAL EXTRA). Retrieved from