We are not grandparents

so cannot claim the title.

However I often talk about

my Grandfather in World War I.

He passed away in 1952

about a week after the only photo

of a grumpy 18 month old Woolly

was taken with his Grandfather.


A Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents


Geelong Foreshore

After using some Geelong Foreshore images in the Background Photo Challenge last week, I decided to post another offering from the same area.


Small boats, at their moorings, dot the bay with North Shore and its Shell oil refinery in the middle left distance. Close inspection of this photo will reveal the Shell chimney. An area landmark both day and night when the flame created by burning waste by-products can be seen for miles.

Cunningham Pier

Approximately ninety degrees to the east and Cunningham Pier nearly manages to hide Point Henry and the Alcoa plant on the horizon.

Geelong Foreshore 4

Visitors, tourist and locals abound along the Geelong Foreshore when the sun shines on Corio Bay. Even a cool May afternoon finds the Eastern Beach promenade home to a few souls out to stretch their legs in the fresh air.

Geelong Foreshore 5

The Geelong Waterfront Information Booth is only a short stroll up the hill followed by another ten to fifteen minute walk to the heart of Geelong’s Central Business District.

Geelong Palms 6

Back in the ‘good old days’ my wife’s grandfather was head groundsman for this whole area. His job was to ensure that the area was kept in the immaculate condition represented here. I probably benefitted from Pop’s work, years before I met his grand daughter, as our family spent some time at Eastern Beach with my relatives.

World War 1 – Diary extract

Below is an extract from Captain Dobson’s diary relating to Acting Bombardier Carlin’s actions whilst under fire around or on June 3rd, 1917.

Acting Bombardier Carlin’s records state that he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on June, 3, 1917.

There is no recorded date on the diary extract below.

I can only surmise what “O.P.” and “S. 9” mean. My guess, based on context of the entry, is Out Post and a type of Artillery shell. A further entry relates to a ‘S. 9. landing in the courtyard’

Appreciate thoughts, comments or corrections on my interpretations.

One day of routine manning I left Carlin and another at the tap in with instructions that if the line went we’d mend it at our end as it always got out about 150 yards from the O.P. the Hun strafing that point every day for no reason whatever and doing no damage except to a few telephone lines.   Sure enough the Hun had his strafe and the line went.  Harper was with me and another man, probably Davis.  Of course they wanted to go out and mend it, but as the line was of no great importance at the moment told them to wait till the strafe stopped – we could see and hear shells bursting.  Next thing Harper got a buzz on the phone showing it was through and a little later old Carlin’s head appeared at the parade, beaded with sweat and much wind up.  I strafed him for coming out when he was told to stay in.  His reply was, “I saw the O.P. was getting it and thought someone might be hit.”  That did not prevent him stopping to mend the line amongst the S. 9.

I have always said that “Windy Bill Carlin” is the bravest man I have met and one of the windiest. The man who is not windy cannot be brave, but the man who does his job at all times and under all conditions and with the wind up all the time, is the man I admire.


Lest We Forget


Each year, as April 25 nears, Australian, and I suspect NewZealand, media of all varieties tend to fill their pages and radio waves reminding us about ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day.

On this day in many countries, all Australians remember those who fought and fell to preserve the freedom of our country in all wars, but particularly World Wars I and 2.  We often hear of many heroic stories of valour, of lives saved and lost, but we seldom hear of regular soldiers who have served and returned home to their ‘normal’ lives.

My grandfathers were two such men who fought in World War 1. Both my grandfathers returned from The Great War, however, my maternal grandfather (Nathan) was minus a leg and my paternal grandfather (Bill) had seen repatriation in London after he became a victim of chemical warfare – mustard gas.
When ANZAC forces landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, Grandfather Nat was there.  Unfortunately he was not a great writer and I do not have any of his diaries.   When World War was declared for the second time on September 3rd, 1939, he sat on the local Post Office steps and cried.  Less than a year later, at only forty-six years of age, he passed away in August 1940.  Well before I was even I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye.
Grandfather Bill, Dad’s father, at sixty-four years of age, died about a week after this photo was taken in 1952.  It would appear that Bill was happier about being the subject of the photograph than his eldest grandson.
For several years of service on the Western Front, as a gunner, Bill was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for an act of bravery under enemy fire, at Courcelette, in France.
On August 5th, 1914, Bill became part of history while serving on with gun crew which fired the first Australian (and many sources believe the first allied) shot, from Fort Nepean at the mouth of Port Philip Bay.  Within minutes of receiving news that War had been declared shots were fired across the bow of the German ship the “Phalz” as it attempted to escape from Port Phillip Bay.  After being fired upon the captain turned the vessel turned around and sailed back to the Portsea where the crew was arrested.


Both my grandfathers died at what we now would call a young age.  Was this partly due to their involvement in World War 1?  How many other families have seen family members pass on at an early age leaving a partner to fend for themselves for many more years.  Yes, I did get to know both my grandmothers!
My son is going to the Dawn Service this year.  I would love to join him but it may have to wait a year.
I would love to have known my grandfathers, but I have only the memories which have been handed down to me.  They may be gone but they are not forgotten.
Lest We Forget
More information at:
World Wars
Although I have an enlarged copy of this photograph, I did source this one from the Wikipedia website.