State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 24/07/1901, 05/06/1902
Number issued: 7
15 Private Richard Wilson PARKER
221 Private William John HENDERSON
1855 Trooper Lewis A. LEMCKE (died in Melbourne shortly after arriving back in Australia - medal presented to his parents)
1312 Private Donald McDONALD
31679 Trooper Dugald MACPHERSON
MILITARY FUNERAL AT BALLAN.
Welcome to Returned Soldiers
MESSRS D. MACPHERSON AND D. McDONALD.
On Thursday evening last, the Ballan Mechanics' was the scene of an enthusiastic reception to the returned soldiers, Messrs D. MACPHERSON (Marquis of Tullabardine's Scottish Horse), and D. McDONALD (5th Contingent). The proceedings took the form of n smoke night, and there was a large gathering. Mrs Fraser catered in her usual efficient style. The stage was nicely decorated with flags and evergreens, and rifles stacked in the centre — the latter supplying the necessary warlike appearance. Great credit is due to Mr T. Darcy, hon. secretary, and the collectors, Messrs C. Banks and F. Wheelahan, who worked hard to make the affair a success. They must have felt amply compensated by the enthusiasm shown and the marked appreciation of all present. Much of the success was due to the Rev. J.H. Chaseling (chairman), who kept the ball rolling in his well-known style. Before starting the proceedings, the chairman apologised for the absence of Messrs M.M. Mogg, J.O. Inglis, A. McLeod Hamilton, C.G. Lyon, and B.B. Mogg, who, through unavoidable circumstances, could not be present.
The proceedings commenced with an overture, by Master Norman Wood, followed by a song by Mr A.J. Royce.
"The King". — This toast was entrusted to Mr M. Walsh, J.P., who said it was strange that he should have had the honor of reading the proclamation announcing the ascension of King Edward VII to the throne, and also of proposing his very good health. He was a most worthy man from every point of view, and it was with the greatest pleasure that he proposed the toast, which was drunk with musical honors.
Mr A.R. Stevens — Song.
"Our Guests". — Cr T. MacGillivray (president of the Ballan Shire), was received with loud applause on rising to propose the toast of the evening. He said he had known Messrs D. MACPHERSON and D. McDONALD since they were boys. In fact, he had seen them going about Bungeeltap shooting the first rabbits, when one of the guests used to drive a team of Billy goats. These were the men wanted in South Africa — men who from childhood lived in the bush, and would not get lost half a mile away from home. They had gone to South Africa to fight for the motherland, and he was pleased to see them return safe and sound, after serving honorably in the war. They had taken part in some fighting, and got in some tight corners, but showed good generalship in escaping without a scratch. He was pleased to welcome them, and it gave him the greatest pleasure in proposing their health. The toast was supported by Messrs J. Gascard and J.D. Evans and was received with intense enthusiasm.
Mr J.L. Williams — Song.
Mr D. MACPHERSON had an enthusiastic reception on rising to respond. He said that such a welcome came as a surprise, and he thanked them very much. When he landed in Capetown the first thing that attracted his attention were the piles of fodder. Their first taste of war was at Blood River, where they were camped, and the Boers made a surprise attack. All was confusion for a while, and some were in a funk — forgetting to load their rifles, etc. He thought this was a put-up job to try the men, as others with more experience said they did not hear a Boer rifle fired. It was his ambition to see the big guns in action, and it was marvellous how smartly these were worked. The pom-pom was a small gun, firing 25 shots a minute; it was about two inches in diameter, and carried a 1lb. shell, which was most destructive. The big guns, which used lyddite, were very accurate. In one case the Boers were entrenched three miles away, when the big guns started to play on the spot. The shock caused by the firing was tremendous, and the spot where the shell exploded was indicated by a green haze. On reaching the Boer trenches eight men and a lot of horses were found killed. Night marches were frequent to surprise Boer farmhouses, with varying luck. On one occasion doubling back on a farmhouse, where they suspected the women of hiding men, they forcibly entered the building, to find only the women in bed. There was no doubt but that the Australians had made a name for themselves, as they were good bushmen. With the Tommy it was different; they did not know north from south, and did not bother their heads about it. But the Tommies could fight, and depended entirely on their leaders, as to their whereabouts. In conclusion, he thanked all for the hearty welcome. (Loud applause).
Mr J.D. Evans — Song.
Mr D. McDONALD was received with vociferous cheering, and said that it was worth going to South Africa to get such a warm welcome on the return home. Cr MacGillivray had said they had been in some tight corners, and got out without a scratch. He could assure them that one soon found out how to take advantage of cover. He was pleased to be amongst old friends again, and thanked them for the hearty reception. (Applause).
The Rev. E.J. Welch ably proposed "The Commonwealth Defences". He said that if the Commonwealth was to be defended, it would not be by fortifications of bricks and mortar, but must be by the citizens. This toast was supported by Messrs A.T. Blake and T. Flack.
Mr J.N. Muntz — Recitation.
Mr J.L. Williams responded on behalf of the Commonwealth Defences. He said that when war was declared, a contingent was offered from Victoria, and the other States followed suit. These were no doubt accepted more as a compliment than for real use. When the Australians got to work in South Africa it was soon found that the motherland was under the compliment. The peace proclamation had been received with rejoicing, und the Australians helped largely in bringing the war to such an honourable conclusion. He knew that all rejoiced at the safe return of the men from this district (with one exception—Sergeant C. VAUGHAN), whose death they lamented. The deceased was a brave man, and the news of his death was received with regret. On behalf of the Commonwealth Defences he thanked them for the hearty manner in which the toast had been received.
The chairman (Rev. J.H. Chaseling) on behalf of the residents, then presented the returned soldiers with gold medals, suitably inscribed. Messrs D. MACPHERSON and D. McDONALD returned their hearty thanks for the presentation. They would always look back with pride and satisfaction on that night's proceedings; especially on the fact that the people had thought them worthy of such a presentation. (Applause).
Mr J.L. Williams proposed the health of the Chairman, who had taken a most prominent part in welcoming the returned soldiers. The rev. gentleman suitably responded, and this part of the proceedings terminated by singing "God Save the King".
After this, a plentiful supply of refreshments were disposed of, and what with coffee, cigars, etc., the gathering spent a most enjoyable time.
Master Norman Wood acted as accompanist in his usual efficient manner.