State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 29/05/1901, 02/08/1901, bef. 16/08/1901, 05/09/1902
Number issued: 6 or 7


Gold medals, to:

29/05/1901 presentation

2nd Victorian (Mounted Rifles) Contingent –
370 Sergeant-Major [Lieutenant] Hugh McDONALD [Macdonald]

203 Lance-Corporal [Bugler] Frank William HORTLE

Presentation made in the Mechanics' Institute, Casterton.

02/08/1901 presentation (medal or watch?)

4th Victorian (Imperial Bushmen's) Contingent –

6 Sergeant Henry Charles BLAIR

Presentation made by Mr J.M. Scott (President of the Shire), in the Mechanics' Institute, Casterton.

Note: there is some confusion in the coverage of this ceremony, with one report states that Sergt. Blair received a Rotherham watch instead of a medal, and that the presentation took place on 02/08/1901. This might suggest that Sergt. Blair received two gifts, one from Casterton and the other from Bahgallah (as did his brother, Private John Blair).

bef. 16/08/1901 presentation

4th Victorian (Imperial Bushmen's) Contingent –

219 Trooper John COLLIE

Presentation made by Mr Moore, at the Dartmoor State School.

Trooper Collie also received a gold watch and guard.

05/09/1902 presentation

2nd Bn. Australian Commonwealth Horse (Victorian Contingent) –

511 Private George CONDY

6th Australian Commonwealth Horse (Victorian Contingent) –
438 Private J.L. WATSON

455 Private Albert PESKETT [Pishett]

Sergeant-Major McDonald appears to have received a second medal from the people of the Yea Shire.
964 Private William John Blair, 5th V.M.R., received a Rotherham watch instead of a medal. This probably reflects the fact that he had already been presented with a gold medal by the inhabitants of Bahgallah, and a gold cross by the Casterton Hibernian Society.
The above may also be true of Sergeant Harry Blair. There is some confusion in the reporting of the Casterton presentation, with some columnists claiming the gift was a gold medal and others a Rotherham watch. Two dates are also given, which strongly suggests there were two ceremonies.



Horsham Times, 04/06/1901
Melbourne Argus, 25th May 1901
CASTERTON. – It has been decided to give Bugler HORTLE and Lieutenant MACDONALD a formal public welcome some evening next week. There is to be a procession, and a public meeting in the Mechanics' Hall, and gold medals are to be presented to them. Lieutenant MACDONALD arrived in Casterton last night on a fortnight's leave of absence from headquarters. On his return to Melbourne he has promised to stay at Hamilton for the unveiling of the memorial to Lieutenant RICE, which is being erected in Christ Church.
Melbourne Argus, 31st May 1901
CASTERTON. – The welcome-home demonstration to Bugler HORTLE and Sergeant McDONALD on Wednesday night was a great success. The streets were lined with people, flags were hung across the main street, and a torchlight procession, headed by the brass band and rifles marched through the principal thoroughfares. At the Mechanics’ Hall a presentation of gold medals was made to each of the guests.
Melbourne Age, 6th June 1901
CASTERTON.— A public welcome was accorded to Lance-Corporal F. HORTLE and Sergeant McDONALD on Wednesday evening. Over 100 firemen from Bandford, Casterton and Strathdownie formed a procession to Lance-Corporal HORTLE's home, where the Glenelg brass band played appropriate airs. A public concert was held, and gold medals were presented to the returned soldiers in the mechanics' institute. Welcoming speeches were delivered by the president of the shire, Rev. J.A. Ball and others. Lance-Corporal HORTLE exhibited a bugle with a bullet hole through it, received whilst it was being sounded in battle.
Melbourne Argus, 22nd July 1901


Sergeant Harry BLAIR, of the Australian Imperial Regiment, received a warm welcome on his arrival at the Casterton railway station on Wednesday night. Large numbers of citizens of all classes who were on the platform cheered him as he stepped from the carriage. The fire brigade members escorted him with torchlight procession to his place of lodging, and on Wednesday he will go to his parents' home in the country. Later on it is intended to present him with a gold medal, and to give him a formal welcome in the Mechanics' hall, as has been done in the case of the other soldiers.
Melbourne Argus, 1st August 1901


Sergeant Harry BLAIR, who recently returned from South Africa, whither he went with the Fourth Contingent, has been entertained at a welcome social at the Bahgallah state school.
Hamilton Spectator, 3rd August 1901


A welcome-home was given on Thursday evening (writes our Casterton correspondent) to Sergeant BLAIR, who lately returned from the war. The demonstration took the shape of a torchlight procession through the principal streets, in which the mounted rifles, rifle club, shire councillors, fire brigade, and other local bodies took part. After the procession an entertainment was held in the mechanics' institute, Mr J.M. Scott, president of the shire, presiding. In the course of the evening Mr Scott presented Sergeant BLAIR with a gold medal on behalf of the residents of the district as a token of appreciation of Sergeant BLAIR's conduct in the campaign. Mr Speke also spoke highly of the colonial contingents as a whole, who had proved themselves worthy pillars of the empire. Sergeant BLAIR, in receiving the medal, thanked them all for their kindness in thus remembering and honouring him. He felt very grateful, and only regretted that he was not a public speaker, else he might entertain them with some of his experiences. He thanked them very much. The remainder of the entertainment was made up of songs and musical items, in which Misses Anderson, Hooper, Grinham and Lamborne and Messrs and Bieske, Egan, Swale, Hortle, Simpson and Watson took part. There was a good attendance, and everything went off with eclat.
Melbourne Argus, 5th August 1901


A public welcome was tendered to Sergeant Harry BLAIR at the Mechanics’ Hall on Friday evening, and he was presented with a Rotherham watch.
Melbourne Argus, 16th August 1901
CASTERTON. – A welcome, home social has been tendered at the Dartmoor State School to Trooper J. COLLIE. The building was crowded. Mr Moore presided. Trooper COLLIE was presented with a gold watch and guard, and also a gold medal, suitably inscribed.
Melbourne Argus, 26th August 1902



On Friday evening, at Bahgallah state school, Trooper John BLAIR, who has just returned from South Africa, where he served for 18 months with the Fifth Contingent, was presented with a gold medal. Mr Murdoch McIntyre presided.
Melbourne Argus, 6th September 1902
CASTERTON. — A welcome-home demonstration was given last evening in the Mechanics' Hall to four soldiers returned from South Africa within the last few days—Trooper John BLAIR (who had seen 18 months' active service) and Privates L. WATSON, A. PISHETT, and G. CONDY (who went out with the last contingent, to find the war had terminated). The Glenelg shire president (Councillor John McIntyre) presided. There was a torch-light procession, in which the mounted rifles, under Lieutenant Little, and the rifle club, under Captain Swale, and local brass band, and other societies took a prominent part. Trooper BLAIR was presented with a Rotherham watch, and each of the other soldiers with a gold medal.