State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 28/06/1901
Number issued: 3


Gold lockets & alberts, suitably inscribed, to:

2nd Victorian (Mounted Rifles) Contingent –
314 Private Ernest Robert COOK
306 Private Llewellyn Edward ROGERS
313 Private John DUFF
Presentation made by Mr A. Nichols, M.L.A., in the Mechanics' Institute, during the initial concert of the recently formed choral society.
Obverse with crossed rifles, and: "2nd contingent, South African War, 1899-1901, A gallant Australian".

Reverse:"From residents of Drouin district to Private [J. Duff]".

"a handsome gold Albert and locket, the inscription of which read as follows – "From residents of Drouin district to Private J. Duff". On the obverse surmounted by crossed guns, "2nd contingent, South African War, 18991901, A gallant Australian".
Note: A Private Rodgers received a gold "breast pin" from the inhabitants of Baringhup. Baringhup is 250 km from Drouin, and it seems unlikely that Rodgers/Rogers would have received gifts from two places so far apart. However, no other L. Rodgers or L. Rogers served with the Second Contingent.



Melbourne Argus, 2nd July 1901


DROUIN. – At a concert given by the Drouin Choral Society on Friday evening Privates DUFF, ROGERS, and E.R. COOK were each presented with a gold albert and pendant. Privates ROGERS and COOK returned from the Boer war recently, and Private DUFF was invalided home some few months ago. The presentation was made by Mr P. Nichols, M.L.A., who specially complimented Private COOK on the great distinction he had earned in being mentioned in Lord Roberts’s despatches.
West Gippsland Gazette, 9th July 1901




 The Mechanics' Hall, Drouin, was crowded to the doors on Friday evening last when the recently-formed Choral Society held their first public concert. For the purpose of giving additional éclat to the occasion a number of well-known performers had been engaged from the city and we may say without fear of contradiction that the effort on the part of all concerned resulted in the best concert that has been heard by a Drouin audience. The singing of the Choral Society considering the disadvantages it has labored under lately was very creditable and the success achieved by it is doubtless due to the careful preparation bestowed by the temporary conductor, Mr W.J. Murley. In the short time this gentleman has had the members under his. baton he has worked wonders, and there is no reason that with further practice why the Drouin Society should not hold its own with any similar body in this State. Their rendering of "Comrades in Arms", which is set for male voices only, was a feature of the evening and fully deserved the high encomiums tendered by visitors and audience.

The programme opened with "Carnovale", by the Society, in which all the parts were well taken the whole blending well together. Signorina Coy in "Dear Bird of Winter" was heard to full advantage and her sweet rich voice amply suited the trilling notes in the song which was deservedly encored, the "Vankas song" being the outcome. Miss Guenett showed a complete mastery of the violin in "Tarantelle", for which an encore was demanded. The full baritone voice of Mr Ashcroft Edwards was used to advantage in "When bright eyes glance", and the immense range of it was shown in the encore, "The song of sleep". The Society again showed to advantage in their rendering "In this hour of softened splendour", the expressions throughout the piece being perfect. The favorite of Drouin audiences, Miss Cromb, met with a very flattering reception, and sang "Auld Robin Gray" with feeling, responding to an encore with the ever welcome "Comin' thro' the Rye". A reading by Mr Arthur Nichols of "A story of the American War" was appropriate to the occasion, and was well received". “Comrades in Arms" by the male voices of the Society, which was splendidly rendered, served as an introduction to the returned soldiers on the platform.

During the interval Mr Nichols addressing Privates DUFF, ROGERS and COOK said that on behalf of the residents of the district he had to make a presentation. So much had been said and so much written about the valour shown by the colonials at the front that there was very little to add. It was with feelings of heartfelt gratitude he welcomed these young men back to their midst after having undergone a most arduous campaign. (Hear, hear). Perhaps in after years these events will be a matter of history and they would have the satisfaction of knowing they had had a hand in making it so. It was an object lesson to the whole world the way the colonies had rallied round the flag. Not only was Great Britain fighting the Boers; but other jealous foes were watching to take advantage of any weak spot they might find. The young Australian soldiers had done more to help along Federation than all the politicians of the States put together. (Applause). Lord Roberts has spoken highly of our soldiers and here upon the platform is one who was selected by that officer for special mention. When it is remembered the many thousands who had taken part in the campaign it must be regarded as a very high compliment indeed that one of the Drouin lads should be selected for special mention. (Applause). He felt sure the event had added a good few years to Mr COOK's life and he would carry his head higher with all a father's pride. He was sure everyone present hoped and trusted that. a long life of usefulness was in front of all the young men. He hoped they would not think of the intrinsic value, although it was pretty considerable, of the presents but regard it more as an outburst of regard which had prompted the donors. In conclusion, he felt highly honored to present each of them with a handsome gold Albert and locket, the inscription of which read as follows – "From residents of Drouin district to Private J. Duff". On the obverse surmounted by crossed guns, "2nd contingent, South African War, 1899-1901, A gallant Australian". The inscriptions of all the lockets were the same.

The closing remarks were greeted with bursts of cheering which lasted some moments.

Private DUFF, in responding, said he had great pleasure to have the opportunity of accepting such a handsome present. He did not know what he had done to merit it. During the time he was in South Africa he had done his best and if ever again had to go on active service would do his duty: Those present knew his feelings at the present time so he would thank them from the bottom of his heart. (Cheers).

Private ROGERS had much pleasure in thanking the people of Drouin and district for their welcome home. He would like to take this opportunity of thanking Mr Elsbury, as there was no doubt it was through that gentleman he had been enabled to get away with the contingent and he ought to be up on the platform too. He trusted that when any of the wounded men came home, they would receive fair consideration at the hands of the members of Parliament. (Applause).

Private COOK: Allow me to express my heartfelt thanks for the kind manner in which you have tonight and previously appreciated my efforts on active service. The handsome testimonial which you have been pleased to present tonight will always be treasured by me as long as I live. As to my experiences in South Africa I am only sorry that I am not speaker enough to give you some outline of them but suffice it to say that whatever I did while there I only considered it part of my duty, and should the occasion ever warrant it I would again be ready to take up arms in defence of the "Grand Old Flag." Allow me to again thank you for your kind reception and testimonial.

The second part of the programme commenced with a piano solo "The Storm" by Mrs McGorlick played in a masterly manner. Signorina Coy then favored the audience with "Solveigg", which suited this young lady's vocal powers. "Gloria" by the Society was excellently rendered, and amongst the pieces given by the whole of the members must be ranked as first. Each part was exceptionally well taken and the harmonious blending of the whole was something to be remembered. "Off to Philadelphia" by Mr Ashcroft Edwards was deservedly encored, "Mattinatta" being rendered. "Home they brought her warrior dead" received just treatment at the hands of Miss Cromb, who in answer to a recall gave "Kate O'Shea". Miss Guenett again showed her control over the violin in "Spanish dance", and as an encore "La Cinquantaine". The programme was brought to a close with "Good night, beloved" by the Society. The National Anthem bringing the evening's enjoyment to a close.

After the audience had dispersed the stage was cleared and refreshments were served to the visitors and members of the Society, where congratulations were exchanged on the result of the first effort of the society. Advantage was also taken to say good-bye to Miss Moore who was leaving Drouin, and who had been indefatigable in the interests of the Society. It was announced by the secretary, Mr Chappell, that the concert had resulted in a profit of something like £5 which was to be devoted towards the purchase of new music.