State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Departure
Dates of presentations: aft. 08/03/1900, 28/01/1902
Number issued: 5


Gold medals/pendants, to:

aft. 08/03/1900 presentation

3rd Victorian (Bushmen's) Contingent –

473 Private Frederick Michael BATES

Private Bates was also to receive a silver flask.

28/01/1902 presentation

2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse (Victoria) –
499 Private Hugh LEE
415 Private Maurice LEE
645 Private James McCracken CHARMERS [Charman]

670 Private Edward McRAE

Presentation made by Mr C.J. Jago (President of the Shire), in the Town Hall, Dandenong.
Inscribed: "To Private ________ , first Federal Contingent, 1902. From the loyal residents of Dandenong".
Not all of the medals were ready for the presentation. Once received the remainder would be forwarded to the volunteers at Langwarrin Camp.





Melbourne Age, 8th March 1900

DANDENONG, Wednesday.

Private F. BATES, a member of the Bushmen’s Contingent, who is a native of Dandenong, is to be presented by the residents with a suitably inscribed gold pendant and silver flask.
South Bourke and Mornington Journal, 29th January 1902

Smoke Night at Dandenong.


On Tuesday evening at the Town Hall, Dandenong, a complimentary smoke night was tendered to Privates H. and M. LEE, and Jas. CHARMAN [sic] and Ed. McRAE, who are about to leave with the Commonwealth Contingent for South Africa. The "smoke" was a great success in every respect, proceedings being of a most enthusiastic nature throughout, and were presided over by Mr C.J. Jago, president of the shire.

The Chairman proposed the first toast, viz., "The King", which was enthusiastically honoured.

Mr Jago mentioned the reason of their meeting, viz., to do honour to the four young fellows leaving this district for the Boer war which had commenced about two years ago, and, contrary to expectations, was unfortunately not over yet. He hoped to see them all return from the war safe and sound, and wished them the best of luck (applause).

Song, "Motherland", Mr S. Lehman (loud applause).

Mr A.T. McLean proposed "The Commonwealth and State Parliament", and, after referring to the fact that our statesmen had been cavilled at for not having before now sent away 1,000 of our best men, pointed out that it was a very important question and required careful consideration. The Government having decided to despatch the contingent, he felt certain that its action would be endorsed by the people. Previous contingents had acquitted themselves creditably, and we need therefore have no fear as to the manner in which these men would conduct themselves. He regretted that a General-agent had not been appointed for South Africa, when great improvement in importations would have resulted thereby. He would couple the name of Mr W.S. Keast, M.L.A., with the toast, which was accorded a hearty reception.

Song, "Rose, thistle, and shamrock", Mr E. Walker (applause).

Mr Keast, who was applauded upon rising to respond, said that it afforded him great pleasure to respond to the toast, and thanked them for the manner in which it had been received. They must not judge the Commonwealth too harshly, that body having a great work to perform. Regarding the State Parliament and the despatch of troops, the Premier had come into the House and said that more soldiers must go to South Africa, and Mr Peacock was entitled to every credit in the matter. He was pleased at being present tonight to do honour to the young fellows going away. Their volunteers had fought well in the past, and unfortunately many had not returned, and their bones were decaying on the veldt of South Africa. It had been clearly shown that any nation that tackled England would have to fight Australia too. England would eventually give to the Boers that which they never had – an honest Government. He regretted the appointment of agent to look after affairs in South Africa, as he did not think the gentleman filling the position was altogether suited. He wished the boys God-speed, and concluded by assuring his hearers that at the conclusion of the war "England would be England still, and every country knows it" (applause).

Recitation, "When your pants begin to go", Mr F. Osborne.

Dr Barclay Thomson said that he had (a few minutes ago) been asked to propose the most important toast of the evening, viz, "Our Guests". He hoped therefore that his feeble effort would be carried through with enthusiasm. England had, during the present war, sent across the sea such an enormous number of troops that the feat could only be accomplished by one nation, and that power was Great Britain. When the first troops were sent there was some doubt as to how they would acquit themselves, but, owing to the splendid work done by those men, that doubt no longer existed, and he had no doubt the men comprising the present units would give as good an account of themselves. Notwithstanding the hardships of the campaign two of their guests were ready and willing to face it again (applause). He asked those present to drink to the toast, and hoped they would accord the young fellows a cheer that would ring in their ears when they were out upon the veldt of S. Africa (applause).

Mr Joseph Clarke supported Dr Thomson's remarks, and in doing so said that it sent a thrill through him because he had received word that a young man, at present in West Australia, but well known in Dandenong, was going with the Commonwealth Contingent. That young man's name was George Clare (applause). He hoped they would distinguish themselves, and rejoiced in the fact that they were sending such a contingent to South Africa (applause). The toast was honored in an enthusiastic manner.

Song, "The Empress of the wave", Mr D. McLean.

Colonel A.W. Rodd, being the senior officer present, was the first to respond. He eulogised the action of Privates H. and M. LEE, both of whom had already been at the front and were prepared to go again; their comrades, who found that other Australians had done well, had also decided to fight for King and Country (applause). The men were deserving all praise and esteem from residents, and if they simply carried out the orders issued by their superior officers they could depend upon doing well and receiving a hearty welcome home. He had been 48 years in the service; and had volunteered for both the Crimea and New Zealand wars (applause).

Privates Hugh and Maurice LEE, Edward McRAE and James CHARMAN [sic] then responded in the order named. Each expressed his thanks for the kind and enthusiastic send-off extended by the residents, and assured those present that they would use their best endeavours to faithfully serve under their commanding officer. The various speakers were heartily cheered.

Song, "Poor old Kruger", Private E. McRAE; an encore was demanded, when "Farewell to the Medic" was given.

The Chairman then proceeded to present each of the volunteers with a handsome medal, bearing, the following inscriptions: – "To Private ________ , first Federal Contingent, 1902. From the loyal residents of Dandenong". All the medals were not to hand, but the Chairman promised that same would be forwarded to the Langwarrin camp in due course.

Mr Jago stated that owing to his being compelled to leave, he had arranged that Colonel Rodd take the chair. Mr Keast also rose from his seat and proceeded to leave the Hall.

Mr A.W. Pearson requested both Mr Keast and Mr Jago to remain a few moments. He had been asked, in view of the patriotic spirit displayed by both gentlemen, to call for three cheers in their honour. The audience complied with that request in boisterous style.

The compliment was suitably acknowledged by Mr Jago and Mr Keast.

Mr Lee, father of two of the volunteers, referred to the calumnies which had appeared in the press, wherein the British troops were charged with ill-treating Boer women and children, and gave evidence of a convincing nature that such statements were entirely false, his remarks being greeted with loud applause.

Ex-Sergt. Rogers, Senior-Constable Taylor, and Mr E. Powis joined in wishing the guests of the evening every success and a safe return. An apology for non-attendance was received from Dr R. Lee Brown.

Song, "Only a faded flower", Mr G. Keighery.

Senior-Constable Taylor proposed "H Company Rangers", coupled with the name of Colonel Rodd, who responded in appropriate terms.

Song, "As your hair grows whiter", Mr F. Hack.

Song, "Sweet Katie Farrell", Master Hack.

Ex-Sergt. Rogers moved a vote of thanks to the secretary (Mr S. Lehman) and the committee, and invited all to charge their glasses and drink to the toast "Mr Lehman and the Committee", which was done accordingly.

Song, "The merry maids of England", Colonel Rodd (encored).

Mr Lehman returned thanks for the reception accorded the toast. He had carefully watched South African affairs and it was clear that men were urgently needed at the present juncture. He felt compelled to say, however, that some of the people of Dandenong were in sympathy with the Boers, which he regretted. Many people were not in unity with the Empire (dissent). He had Irish blood in his veins, and was proud of it. Although Ireland had been a mis-governed country he advised people of that nationality to "let the dead past bury its dead". He simply said that a great many Irish people were disloyal (dissent). [At this stage the audience refused to hear more from the speaker]. When order had been somewhat restored, Mr Lehman stated that he did not wish to hurt anyone's feelings, which he apparently had done, and would therefore withdraw his remarks. The subject was then allowed to drop.

"The Press" was proposed by Mr T. Orgill, the toast being briefly responded to by Mr F. Swords and Mr Roulston.

The Chairman's health was proposed by Ex-Sergeant Rogers, Colonel Rodd speaking in reply.

The company then joined hands and sang Auld Lang Syne, after which three ringing cheers were given for the local volunteers.

All arrangements were efficiently carried out and the crowded audience which assembled appeared to spend a very enjoyable time.