State: New South Wales, Australia
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 24/07/1901
Number issued: 1
Gold medal, to:
???? Trooper William BROWN (possibly 1335 Trooper William Andrew Brown, b. Yass, NSW)
To Trooper W. BROWN.
Trooper William BROWN, who recently returned from the war with the Imperial Bushmen, arrived by paper train at Harden last Wednesday afternoon, and was accorded a very hearty welcome home by his parents, friends, comrades of the local troop of the 1st Australian Horse, and the residents of the town and district generally. Flags and other decorations had been put up in honour of the occasion along the thoroughfares of both Harden and Murrumburrah, and the utmost enthusiasm prevailed. Just as the train was approaching the station the Band played a most appropriate piece of music, whilst the whistles on the different engines in the railway yard set up a great screech of joy, and this lasted for a considerable time. After the usual affectionate greetings, the returned soldier was hoisted on the shoulders of Corporal Reardon and Trooper Bradford, and amidst great cheering was carried off the railway premises to a drag outside, the said drag being drawn by four spanking horses, driven by that competent and careful whip, Sergeant Major Baxter. Then a procession was formed, headed by the Band (in a coach under the care of Mr A. Boreland). Several cyclists followed, then came the drag, followed by many vehicles and some horsemen. There was a good muster of the members of the 1st Australian Horse, in charge of Lieutenant Bourke, and they formed an escort and guard of honour to their returned comrade. The procession proceeded through Harden and Murrumburrah; returning to near the Public School; and then to Trooper BROWN's residence, some 2 miles out of town. The returned soldier was warmly greeted all along the line of route, and he was kept busy acknowledging the hearty manifestations of welcome. Arriving at his home, Trooper BROWN had a long conversation with many of his comrades and friends. Then three cheers were given for him, at the call of Lieutenant Bourke; and after Mr Brown, senior, had thanked one and all for the generous welcome given to his son, the company left for home.
Trooper BROWN, who was some 14 months in South Africa, saw a lot of fighting, and took part in some very severe engagements. He is in exellent spirit, and had the good fortune not to be laid up for a single day with sickness.
Trooper BROWN’s numerous fellow employees in the railway service at Harden invited him to the Mechanics' Institute the same evening, and they presented him with a beautiful gold medal. There was a large gathering present, and Alderman W. Mills occupied the chair.
The chairman said he was very pleased to be present in giving their young friend a welcome home. He had known Trooper W. BROWN since the latter was a little boy and had always found him an honest and straight-forward young follow. When the country asked for volunteers their guest nobly responded to the call, and did nothing to injure his good name during the campaign. The medal about lo be presented to him was procured solely by his fellow employees in the railway service, and this little token of esteem would always remind Trooper BROWN of the reception he got at the hands of his fellow workmen and of the townspeople generally. He would now ask Mr Goodwin to make the presentation.
Mr P. Goodwin said it gave him great pleasure to present the medal to his old chum and fellow workman. He had known Trooper BROWN from boyhood and had nothing but good things to say of his manly character.
Alderman R.W. Jones was pleased to see their guest back amongst them. Though he failed in the first examinations Trooper BROWN tried a second time and succeeded in going on active service, and no doubt what he had seen in South Africa would be a lesson to him all his life.
Mr Timbrell could bear testimony to the good things said of Trooper BROWN, and the only thing he regretted was that their guest was not accompanied home by his comrade, Trooper DRUM.
Mr H. Evans, C.P.S., said though a comparative stranger he was very pleased indeed to be present in welcoming home one of their soldiers in the person of Trooper BROWN.
Messrs G. McLauren and W. Sharp also expressed the great pleasure they felt at seeing their guest back again, and spoke briefly of his many good qualities.
Trooper BROWN, who was visibly affected, said that he could not find words to sufficiently thank them for the way they had received him that day and for the handsome present given him. He was not a bit of good at public speaking and all he could say was that he thanked them from the bottom of his heart.
Three ringing cheers were then given for Trooper BROWN, and the company were invited to Mr O’Connell’s Federal Hotel to drink the health of their guest.
On arriving at the hotel, Alderman Mills was voted to the chair. The chairman proposed the health of Trooper BROWN in appropriate terms, and he also spoke in words of praise of Messrs J. Simpson, sen., and P. Goodwin for the prominent part they took in collecting funds for the medal. Their friend, Jack O’Connell, also deserved many thanks, for without him many ceremonies in town would fall flat, and he was ever ready to lend a helping hand.
The toast was drunk with musical honours, and trooper BROWN briefly responded, saying that the great reception given him that day and night fully made up for what hardships he had to endure whilst in South Africa.
Messrs Simpson and Goodwin said they did not wish any praise for what they had done in connection with getting the medal, as it was a duty they owed to their fellow workman, and they were pleased to see him home again.
The chairman having to leave, Mr Dickson took his place, and in suitable terms proposed the health of Mr A. Brown and Host O’Connell.
Mr A. Brown thanked one and all for the very hearty reception given his son, and he need hardly tell them that he felt proud of it. He sincerely hoped his other two sons would have the good fortune to return from the war in as good health as the one they honoured that night.