State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 07/05/1902
Number issued: 1


Gold medal, suitably inscribed, to:

5th Victorian (Mounted Rifles) Contingent –
1324 Private Percy Herbert Albert BOLWELL (absent)

Presentation made by the Mayor in the Mechanics' Hall, Horsham.

Handed to Mr Bert Allan in Private Bolwell's absence.

Subscribed for by fellow members of the Fire Brigade.


Horsham Times, 2nd May 1902
Amongst the members of the Fifth Victorian Contingent who have returned from South Africa are Lieutenant Norman SMITH, brother of Mr Leslie Smith, of Horsham; Sergeant MULLER, son of Mr Muller, of McKenzie Creek; Corporal Edwy BOLTON; Corporal Gordon LUCAS, son of Mrs Lucas, of Horsham; and Private BOLWELL, son of Mr A. A. Bolwell, of Horsham. Sergeant MULLER and Private BOLWELL have been in Horsham, to which they have been warmly welcomed by their friends for some days. Corporal BOLTON, who is to stay with his brother, Mr Wilson Bolton, at the Colonial Bank, will be in the town next week. On Wednesday evening the returned soldiers will be entertained by the mayor, Cr. J.A. Davis, and the townspeople, at the Mechanics' Hall. Opportunity will be taken by the Horsham Fire Brigade, of which he is a member, to present Private BOLWELL with a handsome gold medal suitably inscribed.
Horsham Times, 9th May 1902



A social in welcome to the Horsham members of the Fifth Victorian Contingent, recently returned from service in South Africa, was given by the Mayor of Horsham, Mr J.A. Davis, J.P., and the townspeople, in the Mechanics' Hall, on Wednesday evening. The attendance was large and representative, and the scene an animated one, the uniforms of the Rangers and firemen imparting a welcome touch of color to the gathering. An excellent supper was provided by Mr W. Fraser, and to this ample justice was done. The chair was occupied by the mayor, who had on his right hand the guests of the evening, Sergeant MILLER, Corporal Edwy BOLTON and Private Gordon LUCAS, and on his left Mr Robert Stanley, M.L.A.  Private BOLWELL was unable to be present to participate in the welcome, it being necessary for him to present himself for examination in Melbourne in respect of his application for employment in the State police force. Regretful reference to his absence was made by several speakers and by those who had been his campaign comrades.

The health of the King was honored with customary loyalty, on the proposition of the mayor.

The mayor proposed Our Guests. (Loud cheers). They had done their duty right honorably. (Hear, hear). They were proud to have them I amongst them again. Sergeant MILLER and Corporal BOLTON had won their promotion on the field of battle. (Cheers). The British had kept the flag flying for a thousand years, and could keep it flying for a few centuries yet. (Cheers). The Continental curs had been barking at the heels of the British bulldog, but with the help of Australia they would yet mete out to these insulters of Englishmen the punishment they deserved. He spoke with warmth, because he spoke as an insulted Englishman. (Cheers). Properly drilled and well officered the Australians, who had distinguished themselves in every position in which they had been placed, would prove themselves the best fighting material in the world. (Cheers). He felt it to be a high privilege to be able to lead in doing honor to our young Australian soldiers.

The toast was drunk with much enthusiasm, and Sergeant MILLER, on rising to respond, received an ovation. He was glad to know that their old friends were pleased to see them back, but he was sure they were not more pleased than his comrades and himself were. All Australians would be glad to do what he and those who had acted with them had done. He had in his travels learnt that Horsham was by no means the worst place in the world. (Cheers and laughter). He thanked them all very heartily for the way in which they had treated him. (Cheers).

Corporal BOLTON, who was enthusiastically received, was pleased to say that he and those who had been with him had seen plenty of active service, and the greater part of South Africa, which was a fine country. It was a fine mineral country, but was not fitted for agriculture. He proposed to go back to South Africa and make a home there. Nevertheless, he hoped to see all his Horsham friends again from time to time. (Cheers).

Private LUCAS also responded to the toast in a humorous vein.

Mr C. Rennison proposed Our Comrades at the Front. This toast was of equal importance with that of the guests, as both those present that evening, and those still fighting, had done and were nobly performing, their duty in the doing of a splendid work for Britain. (Cheers). The Australians at the front had shown themselves to have as much pluck and more discretion and judgment than the English trained soldiers. (Cheers).

The toast was very warmly drunk.

Mr Cathcart, in acknowledging the toast, said he had a brother at the front, who reported that the Australians were doing grand work in South if Africa, where they were using their brains, something greatly wanted there. (Cheers). Australians were endeavouring to nobly do work for Australia and for the Empire, whilst the world stood aghast and wondered.

Mr Thos. Young, J.P., proposed the State Parliament, which was just what the people of the State made it, and a fair reflection of them. (Cheers). If Parliament had been extravagant, it was because the people of the State, tempted by the extraordinary prosperity of the country, had themselves been extravagant. (Hear, hear). But the time had now come for a substantial retrenchment in the cost of Parliamentary Government. (Cheers). He warmly welcomed the returned soldiers, who had upheld the reputation of their country by doing their duty well at the seat of war. (Cheers).

Mr Robert Stanley, M.L.A., who was enthusiastically received, acknowledged the toast. He was pleased to know that the leaders of the reform movement in Horsham were not joining in the popular abuse of the State Parliament. (Cheers). In connection a with the reform movement he objected to the assertion that members of Parliament were opposed to the reform of Parliament. Speaking for himself, and for the great majority of members of Parliament, he could say, and he said it without fear of contradiction, that they were willing and anxious for reform and that it should be brought about. (Hear, hear). For himself he might say that at the time he I was a candidate for the representation of Horsham in the Legislative Assembly he was on the question of Parliamentary reform much in advance of what was then the popular feeling. (Hear,hear). And he had to say this, that his intention was to adhere to the pledges he had made when as a candidate for Parliament he was seeking their suffrages. (Cheers). He would have done that had there been no reform agitation. It made no difference to him what agitation there was, nor would he be influenced by it, even if meetings were held on every day of the week for weeks to come. His intention was to adhere to his pledges, or if he altered his views to announce the fact to his constituents, whose duty it would then be to say whether or not they agreed with him. (Cheers). He would like them to consider what the adoption of the proposal to reduce the numbers of members of the Assembly to 46 and the numbers of Ministers of the Crown to five would mean. It I would certainly mean that neither Parliament nor Ministers would be able to give to public business that attention that it required and that the best interests of the State demanded it should have. When to the number of Ministers to the Crown they added the Speaker, the Chairman of Committees, the whips, the members of the Railways Standing Committee and other Parliamentary committees they found that the Ministry of the day would have so many members directly and indirectly under its influence that they need only be anxious about the independent support of a very few members to give them a majority in the popular House. Was there an intelligent and patriotic man in the State who wanted that position of affairs brought about! He ventured to think that there was not. (Hear, hear). He did not approve of the proposal to reduce the strength of the Assembly to 46, but he was strongly in favor of all the retrenchment consistent with efficiency and fairness that was possible, and that in all the directions of State expenditure. (Hear, hear). In the position he occupied he stood, in his relation to this matter of retrenchment and economy, between the general taxpayer and the Civil Service, and what he desired was to do justice to both and to wrong none. (Cheers).

The other toasts honored were The Army and Navy, proposed by Mr Stanley and acknowledged by Lieutenant Rogers; The Agricultural and Pastoral Interests, proposed by Mr Geo. Rutherford and acknowledged by Mr J.W. Power, president of the Horsham and Wimmera District Agricultural and Pastoral Society; The Fire Brigade, proposed by Mr B.T. Pearse and acknowledged by Captain D. Lewis; The Rangers, proposed by Mr Hagelthorn and acknowledged by Lieutenant Rogers, and the chairman. Songs were sung by Messrs J. Langlands, J. Browne, Jowett, Muller, J. Garland and Tydeman, and a recitation was given by Mr F. Collins. The proceedings concluded with the singing of Auld Lang Syne.



As explained above, Private BOLWELL was unable to be present to participate in the welcome. This was the more unfortunate, as it had been the intention of his old comrades of the Horsham Fire Brigade, by whom he is deservedly held in very high esteem, and with whom he is very popular, to present him with a handsome gold medal suitably, inscribed. Under the circumstances created by Private BOLWELL's absence, the medal was presented, for him, to Mr Bert Allan. The presentation was made by the Mayor, in a few appropriate and well-chosen remarks, highly eulogistic of Mr BOLWELL as a soldier, a fireman and a citizen. The Mayor also took the opportunity of paying a high compliment to the Fire Brigade, eulogising its efficiency and its patriotism, and appreciating the great services it had, under present and past captains, Lewis, Bradshaw and Wright, rendered to the town and to property owners and householders. The Mayor's remarks were subsequently appropriately acknowledged by Mr Tom Young, secretary to the brigade, whilst Mr Bert Allan, in a short but graceful speech on Mr BOLWELL's behalf, thanked the brigade for their presentation.
Melbourne Age, 14th May 1902

HORSHAM. – Sergeant Otto MULLER, Corporals E. BOLTON and G. LUCAS, and Private P. BOLWELL, returned members of the Fifth Contingent, were entertained in the Mechanics’ Hall by the mayor (Mr J.A. Davis) and townspeople. Private BOLWELL, who is a member of the local fire brigade, was presented by that body with a beautiful gold medal at the same time.