State: Victoria, Australia
Issued on: Departure and Return
Dates of presentations: 27/06/1901, 15/08/1901
Number issued: 2


Gold lockets, suitably inscribed, to:

27 June 1901 presentation

3rd Victorian (Bushmen's) Contingent –

571 Trooper John Joseph MOYLE

Presentation made in the Athenaeum, Tallangatta.

581 Trooper Hugh James RONALD received an inscribed silver watch.

15/08/1901 presentation

4th Victorian (Imperial Bushmen's) Contingent –

92 Lance-Corporal John O'REILLY

Presentation made by Captain McIntosh, in the Old Courthouse, Tallangatta.

Lance-Corporal O'Reilly was returning to South Africa, where he was appointed warder at Pretoria Gaol.


515 Private Henry MARTIN, 3rd Victorian (Bushmen's) Contingent, was presented with a .303 rifle, suitably inscribed, in the Shire Hall, Tallangatta, on 25/10/1900.
Ovens & Murray Advertiser, 29th June 1901


The residents of Tallangatta and district are naturally very proud of the boys who went from among them to South Africa to do battle for the homeland against the rebel Boers, and the welcome home accorded Troopers MOYLE and RONALD (returned per the Morayshire) on Thursday night was an evidence of the people's appreciation of their action in volunteering and afterwards participating in the fighting at the front. Messrs MOYLE and RONALD have happily returned unscathed as far as wounds are concerned, though MOYLE was the victim of an attack of the dreaded enteric fever, through which he pulled safely, thanks to a good constitution, prompt medical attendance and careful nursing. The Athenaeum has never, I think, held such a large assemblage. It is estimated that about 300 persons were present. Captain Macintosh occupied the chair, and after a brief eulogy of the returned soldiers and a feeling reference to the disaster to the Victorian troops, in which Trooper Chas. SMITH, of this place, was wounded, presented Trooper MOYLE with a gold locket, and Trooper RONALD with a silver watch, each article being suitably inscribed. The recipients briefly returned thanks, and gave an interesting account of their experiences in South Africa. A short programme of songs, recitations, &c., was afterwards rendered, and refreshments handed round, the proceedings closing with a short dance.
Ovens & Murray Advertiser, 17th August 1901


A large gathering of friends assembled at the old court-house, Tallangatta, on Thursday night last to bid farewell to Lance-corporal J. O'REILLY, who had decided to return to South Africa and join his regiment. The night previous he received word to put in an appearance in Melbourne on Saturday morning next, so it remained with the Returned Soldiers Committee to do the best they could in the time.

Captain McIntosh occupied the chair, and Mr W.H. Hawley the vice-chair. Among the audience was Mr Charles Dyson, a visitor from the city, who, before the completion of the programme, proved to be the "star" of the evening. We have in our town as reciters and elocutionists men of no mean type, but this young gentleman fairly took the palm; in fact, the general opinion reigned supreme that he was an ideal of the first-water.

After the toast of "The King", which was duly honoured, was drunk, the Chairman, on rising, said it gave him great pleasure to be there that evening to do honour to the departing guest. They had all along being welcoming home returned soldiers, but this was a double event, viz., to welcome and farewell. No doubt there were others in the room that knew him longer than he (the speaker), but there was one thing he could say, which was that he was a worthy son of a worthy sire. He proved himself a soldier, and was now returning. (Loud cheers). His regiment was noted to have done well, and all leading officers had spoken highly of them. He was pleased to see so many present owing to the short notice only being given out in the morning paper. However, the residents had made up their minds to make some tangible reimbursements for his services. It was O'REILLY's wish not to receive anything but leave his share to Trooper SMITH and G. REID and "Toby" BARTON. He wished to thank all present for the kindness to him. It was not its gold value, but the value between one and the other. He was tired of talking about his adventures. Then he thought it was too much like blowing his own whistle. He had been on the British side and also on the Boer laager, and had come to the conclusion that the British were right, hence his return, though he had been dangerously wounded in the Wilmansrust disaster. He now had great pleasure in presenting him with a gold locket, suitably inscribed, and addressing him said: "Lance-Corporal John O'REILLY, allow me, on behalf of Tallangatta's residents, to present you with this locket. We know and recognise the hardships which you have endured, and we trust that you will be spared again to return to your native shores, and long live to wear this locket". (Ringing cheers).

Mr Bruton then sang "The British Flag" in good style, followed by Mr Dyson, who fairly convulsed the house with a recitation, "How McDougall topped the score".

Mr Toby Dyring, in speaking to the toast, said, in common with others, he had great pleasure in being present that evening. He thought the chairman was a bit premature in springing on to him, as he had had no time to have a drink yet. (Laughter). However, he would not have much to say, more than he was pleased to see their boy again returning to South Africa. He thought this was true soldiering in the extreme. He thought the war would last some considerable time yet, owing to the manner in which the guerrilla fighting was being carried out. He knew the family from his boyhood, and wished them all success.

Messrs. Geo. Hill, and J. Brown also spoke.

The GUEST, in responding, said he was not a Geo. Reid or a Toby Barton, but he thanked one and all for their kind reception and farewell. He would be pleased to look upon the locket in the future to reflect sweet remembrances of Tallangatta. It would not be the gold value that he would treasure, but the value between himself and friends. (Hear, hear). He was tired of talking about the war, and it was too much to him like skiting. He had seen the British side of the question, also the Boer laager, and came to the conclusion that the British were right. Hence his reason for returning. Paul Kruger, he condemned — in fact, he was mortgaged. On his return he was surprised at not seeing a mounted detachment formed at Tallangatta. What finer men or horses could they get? He again would thank them from the bottom of his heart.

Song, "Just Break the News to Mother", Mr J. Hindle, followed by the immortal Dyson with his descriptive number, "An Amateur Rider", which helped to wipe the tear from every eye, caused by the previous singer.

Mr Heeps proposed "The Mounted Rifles in South Africa". He thought he knew little about them, as he had never seen active service; he was only playing soldier. They had learnt many things by the war; in fact, they all knew now where South Africa was. Who knew anything about veldts, kopjes and bill-tongs before? He heard a yarn about a woman whose son was in South Africa, and was asked what he was in the ranks, when she said he was a 'ral of some sort, but whether it was corp-ral, or cap-ral, or gen-ral she didn't know. (Laughter). He would ask them to drink to the troops in South Africa, which they did to the chorus "They are jolly good fellows".

Mr Lamden then gave "Saur Kraut", and Mr Jno. Brown "Hearts of Oak", both numbers being well received.

Mr Hawley then feelingly proposed the health of the father, Mr M. O'Reilly, which was responded to.

Mr. O'Dea recited in his usual stirring manner "Cricket at Killaloe", and as an encore gave "And how it was played".

Mr Lamden proposed the chairman, secretary (Mr Law), Mr Fortescue and the visitor, Mr Dyson. He (Mr Lamden) on hearing of the latter coming made it his business to meet the train.

Mr Dyson, in responding to the toast, said it gave him great pleasure to be there. It was his first trip to Tallangatta, and he hoped it would not be his last. He was rather surprised, although his conscience acquitted aim, on being met at the station by a man in blue; but as everybody knew these sort of gentlemen were looking for clean shaves, he must have naturally concluded he had Sparkes in one piece. He had met some brilliant sparks there that evening, and in conclusion he thanked them heartily for their kind toast.

Each of the other gentlemen responded, and the party broke up with singing "Auld Lang Syne".

Lance-Corporal O'REILLY left by Friday's train.
Albury Banner, 23rd August 1901


The many friends of Trooper Chas. SMITH, who was recently wounded in action at Wilmansrust, will regret to learn that the doctors have found it necessary to amputate his leg gangrene having set in in his foot. His case was a very critical one, but he is now progressing towards recovery. The welcome home to Lance-Corporal J. O'REILLY, which took the form of a smoke social, was held on Thursday night last. There was a fairly large attendance, and after several toasts bad been proposed, the chairman (Captain Macintosh) presented the guest with a diamond locket on behalf of his Tallangatta friends and well-wishers. Lance-Corporal O'REILLY is returning to South Africa.