Bernard Rourke ALSTON, 626 Private - RTA - ID# 535

Bernard Rourke ALSTON, 626 Private F Coy - Cheops ID#535

 

‘... a merry scamp’

 

A Twist of Fate

Our paternal grandfather Bernard Rourke ALSTON enlisted into the First AIF at the Kalgoorlie Drill Hall on 15 August 1914.

It was by a twist of fate that he was in Kalgoorlie at the time War was declared as he was not a native of the West. Bernie hailed from Alexandra, a beautiful pastoral district in the foothills of the High Country in Victoria. He had followed two of his elder brothers (Henry & Percy) who had already made their way to the West for work. In August 1914 Bernie was a clerk in the Union Bank at 189 Hannan Street. He had just turned 22.

Robert Ford BRYANT – RTA – ID# 194

194

 

 Always charge sideways – there is less to shoot at!

 

 Calm before the storm

Bryant family legend has it that as a teenager, Robert, or Bob as he preferred to be called, rode his bicycle from Mount Magnet to Perth (a distance of almost 600 kms) to watch a cricket match. There’s a strong possibility that the story is true. Bob was known for his determination, his strength of character and love of sport and physical challenges, traits he constantly exhibited throughout his life.

INMAN, John William (Jack) - Not in Photo

INMAN, Edwin Stanley - RTA ID# 154

154

  inman john william1

 

I do hope we will be spared to return to you dear people again

 

Australia is at war!

It was in August 1914 and with a heavy heart that Caroline Barlow learnt that Australia was at war.

Married at eighteen, she had given birth to thirteen children, eight by her abusive first husband, George Inman and five by her much younger second husband, Lambert Barlow.

Alvared Roe Cecil CLIFTON - RTA ID# 184

Selfless to a fault 184

 

... tall, strong, suave and unperturbed, selfless to a fault, (he) was held in high esteem by his comrades ...

 

In his memoir of the 1914-1918 war years, George Medcalf described his 11th Battalion friend Alvared Clifton thus

It would appear that Alvared or Alvie as he was known, was not only selfless but completely lacking in affectation. On the attestation paper he completed when enlisting for military service abroad, he wrote but one word ‘labourer’ in answer to question 5 - What is your trade or calling?

Ferdinand George MEDCALF - RTA - ID# 105

105


... an unusually modest type of man ...

Ferdinand George Medcalf's intelligence, leadership and courage earned him a Distinguished Service Order, a mention in despatches and a recommendation for a Military Cross.

He enlisted in the 11th Battalion AIF in 1914 as a Private and was invalided back to Australia in March 1917 as a Captain.

Ernest John MESSENGER - RTA - ID# 380

380


He lived a full life...

My great grandmother’s brother Ernest was born in South Australia in 1881. He was the second eldest of the eleven children born to George and Jane Messenger. For many years, George had worked as a lumper at the Adelaide docks but when gold was discovered in Western Australia, he decided to try his luck in the Kalgoorlie goldfields. The family relocated to Western Australia in 1898 when Ernest was seventeen and George found work hauling water for the prospectors.