Saturday, July 23, 2016

Clarence Roy McLaren

100 years ago today, Clarence Roy (Clarrie) McLaren lost his life fighting in Poziers, France.

The McLaren family stem from Ardrossan. Duncan and Elizabeth Ann Adams had nine children mostly in Ardrossan; four or who enlisted in the AIF.

After the birth of Clarence in 1893, the family moved to Bridge Road, Gawler West. Just prior to the war Clarrie was a pupil teacher in Gawler in 1912 and studied at Teachers College in 1913. In January 1914 he was appointed to Wellington Road School as Assistant Teacher. He was re-appointed each year until July 1916, even though he had enlisted on 20 August 1914. He was given leave on that date without pay until his return from war. 

Clarrie enlisted on 20 August 1914 when he was 21 years old. He had served one year in the University Rifle Corp, and three years in Senior Cadets. 

He was assigned to the 10th Infantry AIF. Sailing on-board the Ionian he joined the Middle East Forces at Alexandria, Egypt. He was sick with otitis (ear infection) at Cairo. After recovering he fought at Gallipoli and sent sick to hospital on 9 May 1915. He re-joined his battalion at Gallipoli and on 25 September 1915 was appointed Lance Corporal. In December he was made Corporal and then Sergeant after the evacuation of Gallipoli.

Clarrie was killed in action in the field on 23 July 1916 at Poziers, France. He is buried in Villiers-Bretonneux, Picarde. He left everything to his mother, who received his effects which included a wallet, trinket, notebook, post cards, letter, pen, photographs, set of chess and board, watch, mittens and soap box. 

In November 1918 Mrs. McLaren wrote to the army from Evanston, Gawler asking them to request the women of France to continue to tend to her sons grave as they have been, as it would be a great comfort to her. She mentions that she has three son’s still doing their part in the war. The army replied that they would pass on the request and also that a photograph of his grave would be sent to her. His mother wrote twice requesting a copy of the death certificate.  

Clarrie was well known and highly esteemed in the area. He was amongst the first to land at Gallipoli. 

A headstone was erected in Angle Vale cemetery for Clarrie and David.

David Francis was born on 20 November1880 at Ardrossan. He became a blacksmith and enlisted in 1917, aged 36 years. David had previously tried to enlist but was turned down because of heart trouble. He travelled to Sydney but failed again. He tried again in South Australia and this time was successful. Initially he was placed on home service, a task he felt was for returned soldiers. He resigned and was then offered a position as a munitions worker and left Adelaide in November 1917. In England he worked in a large factory near Ramsgate doing aeroplane work in a flying school and later at Southampton.

Unfortunately David contracted Spanish influenza and died in the Southampton hospital.

Allan Bruce was a thirty year old Blacksmith when he enlisted on the 1 November 1915. He was placed in the 25th company as a Driver in France. He was invalided out to the UK with pneumonia in October 1918.

James Ross was assigned to the 9th Light Horse Regiment and fought at Gallipoli. After receiving an injury to his left eye he was returned to Australia. James was discharged on 10 October 1919. 

A nephew Alexander James McLaren died of wounds in the chest and foot on October 14th 1916 in France. Other cousins were also serving at the front, Private Lloyd Silas McLaren (of Normanville), Stanley Roy McLaren (of Forest Range), Lieutenant J H McLaren (of South Africa) and Sister Tilly McLaren of Western Australia.

 Lest we forget!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Craigmore Farm

'Craigmore' by Elders Real Estate
This beautiful stone homestead was recently sold at Uleybury.  At one time, the property known as Greentree Hill Farm and later Craigmore lay on 619 acre property.

A holding consisting of several sections (Section 4177 on which the house was built), 4178, 4174, 4175, 4179, 4180.  These sections were originally granted to several people, Robert Paterson, Thomas Ryan, Robert Thomson and John Ridley between 26 February 1850 and 2 June 1852.

By August 1859 Robert Paterson had acquired all these sections amounting to an area of 619 acres for £2,940.
Paterson owned the property until 31 August 1897 when he sold it to Melville Galbraith Smith a gentleman farmer of O’Halloran Hill.  It was not until September 1928 when Craigmore changed hands again, brought by Arnold Fraser Warren of Kingswood for £10,450.  In 1968 John Bellhouse Fuller Ifould brought ‘Craigmore’ selling it to Clement Raymond Viney and JM Viney in 1972.

In 1897 the property was consisted of ten rooms, and a cellar.  There used to be a well and a swimming pool which was later filled in. The house had been extended probably 1972 to mid 90s with a modern kitchen and extra bedroom and laundry area. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

William Parr Stevens

100 years ago, today William Parr Stevens died of wounds in France.

The Stevens family were pioneer farmers in the Peachey Belt area. John arrived in 1836 on the Buffalo when he was 27 years old. A market gardener and farmer he resided in Adelaide, Unley and the Peachy Belt. John married Ann Burgin and had five children. The eldest son Charles Bennet was born on the 20 August 1840 at Unley.

Charles followed in his father’s footstep, working as a farmer and labourer living at Peachy Belt. He married Elizabeth Parr in 1865. Charles and Elizabeth Parr had six children, three boys and three girls all born at Peachy Belt. The youngest, William Parr was born on the 10 February 1883.

William enlisted on the 19 July 1915, he was 32 years old, single and worked as a labourer. He left Australia on the 27 October 1915 for Egypt. He was transferred to the 4th Division Pioneer Battalion on the 18 March1916. In June 1916 he proceeded to join the BEF from Alexandria, Egypt to Marseilles, France. Pioneer Battalions were essentially light military combat engineers organised like the infantry and located at the very forward edge of the battle area. They were used to develop defensive positions, construct command posts and dugouts, and prepare barbed wire defences. These soldiers held many skills from building, construction and maintenance to road and track preparation. They could also, and did quite often, fight as infantry.

While fighting in the field, William received shrapnel wound in his buttocks and abdomen. He was admitted to the Casualty Station, but died of his wounds on the 27 June 1916. He is buried in the Bailleul Cemetery by the Reverend C. K. Whalley.

William’s effects were returned to Australia. They consisted of dice, letters, photos, cards, belt, Testament, Prayer Book, diary, writing pad, pipe, knife and coins. The memorial Plaque, Scroll and photos of the grave were sent to his father.

Lest we forget!

 Photo: Chronicle newspaper Saturday 15th July 1916 page 43

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

South Australian Housing Trust Nursery

Once farming land, the dusty plains of Elizabeth needed vegetation as the City was grew.  The South Australian Housing Trust nursery was situated on the corner of Judd Road and Philip Highway, Elizabeth in the early 1960's.  Every new householder was given six trees from this nursery stock, hopefully to plant.  Stock from here was used to plant the plantations and trees around the reserves in Elizabeth.  It closed when the Trust no longer needed access to large quantities of trees and shrubs.

In the 1950's many cuttings were grown here from Sir Thomas Playford's own orchard in the Adelaide Hills and planted here in Elizabeth.

Monday, May 30, 2016

One Tree Hill Primary School Newsletter - 1963

One Tree Hill Primary school produced a newsletter entitled 'Picanny Punch' in December 1963.  It contains student works, some sketches, selected compositions and a sheep and pig breeds in England map.

Here is one by Ian Simon (Dux od the school 1963)

 Munno Para District Council SSA
On April 10th we held our annual sports day.  Schools competing were Virginia, Smithfield and One Tree Hill.  The sports were opened by Mr Chapman.  In the morning, team events were held in which our schools won most points.  After this we had lunch.
Some One Tree Hill children must have enjoyed their lunch too well for during the afternoon when the individual events were decided we steadily lost ground.  In the end Virginia was the victorious school.  Still I think our school did very well when you compare the size of the schools.  Anyway we'll be trying just as hard next year.  Finally on behalf on One Tree Hill children I would like to thank Mr O'Brien and his staff for their efforts in preparing the ground for Sports Day.

Swimming by Ian Slater
There is no doubt it. The favourite lesson in our school is swimming.  Every Tuesday afternoon we visit the pool at 'Treegoodwill'.  Here we are instructed by Mrs R. Barritt for an all to brief hour. Near the end of the season we were examined for our various certificates at the Gawler Pool.  We are proud to say that since the same began no child has left the school without being able to swim. 

Thankyou Mr & Mrs J Harvey of 'Treegoodwill'. An aptly named property, I can't image a better or more practical way of spreading 'goodwill' than this.  Thankyou too Mrs Barritt for many hours of understanding and efficient instruction.