The East Gippsland Family History Group will have the database of their WW1 project:
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the servicemen and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 – 1919
at the VAFHO Expo at Sale. This database has been five years in the making and participants at the Expo are welcome to check their family names against the database. Perhaps you can help us put a face to one of the 3,500 plus names. This project is about more than their service record and biographies are being compiled from all available material.
The criteria used is:
- The person was born in the East Gippsland region.
- The person enlisted from an East Gippsland town.
- The person was a proven resident of East Gippsland before 1914.
For the sake of the exercise we drew a rough line in the sand and have said that Munro, Clydebank and Dargo were “in” (as some of those families orientated to Bairnsdale) but Stratford was “out”. To the north Omeo, Cobungra, Sunnyside and Benambra were “in” but Mitta Mitta and Harrietville were “out” and to the east the border with a bit of a dog leg for some Monaro connections then back to Delegate River and Dellicknora has become that boundary. The ninety-mile beach was our obvious border to the south, however a few Flinders Island residents did end up here in Bairnsdale as well.
When war was declared on 28 July 1914 the first to enlist from East Gippsland were McPhee, Brownell, Burt, McDonald, Sommerville and Harbeck who signed up just over a fortnight later and left, with others, on the first convoy from Melbourne on the Hororato on 17 October. Eighteen East Gippsland men were on the Hororata with only six of them eventually coming home.
As with many regions in Victoria the first deaths of any East Gippslanders were at the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 when twelve East Gippsland men lost their lives.
Address: PO Box 1104, Bairnsdale 3875
Submitted by Debra Squires for the East Gippsland Family History Group: exhibitors at the VAFHO Family History Expo, Sale, 21 April 2018.