Category Archives: TROVE Findings



1916 ‘IRYMPLE SCHOOL.’, Mildura Telegraph and Darling and Lower Murray Advocate (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), 25 April, p. 2, viewed 24 January, 2016,

Written by my grandmother, Dorothea Bennett aged 14



Anzac Day is not a day of rejoicing but a day for the commemoration of the lives of those brave soldiers who fell in that wonderful landing. After a period of training in Egypt, the Australians landed at Anzac Cove on the 25th April 1915 — a day that will live in the memory of the Australians forever, for it has caused the name of Australia to stand high throughout the world.

There has been no finer feat throughout the whole of this war than that sudden landing in the dark, and the storming of the heights of those steep formidable cliffs in scrub several feet in height, which formed such   ideal places for snipers, as the Australians found to their cost. Even that famous landing at Wolfe’s Cove on the St. Lawrence, just above Quebec, in 1759 is not to be compared in difficulty and danger to the famous landing of our brave boys. When General Sir W. R. Birdwood took over the command of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps he was asked to select a telegraphic code address for his army corps, and he selected the word ‘Anzac,’ from Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The name was then given to the beach where they landed, and the soldiers who took part in it were called Anzacs. Many Anzacs have been awarded the V.C., the D.S.O., the D.C.M., and other -orders for their heroism, but sh! the numbers that have not come under official notice.

Their heroic acts are treasured in the memory of the mate who was carried helpless and wounded into safety, with the bullets raining upon him and shells bursting overhead, or gently nursed when disease came upon him suddenly, there are many of these heroic acts that will never be known. On Thursday afternoon, April 20th, Anzac Day is to be celebrated in the State Schools. We expect one or two returned ‘Anzacs’ to come out to our school to address us. We shall have a program of patriotic choruses and solos, interspersed with addresses by Anzacs and leading citizens. The program will also include Kipling’s, and ‘O! God our help in ages past,’ then the flag will be saluted and the National Anthem sung, followed by the soldiers’ hymn. A medallion is being specially designed for school children to commemorate Anzac Day and is to be sold on April 20th. Every child should have one.

DOROTHEA BENNETT. Irymple State School, No. 317-t.





Newspaper account of Mining Fatality

Newspaper account of Mining Fatality



Mount Alexander Mail  23 January 1901  p2. William Morse died some hours after being admitted to hospital.

This mine produced some of the richest finds in Victoria and was closed in 1910



The following letter has bee unearthed during research and mentions my grandfather  Percy Morse

In a letter to his cousin, Mr J. Winkleman of Campbell’s Creek, Private Dave Boyd, writes from France as follows
We left the Heliopolis Camp for Serapeum on the first day of March, and .ere there for ten days. Serapeum is about half-way down the Suez Canal, between Port Suez and Port Said. .It .is not a very inviting place, with sand up to your boot-tops, and when the wind is blowing you can not see many yards in front of you for dust, so you can readily imagine that we did not put in a very good time in that place. We left Serapeum on the 27th March, and entrained straight away for Alexandria. We got in the train at one o’clock on the Monday morning, and reached our destination at nine o’clock. ‘We then embarked on ‘board the——- for France. After an uneventful voyage we landed at Marseilles on 22nd April. We had good weather going over, and luckily did not see any “steel fish” (torpedoes’) on the way. We disembarked at Marseilles on the Sunday and were entrained straight away for ———–This meant a sixty-hour train journey, and none of us was sorry when we came to our destination. We passed Paris in the distance, and the railway runs through thousands and thousands of acres of splendid vineyards—it seems nothing but vines all around, and is t he home of the wine-growers. All the womenfolk, are working in he fields over here, as all he men are away at the front fighting. We can hear the roar of the guns in the distance, so you can guess we are not too far away from them—-it sounds just like one continuous roar of thunder. We experienced our first fall of snow yesterday, and it was piercing cold and wet besides. We are billeted at the farmhouses, in barns, sheds, stables, and the tilling of the goes on just the same, and we can hardly realise that the war is waging so fiercely a few miles off, as those at home ploughing. etc.. go about their work just the same. Several Campbell’s Creek boys that I went to school with are in the same battalion along with me including Alan Fenton. Jack Wagstaff. and Perce .Morse.
07/071916 Mount Alexander mail Page 4


Alberton the Elephant


It had always been assumed that the Ranee, the first elephant  at Melbourne Zoo was the first elephant in Victoria.  Ranee,\ whose story features on this blog site was ousted today by a chance discovery.  While chatting on social media with another writer, the subject of elephants came up, as it would and I was advised that an ancestor of the writers had purchased an elephant from Siam and imported it into Australia via Tasmania. This  chance communication sent me scurrying off to Trove and there  I  unearthed additional information.

Edward Martins did indeed purchase an elephant for the princely sum of £175 in the early 1840’s and transported the animal to Gippsland.  To the town of  Alberton.  Alberton is a small town in  Victoria. It is located along the South Gippsland Highway, 6 kms south of Yarram and 216 kms east of Melbourne .  The township was surveyed in 1842 and named after the Price Consort, Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.  It seems both the town and the Elephant shared the royal name.  Thank you, Archie for sending me off on the trail of Alberton the Elephant.

The following is a transcript from Trove’s archival material and tells the story of the Gippsland Elephant.


The present generation can form but a small idea of the struggles and difficulties encountered by the early settlers in the forest encumbered areas of Gippsland fifty year ago. For it must be remembered that in those days of giant enterprise, the difficulties of the land were calculated to appal even the most determined of the pioneers. Huge forests of eucalypti and box reared their lofty trunks to heaven, in that fierce struggle-for existence which dominates all nature. Thick undergrowth of ti-tree and other scrub defied the puny efforts of the settler, and mocked at his patient resolution. The dingo was a terror in the land, and eternal vigilance was the price to be paid for relief from his incessant depredations. Gradually the efforts of settlement made themselves apparent amid the pristine profusion of the bush, and the wanton growth of forest trees centuries old ; gradually the towering timber yielded to the axe and saw; gradually the undergrowth disappeared before the advance of the settler; and smiling homesteads, surrounded by fruitful orchards, and half hidden by a wealth of lightwood, willow and wattle, delight the eye of the traveller, where once the desolation of the scene was broken only by wandering herds of kangaroo and emu; feeding along the grassy slopes of the fern lifted creeks.

In the year 1838 the present writer’s forbear landed at Port Phillip from the sailing ship Bonnie Chiel. This was the first vessel to leave Liverpool direct for the port, and had been chartered for the purpose by the members of three families, the voyage out occupying some six months. Shortly after their arrival the voyagers selected nearly all the area of Brighton under the then existing land act. They stocked their land with some 1800 sheep, but were not successful, the country proving unfit for stock. After a sojourn of about seven years at Brighton, where the immigrants had profitably engaged in various speculations, they moved to Yarram, in South Gippsland.

After this time a travelling circus had arrived at Port Albert from Tasmania, and being in a state of financial collapse, parted with its menagerie at auction. The elephant a fine specimen of its kind-fell to the bid of one of the party who had a penchant for big game, for the sum of £175. The sight of the huge beast was a veritable revelation to the blacks, who now beheld the tusked monster for the first time, and were lost in terror and amazement. The enter prising owner of the beast mas waited on by a selected deputation of the dusky tribe, by whom he was held much in awe, as the possessor of a “debbil-debbil.” The animal’s trunk especially excited their curiosity, an aged black eagerly inquiring, “how white fella make him big fella carry two fella tail.” The elephant eventually proved more of a nuisance than a help, for though he would work well, he was exceedingly mischievous, and did a lot of damage sometimes. He was employed, inter alia, to drag the sledge, which carried the water from the distant creek. Frequently -on the completion of this task, however, he would remove the bung from the cask, and alter slaking his thirst and showering himself all over with his trunk, allow the residue of the water to run to waste. The climax came when, in the dead of night, he forced open the kitchen door, smelt out the trough of bread which had been set to rise, an., after gorging himself therewith, amused himself by flinging the rest about the walls and ceiling. The tea and sugar chest having also claimed his attention, the appearance of the kitchen in the morning was such as to justify the rope’s ending “his nibs” received at the hands of his master. He turned sulky at this, broke away to the bush, and was never again seen alive. Some twelve months after his skeleton was found many miles away in dense scrub, the actual cause of his demise remain ing a mystery.

1903 ‘REMINISCENCES OF EARLY GIPPSLAND.’, Traralgon Record (Traralgon, Vic. : 1886 – 1932) , 20 February, p. 3 Edition: MORNING., viewed 13 Dec