Sunday 24 April 2011

Trans Tasman ANZAC Blog Challenge

In keeping with Australia Day inspired by Twigs-of -Yore and the subsequent post for Waitangi Day.

We now have the Trans Tasman ANZAC Blog Challenge. Below are the details from the Auckland Reseach Centre Facebook page

"To participate:
*Write a blog post about an Australian or New Zealander serviceman or woman’s family, and the impact war had on their family history.
*Publish your post by 25 April 2011
*Post a comment with the URL on the Auckland Research Centre’s Facebook page under discussion or on the relevant post on the Twigs of Yore blog."

This is the document that relates to Edward Ellis, born in Geelong Victoria Australia the son of Frederick Ellis (1845 - 1914) and Sarah Ann Newton (1851 - 1923) on 3rd March 1882 and was one of 14 children.  All of Edward's siblings were born in Australia, but his father, Frederick had been born in Elstead Surrey in 1846 and was 8 years old when his parents migrated as free settlers to Geelong in 1854 on board the James Baines.

As I typed the above I realised that I really didn't know too much about Edward and my family history software had not been updated, so I pulled out the Ellis folder. Back in 1991, I had located various bits of information about Edward and here are those details:

  • Born at Mount Duneed 3rd March 1882 and Baptised at the Wesleyan Church in Geelong 6 June 1884.
  • A tuber player in Geelong Harbour Trust Band circa 1913.
  • He enlisted at Cootamundra, New South Wales on 20th July 1916 and left Australia on 9th November 1916 on board The Benalla. 
  • He disembarked in Devonport (Plymouth Devon England) on 9th January 1917.
  • He proceeded to France on 30th September 1917 and was wounded in action (left leg) at Rouelles in August 1918. 
  • He was discharged in England in January 1919 and returned to Australia on board The Karoa.
Having read the above in the file some obvious questions sprang to mind:

  1. What was the significance of the Wesleyan Church? Why not a C of E Church?
  2. What further details could I establish about the Harbour Trust Band
  3. Why did he enlist in Cootamundra? It is some distance from Geelong, but is mainly farming territory.  Ironically I have been to both Geelong and Cootamundra!
  4. He was disembarked in Devonport, only about an hour from here in the car. What other records exist in the UK?
  5. Locate Rouelles in France
  6. Did he know of his English heritage and roots and did he venture to Surrey to meet any of the family?
  7. Where did his life take him upon his return to Australia? 


  1. Looks like you have afew questions to answer!

    Thanks for joining we colonials in the ANZAC blog challenge - it's fantastic to have input from the Mother COuntry.

  2. I'm stopping by via A to Z. Interesting post! I hope you find the answers to your questions.


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