December 2018 Newsletter

 

Unveiling and Presentation of the Louis Laumen Bronzed Bust of Chauvel to the Shrine of Remembrance

 

The Foundation’s recent event was the unveiling and presentation of the bronzed Bust of Chauvel (pictured right) to the Shrine of Remembrance on 25 September 2018.  The occasion coincided with Dr Jean Bou's lecture entitled ‘Seizing Damascus – Megiddo and beyond, 1918’ marking the approaching centenary of the capture of Damascus and conclusion of the Campaign in Palestine.  We are working with Dr Bou to have a transcript of his presentation added to the Light Horse Anthology.

 

The bust will go on permanent display in the First World War Gallery in the crypt on 21 December 2018.  Louis Laumen has captured an excellent likeness of Chauvel and the Foundation is proud of its commemorative donation. A selection of Images from the event can be seen at our Instagram feed here.

Remembrance Day

 

Various members of the Chauvel Foundation’s Board marked the centenary of the Armistices that heralded the end of hostilities and led to the end of the First World War.  Foundation President Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Smith RFD and Board Member Linda Garnett attended the commemorative Choral Evensong at Chauvel's old Parish Church of Christ Church South Yarra.  Lieutenant Colonel Graeme and Linda read the first and second lessons respectively while Lieutenant Colonel John Pearce, Commanding Officer 4th/19th Prince of Wales's Own Light Horse Regiment gave the Reflection.  The full text of the Reflection can be viewed here.

 

Meanwhile, Board Member Honor Auchinleck and Foundation Ambassador Colonel Mark Auchinleck attended the Tenterfield RSL Sub Branch Armistice Dinner in Tenterfield.  Honor and Mark found the RSL Hall had been turned into an Officers’ Mess dining room prepared to host a dinner for 100 alongside and excellent commemorative exhibition of memorabilia, photographs and documents donated for the occasion by the local museum and many private individuals.

 

Mark gave a very moving address at the Remembrance Day Service the following morning.

 

On Wednesday 14 November 2018 Honor gave the ‘message’ at the Corryong College Remembrance Day Commemoration.

President’s Report for the year ended 30th June 2018

The Foundation has now completed another extraordinary year.


The Board has provided support to the many areas in which we have been involved. Significant effort has been made to secure registration as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) organisation. The application process has been difficult.  It has caused us to focus on the objects of the Foundation. This has not been a wasted effort as with any organisation like this one, identification of the objects to ensure that they have meaning and are aligned to the vision we have in bringing the life of Sir Harry Chauvel to the attention of many people.

As a result, the objects have been revised, not to change them, but to prioritise them.  During the year, we have been approved to accept donations from the public in Victoria and NSW. Applications are being prepared to seek approval in Queensland, WA and SA.

Our urgent need is to secure funding to support our administration. Discussions are being held to set up the programme that will see approaches being made to selected individuals and businesses. I believe that the Foundation has enough credibility to make these approaches.

We also have an agreement with Louis Laumen to create the memorial of Sir Harry. We now have the maquette that Louis created which is a major step to enable us to approach both large and small donors. This programme will require significant effort by the Board during the current year. In September, and with the generous support of the Chauvel family, the hatted plaster bust of Sir Harry was made into bronze. The bust has been ceremoniously presented to The Shrine and is now proudly displayed in the home that Sir Harry spent much time in assisting with the planning and building. A second bust, without a hat, is proposed to also be bronzed and presented to the Australian War Memorial within the next 6 months.

There have been significant developments in the Facebook and web pages. Both mediums have been very widely accepted and are a very valuable tool in the telling of the Chauvel and Light Horse story.
 
 There has been particular interest in the Anthology section of the website. There are many stories, poems and speeches about Chauvel and the men who served with him in the Desert Mounted Corps and in its supporting units.  Some of these contributions have been written by descendants and other interested people.  Particularly encouraging is the participation of school students. We aim to publish some entries from the online anthology as a book.

Our review of the Foundation’s objects has revealed an object that we believe will be well accepted. The building of a virtual museum that will provide an IT platform to bring together the collections of Light Horse memorabilia into a single website. As we are all aware, access to the collections that are stored in many parts of Australia is limited. Despite the enormity of the task, the Board has formed a Steering Committee led by Tony Stevens to identify the Terms of Reference and present a plan that will enable us to seek support from the museums around Australia. He will also be looking to identify the costs that will need to be met to get the project underway.

Ambassadors
I would like to acknowledge the support that has been given by the Ambassadors during the year. While there have not been many areas that have been selected for them to be directly involved in to date, I have very much appreciated the assistance and advice that has been given to me by Major General Roger Powell. Roger is most helpful in identifying the person we will be approaching to be a patron.

I also wish to congratulate Jeanette Flanagan who has successfully conducted with a team of assistants, the Beersheba ride from Tabulam to Copmanhurst during the period 31st October to 4 November 2017. Over 200 riders participated in the event, and we supported them with mementos. Vice President, Richard Chauvel attended at Tabulam to address the riders and support staff on 31st October. A further ride is to be held in 2018.

New appointments during the year include:

Mr James Maberley, a member of the Chauvel family who resides in the UK

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Fernleigh, a former CO of 4th 19th PWLH and a major donor to the Foundation. Unfortunately, Peter is not in good health. Our thoughts go out to him and his family.

Colonel Mark Auchinleck, the husband of Honor who has provided me with excellent assistance in respect to the Foundation in ongoing matters but more so in providing support to Honor as they both travel around Australia speaking to many Light Horse related associations and other civic groups.

Mr Peter Chauvel, a member of the Chauvel family who resides in WA .

There are other candidates that I have identified and who will be approached in the coming months. In particular, I am keen to make appointments in SA, and Tasmania and NZ. I will also be identifying the tasks that the Ambassadors can assist us with promoting the Foundation’s aims and the fund raising that will be needed for the memorial.
 
I wish to acknowledge the support and the efforts of my Board.
Dr Richard Chauvel
Dr Honor Auchinleck
Lieutenant Colonel Tony Stevens
Lieutenant Colonel John Molnar (Currently on overseas deployment)
Lieutenant Colonel John Boyce
Ms Linda Garnett
Brigadier Michael Annett
Ms Elizabeth Lambert

Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Smith
President
21 November 2018

Help us build the ALH Digital Collection

 

Part of our Anthology will be the Australian Light Horse Digital Collection, a virtual museum dedicated to the Australian Light Horse.  We hope to reach all of the regional areas from which the Light Horsemen came and to bring their stories to light for the benefit of the wider community.  We also expect to be able to draw attention to the stories of those who helped and supported the Light Horse: at home and abroad; and both before and after the First World War.

 

Our first project will be to build a collection of the memorials to the Light Horse (and the associated or supporting elements such as their horses) both locally and internationally.  We have begun the collection on our website with an interactive map of these memorials and a photographic record (and in some cases a story) associated with each.

 

Do you have an image of a Light Horse memorial or commemorative item that you would like to share?  Please use the form at this link to submit your image(s).  

 

Some of the places we need images for include:

Ballarat
Holsworthy
Cowra
Kondinin
Caulfield North
Pialba
Mudgeeraba

Many others locally and internationally

Corryong College: Year 5/6 Light Horse Project

 

An important landmark for the Foundation has been its support of the Corryong College Year 5/6 Light Horse Project which now comprises of the biographies of 57 Upper Murray Light Horsemen who served in the First World War.

 

In response to an application written by one of the Year 6 students, The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival is contributing $1,600 towards the publication of the  "Light Horsemen of the Upper Murray” making possible the publication of 200 copies, double the number originally planned.  Books can be ordered through Year 5/6 teacher Stephen Learmonth.  His email is learmonth.stephen.m@edumail.vic.gov.au.  The telephone contact for Corryong College is (02) 6076 1566.

Foundation Business Model

The Board has been developing a business model that looks set to include a structure that would allow for a member-based organisation.  An offer is being developed that would see donations being sought for membership of the Foundation, with a range of benefits to be extended to members.  It is expected that two or more 'tiers' of membership might be offered.  We will publish more information on this in our next newsletter.

Timely reminders: A Century ago….

 

Christmas Commemorations

Many servicemen were unable to return to their families for Christmas 1918 due to ongoing operational involvements, bureaucracy associated with demobilization and the lack of shipping for transport.  On Christmas Day 1918 Chauvel wrote to his wife:

 

‘I am more sorry than I can say that I could not get home for Christmas, but all the ships that might have taken officers home on leave were diverted for other purposes; & now it is expected that demobilisation of Australian troops will commence sooner than was anticipated, & I don’t think it is right to go away until that is at least underway.’

 

‘Homecomings’

A recent addition to the Anthology has been an article from Dr Anne Flood on the return of the 1st Australian Light Horse.  It can be viewed here.

 

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Lieutenant Colonel Graeme Smith RFD

President