December 2019 Newsletter
2019 Anthology Award
Congratulations to Alan Henderson of Canberra for the biographical article he wrote about his uncle, Major Harry Worthington GMVC (a veterinary surgeon who served with the Light Horse in World War One).
This has been judged by an independent panel as the winner of this year’s Chauvel Anthology Award. The judges commented that it is well-written, well-researched and suitably referenced. They considered that it gave a good sense of the man, as well as of the Sinai-Palestine campaign. It is an interesting and useful contribution to a little-known but very important aspect of Light Horse history.
Alan will receive his award in person early next year, in a presentation to be made at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
Online Anthology – next steps
Our online anthology continues to grow.
The centenary of the World War One battles has meant a lot of reflection about events at that time, and commemoration of the soldiers themselves.
We are particularly looking for articles about people’s personal thoughts, when they attend or actually participate in Light Horse events commemorations.
We are still working to expand our art and poetry sections, including more interviews with, and reflections by, artists themselves.
We are also looking at the horses, the vets, and the contribution of Banjo Paterson and others at the remounts depots (see a new article published by Honor here: www.chauvelfoundation.com/banjo).
Having “refought the war” as it were, we are now also looking to expand our coverage in new directions. These include a look at how the returning light horsemen adjusted back to “civvy life“ how post-war families coped when their loved ones returned – or did not return…… what Sir Harry himself did when he continued in his post-war military service to the nation.
Recently, we released an except from the Anthology as an e-book on our Facebook page and web site. It was well-received with many likes and over 60 ‘shares’, bringing Chauvel and the Light Horse’s deeds to the attention of a new audience. If you missed the release, a link is below.
We look forward to your future readership and we encourage you to consider contributing an item yourself, or persuading a relative, friend or colleague of yours to do so!
The 2019 year has been one of consolidation. There have been achievements that have seen the Foundation progress but there is still much to be done. The Board has been working on several areas and I set out those that are of importance and the results that have been achieved.
ANZAC Day 2019
I had the privilege to be invited to give an address to two Victorian schools on 24 and 26 April.
The 24 April address was given to 1200 students of Bellarine Secondary College. The presentation to the years 7-12 students was on the subject of Bill the Bastard. It was an absolute pleasure to speak to such a young group of people and I believe that they are the age group that we need to get interested in Chauvel in the future.
The 26 April address was given to 2000 students of Dandenong High School. The school’s founder was Percy Langford. Percy was a Trooper in A Squadron of the 4th Light Horse Regiment. My speech recounted the background to Percy’s life as a teacher his service prior to joining the Regiment, his experience during training, on the voyage to Egypt, his time on Gallipoli and his subsequent evacuation due to injury from the peninsula. After the war, Percy took up his position as headmaster at Dandenong High.
The School colours are Dark Blue over Light Blue and Red, the colours of the 4th Light Horse Regiment. The white was not added as the colours for schools were limited to 3.
My presentation was made in 2 sessions as the basketball stadium was not large enough for the whole school.
The General Sir Harry Chauvel Bust
The bust of Sir Harry Chauvel has now been bronzed and is on display at the Shrine. I am most grateful for the financial support of Honor and Mark Auchinleck and Richard Chauvel for their assistance in arranging for the plinth on which the bust stands. At last Sir Harry is in the Shrine, the place that he played a very big part in establishing after the First World War. Sir Harry now looks across the walkway in the World War 1 Gallery to Sir John Monash.
The Chauvel Anthology Award 2019
I referred to the award in the last Newsletter. The entries to the Anthology lodged during the year were reviewed and a shortlist was sent to a panel of independent judges. They were Dr Bob Marmion, teacher, author, Military Historian and, member of the Fort Queenscliff Heritage Association and MAJGEN Iain G Spence (Retd), History Professor at University of New England and, former CO 12/16 Hunter River Lancers.
The winner was Alan Henderson PSM AM, whose article “MAJ Harry Worthington GMVC” was selected. MAJ Worthington was a veterinarian who looked after the horses during the Middle East campaign. The story is one that brings to light on aspects of the Light Horse campaign and is not often written about which you must read. Mr. Henderson has been awarded $1,000 which will be formally presented to him during next year.
Appointments and Retirements
Mr. Neil Dearberg, former Army Officer, Military Historian with extensive expertise of the Middle East campaign and author of “Desert Campaign: the under-told story of the Sinai Palestine Campaign 1916- 1918” was appointed Ambassador. Neil has also provided great support to the Foundation’s involvement in the Jericho Cup which was run on 1 December.
Ms. Linda Garnett retired from the Board on 16 October. Linda was an original member of the Foundation Board when first formed in late 2016. Linda provided very valuable advice and support in relation to philanthropic matters. Her professional approach to the raising of funds and the application for registration as a DGR organization was very much appreciated. We will miss her involvement and wish her all the very best in the future.
Dr Anne Flood has been invited to be appointed as an Ambassador. She has accepted. Anne lives in Wagga Wagga and was a teacher for 30 years. Her grandfather was a member of the 1st Light Horse Regiment and the story of his service is the subject of a book that she has written about the Regiment. She is currently writing a second book about to be published. She is a devoted advocate of the Lighthorse and is promoting a commemoration of the history of the Light Horse in the Riverina including the erection of a memorial in the Victory Memorial Gardens in Wagga Wagga.
The Jericho Cup
The Chauvel family Board Members and I met with Bill Gibbins earlier this year. Bill is the organizer and supporter of the Jericho Cup which was first run at the Warrnambool Racetrack on 2 December 2018. At Board meetings during the year, it was decided that we would attend this year's race which was held on 1 December. Board members Mike Annett his wife Helen, Louise and I and, Ambassador Neil Dearberg and his partner Sandra also attended a reception sponsored by Bill at the “Whaler “hotel on Saturday night. The function was most valuable in meeting other Light Horse supporters and an opportunity to promote the Foundation.
The weather on race day was not good but the racing was unaffected. I was honoured to present the trophy to the winner of the Harry Chauvel Handicap (image left). The main race was the Jericho Cup which was run over a distance of 4600m. The winner was Ablaze carrying a weight of 70kg. The race was spectacular and one of the highlights of the day's racing. The day also included a Beersheba charge where riders in traditional Light Horse uniform carrying bayonets raced down the main straight over a distance of 400m. More images from the day are shown here on our web site.
I encourage all of our supporters to consider attending this event on 6 December 2020.
The Foundation has established a relationship with the Melbourne Metro Tunnel consortium to determine whether the Foundation can apply for Light Horse recognition in the artwork that will be installed at the station. We have met with the Shrine CEO who is supportive of our approach to the consortium. I would like to hear from any of our supporters who would be prepared to assist me in progressing discussions on this project. Please contact me via email with your details.
The Chaytor family
MAJOR GENERAL Sir Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor, KCMG, KCVO, CB was the military leader of the New Zealand force during both the Boer and First World War. He and Chauvel were close and worked together during many of the actions during the Desert Campaign.
I have appointed a Board member to seek out contacts with the descendants of General Chaytor. I believe that this relationship is important and another part of the Chauvel story. If there are any supporters who have any links with or know of any Chaytor descendants, please email me with the details.
DGR Application and Donation Registration
The efforts to have an application prepared and lodged are continuing. The Board is confident that a successful application can be achieved in 2020. Registration to accept donations in Queensland has been approved. We already have authority to raise funds in VIC & NSW. Applications are being made for registration in SA and WA.
We want to create a membership package that provides benefits to potential members that is commensurate with the amount that they pay. We propose that there will be 3 levels and while the levels have not been named, it is suggested that each level be assigned specific benefits. Memberships will be provided to individuals and families, groups and corporate entities.
We expect that the final decision on the structure will be announced early in 2020. In the meantime, we have created a web form on which readers may wish to comment about what you believe the structure of our membership could look like – it is a free-form comment box, so please feel free to make a contribution – ideas welcome! This is the link.
The next year – 2020
In 2020 the Foundation will be attending The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival which is being held between 2nd and 5th April 2020. The event will take place on the Corryong Reserve in Corryong. The Foundation will be there along with elements of 4th 19th Prince of Wales’s Light Horse Regiment. Further details are on the website https://www.bushfestival.com.au/
I wish to thank each of the members of my Board for their assistance and input during the year.
I also acknowledge the support and assistance that has been provided by the Ambassadors. I do wish to specifically pass on my best wishes to Jeanette Flanagan whose community is currently enduring bushfires and is suffering from the effects of drought. I invite you to call Jeanette and offer her your support.
I thank the RSL Victoria for allowing us to meet at ANZAC House during the year.
To all of the contributors to the Foundation and your families, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Lt Col Graeme Smith RFD