Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 22nd November 1919, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:
MORUYA MOURNS. – HER BRAVEST SON KILLED.
On Friday last Moruya was plunged into the lowest depth of sorrow, when it became known that Lieutenant Leslie Ross had been killed. For many months past all eyes, not only of his native town, but of the world were centred on the project to be attempted by one of Australia’s noblest sons. Deceased who was the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Ross of “The Gunyah”, Gundary, was undoubtedly the bravest and most brilliant boy who ever left these parts. Words fail to express the very deep sorrow that is felt for the heart-broken parents, who have had more than their share of trouble lately through sickness. Mr. Ross’ health having caused considerable anxiety to his family.
Lieutenant Ross, who before the war was an operator at the Pacific Cable Co’s. office in Sydney, had a good fighting record with the Second Australian Squadron, and had done 300 hours flying.
He passed through the Navigation School at Andover. Lieutenant Ross’s duties included the navigation of the machine and charge of the wireless, while he was also to act as assistant pilot.
He belonged to the 2nd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps and enlisted on August 14, 1916, in New South Wales, at the age of 21. He gained his second lieutenancy in the Flying Corps on October 20, 1917, and was promoted to first lieutenant on January 20 1918. He was wounded once but succeeded in reaching his aerodrome safely.
The Sydney “Sun’s” cables had the following:
Disaster has overtaken the Alliance aeroplane, a machine of great pace and range, which left for Australia on Thursday morning and the two gallant airmen who were flying it – Captain R. Douglas and Lieut. J. L. Ross – were killed.
The Alliance plane rose at 11.30 o’clock at Hounslow, and it was given out that the airmen intended to fly to Dijon, about 365 miles in a direct line.
The plane only travelled a little less than five miles, for at Surbiton, one of the outer suburbs of London, the machine crashed with such terrific force that it crushed down a tree into which it fell, the propeller was buried deep into the ground.
Ross was killed outright and Douglas did not live long, though he was alive when the doctor arrived on the scene.
The cause of the crash was a failure of the engine, which was firing intermittently.
BOUNTEOUS RAINS. – 212 points in ten days.
DANCE in the Mechanics’ Hall tonight.
EUCHRE party and dance next Monday night.
NOTICE of application for oyster lease, Moruya River.
THE prohibition articles appearing in these columns are paid for as advertisements.
EVERY sport should see the Melbourne Cup at Star Theatre, Wednesday next.
DISMISSED. – The five young defendants in the Bateman’s Bay alleged beer stealing case got out of trouble on Tuesday, the P.M. dismissing the case.
Mrs. Stan. Keir, nee Crapp, of Central Tilba, has opened a boarding house at Kiama, where tourists will be especially catered for.
BACK TO WORK. – Mr. MacDonald who left here to fight for his king and Country, has returned and taken up his old position in the Forestry Office. Mac was welcomed back by many hearty hand-shakes. Mr. Jack Hull has not yet received notification of a transfer, and it is on the cards that he will be still retained here.
TENNIS. – A Mogo team tried conclusions with Moruya players on the local court last Saturday, when the localities, after a very enjoyable game, proved victors. The Convent team and Public Court team are contemplating a battle royal within a fortnight; then Narooma’s return visit should eventuate.
Twenty 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1918 are available ($6 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (www.mdhs.org.au/publications.html).