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100 Years Ago - 31st August 1918

Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 31 August 1918, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

HOSPITAL BALL. – The meeting called for Wednesday afternoon to make arrangements for the Annual Hospital Ball, was attended by Messrs. T. Flood (chair), A. M. Wilson, Mesdames T. Flood, G. Mercer, S. Ryan, J. Louttit, A. W. Constable, and Matron Constable.

DEATH. – On Tuesday morning Mr. McKeon received a wire from Mr. E. Kilkelly containing the sad information that his father Mr. Thomas Kilkelly had passed away. The deceased was a former resident of Moruya where for many years he had managed the Club House Hotel which was one of the most popular on the South Coast.

BRAVERY. – His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the field to Lance-Corporal H. Constable of Dignam’s Creek.

The Military Medal has been awarded to Australian Staff Nurse Pearl Corkhill, daughter of Mr. Corkhill of Tilba. During an enemy air-raid Nurse Corkhill attended to the wounded regardless of her own safety, though the enemy was overhead. Her example was of the greatest value in allaying the alarm of the patients.

CHINESE EXODUS. – There is an exodus of Chinese from around Bega to the Flowery Land, and they had a big dinner last Sunday to celebrate the winding-up here. For 40 years or more they have carried on gardens at Fairview, but of late years only one or two have stuck to it. Years ago there was quite a China-town here and one night the police made a raid and arrested 20 or 30 who were gambling. They were heavily fined. The reason for the departure in a body to the home country is unknown.

OUR OWN GIRLS. – A coo-ee or two from across the broad Pacific, adds a word or two about some rather well known Australians and what they’ve been doing in New York. Marie Narelle has been house-partying with Eva Mylott and Hilda Aitken, helping to do the honours, and when the “Aussies” came to New York – well there was high revelling, seeing that some of the boys came from the South Coast or thereabouts. It was one great big bright patch in the March to Freedom, and both Rita and Kathleen were there – Marie’s two fine daughters, one already a pianist with a promising future, the other with a charming voice that justifies big fees in its cultivation. Son Reggie has gotten himself engaged, and the lass with the delicate air and the big bank roll is the daughter of a millionaire magnate.


Extracts from a letter from Sergeant B. B. Dawson from “somewhere in France,” who is a nephew of Mr. R. L. Dawson of this town. May 26th, 1918: There is very little doing on the front just now, except for a heavy bombardment. We are waiting for Fritz’s big attack, now overdue, but when he does decide to attack he will “get it in the neck,” as the Allies are quite ready for him. We have had a heat wave lasting a week, so took advantage of it for a few swims, the first I have had since leaving Australia. Although I have not had a bad time the last few week as you will realize when I tell you I have taken part in one football match and two cricket matches, besides being able to indulge in a little cricket practice during the long evenings. Had a call from a ‘pal’ a few days ago. He is located a bit nearer the front line than this place, not more than 1½ miles from it, yet he is living on fresh fish, fresh milk and fresh vegetables. You may wonder how fresh fish are obtained. Just behind the lines, about 2 miles, are a number of fairly large lagoons, out of sight of the enemy, which are well stocked with fish up to 5 lbs weight. At times old Fritz gets nasty and begins shelling. Many of the explosive shells find their destination in the water and do no harm but stun a number of fish. The shelling having ceased, some boys go out in an improvised punt and gather in the fish.

Nineteen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1917 are available ($5 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 (

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