Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Trove Tuesday: Leslie Leister died at Fromelles 19/20 July 2016

Leslie Leister (1894-1916), the half-brother of my husband's grandfather, was one of the 2,000 soldiers  killed at the battle of Fromelles one hundred years ago on 19 and 20 July 1916 and one of the 250 soldiers who were buried in a mass grave by the Germans after the battle.

I have written before about Leslie at F is for Fromelles and about the delays in his parents finding out about what happened to him at K is for King and Country .

There are now more newspapers digitised and available through Trove.  Among more recently digitised newspapers is the Western Champion from Parkes, New South Wales, Leslie's home place. The Western Champion includes a photograph of Leslie in its article about Leslie's fate. 

The article also explains the creation of the list that Leslie was included on which was compiled by the Germans from the identity discs of the soldiers they buried. It was only in late 1916 that soldiers were issued with two identity discs.  When the Germans buried Leslie and the other soldiers they took the identity discs to compile the list and notify the British that they had done so. Thus there was no disc with the body.

In 2010 Leslie was among the soldiers identified when the mass grave created by the Germans in a hurry during the battle was excavated. A cousin's DNA was used to identify him. He has been reburied in the new cemetery at Fromelles.  The inscription we chose for his grave is the same one used to remember him on his family's grave at Parkes.

FOR KING AND COUNTRY. (1917, March 29). Western Champion (Parkes, NSW : 1898 - 1934), , p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113524459

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Trove Tuesday: death of Captain W. A. P. Dana

William Augustus Pulteney Dana (1826-1866) was my 4th great uncle, the eighth of the ten children of my 4th great grandparents William Pulteney Dana (1776-1861) and Charlotte Elizabeth Dana née Bailey (1795-1846). He was one of the brothers of my great great great grandmother Charlotte Frances Champion de Crespigny née Dana (1820-1904).

Superintendent William Dana


William, then superintendent of police at Geelong, died suddenly on 5 October 1866.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1866. (1866, October 6). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), , p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article5775248
CURRENT TOPICS. (1866, October 6). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1926), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148784229
Items of News. (1866, October 10). Hamilton Spectator and Grange District Advertiser (South Melbourne, Vic. : 1860 - 1870), , p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194471140


LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. (1866, October 11). Kilmore Free Press and Counties of Bourke and Dalhousie Advertiser (Kilmore, Vic. : 1865 - 1868), , p. 2 (MORNINGS.). Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70060810



His funeral was reported in the Geelong Advertiser of 8 October 1866. Thousands of people, it was reported, viewed the long cortege. Philip de Crespigny, William Dana's brother-in-law and my great great great grandfather was one of the principal mourners. Also among these principal mourners were his nephews, George and Augustus Dana.


CAPTAIN DANA'S FUNERAL. (1866, October 8). Geelong Advertiser (Vic. : 1859 - 1926), , p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article148784238

Images of Captain Dana's grave in the Geelong cemetery at Find-A-Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=163742121 These were kindly taken by Find A Grave contributor Ron M following my request to the site.