Monday, December 24, 2007

Larus novaehollandiae

Larus novaehollandiae
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The Story of Frederick Edwards

Frederick Edward Edwards was labourer in Quorn where his father George and mother Caroline lived. Fred enlisted when he was almost 22 years old on 31 may 1915 and was allotted to the 4th reinforcements for 27 battalion.

Fred, like a number of other soldiers from Quorn, must have been a handful for his unit leaders. Twice while at Mitcham, before leaving for overseas, Fred was in trouble for being absent without leave. Once for a day and once for two days, both occasions in August. He forfeited 5 days pay for each occurrence. However by November Fred was in Heliopolis where he was absent from parade one evening. He hadn’t scarpered as he was found on the base 6 hours after the parade. He was confined to camp for 3 days this time.

In December of 1915 Fred was taken on strength by 27 Battalion at Mudros. The Battalion had just come out of Gallipoli in the evacuation. In January Fred disembarked in Alexandria and his path echoes that of other 27 Battalion members from Quorn such as Alfred Easther.

On the 27 March Fred disembarked in Marseilles and a fortnight later he took the evening off while in Morbecque. For this and making a false statement to the Piquet Officer he was ordered to forfeit 1 days pay and had to perform 7 days field punishment number 2.

Like many other soldiers there are few records of his actual action in France until on 4 August in the same action as Alfred Easther was wounded Fred was also wounded. However in Fred’s case it was in the abdomen.

Fred was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station/No 13 Field Ambulance and about 5 days after receiving his wound he was admitted to Special Hospital Warlay. By the 21st of the month he was admitted to No 1 Canadian General Hospital and a week later was aboard the “HS Brighton” and bound for England. His condition was deteriorating and he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital and noted as seriously ill. On the 8th September 1916 Fred died of peritonitis caused by his wound.

Fred was buried in the Norwich Cemetery but was reinterred during 1920 to another site in the same cemetery.

The following is an extract from the 27 Battalion War Diary describing the action in which Fred and Alfred Easther were both fatally wounded.
Abbreviations and formatting have been copied as closely as practical to the original.

Night Aug 4/5
Attacked position on left BAPAUME at 9pm
Attacked and captured two lines of trenches and strong point at windmill. Narrative attached.

Operations, Aug 4-6 1916
In accordance with instructions the 27 Bn moved off from LA BOISELLE for the position of assembly on the afternoon of Aug 4.
The first platoon moved at about 5.30 pm.
The arrangements were for A & B Coys to occupy the jumping off trenches on front of Tramline and to form the first and second waves of the assault with OG1 as objective.
D & C Coys were to form third and fourth waves in Tramline trench, with special carrying parties following as a fifth wave.
Companies moved so that they would be composed of right and left companies respectively: of these formed the first wave & the second wave. The third & fourth waves were composed of as third wave, and as 4th wave
The fifth wave of 16 men per company carrying tools and material.
A & B companies advanced & assaulted OG1. Both waves easily reaching this objective.
D coy followed as far as OG1 but C Coy appears to have lost direction; 7 eventually mixed with 25 & 26 bns on the left and 18th on the right.
A, B & D Coys worked hard on consolidation of OG1 throughout the night.
Capt Devonshire reports that about 4.30am on the 5th the enemy launched a counter attack against OG1 but were repulsed by vickers mg, Lewis gun & rifle fire.
The casualties to the enemy in this attack are estimated to be 100 including 2 officers. The remainder surrendered.
Patrols were then sent out to the windmill and OG2. OG2 was then occupied. A company of 28 Bn was sent to assist the garrison.
Lewis gun positions were selected in advance of OG2.
During the day the position was heavily shelled, and enfilade fire was bought to bear from the direction of THIEPVAL.

During afternoon of Aug 5, instructions were recieved to hand over OG1 & OG2 to 48 Bn

J S Malpas Capt
for/CO 27 Bn AIF
Casualties, summarised from the diary
Officers - 1 killed, 2 missing, 7 wounded
Other Ranks - 40 killed, 67 missing, 89 wounded

Major Cunningham was one of the two officers listed as missing. He was the CO and Captain Malpas was the senior officer remaining after the attack.

James Stanley Malpas enlisted as a Lieutenant in March 1915, later being promoted to Captain on the Gallipoli peninsular. In November of 1916 he would suffer gunshot wounds to the left and right arms and be repatriated back to Australia to be discharged in the first half of 1917. He was awarded the Military Cross for his service.

Trevor Russell Cunningham enlisted during May 1915 as a captain, also being promoted in the field at Gallipoli. He was reported as missing on the same day as Fred was wounded. “Missing” was revised to KIA at the end of September. Major Cunningham’s remains were recovered by the War Graves Commission in 1936 from a previously unidentified soldiers grave. He was reinterred at London Cemetery and Extension, Longueval. His identification was by his identity disc and a personalised cuff link which were both returned to his family.

The Story of the Easther Brothers

There were four brothers from one family who all enlisted in the First World War. They were Leonard, Alfred, Charles and Edmund. They enlisted in that order and were at their time of enlistment; 25, 20, 29 and 19 years old respectively. Only Charles and Edmund were to survive the war.

Leonard Ridgeway Easther
was the first of the brothers to enlist. In August 1914 he presented at Morphetville where he joined the Third Light Horse, one of the first recruits with a military number of 134. By May of 1915 Leonard was in the Dardanelles. On the 29th of that month, in an area of Gallipoli known as “Monash Valley” he was wounded in the thigh by gunfire. Just over a week later he was admitted to the 15th General Hospital in Alexandria.

On the day that Leonard was being admitted to hospital, Alfred Bryant, the second youngest of the brothers was enlisting in Adelaide. Alfred’s parents had given their written consent, coincidentally on the 29th of May, the day Leonard was wounded. Alfred joined the third reinforcements for the 27th Battalion.

In July Leonard was discharged from hospital and sailed on the “Seeang Bee” back to Gallipoli, where he rejoined the Light Horse on the 28th . He was back there for just over a month until he was readmitted to Number One General Hospital, Heliopolis. This time Leonard was suffering from a septic knee and would be in hospital for further month until early October.

In late August Alfred embarked on HMAT “Morea” for the Middle East and by October, just after Leonard was discharged from hospital in Cairo, Alfred was taken on strength by 27 Battalion on the Gallipoli Peninsular.

At the very end of 1915 Leonard rejoined the 3rd Light Horse Regiment who had just left Gallipoli for Cairo (Heliopolis). Alfred also left Gallipoli with the rest of the ANZAC contingent. On the first day of 1916 Leonard was temporarily promoted to Sergeant. Nine days later Alfred disembarked in Alexandria and at the end of January Leonard was confirmed in his promotion.

Both brothers spent January in Egypt within about 200km of each other until in March Alfred embarked for the European theatre and disembarked in Marseilles.

Once again the records are sparse for the next few months. We know that Alfred took part in a trench raid on the night of 28/29 of June and was promoted to corporal a month later.

[Extract from 27 Battalion Diary 28/29 June 1916:
During night our raiding party entered enemy trenches at Ontario Farm under Artillery Barrage & did some damage. Killing 17 enemy & taking 4 prisoners. Retaliation by Bosche Artillery severe. Our casualties Wounded Lts Sommerville JR & Gooden SR. Other Ranks Killed 4, Wounded 26]

Then on the 4 August 1916, both Alfred and Leonard were shot, one in Egypt and one in France.

Leonard in Romani was killed outright. Alfred, though seriously wounded by a bullet in the head was transferred to a casualty clearing station, and ultimately reached the No 1 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples where he died of his wounds in the early hours of the morning on the 16 September.

Leonard was initially buried on the battlefield at Romani a day or so after the battle. Chaplain HK Gordon officiated. As was the practice after the war Leonard was “bought in” and now lies at the Kantara Military Cemetery, 160km north east of Cairo.
Alfred was buried in the cemetery associated with the enormous allied presence around the French town of Etaples. The Etaples Military Cemetery now contains over 10700 Commonwealth dead of the first world war, including Alfred.

--------Extract of 3rd Light Horse War diary--------
At 12.20 AM the enemies infantry lines appeared and they made a bayonet charge onto the Cossack (?) post line at the base of MT MERIDITH and came under heavy fire from our piquet line which held them up for a very considerable period.
We were reinforced by 1 Squad of the 1st LH which was displaced to the S of Mt. Meridith and two Squad reinforced at HOD ABU ADI which we had to evacuate. We held the ground just about the HOD at 4AM but the Turks were now swarming up MT MERIDITH from the SW and dominated our position. They poured heavy Rifle Machine Gun & Shrapnel fire onto us at daylight and we were compelled to fall back at 5.30 as our R flank was enfiladed owing to the 1st & 2nd Regt. Being compelled to withdraw. We fell back onto WELLINGTON RIDGE where we were reinforced by the 2nd Bde and a company of KOSB. Here the Regt. Reformed less B Squad who had been compelled to fall back behind the wire of the Inf posts and were afterwards used as Divisional Troops by General Chauvel.
On reforming we joined up with the 2nd Regt but missed the 1st Bde, so we moved to the Right Flank which was all the time being turned. We moved toward HOD EL DIYUK and were joined by the 6th LH Regt & Col Royston who won command. We then extended to the Right and held all the high ground covering the Railway and ultimately stopped the turning movement.
The NZMR the 3rd LH Bde and the 5th Mounted Bde came from the direction of DUIEDAR and attacked from the SW. squeezing the enemy on their sides and capturing 500 prisoners. The whole line then swang round to our left & advanced towards Mt MEREDITH & HOD EL ENNA for two miles & then halted and bivouacked in the position for the night.


Leonard’s name appears first on the diary page listing casualties of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment for August.
A summary for the 4th from the diary indicates:
Killed 11, died of wounds 3, wounded 40 (including 4 officers)


A extract of the unit diary describing the night Alfred was wounded is included in the Story of Frederick Edwards.

Saturday, December 22, 2007




160 g Butter
80 g Sugar (ordinary or caster)
80 g Almond Meal
200g Plain flour
Vanilla essence
1 Knifepoint Bi-Carb Soda (an old German measure, a pinch or so)


100 g Butter with some sugar for texture.
1 Egg yolk
1 Spoon of black coffee (to be omitted!)
20g Cocoa



Work all the ingredients into a dough then roll it out thickly. Cut out biscuit shapes and cook in a middle heat oven.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gingerbread for shapes and houses.



100 g Butter
115 g Sugar (ordinary or caster)
230 g Golden syrup (approx 175ml)
1 Tablespoon Ground ginger (more is OK)
1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons Ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Bi-Carb Soda (less is OK)
500g Plain flour
2 Eggs

Royal Icing

1 Egg white
200g Icing sugar (approximately)



Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a double boiler over low heat. Stir Carefully until thoroughly incorporated.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Add the spices and bi-carb into the mix and stir well (make sure it is cool or the bi-carb will fizz up).
With the (sifted) flour in a mixing bowl, form a cavity in the middle of the flour, add the beaten eggs and then the sugar mix. Mix it all together to form a doughy consistency. [I haven't used an electric mixer, but it would probably work using the dough hook attachments and a medium setting]
Add extra flour if the dough is still too sticky inside the bowl.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and put aside for about 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, pre-heat the oven, 180C.
On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to about 5-8mm thick, use biscuit cutters for shaped biscuits. Gently place on trays and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, depending on the size.

Royal Icing

Lightly whisk the egg white in a bowl, slowly whisk in the icing sugar to make a firm peaking icing. (It will look white and glossy).
Cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent a crust forming.
Add food colouring as required for icing or can be used as a cement for houses etc.

Banana Cake


1/2 cup milk
250g bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 cup sugar
2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
60g butter


Put all the ingredients into the bowl of electric mixer. Sugar, sifted flour, lightly beaten eggs, softened butter and milk. Beat on low speed until combined, then beat on medium speed till smooth (about 2 minutes).
Turn mixture into greased 23 cm x 12 cm loaf tin or round 25cm spring form cake tin.
Bake in low to moderate oven (170-180C) approx 1 ¾ hours or until cooked when tested.
Cool in tin 10 minutes before turning out on wire rack to complete cooling.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Porifera (Sponges)

kingdom Animalia - animals
Porifera - sponges

Porifera translates to "Pore-bearer". They are the simplest multi cellular animals. They are sessile, mostly marine, water dwelling, filter feeders that pump water through their bodies to filter out particles of food matter. With no true tissues (parazoa), they lack muscles, nerves, and internal organs.

There are three (4?) classes of porifera.

1. Calcarea (calcareous or boney sponges) are the only sponges that possess spicules composed of calcium carbonate. Typically, the Calcarea are very small, measuring about 3-4 inches in height. Of the 15,000 or so species of Porifera that exist, only 400 of those are Calcareans

2. Hexactinellid (glass sponges) are sponges with a skeleton made of four and/or six-pointed silaceous spicules.
Hexactinellids are relatively uncommon and are mostly found at substantial depths.

3. Demosponge:
The Demospongiae are the largest class in the phylum Porifera. Their "skeletons" are made of spicules consisting of fibers of the protein spongin, the mineral silica, or both. They contain 90% of all species of sponges and are predominantly leuconid structural grade.

Subclass Homoscleromorpha
order Homosclerophorida

Subclass Tetractinomorpha
o Astrophorida
o Chondrosida
o Hadromerida
o Lithistida
o Spirophorida

Subclass Ceractinomorpha
o Agelasida
o Dendroceratida
o Dictyoceratida
o Halichondrida
o Halisarcida
o Haplosclerida
o Poecilosclerida
o Verongida
o Verticillitida

4(?). Sclerospongiae (coralline or tropical reef sponges)


Glossary of Terms:
Archaeocytes (amoebocytes) - Cells with pseudopods, located in the mesohyl. They are used in processing food, distributing it to other cells, and for other functions.
Choanocyte - also called collar cells, choanocytes line the inner cavity of the sponge. They have a sticky, funnel-shaped collar (that collects food particles) and a flagellum (which whips around, moving water). The sponge obtains its nutrients and oxygen by processing flowing water using choanocytes. Choanocytes are also involved in sponge reproduction; they catch floating sperm.
Mesohyl (mesenchyme) - the gelatinous layer between the outer body of the sponge and the spongocoel (the inner cavity).
Oscula (pl. osculum) - a large opening in a sponge through which water flows out of the sponge. Sponges may have more than one oscula.
Ostium (pl. ostia) - a pore on the body of a sponge that lets water into the sponge.
Pinacocyte - pinacocytes are the thin, flattened cells of the epidermis, the sponge's outer layer of cells.
Porocyte - cells with pores that allow water into the sponge; they are located all over the sponge's body.
Spicule - spicules are sharp spikes located in the mesohyl. Spicules form the "skeleton" of many sponges.
Spongin - the flexible, fibrous fibers that form the skeleton of horny sponges; spongin is located within the mesohyl.
Spongocoel - the central, open cavity in a sponge through which water flows.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Chain at Port Noarlunga

Across the reef at Noarlunga, to the north of the jetty is a chain. Each link is about a metre long. It passes from the sandy bottom, up and over the reef itself. This view is looking along the sandy floor, toward the reef.
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More Snorkeling at Port Noarlunga

A Ringed Toadfish (Omegophora armilla). The "ring" can be seen around the pectoral fin.

A pink sponge.

Razor Fish (Family Pinnidae)
Two more sponges?
As far as sponges go, Australia is a relatively poorly studied area. Queensland Museum "Sponguide" notes that there are about 1400 described species, but estimates that there are 5000 or so species existing.
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Sparrow, photographed while having breakfast outside.
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An idea on a Sunday Morning

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Story of Edward George Deinhoff

At enlistment in February 1916, Edward was 25 years old with hazel eyes and brown hair. He noted his next of kin as his mother Johanna and his own occupation at the time was laborer.

Edward was initially attached to “C” Company of the 1st Depot Battalion then in early March he was transferred to 43 Battalion. In Early June he embarked aboard the HMAT Afric, bound for Europe.

While at sea Edward was fined 10 shillings for drunkenness, which was the beginning of a number of comparatively minor offences that would follow him for the next few years. While he carried out his military duties, Edward seems to have been less than disciplined at times.

The “Afric” disembarked 43 Battalion at Marseilles on 20 July, from where they proceeded to England for training. While in the Larkhill training camp Edward again was in trouble. After being absent without leave for 24 hours in October he was given 7 days confined to barracks and forfeited a day’s pay. After this, on 25th November, Edward embarked from South Hampton for active duty in France.

43 Battalion was in France from December 1916 till the end of the war. Their first major actions happening in the second half of 1917.

Unsurprisingly Edward’s record of activity is quiet for the early part of 1917, except for spending 8 days sick in hospital during January. In February, Edward was attached to the 171st company of the Royal Engineers in the field. However, at the end of April, Edward was in trouble again. This time he was absent without leave for a day again, but when he had been placed under open arrest he had broken out of his billet. This time the punishment was more severe. It was 14 days of “Field Punishment, Number 2”. FP No2 essentially consisted of being kept in manacles or tied up. Edward never completed this punishment as he was admitted to hospital after 6 days and discharged back to 43 Battalion. Still having difficulties with the discipline on the 21st May Edward forfeits another three days pay for the crime of “disobeying a lawful order” by coming to parade unshaven!

Now the war for Edward seems to have an impact and he is wounded in the hand in early July. By the 10th he is in York House Hospital in Folkestone where his treatment takes more than a month. On the 28th of August he is discharged from the hospital and given leave. He has to report back to Weymouth after his leave, which he does on 11th September. Edward seems to go through more training (r perhaps become an instructor) as he is marched into the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill in Wiltshire in November and stays there for many months.

True to form Edward does a bunk in March. This time it was for more than a fortnight, for which he was sentenced again to Field Punishment Number 2, 28 days worth. He is also held in custody for 2 days and forfeits 44 days of pay showing how serious this length of absence was.

After spending just over 8 months in the UK, Edward is sent back overseas to the Australian Base depot in le Havre on 21st March 1918 and 3 days later sent back to 43 Battalion.

Now in the middle of April Edward is admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbeville. Initially he was noted as simply “sick” but later records show that he was being treated for VD and he gets sent back to le Havre where he is admitted to the 39th General Hospital (British) and he stays there until early July. But his discharge is to be short lived. Edward is back in hospital again on 13th August for the same reasons, staying till the 12th October and rejoining his unit on 23 of that month.

The war ends just one month after Edward rejoined the unit but 43 battalion are not demobilized immediately and Edward doesn’t even leave France till April of 1919. As a last fling while in England, Edward again does his disappearing trick for two days, from 3rd to 5th of May and forfeits 2 more days of pay. This time he is only “admonished” for his behavior.

By the 20th he is embarked on the “Nestor” and is on his way back to Australia where he reaches Adelaideat the end of June. By this time his health must be questionable as he has a medical in September at Keswick in Adelaide, to determine the status of his health. The report notes a broken right finger, presumably from the wound he received in 1917 but indicates no other things wrong and Edward is discharged in the middle of October after serving 1353 days.

What happens next is a mystery, as the records do not show very much about Edward after his discharge. However, there is an unusual reply letter dated November 1922 to the Repatriation Department listing his service record and we know his father collected his service medals at about this time too, so it would seem that Edward had passed on by this time.


The search for the soldiers named on the Quorn memorial is somewhat complicated by the spelling ability of many of the clerks and others in the Army. The name inscribed as E S Dienoff as it appears is wrong in three respects. It should be E G Deinhoff. Records for Edward Deinhoff were difficult to track down until I discovered the correct spelling of his name. Three others of the named soldiers have not been properly identified yet.
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