Forty five names appear on the list of Ballarat City members who enlisted for World War One. There should be many more, as many members previous to 1914 had moved away from Ballarat and enlisted elsewhere or they were older men who were no longer active members of the club when they enlisted. One such member that should be on the club’s WW 1 honor board is Lieutenant- Colonel Graham Coulter. He was Captain of the club for 4 seasons in the early 1900’s and only retired from the club in 1910. He would have been 30 then and probably thought he should leave the rowing to younger men. His father Irvine Coulter was also a member of the club as were his brothers Jason and Leslie Coulter. They also enlisted for the first World War and paid the ultimate sacrifice. The Coulter family donated a trophy for Ballarat Regatta, The Coulter Cup for Maiden Eights first competed for in 1920 in memory of Jason and Leslie.
Lieutenant- Colonel Graham Coulter
DSO Mid VD 8th Battalion AIF
DSO awarded 1 January 1917 for his leadership of the battalion at Pozieres.
He was 35 when he enlisted in September 1914 and was appointed Captain of the 8th Infantry Battalion. He was promoted to Major on 9 May 1915 at Gallipoli and assumed command of the 8th Battalion on 27 August during illness of Lt.Col. Brant. He was promoted to Lt.Col. on 10 July 1917. He was Mentioned in Dispatches at least four times. His brothers Jason Leslie Boyd Coulter and Major Leslie Jack Coulter also fought and died in WW1.
All three men were members of Ballarat City Rowing Club but as they were not active members in 1914 they are not recorded by John Lang in the Victorian Oarsman or on the club’s honor boards. They should be included, as Graham in particular served the club as Captain for many years and Jason was a member up until he moved away from Ballarat for employment. The story of the 5 Coulter boys is amazing and hopefully I can add some more details in later posts.