Their name liveth forevermore.

Ballarat City Rowing Club HONOUR ROLL January 1919

When researching for members who served in World War 1, I discovered an article describing the dedication of the club’s first honour board. It was unveiled at the boatshed on Saturday the 18th of January 1919 by Lt. Colonel Alfred Wilton Bennett who was again elected President of the club in 1918. He himself had joined up and served on Gallipoli and in France in 1915. He was already a Lieutenant Colonel when he enlisted and had a long military and rowing history. Despite being retiring age he continued to contribute to the club. The event was attended by a large number of oarsmen and the general public.

There were 57 men listed on this original honour roll, 14 of whom paid the supreme sacrifice. It was also mentioned that some names had been overlooked and that they would be added in the future. John Lang’s book, the “Victorian Oarsman” only listed 45 men from Ballarat City. Most notably absent from his list were the three Coulter brothers, Graham, Leslie (Jack) and Jason (Jay) who all enlisted and fought at Gallipoli. Graham served as club Captain of the club for ten years prior to the war and both Leslie and Jay were popular members of the club in the early 1900’s. Graham was the only brother to return. He was a Lieutenant Colonel by war’s end and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Leslie was promoted to Major and also awarded a DSO and Mentioned in Dispatches three times. He was killed in action in France 28/6/1917. Jay was promoted to Sergeant and was badly wounded at Courtney’s point on 5/8/1915. He was evacuated to Alexandria and died of wound five days later on 10/8/1915.I am not sure why the Coulter’s were omitted from the list submitted to the Victorian Oarsman but perhaps, as the book was published in 1919 also, some names were just inadvertently overlooked. As part of my tribute to those who served I also wanted to find the names to all the men who served.

The “Victorian Oarsman” and the original newspaper report only recorded initials of the men who served. It was very important for me to find their full names to make the tribute more personal. Often the initials were wrong and it was difficult to match names. For example trying to find the T. O’Reilly listed in the Victorian Oarsman, turned out to be Edward O’Reilly. Obviously his mates at the club always knew him as Ted or Teddy! I have also been able to identify the first name of all except three of the names listed. By cross checking with the names of Ballarat and district soldiers commemorated in the Ballarat Avenue of Honour and searching the National Archives records of service, I have been able to add much more to our history than an initial and a surname.

The next step was to find and photograph or image of the men and I have begun the long process of trying to do this. With a name and a photograph these men become more real and by detailing their individual stories we can pay tribute to their extraordinary sacrifice. I have now completed profiles for over half of the 58 men with special attention to the 14 men who lost their lives. These have all been posted on the blog and also on the Australian Rowing History website. (

The men of the Ballarat City Rowing Club distinguished themselves in World War 1, with 18 attaining commissioned rank. They were recipients of 7 military awards- 3 Distinguished Service Orders, 2 Military Crosses and 1 Military Medal. Several were also Mentioned in Dispatches and there were many more Mentioned in Dispatches and recommendations for medals that were not awarded.

The 15 men that were listed on the original roll but not in the Victorian Oarsman are: P.G. Bryant, Lieutenant Colonel Graham Coulter, Major Leslie Jack Coulter (KIA), Sergeant Jason Leslie Boyd Coulter (KIA), Captain Hugh Marcel Conran, Fredrick Henry Fricke, Captain Fredrick Lawrence Coldwell-Smith, Cliff Williams, Thomas Joseph Ward, Harold Nelson Ferguson, J.Douglas, Sergeant Terence Richard Hynes(KIA), Alexander Chisholm, Henry Tudor Richardson and G. Bolton.

Original list of names from John Lang’s “Victorian Oarsman”


  1. Reginald Edgar ALLEN
  2. Robert Stanley ANDERSON
  3. Albert Patrick AHERN
  4. LT.COL. Alfred Wilton BENNETT, VD
  5. LT.COL. William BRAZENOR, Distinguished Service Order and Bar, Mentioned in Dispatches (3)
  8. Alexander CHISHOLM
  9. LT.COL. Graham COULTER, Distinguished Service Order, Mentioned in Dispatches ,VD
  10. MAJOR Leslie Jack COULTER, DSO, Mentioned in Dispatches (3 )  KIA
  11. SARGEANT Jason Leslie Boyd COULTER  KIA
  12. Michael James Francis CUMMINS
  13. Robert Haniford COMMONS KIA
  14. CAPTAIN Hugh Marcell CONRAN
  15. Edgar COSTELLOE
  16. Jack CROSS
  17. Edgar Arthur DORRINGTON
  18. Thomas Ellis EUSTICE
  19. Harold Nelson FERGUSON
  20. Loyal Harley FINCH
  21. Fredrick Henry FRICKE
  22. LIEUTENANT John Foster GEAR, Military Cross, Mentioned in Dispatches KIA
  24. George Jerrard GREENSHIELDS, Mentioned in Dispatches KIA
  25. Frank HERMAN
  26. LIEUTENANT William Arthur HOLTHAM
  27. SARGEANT Reginald Arthur HIND, Military Medal and Bar
  29. Rasmus Robinson HANSEN KIA
  30. Leslie HALL
  31. John HARRIS
  32. Leslie James HOBSON KIA
  34. Arthur KING
  35. Stanley LUGG
  36. Thomas James Albert LUKE
  37. Ernest Davey MORSHEAD KIA
  38. LT.COL. George Frederick MORTON
  39. Arthur Treve MARSH KIA
  40. Joseph C. MOORE
  41. Albert William Fredrick McKENZIE
  42. Angus McDONALD
  43. Edward (Ted) James O’REILLY KIA
  44. Walter Transton OWEN
  45. Albert Edmund OXBROW
  46. Cyril J. PALMER
  47. George Herbert POLLARD
  48. Henry Tudor RICHARDSON
  50. Murdoch SPENCER
  51. CAPTAIN F.COLDWELL-SMITH, Military Cross
  52. Gordon TYLER
  54. Thomas WARD
  55. Cliff WILLIAMS
  56. J.DOUGLAS (unable to verify)
  57. G.BOLTON (unable to verify)
  58. P.G.BRYANT ( unable to verify)
  • Those names listed in bold type are those who died in service of their country
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