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Sunday, 16 November 2014

7th weekly story is told of Ryde's Private Frederick Smart Service No. 669.

The story this week is a brief look at Private Frederick SMART who was killed at Messines in Flanders on Good Friday in 1918 (Not 1917 as published in story). In his soldiers' will, he made provision for his girlfriend, Dorothy Dickman, left at home in Moore Park to purchase a mourning ring should he die!

Fredrick was only 22 when he enlisted in February 1915, and served with the 19th Battalion in Egypt, Gallipoli, France and Belgium, He was the son of orchardist William Smart and his wife Harriet. Private Smart was employed by Meadowbank Manufacturing Company  and lived with his family at “Orangeville”  Parkes Street, Ryde at the time of his enlistment.

The Red Cross file  of enquiry into his death indicate evidence was given by his fellow  local soldiers including Corporal Sydney Alfred Burgess JONES (SRN 4457), of Western Crescent, Gladesville, and Lieutenant Reginald James FITZROY (SRN 1880), of Shepherd Street ,Ryde.

Week 7 : 12 November 2014 - The Northern District Times, page 27
Digger’s will request ensures love lives on
[if you click on the title -- it should take you to the on-line edition of the newspaper]

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

RYDE REMEMBERS - Remembrance Day 2014 in Ryde, NSW

The City of Ryde held its Remembrance Sunday Service at the Ryde Civic Hall on Sunday 9th November 2014.  

2014 Sunday Service
 Photo: S. Fielding-Smith

Some members of the Ryde Goes to War Project at the City of Ryde Sunday Service
L-R : Kim, Betty, Sabina, Margaret, Shirley, Helen.
Photo: S. Fielding-Smith





 The Poppy is the traditional symbol of Remembrance 

On Tuesday, 11 November 2014  Ryde Library Services will launch 

 '2,000 Poppies Project' 

at West Ryde Branch Library .

 The project hopes to create a field of 2,000 hand crafted red poppies as part of the Centenary of Anzac Tribute.

 More details on the project can be found on the City of Ryde  website :




Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Gilbert Walters, a Bristiol born, railway porter from Meadowbank, NSW, who recieved the Military Medal, features in this week's Northern District Times article.

This week The Northern District Times continues to publish a brief outline of one of the stories of the men and women who served in the Great War from the Ryde District, This series commenced weekly in October 2014 and the stories have been researched for the 'Ryde Goes to War project'  by members of the Ryde District Historical Society and descendant families.

Week 6 : 5 November 2014 - The Northern District Times, page 26  is the story of young immigrant, Gilbert Walters. He had been in Australia for less than two years when he enlisted in the AIF and served gallantly in France with the 35th Battalion.

Wounded but kept on bringing in people
[if you click on the title -- it should take you to the on-line edition of the newspaper]

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The story of Private John Robertson Forrest, who was lost in the battle of Fromelles is in this week's Northern Distict Times.

The remains of Private John Robertson Forrest, of 54th Battalion AIF were identified among the further nine Australians found at Fomelles and reinterred in July 2012. His story was also in earlier part of this blog in August 2012.

The Northern District Times continues to publish our stories in a series which commenced in October 2014. They are a brief outline of some of our 'Ryde Goes to War project' research on World War One service from the Ryde District.

Week 5 : 29 Oct 2014 - The Northern District Times, page 21  is the story of  Jack Forrest's life.  Born in Scotland the 20 year old had settled into life in our Ryde district prior to his enlistment in the AIF.  


Headstone comes as further sign of respect.
[if you click on the title -- it should take you to the on-line edition of the newspaper]

Thursday, 23 October 2014

North Ryde's Taylor brothers, Ernest & Charles feature in our 4th weekly story.

The Northern District Times continues to publish our stories in a series which commenced earlier this month. They are a brief outline of some of our 'Ryde Goes to War project' research on World War One service from the Ryde District.

Week 4 : 22 Oct 2014 - The Northern District Times, page 38  is the story of brothers, Ernest John Taylor, Service No. 126, and Charles Samuel Taylor, Service No. 125, of North Ryde.

Two sons of John and Mary Taylor of Badajoz Rd, North Ryde, they served together with the 9th Machine Gun Company.
Ernest John Taylor enlisted with his brother Charles Samuel Taylor in March, 1916. It was during the battle at Houplines Sector, Armentieres, Ernest was hit by a shell and killed in February 1917.

Brickmaker enlists and pays the ultimate price during raid
[if you click on the title -- it should take you to the on-line edition of the newspaper]

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

More reports of the return of the Dead Man's Penny to the Uther family.

Ryde's local weekly newspapers have included the wonderful story of the return of the Dead Man's Penny to the Uther family this week's editions.
For the full stories, try the links below.

The Weekly Times, 22 October 2014, p.3

 ‘Dead Man’s Penny’ found in Denistone backyard


The Northern District Times, 22October, 2014, p.5

Dead man’s penny a priceless tribute


Frank Uther's Memorial Plaque, with poppies for remembrance,
knitted by Ryde District Historical Society members.
Photo : M. Farlow

Monday, 20 October 2014

Second Dead Man's Penny returned to family members! This one was found buried in a local garden.


The Ryde District Historical Society was absolutely delighted to be involved in the returning of a second Dead Man’s Penny to the descendants of the family it was originally issued to.
Recently, we were contacted by a local Denistone resident who had found the ‘penny’ about ½ metre below the ground when digging in his garden. He in turn contacted us at the Ryde District Historical Society hoping that the family could be traced and the ‘penny’  a memorial plaque or commemorative medallion, as they were officially known, be returned to them.

Frank Uther's Memorial Plaque, showing scratches incurred when dug up in a Denistone backyard.
The name on the penny was Frank Uther. Unfortunately for us, Frank was not on our list of Ryde service people, but with only one man named Frank Uther serving in World War One AIF, the Society members and especially Kim, with her extensive experience and resources was not only able to identify him, but make contact with his family. This was made possible by using the public family trees on Ancestry.com. All those people who had included Frank Uther in their trees were contacted and his closest family was found.
The ‘penny’ was returned to Frank Uther’s second cousin, Erica, the only one still surviving of 77 cousins.

Kim, Erica holding Frank's penny and Ben from Ancestry.com

The practice of burying a Dead Man’s Penny, as they were commonly known, is not unheard of but how it ended up in the back yard of a Denistone home is still a bit of a puzzle.
The story of the penny's return was featured on Sydney’s Channel 9, 6pm news on Friday 17 October 2014, and will also be used by Ancestry.com.

Last year the Society and Ryde Library Services were able to reunite the penny for Oscar Henry Nelson, found in a Northern NSW garage sale, with descendants of his family – (see earlier blog stories for details).