Centenary of the Great War

SOLEMN: Unveiling the memorial to the 1st Australian Division at Pozieres, France, July 8, 1917. Photo courtesy of Juan Mahony.Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and death details for9-15 July 1917.
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AUSTRALIAN CASUALTIES Two Australian casualty lists, Nos. 321 and 322, were issued Wednesday. They show that 259 were killed in action, 36 died of wounds, one was accidentally killed, and seven died of other causes. There are 1529 reported wounded, 53 sick, 11 missing, nine injured, and one POW.

AUSTRALIANS IN EGYPTDespatches from Major-General Sir Archibald Murray, who was in command in Egypt, covering from October 1, 1916, to February 28, 1917, mentions 120 Australians and 43 New Zealanders. The despatches are largely concerned with the doings of Australian and New Zealand mounted men.Sir Archibald Murray specially comments on the Australian Light Horse in their difficult night marches in the country round Oghara on October 13; also the Australian and New Zealand mounted men in their skilful occupation of El Arish and Masmi on December 20, ending with Chauvel’s fine march to Magdhaba, where 1282 prisoners were taken, while we lost only 154 killed and wounded in a brilliant dash.The New Zealand mounted men mentioned include Chetwode’s column, advancing on Rafa on January 9, which was the outstanding feature of the action, which resulted in the capture of the entire Turkish force of 1600 men. The main factor in the success of conquering the Sinai Desert was the intense work. Hundreds of miles of road and railways had been built.

OPERATIONS IN PALESTINEAn official report from Egypt states the situation is unchanged. There has been considerable artillery work. We put out of action 13 enemy guns during June, and destroyed many gun emplacements.The health of the troops is satisfactory, and the admission to hospitals shows the lowest average for Egypt since five years before the war.It is learned from Turkish sources that the Turks are making great preparations to retake Bagdad and to defend Palestine. Ten new divisions are being formed, seven for Asia, under a General Marshal.

MEMORIAL TO AUSTRALIANSAustralians visiting the Somme have expressed general approval of the idea which is crystallising in London to erect a permanent memorial near Pozieres to the fallen Australians.At present crosses mark isolated graves and little cemeteries. There are also larger temporary memorials to divisions, but the feeling favours the erection of a noble national memorial.

NEATH SOLDIER’S LETTERPrivate Ernest Pockett, writing to Mr and MrsPockett, of Neath, from France, under date April 14, says: “This is Friday, the 14th April, and everything OK. The weather is getting better now, although we had a good fall of snow on Wednesday. I suppose Mrs. Morgan has heard of the bad news concerning George Hammond. Jack Mansfield told me again today, so it seems to be correct. We have been having a few casualties lately. I am at present having a good old rest, which I badly needed. We spent the winter on the worst part of the western front, and have been going hard at it. I have not seen a civilian for five months, so you can guess how we need a change. Our battalion was the first through Bapaume, and I worked harder that day than ever I worked carrying messages for twenty four hours through a town which was stopping a fair amount of shells, etc. All the Neath chaps are keeping well, and I am in the best of health” This letter was written and sent to Australia on a German field post-card.

PATERSON SOLDIER’S LETTERMrs Priestley, of ‘Gostwyck’, Paterson, has received a letter from an officer of the battalion of which her late son, Private George Priestley, was a member. After referring to the regret he felt when he heard of the death of Private Priestley, the officer says that prior to his promotion he was alongside the deceased soldier during the Gallipoli campaign. He goes on to say: “He was a good soldier, but above all he was a man. He always led such a clean life, and was a God-fearing man. I was with him such a lot, that I am very intimate with all his doings. He was sniped over the parapet, and died instantly. “We buried him and erected a cross to his memory, all amongst the snow.”

FOOTBALLERS AT THE FRONTNinety names are on the South Newcastle Rugby League Football Club’s roll of honour, which was unveiled Wednesday night at a euchre party and social held in the Oddfellows’ Hall, Auckland-street. There was a large attendance. Of those whose names appear on the roll 11 have made the supreme sacrifice.Mr A. R. Gardiner, MP, who performed the unveiling ceremony, said it was most gratifying to know that those young men had so numerously responded to the call of duty from the club. It spoke well for the patriotism of the club, and he believed that in the future further names would be added to that long list. It was pleasing also to the relatives of the men to know that their friends had shown in this way their appreciation of their action

MEREWETHER CLUBDistrict Soccerites will regret to know that Private A. Jones has been killed at the front. Arthur Jones, popularly called ‘Mick’,was a member of Merewether Advance Club, and prior to the war played with Merewether juniors, being regarded by many as a player of great promise. Privates Fred Alberts and J. (‘Shot’) Jones, two other members of Merewether Club, have been wounded. The official intimation did not state if seriously or otherwise. Alberts was the State’s best centre-forward. He had represented the district on numerous occasions, and in the last State game he led NSWagainst Queensland. ‘Shot’ Jones was in Merewether B team last season, playing inside right, with Alberts centre forward. He played against South Maitland, at Blackburn’s oval last season, and if memory serves right, ‘Shot’ shot Newcastle’s only goal on that day.

CHARLESTOWNThe first local soldier arrived home on Thursday evening. Fully 30 residents journeyed to Newcastle by the motor omnibus to meet the Sydney train and give a hearty welcome to Private Boyd, and were pleased to find him looking little the worse for his experience, although his left arm had not regained its usual strength. On the arrival at Charlestown a crowd was waiting to shake him by the hand, and escorted him to his home. The patriotic committee are arranging a public welcome to Private Boyd.

LAMBTON POLICE COURTLieutenant Clegg appeared to prosecute William Cleary and Alfred Williams, trainees, for absenting themselves from drill, the former having a deficiency of 5½ days, and the latter 6¼ days. The magistrate ordered that they be handed over to the Military authorities at South Head, Sydney, for 6 and 8 days, respectively, and to pay 3 shillings costs of court, in default, 24 hours in the lock-up. A similar case against John James Taylor was ordered to be dealt with in the Children’s Court.

ENLISTMENTSTheodore James Bradstreet, Newcastle; John Donald Collins, West Wallsend; George Alfred Duffy, Murrurundi; George Duncan, Boolambyte; John Patrick Falvey, Islington; Mathew Fitz, Newcastle; Jack Charles Fraser, Mayfield; Frederick Hinde, East Maitland; Vivian Arthur Johnson, Cessnock; John Albert Lloyd, Merewether; Robert Maddison, Newcastle; William Jethro Maskell, Hamilton; William Mitchell, Kurri Kurri; Cyril Claude Mosely, Weston; William Pentelow, Kurri Kurri; George Reid, Cooks Hill; William Campbell Ross, Stockton; Patrick Scully, Carrington; Archibald Hamilton Shields, Newcastle; George Skilton, Stockton; Robert Bruce Smith, Newcastle; Lovel Thomas Stead, Tighes Hill; Horace George Taylor, Belltrees; Thomas Weedy, West Maitland.

DEATHSPte Robert Brown, South Cessnock; Pte Charles John Clark, Broadmeadow; Pte James Joseph Colgate, Neath; Pte William Hunt, Newcastle; Pte Harold Johnson, Scone; Pte John Morris, Newcastle; Pte Albert Edward Robertson, Newcastle; L/Sgt Ivan Rossoggsky, Moonan Flat; Pte John Joseph Thomas, Weston.

David Dial OAM is a Hunter-based military historian. facebook南京夜网/HunterValleyMilitaryHistory

Google’s home technology company Nest Labs launches in Australia

Google Nest is more aesthetically pleasing than other products on the market.Just as a new animatedThe Jetsonsmovie goes into production, a sliver of that future arrives today with home security camera vision you can watch on your smartphone, and technology that allows you to shout at a burglar – or your dog – even when you’re far away.
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Google’s US3.2 billion company Nest Labs has finally brought the first four of its safety and security products to Australia as the “lucky 13th” country, and the first in the Asia-Pacific region, in its international roll-out.

“They’ve been very well-received elsewhere and we’ve found people aren’t looking for a whole-home automated system,” says Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product marketing. “Instead, they’re shopping for the best product to solve a problem they feel they may have at their house, and are connecting them one product at a time to make themselves feel more secure.”

The products that will now be for sale locally – through the company’s new eCommerce store iSelect – include both indoor and outdoor cameras, taking footage stored on Cloud, which will be available even if a thief has the wherewithal to steal the camera.

It can be watched online and send an alert to your phone if it sees anything suspicious, you can talk back to your home through your phone and there’s also an advanced feature that can recognise a person talking or a dog barking.

A smoke and carbon monoxide alarm will also be for sale, which can tell the home-owner where the danger is with a vocal alert, or send a message to the phone if they’re out.

Maxime Veron pictured with a Google Nest security camera, which is new to Australia. Photo: Ben Rushton

While similar products are already available on the market from other companies, these Nest devices are likely to claim a good slice of the business, believes John Gallel, vice-president of the Australian Security Industry Association, and general manager of security company Kastle Systems Australia.

“There are similar products out there and there have been for some time,” Gallel says. “But the Nest ones are appealing in that they are aesthetically pleasing – similar smoke detectors can be two or two-and-a-half-times their size and a bit ugly – and they’re easy to use. Good design is their competitive advantage.”

That has always been a key aim of the company, says Veron, with Nest started by iPod inventor Tony Faddell and many of the early staff coming over from Apple. In addition, the devices connect well as long as there is internet available, and particularly NBN.

Australia is the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to have access to Google Nest. Photo: Supplied

They do have limitations, however. Nest’s smoke alarms probably couldn’t have averted London’s Grenfell tower block disaster since there’s not yet the capacity to wire up and connect a whole apartment building to a central alarm system; they’re mostly for use with a standalone home.

“But in Australia, there are around 200,000 residential fires happening every year and that’s a lot,” says Veron. “For a home owner they’d have an early warning that something was happening, and you’d know whether it was a fire or just someone burning the toast.”

Whether Australians are as security-conscious as Americans is another debatable point. “But every year in Australia there are over 400,000 home incidents, whether burglaries or vandalism, and people often have a dog, or bars over their windows, or fences or walls to protect them,” Veron says.

“The main reason we are selling so many Nest Cams, day in day out, is so people can see what’s happening with their most precious asset, especially with the high cost of real estate. That peace of mind is very valuable.”

Nest security products that are being launched in the Australian market. Photo: Ben Rushton

When Warner Bros’ newThe Jetsonsmovie is released it’ll be interesting to see if it also makes over traditional products like smoke alarms and cameras, rather than opting for terribly futuristic solutions like technological force fields.

Because those regular forms of home securityhave their advantages. Sometimes the cameras themselves are deterrents, Veron says, police are more likely to race to a scene when you can tell them a burglar is currently rifling your safe, and the camera vision has been used in court cases.

And with Australians having a reputation as early adopters of new technology, as the products become more refined and early bugs are ironed out, maybe the smart home revolution for all is finally on its way.

‘No light rail blowout’

PREMIER’S PITCH: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaking at a Hunter Business Chamber meeting about the 2017-8 state budget on Tuesday. Picture: Simone De PeakNewcastle’s light rail project will be delivered withinbudget, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian saidduringa visit to the city on Tuesday.
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It comes after the Newcastle Herald reported on Monday that Labor Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp believed the state government was “hiding something” after it refused his freedom of information request for documents related to the cost of the project.

When asked on Tuesday whether she could assure the community thatlight rail would be delivered within budget, she responded: “Of course”.

“Not just that, I wish he [Mr Crakanthorp] and others would get on board because every time I come up here the community is so enthusiastic and excited about that.

“The most frequent thing I get about the light rail is ‘can you expand it?We want to see it go further,’ and that’s certainly what we are looking at.”

Ms Berejiklian was in Newcastle to address a Hunter Business Chamber meeting after the 2017-18 budget, which was handed down last month.

Critics of the Berejiklian government’s first budget said it lacked new spending in the Hunter andmoney earmarked for the region was largely for ongoing projects like the light railand new Maitland Hospital.

The Premier told the chamber meeting on Tuesdaythat the government was focused on record spending in health and education and that “a strong Hunter –a strong Newcastle –is so vital toa strong NSW”.

“What excites me more than anything, as the Premier of NSW, is allowing each region to reach its full potential,” Ms Berejikliansaid.

“Perhaps what frustrates me more than anything is people who would prefer us to sit back and do nothing and not change anything because if you don’t do anything, you’re not going to change circumstances.

“You need to have a proactive agenda, you need to be very clear on where you’re going and you need to bring the community with you.”

Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said the region had good qualifications to respond to the “certainty” in investment and outcomes that the government was building.

Earlier, Ms Berejiklian visitedTorontoto inspectthe newly opened police station.

Taste of Jamaica in town

FUNKY FUSION: Winnie’s Jamaican at Finnegan’s Hotel introduces Newcastle to classic Caribbean dishes in a colourful and comfortable space right in the heart of town.Winnie’s Jamaican restaurant, at Finnegan’s Hotel on the corner of King and Darby,is breaking new ground in Newcastle with a funky fusion of mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine.
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Riffing off the Rastafarian Ital diet withloads of vegie and vegan options and also boasting classic staples like jerk chicken and goat curry, Winnie’s is the brainchild of chef Jamie Thomas.

Born in North London, Jamie grew up immersed inJamaican food and culture.

“I was cooking Jamaican food with my best mate’s mum and his family since I was a baby,” Jamie said.

“I’ve never known anything different and as I’ve grown older I’ve dug deeper into the cuisine and culture.”

Jamie is passionateabout introducing the Hunter to this style of food.

“Jamaica has been this cosmopolitan place historically for centuries, so the food is really diverse, got great kick and super healthy,” Jamie said.

“There’s Spanish, English, French, Chinese and even Japanese influences.

“A lot of the dishes are grilled while the Rasta Ital diet is almost vegan in approach, avoiding processed food, additives, oil, salt and sugar –so it has that vegie dimension that will appeal too.

“From a chef point of view, you can give nearly any food a Jamaican twist and not crucify the fusion factor.”

Jamie moved up to the Hunter last year having run Queenie’s Jamaican restaurant at The Forresters Hotel in Surry Hills for 5 years.

He has partnered with best mate Luke Smith under the heading Two Poms Pty Ltd.

Luke is running the kitchen at Town Hall Hotel in Waratah, while Jamie, havingspent last year delivering dude foodat the transformative Family Hotel on Hunter Street,has set up Winnie’s at Finnegan’s.

“Newcastle is always looking to try something new and I thinkNovocastrians will love Jamaican food,” he said.

Finnegan’s has shifted focus from Irish themes in recent years but Jamie still sees symmetries.

“There’s a massive Irish culture in Jamaica, the locals drink loads of Guinnessand both peoples are happy go lucky and love a celebration,” he said.

“I think most Novocastrians will relate to that.”

Visitors to Winnie’s will discover a bright, comfortable space withgreat food, awesome music and laid-back vibe.

Winnie’s Jamaican operatesTuesday to Friday for lunch (12-3pm)and dinner (6pm-9pm) and Saturday for dinner from 6pm till late.

“I’ll play Saturday by ear because we’re right in the entertainment hub of the city –the perfect place to meet, eat and kick on,” Jamie said.

“The bottom line is if people are hungry, I’ll be cooking.”

For more info, visit www.finneganshotel南京夜网.au.

Robson’s perfect panache

FEWpeople, I believe, have matched the passion, persistence, panache and pursuit of perfection of Murray Robson in his 47 years in Hunter wine.
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Murray, who died aged 85 on July 26, was ever the innovator, renowned for his exemplary wines with their hand-signatured labels. He was a three-time “founding father” of what are now the prestigious Davis family Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree operations and the Agnew group’s Audrey Wilkinson brand.

He was the first Hunter winegrower to plant roses at the end of vine rows as an early indicator of disease and the first to build vineyard cottage accommodation.

In 1969, as a teetotaller and a 10-year partner in the exclusive Double Bay menswear Squire Shop, he came to the Hunter in a syndicate of 20 Sydney business and professional men that bought the remnants of the Wilkinson family’s historic Oakdale vineyard and winery in De Beyers Rd, reviving the vines and launching the Audrey Wilkinson brand.

Enchanted by the wine country, Murray quit the Oakdale group in 1971 and he and his Squire Shop partners bought land in Mount View Rd, Mount View. There Murray built a guest cottage and, deciding it would be nice to see vines, in 1972 began planting a vineyard.

Initially called Squire Vineyard, it had its inaugural vintage in 1975 and promptly won a Brisbane Wine Show chardonnay gold medal. Totally hooked on wine, Murray sold out of the Squire Shop, took ownership of Mount View – renaming it Murray Robson Wines and making it synonymous with prized, hand-made wines of immaculate quality.

Heartache, however, hit with receivership in 1987 and the vineyard and winery were renamed Briar Ridge and bought by geologist-turned-vigneron Dr John Davis.

Ousted from Mount View, Murray in 1990 re-established Murray Robson Wines at Halls Rd and Oakdale-Audrey Wilkinson, taking former chairman of the Fairfax media group, James Fairfax, as an equity partner.In 1994 Murray sold his stake to James Fairfax, keeping ownership of his brand and preparing its third incarnation by buying eight hectares of Old North Rd, Rothbury, land. There he and wife Lynley built a home, winery and vineyard and in 1997 relaunched Murray Robson wines. The property was sold in 2000, but Murray was kept busy with wine exports, judging at the 2005-2006 North West Wine Summit in Atlanta and advising on the Peppertree vineyard upgrade.

Just before his death he was planning an on-line wine venture called Robson Store House.