Looking back: February 2015

The Neils’s Decades series continued from Neil’s personal decades: 18 – 1890s – T D Whitfield and Neil’s personal decades: 19 – Christisons 1895 to Neil’s personal decades 29: 1920s – Christisons 3 – Jean, Milton correspondent and Neil’s personal decades 30: Roy Christison 1924. In between of course I explore particularly family links to the South African War and World War 1. One example:

Neil’s personal decades: 24 – Whitfields – 1917-1919

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Neil

This man was for sure my favourite Whitfield uncle – well, the only one I ever met in fact. [There was Uncle George of course, but he was “by marriage”.] But he was a really good man, as I recall, with snowy white hair and a crack shot with a rifle – he had competed in that sport. See my April 2014 post Shellharbour.


Kenneth Ross WHITFIELD (b.1897  d. 1967) m 1920 Esma H. EAST (b. 1895 d. 24 Mar. 1971)

There was a family legend that he lied about his age to get into the army in World War I, but that doesn’t seem to be true; he was 20 when he enlisted. Maybe he had tried before and failed. He did also serve in World War II.

The story I heard too was that he was a machine gunner. That may be true. However, his service with the 3rd Battalion was cut short somewhat by illness. He returned to Australia invalided quite late in 1919.






See Embarkation Roll and Discovering Anzacs, from which the records above are taken.

Things could have been a lot worse for Uncle Ken though:


Gassed Australian soldiers awaiting treatment near Bois de L’Abbe outside Villers-Bretonneux 1918.

On 7 February I posted Diggers turns 85. See also Sheep, shy winner, frog spawn… where there is a picture from the Diggers anniversary party. The final item refers to events that fascinated us through February. See also They’re voting in Canberra right now…

Jim Belshaw has done a good post.

As I write, the political agony of Australian PM Abbott has entered its immediate end-game. Can Mr Abbott survive? I am not close enough to the numbers to know. I would have thought it unlikely.

As I write, the commentary and reporting outside the fevered analysis of what is happening really centers on two questions: why did this happen; what does it mean?…

And now the ballot is being counted (9.14 am).

And the spill motion failed – 61 overturned it, 39 for.


Mind you that’s a very sizeable minority there who are NOT HAPPY, TONES! No, it ain’t over….

And didn’t that turn out to be true – thank God!

Looking back through February there really is quite a bit there, some of it even rather substantial. A good blogging month. I’ll end with an odd one though.

Seized by teen terrorists in the age of Whitlam!

Posted on February 22, 2015 by Neil

Yes, it happened to me! The evidence surfaced this morning on Facebook. Let me show you:


And the man on the podium in the background is the Principal, who seems quite oblivious to whatever fiendishness is happening before his very eyes!


Pictures of me in the 70s are very rare! This did amuse me when I saw it this morning. It is actually A Year 12 prank from their last day of school, Wollongong 1972.