MUAC members in WWI

Anzac Day 2015

An incomplete list of MUAC members who enlisted for active service in WWI

Norval Henry Dooley,

GM Sproule, awarded the Military Cross

AD Ellis, wounded

LH Kelly, wounded

R Balfe, died at Gallipoli

HH Hunter, died at Gallipoli

RM Gillespie

RM Gillespie

JHS Jackson

IH Kelly, Australian and Victorian 440 Yards and HJ Champion

AW Keown

JS Mackay

A McLennan

JH Marimbas, Victorian PV Champion

Harvey Sutton, Full Blue 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1905, Rhodes Scholar, 1905, Olympian, 1908, O.B.E, 1919

DP Greenham, Full Blue, 1908, 1911, 1912,

RM Gillespie, Full Blue, 1911, Sergeant, died, 25, April, 1915. Gallipoli

Harold Edward ‘Pompey’ Elliot, Brigadier General,


HH Hunter

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Australian 100 yards record holder in the early 1900s, Herbert Humphreys Hunter, died at Gallipoli.

The Victorian Open Championship trophy named in the honour of Herbert Humphreys “Herb” Hunter who was a resident at Trinity at Melbourne University was a standout athlete and student of dentistry.

Hunter received Blues for Athletics in 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905.

And, was an accomplished footballer, receiving a double Blue for Football in 1905, later going on to play senior football at Essendon Football Club.

He completed a Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 1906 after which he returned to Australia and Bendigo to open a practice.

At the 1904 National Championship, Hunter was involved in a dramatic run-off for the 100 yards title, which he won against a great NSW athlete Nigel Barker. Two years earlier Hunter had run 9.8 to equal the Australian record, a time which stood until 1930.
Hunter, a dentist, enlisted in the war and was given command of D Company of the 7th Battalion. He arrived at Galliipoli on 25 April 1915 and two weeks later on 8 May 1915 the 7th Battalion were given orders to attack the Turkish front line in the second battle of Krithia.
Hunter, “being an exceptionally fast runner”, was at the forefront of operations. A special correspondent for the Melbourne Argus recorded the manner of Captain Hunter’s death, writing: “…in some marvellous way he was not hit by a Turkish bullet until late in the morning, although men were killed all about him. He received a flesh wound in the heel, however, when the battle was at its height, he was taken behind the firing line to have the injury cleaned and bandaged. While he was lying on the ground a bullet struck him in the head and he died in a few seconds.”


Harvey Sutton

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 8.57.14 pmMedical practioner Harvey Sutton was an outstanding middle distance runner who won three national titles. In 1902 he led the national 880 yard rankings by a staggering five seconds. Over the next few years he was regularly the national rankings leader over 880 yards and the mile. In 1908 he competed for Australia in the 800m at the Olympic Games, where he placed third in his heat. He set an Australian 880 yards and 800 metres records, the latter lasting for 28 years. Sutton studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, won Full Blues in 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1905 and then was awarded a Rhodes scholarship in 1905.
As a captain in the Australian Army Medical Corps, from March 1916 Sutton served with the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt, Sinai, Palestine and Syria. He co-commanded No.7 Sanitary Section, ANZAC Mounted Division, and ANZAC Field Laboratory. After marrying in London in 1917, he returned to Egypt in January 1918 and worked in many hospitals, also surviving the sinking of the hospital ship, Aragon. He was twice mentioned in dispatches (1918 and 1920) and appointed an O.B.E. in 1919.
Upon return to Australia in 1919, he joined the NSW Department of Public Instruction as principal medical officer. He continued to publish articles and books and lecture in medicine until he retired in 1947. He died in Sydney in 1963.

Rupert Balfe

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.06.26 pmBorn in Melbourne in 1890, Balfe, known as Rupert, was the youngest of three boys and a gifted student and athlete. He won a scholarship to attend University High School, where he was school captain and school athletics champion.
Balfe was studying medicine at the University of Melbourne when war broke out. Rupert was quick to enlist and joined the 6th Battalion, one of the first units raised, and became a second lieutenant in the 2nd Brigade. His father was the mayor of Brunswick at the time, and became involved in patriotic causes. His mother also later became president of Brunswick’s chapter of the Red Cross Society to help provide for the needs of wounded soldiers.
Balfe left Australia for Egypt onboard the Hororato on 19 October 1914, and after several months training he went to Gallipoli, where he took part in the landing on 25 April 1915.
According to a report by one of his commanding officers, Balfe was killed instantly by a bursting shell just after reaching the beach at ANZAC Cove. However, these details were not immediately known and back in Melbourne his parents were informed that he was wounded and missing. They finally learned of his death in a telegram two months later. He was 25 years old.
While at university, Balfe had made friends with a young law student named Robert Menzies, later to become Prime Minister of Australia. Menzies wrote a poem in tribute to Balfe which appeared in the Brunswick and Coburg leader newspaper on 16 July1915. It read, in part:
His was the call that came from far away;
An Empire’s message flashing o’er the seas
The call to arms! The blood of chivalry
Pulsed quicker in his veins; he could not stay.

Harold Edward ‘Pompey’ Elliot

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.27.34 pmHarold ‘Pompey’ Elliott was a senior First World War officer, businessman, and politician. He was born on 19 June 1878 at West Charlton, Victoria. Elliott joined the University of Melbourne’s officer corps while a student but left to enlist in the 4th Victorian (Imperial) Contingent and fight in the Boer War.

Elliott proved himself a skilled and courageous soldier; he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Mentioned in Despatches, and once received Lord Kitchener’s congratulations for his defence of a post. Equally successful as a student and athlete, Elliott returned to university, earned a number of scholarships and prizes, played football, and was a champion shot-putter. He was called to the Victorian and Commonwealth Bar in 1907 and established a firm of solicitors. He married Catherine Campbell in 1909 and in the meantime had joined the militia as a 2nd Lieutenant. By 1913 he had reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was given command of the 58th Battalion. The army was Elliott’s passion and he immersed himself in military lore.

When the First World War began Elliott was given both command of the 7th Battalion and the nickname ‘Pompey’ that stuck for the rest of his life. He landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, was shot in the foot, evacuated and did not return until June. Once back he quickly gained a reputation for courage and leadership. Four of the seven Victoria Crosses awarded at Lone Pine went to Elliott’s battalion.

A short-lived command of the 1st Brigade was followed in March 1916 by promotion to Brigadier General and command of the 15th Brigade. Through no fault of Elliott’s, the brigade’s first action on the Western Front, at Fromelles, was a disaster in which over 5,500 men were killed or wounded in one night. Elliott wept as he met survivors coming out of the line.

But war also energised Elliott. Careful of men’s lives, he was sometimes reckless with his own. A frank, outspoken man, he clashed with his superiors and was considered a difficult subordinate. In battle he proved to be an excellent, sometimes inspirational, leader. He expected to be given a divisional command and the denial of his ambition in May 1918 remained a source of bitterness until his death. For the rest of the war he led with characteristic zeal and in January 1919 he received the fondest of farewells from his brigade.

In the 1919 federal election he successfully stood for the Senate as a Nationalist; he was re-elected in 1925. He also took command of the 15th Militia Brigade. Alongside his political and legal career, Elliott was involved in the Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia. His protests at having been denied higher command continued and were rejected by the Military Board and the Minister for Defence.

Only in 1927 was Elliott promoted to Major General and given command of the 3rd Division; however, his bitterness, expressed in correspondence to his superiors, remained. In March 1931 he committed suicide.

Thank you to David Tarbotton and Trevor Vincent for much of the research and information above