Connect with us

Australia

Armistice Centenary: More stories about loved ones

From Anthony Estick, Harbury, UK

Who served: Gilbert Estick and Sydney Estick

My discovery of Gilbert Estick and Sydney Estick of Crystal Brook.

I was unaware of having any relation who fought in either the First or Second wars, until late last year. I had a letter from The Royal British Legion asking me to remember a particular serviceman they had selected for me – Lance Corporal Sydney William Estick, who died in May 1918.

A relation unknown to me until fairly recently, and who has done quite extensive research into the family, sent me information about Charles Estick and Sarah Williamson, who in February 1862 sailed from Plymouth to Freemantle in Australia. They had a family of six, of which Charles was born 1872.

Charles was the father of Gilbert and Sydney. Gilbert survived The Great War and lived till 1957, but Sydney who enlisted as a 21-year-old died one year later in 1918.

Sydney Estick lies in La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, France. I made the trip to La Kreul..

From Anthony Estick, Harbury, UK

Who served: Gilbert Estick and Sydney Estick

My discovery of Gilbert Estick and Sydney Estick of Crystal Brook.

I was unaware of having any relation who fought in either the First or Second wars, until late last year. I had a letter from The Royal British Legion asking me to remember a particular serviceman they had selected for me – Lance Corporal Sydney William Estick, who died in May 1918.

A relation unknown to me until fairly recently, and who has done quite extensive research into the family, sent me information about Charles Estick and Sarah Williamson, who in February 1862 sailed from Plymouth to Freemantle in Australia. They had a family of six, of which Charles was born 1872.

Charles was the father of Gilbert and Sydney. Gilbert survived The Great War and lived till 1957, but Sydney who enlisted as a 21-year-old died one year later in 1918.

Sydney Estick lies in La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouck, France. I made the trip to La Kreule Cemetery to see his resting place, it is a beautiful and very moving place.

I thank him for his sacrifice that 100 years ago and my thoughts are with any of the family that may still be in South Australia.

Memory: Gilbert Victor Estick.

From Michael Ryan

Who served: Private Thomas Ryan

My uncle was Private Thomas Ryan, O/N 5201. Unit: 14th Bn. AIF. He died of wounds on February 5, 1917, aged 20 near Bapaume, France.

Thomas is the son of Thomas Nicholas and Mary Jane Ryan of Casterton, Victoria. He was born at Bahgallah, Victoria.

The following article about Thomas Ryan was written in the Casterton Free Press and Glenelg Shire Advertiser on Thursday June 7, 1917.

Killed While Rescuing A Comrade – A Heros Death

Soldier “Watty” Norris, at the front, has written a letter to Mrs Ryan (says our Sandlford correspondent in sympathetic allusion to the death of her son [Thomas], which occurred near to where the writer was in action at the time). He recounts the circumstances as follows:

“Tom lost his life while carrying out the duties of stretcher bearer under a most terrible artillery fire. I never saw him after we got into the line, but I was told by other stretcher bearers that he was hit by a shrapnel burst, the metal hitting him in three places on head and shoulders. He was wounded some time in the night and died next morning at the first dressing station on the field. It was a night never to be forgotten, nothing but bursts of flame and smoke all along the line. We went in about 200 strong and came out about 70. We were supporting an attack right in front of Bapaume.”

The writer makes the following solacing remarks in the course of the letter.

“It will be a great consolation for you to know that Tom lost his life while gallantly carrying out the duties of stretcher bearer under a most terrible artillery fire. Try to bear up under the terrible blow and think of him as a hero who has given his life so gallantly, attempting to rescue his wounded comrades. Although overwhelmed with grief, I am sure you will be proud to know that you had a son to go forth in this greatest of all wars and sacrifice his life in such a noble manner.”

Thomas Ryan memorial is at the Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban. France.

From Nick Goddard, Killara

Armistice in Paris: Herbert Goddard

Armistice in Paris: Herbert Goddard

Herbert Goddard

Personal account of being in Paris on 11/11/18 written by my Grandfather, Herbert Goddard 7-33rd Btln

Armistice night in Paris.

Being the only Forbesite in Paris when the memorable news was received that the armistice had been signed, I will give a few impressions of how it was received in the great French capital. For some days before while the terms were being transmitted to the enemy government there was an air of expectancy that before long hostilities would cease, and it was noticeable that a great number of the business establishments were doing a good trade in flags and bunting.

The signing of the armistice was announced to Paris soon after 11 oclock in the morning by a salvo of five guns from the forts, and in the twinkling of an eye the entire aspect of the city changed. The incubus of four years war fell from the shoulders of the capital like a discarded cloak. Flags appeared from everywhere and the roadway was taken possession of by triumphant processions of men, women and children carrying the banners of all the Allies and singing “The Marseillaise”, “God save the King” and “The Brabanconne”. Paris without hesitation decided to do no more work for the day, and many of the business houses closed their doors. It was a great and glorious crowd of humanity which surged along the grand boulevards. Everyone in khaki was enthusiastically cheered, and the whole-hearted manner in which the civilians grasped you by the hand, uttering a few words, showed the respect and honour they felt towards the man in uniform. It was soon apparent that the host of city workers intended to give up the day to rejoicing.

It was the night, however, which for anyone to have witnessed, will forever live in their memory. Arc lamps and signs which had not been used for four years shone forth and the crowd stimulated even more by the artificial light which had been denied them gave vent to all the feelings which the emotions of the day suggested. Cheering echoed and re-echoed through the streets and there was great rejoicing on all hands. Soldiers and civilians embraced to an extent that probably Paris had never before witnessed. French and other allied officers arm in arm with singing girls, yanks, poilus and “diggers” bearing flags of all nationalities, were jostled, pushing, and there is no harm in saying it, kissed and cuddled as they had never been before. It was indeed the sight of a lifetime. The crowd took possession of taxicabs, lorries, or any other vehicles happening along. They climbed on to the roofs, clung to the footboards, and bestrided the bonnets. Much amusement was even caused by dragging some of the big 5.9 guns which were on exhibition at the Concorde along the Boulevards crowded all over with a happy joyous throng.

There were many soul-stirring scenes a the Place de IOpera – it was just black with people and all the good old patriotic songs of France, England and America were sung and re-sung.

It was previously arranged that if the armistice was signed that day all the “Aussies” in Paris would congregate at the Follies Bergere theatre where “Zig Zag” was holding sway. No doubt it was the “Aussies” night out – not matter from where any flag might be hoisted it was not long before an “Aussie” flag found even a higher point of vantage. When Daphne Pollen, one of the chief artists, appeared on the stage wearing one of our felt hats, with our flag and badge in her dress, and commenced to coo-ee, needless to say our boys showed their full appreciation. At half-time the “diggers” simply took possession of the stage and gave to good effect some of their favourite old songs, and in particular “Australia will be there” rang out all over the spacious theatre. Meanwhile, some ingenious “Aussie” had tacked up a few well worded posters around the promenade such as “Say, digger, whos your lady friend”, “Long life to the allied soldiers, beaucoup long life to the Aussies” which caused a good deal of amusement.

To be in Paris just at this time was an event of a lifetime and shall never be forgotten by those who took part in the festivities.

Continue Reading

Australia

NAB chief Andrew Thorburn takes a $2.1m pay cut

National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn has copped a $2.1 million pay cut as a result of the fallout and potential criminal misconduct emerging from the financial services royal commission.

Key points:

NAB cited a failure to quickly fix mistakes highlighted at the royal commission as partly behind the cut
The board also pointed to “control issues” and policy breaches in the CEO's office in the decision
Staff bonuses across NAB were also cut by $114 million

While the haircut is the biggest of any major bank chief executive, Mr Thorburn still made $4.3 million in the year to September 2018, down from $6.4 million in the prior corresponding period.

The penalty comes as chief executives including Mr Thorburn prepare to face an intense grilling at the royal commission, which begins its final round of hearings on Monday.

In its remuneration report released this morning, the NAB board considered Mr Thorburn to have “performed strongly” in a difficult environment.

H..

National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn has copped a $2.1 million pay cut as a result of the fallout and potential criminal misconduct emerging from the financial services royal commission.

Key points:

  • NAB cited a failure to quickly fix mistakes highlighted at the royal commission as partly behind the cut
  • The board also pointed to "control issues" and policy breaches in the CEO's office in the decision
  • Staff bonuses across NAB were also cut by $114 million

While the haircut is the biggest of any major bank chief executive, Mr Thorburn still made $4.3 million in the year to September 2018, down from $6.4 million in the prior corresponding period.

The penalty comes as chief executives including Mr Thorburn prepare to face an intense grilling at the royal commission, which begins its final round of hearings on Monday.

In its remuneration report released this morning, the NAB board considered Mr Thorburn to have "performed strongly" in a difficult environment.

However, the board signalled factors including some stemming from the royal commission meant that Mr Thorburn could not be rewarded at the top of the bonus range.

"The group CEO has accepted accountability for NAB's failure to fix mistakes quickly, remediate customers promptly and set things right," the remuneration report said.

"These failures have impacted NAB's reputation."

'Policy breaches and control failings' in CEO office

The renumeration report also pointed to an investigation into an alleged fraud involving a former employee, without naming Mr Thorburn's former chief of staff Rosemary Rogers.

"These [matters] include certain control failings and breaches of policy in the Office of the CEO and a small number of unintended breaches of policy by the Group CEO," the report said.

"These matters have been resolved and closed to the Board's satisfaction."

In addition to Mr Thorburn's pay pain, bonuses across the National Australia Bank were reduced by $114 million as commissioner Kenneth Hayne weighed admissions and evidence that part of the financial sector put the interests of shareholders ahead of customers.

Mr Thorburn's pay reduction means he is no longer the highest-paid NAB executive, with chief technology officer Patrick Wright earning $4.4 million.

Former NSW Liberal premier Mike Baird, now NAB's chief customer officer, earned $2.6 million in his first year at the bank.

NAB shares were 0.6 per cent lower at $23.72 after the release of the renumeration report at 10:47am (AEST).

Follow Peter Ryan on Twitter @peter_f_ryan

Original Article

Continue Reading

Australia

ASX puts Myer in trading pause, retailer denies breaching market rules

The ASX has taken the unusual step of placing Myer in a trading “pause”, after a media report this morning revealed unreleased figures showing a slump in sales.

However, the struggling department store chain has denied breaching its continuous disclosure obligations under Australian company law.

Myer shares are currently in a trading pause “pending a further announcement” to the stock market.

The company said, in a statement, it was “well aware of its continuous disclosure obligations and confirms it is in compliance with them”.

Myer's statement was in response to an article inthe Australian Financial Review, which reportedthat the company's first-quarter sales had fallen substantially in the 2018-19 financial year compared to the same period a year earlier.

The AFR also suggested that Myer may have breached its disclosure obligations by failing to disclose such a steep fall in sales, after the company decided in May to no longer provide the market with regular quarterly..

The ASX has taken the unusual step of placing Myer in a trading "pause", after a media report this morning revealed unreleased figures showing a slump in sales.

However, the struggling department store chain has denied breaching its continuous disclosure obligations under Australian company law.

Myer shares are currently in a trading pause "pending a further announcement" to the stock market.

The company said, in a statement, it was "well aware of its continuous disclosure obligations and confirms it is in compliance with them".

Myer's statement was in response to an article inthe Australian Financial Review, which reportedthat the company's first-quarter sales had fallen substantially in the 2018-19 financial year compared to the same period a year earlier.

The AFR also suggested that Myer may have breached its disclosure obligations by failing to disclose such a steep fall in sales, after the company decided in May to no longer provide the market with regular quarterly sales updates.

Myer's decision has raised doubts about its performance ahead of the company's annual general meeting on November 30.

Mid-September was the last time that Myer provided a financial update, with the release of its full-year results.

The retailer posted an annual loss of $486 million — the first time it failed to earn a profit since 2009, when it listed on the market.

The result was driven by total sales falling 2.7 per cent to $635.5 million.

Myer's shares last traded at 45 cents. Its current market value is around $370 million.

At their peak, Myer shares traded as high as $4.10 when it debuted on the share market in November 2009. Back then, the company was worth more than $2 billion.

Original Article

Continue Reading

Australia

A government on the ropes acts impulsively — and so it is for Morrison

As the Morrison government thrashes around trying to stave off defeat or just save the furniture, it reminds one historian of the ill-fated McMahon administration.

The run up to the Coalition's 1972 ousting is detailed in a just-released life of Billy McMahon, titled Tiberius with a Telephone. McMahon, often rated at or near the bottom in rankings of modern Australian PMs, has been long overdue for a biography — now he has a 776-page tome.

Author Patrick Mullins, of the University of Canberra, says the “similarities between now and then are too conspicuous to ignore”. These include a history of leadership instability, party disunity, depleted Liberal finances, confused, reactive and inconsistent policy directions, a credible opposition and a feeling for change in the electorate.

Admittedly, as Mr Mullins says, there are differences. Mr Morrison has a benign economic environment, support in important sections of the media, and a much better image than the widely-ridiculed McMaho..

As the Morrison government thrashes around trying to stave off defeat or just save the furniture, it reminds one historian of the ill-fated McMahon administration.

Invitee looks at a portrait of William McMahon.

The run up to the Coalition's 1972 ousting is detailed in a just-released life of Billy McMahon, titled Tiberius with a Telephone. McMahon, often rated at or near the bottom in rankings of modern Australian PMs, has been long overdue for a biography — now he has a 776-page tome.

Author Patrick Mullins, of the University of Canberra, says the "similarities between now and then are too conspicuous to ignore". These include a history of leadership instability, party disunity, depleted Liberal finances, confused, reactive and inconsistent policy directions, a credible opposition and a feeling for change in the electorate.

Admittedly, as Mr Mullins says, there are differences. Mr Morrison has a benign economic environment, support in important sections of the media, and a much better image than the widely-ridiculed McMahon.

But the fundamental point is that those were desperate days for the Coalition and so are these. "McMahon was in survival mode," says Mr Mullins, and the same could be said of Mr Morrison.

Mr Mullins' observation of the McMahon government — "For every achievement and move towards new policy there was another fight, another muddle, another problem that should never have been cause for concern" — resonates when assessing the present one.

Jerusalem proposal born out of expediency

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrive for high tea.

A government on the ropes acts impulsively, looking to the moment, compromising sound policy-making and broader, longer-term interests.

So it has been with Mr Morrison's suggestion Australia would consider moving its embassy to Jerusalem, a proposal born out of political expediency that's brought him grief this week.

The Indonesian displeasure was felt as soon as the announcement was made before the Wentworth byelection. Subsequently, things have just got worse.

The free trade agreement with Indonesia, which Australia originally hoped would be signed this week when Morrison was in Singapore for the start of the summit season, has become hostage to the embassy decision.

Earlier the government tried to fudge the signing delay by a faux nonchalance about timing. Nobody was fooled. Now in public and private comments, Indonesia has made its position clear in the past few days, to Mr Morrison's embarrassment.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also piled on, saying he'd pointed out to Mr Morrison that "adding to the cause for terrorism is not going to be helpful".

Rather than having an easy ride on his international round, the embassy issue has put Mr Morrison on the back foot.

There was no immediate way out. The Government still has to declare what it will do. Mr Morrison says a "process" is underway — presumably bureaucrats' advice is being sought and examined, after they were initially bypassed. There's to be a decision before Christmas.

This can't end happily. Mr Morrison is caught between, on the one hand, the right of the Liberal party and the Jewish lobby, and on the other, the strongly-held view of our biggest neighbour in particular.

And the angst has been all for nothing — Wentworth was lost.

Free speech review reflects ideology, not need

The Jerusalem question isn't the Government's only looming no-win decision. It has yet to provide a response to the religious freedom report, a time bomb left by Malcolm Turnbull, who set the inquiry up to placate the right.

Scott Morrison talking to an Indonesian girl with a flag.

In the meantime negotiations with Labor remain unfinished over legislation announced by Mr Morrison (pre-Wentworth) to prevent discrimination against gay students.

The still-suppressed report has brought little but controversy for the government, and backfired on the right, even before we have a policy from it.

Yet this week we have a new inquiry that reflects ideology more than need, with Education Minister Dan Tehan's announcement of a review of freedom of speech in universities.

The right has been agitated about the unwelcome receptions some conservative speakers have received from demonstrators on campuses.

Adding to the right's broader anger with universities was the conservative Ramsay Centre's failure to persuade the prestigious Australian National University to accept funding for a proposed course on Western civilisation, which came with conditions the ANU felt would compromise its academic autonomy.

Threat are easy to make, hard to implement

Free speech street art

The freedom-of-speech inquiry seems little more than another manifestation of the culture wars, symptomatic of the anti-intellectual stance of some of the Liberal hardliners, who see tertiary institutions as seeding grounds for the left.

Mr Tehan said the inquiry, undertaken by former chief justice Robert French, would "outline realistic and practical options that could be considered to better promote and protect freedom of expression and freedom of intellectual inquiry".

It will "review existing material regarding free speech, including codes of conduct, enterprise agreements, policy statements and strategic plans". Justice French is to report in four months, so before a May election.

Catriona Jackson, chief executive of Universities Australia, says vice-chancellors "are questioning of the rationale for the review" — they "do not see there is an issue to address. Every day on university campuses across the country there is vigorous debate across a wide range of issues," she says.

This inquiry could end up producing fresh pinch points for the Government, like the freedom of religion one has. At the least, it seems an odd priority — the issue wouldn't engage too many ordinary voters.

That's in contrast to energy policy, undisputed core business for government and public. But this remains ad hoc and fraught, as the government goes about strong-arming companies on price and searching for opportunities to support new investment in so-called "fair dinkum" power.

The highly interventionist approach is problematic on two fronts: it is contrary to Liberal philosophy, and it's unlikely to be effective.

The Grattan Institute's Tony Wood says: "In the absence of a stable climate policy and good management of the electricity market we seem to be left with nothing more than threats, which are easy to make but hard to implement, and subsidies, which may be popular but make no sense from a policy perspective".

A politically-inspired thought-bubble with serious fallout, an unnecessary bow to the right, a core policy that's unfit for purpose. Taken together the embassy issue, the free speech review, and the energy shemozzle point to a survival strategy that's not cutting it. Just as McMahon's didn't.

Michelle Grattan is a professorial fellow at the University of Canberra and chief political correspondent at The Conversation, where this article first appeared.

Original Article

Continue Reading

Trending