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Walter Browne

Thirty men from each of the three Australian Tunnelling companies were separated to become the Australian Electrical & Mechanical Mining & Boring Company. They became known as the ‘Alphabet Company’, and the men who served were referred to as the Alphabeticals.

One of their number, Walter Browne 5055 (a well borer by occupation) came from Blakeville (near Ballan) in Victoria. After being assigned to the 13th reinforcements for the 2nd Field Coy Engineers, he transferred to 12th Field Coy Engineers at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt on 18 March 1916.

Nine months later Browne was reassigned to the Australian Electrical and Mechanical Mining and Boring Company (AE&MM&BC) at Messines, Belgium (on 14 June 1917). After falling ill with influenza in France he was admitted to hospital on 28 October 1918.

Walter Browne 5055 died of bronchial pneumonia at the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France on 6 November 1918. He is buried in the Souvenir Cemetery, Longuenesse.

Via our wiki – Australian Electrical & Mechanical Mining & Boring Company:


Australian War Memorial panel in Canberra


Annie Westcott AANS WW1 Memorial Service in Ballarat

Memorial Service to commemorate
Annie Westcott AANS WW1
and in memory of all forgotten nurses of WW1
Saturday 27th of February 2016
Ballarat Old Cemetery

Annie Maynard Westcott was 24 when she commenced her training at the Ballarat Base Hospital, and with 16 years of Nursing and administration experience, she joined the Australian Army Nursing Service in October 1915.

She was buried with other family members whose names were recorded on adjacent headstones, however Annie’s name was missing. Discovering she was lying anonymously in the Old Ballarat Cemetery, the Ballarat Base Trained Nurses League set about raising funds to give Annie her identity and recognition.

Her story came to light during the preparation of the book “They answered their countries call’ written by Garry Snowden.

Ballarat Courier:

Ballarat Miner:



DSC_4810 DSC_4808

John Brain

John Brain 190, a 27 year old labourer from Ballarat who ended up in different Battalions,

such as the the 14th, 29th and 46th.

Interestingly he also joined the 2nd Canadian Tunnelling Company in France.

He contracted Pleurisy, was gassed, as well as shot in the right leg.

He did however return home to Ballarat, where he died at the age of 85.


Record via the National Archive of Australia.


Other details via ‘They answered their country’s call’ by Garry Snowden.

Short account of service and sacrifice from Ballarat General



Stanley Gordon Tredinnick

12688102_789846917786576_6325385139694580999_nStanley Gordon Tredinnick, born in Allendale (Near Creswick), but somehow ended up in New Zealand,

where he joined the New Zealand Engineers and Tunnelling Company.


He died of wounds on the Flanders Fields in the 14th of October 1917.


He is buried at Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras, Pas-de-Calais, France.




National Tunneller Memorial for New Zealand at Waihi

WW1 New Zealand Tunnelling Company Memorial Dedication at Gilmour Reserve, Waihi, New Zealand – 22 January 2016.

Di & Yvon from Mining Mud & Medals were honoured to be able to accept the invitation to be part of this special event. We have had an amazing few days. Special thanks go to Sue, Kit, Krishna and Warwick (in particular) for making us so welcome; it was like meeting longstanding friends from the moment we all clapped eyes on one another. Their extra special brand of Kiwi generosity will never be forgotten. We will return…

For More on the New Zealand Tunnellers:
NZ Tunnelling Company

National Tunnellers Memorial at Waihi

National Tunnellers Memorial at Waihi




Memorial Wall at Waihi

Memorial Wall at Waihi



Ballarat Tunneller – Norman Buley

Norman Buley, a member of the 3rd Tunnelling Company,

was a 31 year old single mining engineer from Ballarat,M534-SMB_football-wiki

who studied at the Ballarat School of Mines (see photo)


For more details please check our wiki:


Sapper Walter Campbell

Walter Campbell, Sapper 2706 born on 14 May 1872.

He was the tenth child of fifteen. Walter became a miner working underground in the mines at Sebastopol.

He died of illness on 02 February 1917 and is buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek, Flanders, Belgium.DSC_1310

Photo – Walter Campbell’s name on the Roll of Honour at the Sebastopol Historical Society.

If you are related to Walter Campbell please contact us:

Links relating to Walter Campbell:


Macklain James Martin Kerby

A Tunneller from the Ballarat Electorate:

Kerby via Tim FitzgeraldMacklain James Martin Kerby was born in Ballarat. He was a student of Grenville College before studying Chemistry at the Ballarat School of Mines in 1905.

Proud member of the Ballarat East Fire Brigade, where he listed on their Honour Board.

Sergeant Macklain J.M. Kerby (1364) enlisted on 10 January 1916, becoming a member of the 3rd Tunnelling Company.
He was listed as missing on 28 November 1916, and later announced killed in action on 27 November 1916, France.

He was buried in the Hersin Communal Cemetery Extension, Hersin-Coupigny, Lens, Nord Pas de Calais, France.…/kerby_macklam_james_martin_1364…

(Photo thanks to Tim Fitzgerald)


“Facts, Furphys & Figments – WW1 Revealed”

“Facts, Furphys & Figments – WW1 Revealed”


From the landing at ANZAC Cove on April 25th 1915 until the guns fell silent on the Western Front on November 11th, 1918, many thousands of Australians and New Zealanders played pivotal roles in the key battles of the Great War. As our countries commemorate the 100 year anniversaries of these events, there has been a renewal of interest and research into the events and the people and personalities involved. Old assumptions have been tested, myths and legends have been explored, and a veritable treasure trove of private and personal information has been re-discovered and made available for public consumption.


On Saturday 21st November 2015, from 10 am to 3.30 pm, at Oscar’s Hotel & Café Bar, 18 Doveton Street South, Ballarat, Mining Mud & Medals proudly presents a day of documentary makers, authors and speakers on a variety of World War One related subjects. Cost for the day, including a morning tea, is $40 per person.


Local film-makers Lucinda Horrocks and Jay Nemo from ‘Wind and Sky Productions’ will feature their video project: “Memories of War”. Their project commemorates the centenary of WW1 in Ballarat and connects young people to events that took place a century ago. Students from Federation University tell the stories of Ballarat people affected by the Great War.


Joshua Funder, great grandson of Stanley Watson wrote ‘Watson’s Pier’ as part of his family history. In Joshua’s words, “one Christmas when I was a small boy, I sat with my brother Hugh listening to the war stories of our great grandfather, Stanley Watson, who had come from Adelaide to Melbourne to visit us. What I heard for the first time that day in 1977 was the story of the remarkable evacuation of Gallipoli and his part in it. Hugh placed a tape recorder beside our great grandpa, documenting his words for a school project.” Joshua Funder will tell of his great-grandfather, who helped to build the pier to enable easier landing of supplies and weapons and which at the end of the Gallipoli Campaign, played a key role in the evacuation of 20,000 men.


Dr. Kirsty Harris’ expertise is on the roles and skills of Australian nurses who served overseas during World War I. Her current research includes Empire women at Gallipoli. Dr Harris was winner of the C.E.W. Bean Prize for Military History in 2008 for her PhD Thesis, upon which she based her book “More than Bombs and Bandages: Australian Army nurses at work in World War I’. The topic of Dr Harris’s talk will be ‘On the ferry service: nurses at sea at Gallipoli’.


Michael McKernan is an historian and prolific writer with extensive experience in teaching and research, management, the media and the practical presentation of history.  He is a commentator on ABC radio, and has a weekly half hour program on Australian history on the ABC’s 2BL Sydney and 2CN Canberra. As a former Deputy Director of the Australian War Memorial and project manager for the Entombment of the Unknown Australian Soldier, he was responsible for one of the most successful commemorative activities held in Australia. His most recent book ‘Victoria at War’, records the achievements of the state’s soldiers, nurses and their families, and will be the subject of his talk.


Finishing off the day will be a discussion panel highlighting the Myths & Truths of WW1. The panel will be led by Ballarat School teacher Justin Hayward, previously crowned the Victorian Winner of the Raw Comedy Festival.

Cost for the day, including a morning tea, is $40 per person (Lunch at own cost). Payments can be made direct (please include your name) to the Victorian Interpretive Project Inc. – Project account: BSB 633 000 account number: 145608105 or pay at the door, but please let us know by booking via email: or phone Yvon on 0438140756

There will be an hour break for lunch, however if you plan to have lunch at Oscar’s please book directly beforehand. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of each of our speakers as well as book signing opportunities.

Mining Mud & Medals is managed by a small subcommittee of the Victorian Interpretive Projects Inc., a Ballarat based not-for-profit organisation. Members include historians, genealogists, military researchers, professional editors, broadcasters and journalists.



P.O. BOX 171N



For more information please email:






Arthur Lane Kemp was born in Ballarat in 1876 and was educated in Gippsland. Prior to World War One

he was a Workmen’s Inspector in the mines at Leonora, in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.A L Kemp


In 1915, Arthur left for England after training at Blackboy Hill Camp at Greenmount, WA.During his time in England

he suffered repeated bouts of serious illness. In February 1918 he was declared unfit for service and invalided back to

Australia the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital ship in April 1918.


Arthur’s Army medical records indicate there was confusion over the reasons for his repeated illnesses; On 16 June 1916

it was recorded as ‘Miners’ complaint’ (Phthisis) shortly before he departed Australia; tuberculosis was ruled out during a

medical conducted 16 June 1916. In October 1917, pneumonia caused his admission to the 1st Western General Hospital at

Windsor, England.


Upon his return to Australia confusion continued to reign. Arthur was diagnosed with chronic Bronchitis in January 1918,

then Fibrosis of the lungs in May 1918. Within weeks – in June 1918, the latter had been overturned in favour of a diagnosis

of Phthisis. He was officially discharged from the Australian Army Tunnelling Corps in early June 1918.


Sapper Arthur Kemp died in 1921.


More on Arthur Kemp via:


Photo Arthur Kemp via “Fighting Sons of the Empire’ page 229


If you are related to Arthur Lane Kemp, would you be so kind as to contact us via:



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