Archive for February, 2008

A Sinn Fein connection?

28 February, 2008


While trawling the database for relevant Commonwealth archival records, I came across an interesting file title; ‘Officers of 56 Battalion with Sinn Fein sympathies.’

We know the 56th Battalion inherited a strong Scottish heritage from its parent battalion, the 4th, but it’s also apparent there were quite a large number of men of Irish heritage.  Indeed as Ron Austin, the author of a recent 4th Battalion history tells us, a pre-war nickname of those militia battalions forming the core of 4th Battalion was ‘The Macks and Micks.’  Of course Irish republicanism came to a head during the war, especially with the Easter Rebellion of 1916, and in Australia, the political situation of Ireland was always an ongoing sensitive issue.

This is apparently a police file held in the Melbourne branch of the National Archives, and is dated 1918.  I’ll have to request a copy and see what it reveals.  Could be interesting…


An online nominal roll

14 February, 2008

Abbott, Frank
Abbott, Samuel
Abbott, William
Adams, Bert
Adams, Frank
Adams, James                               
Alchin, Charles…

In most good unit histories, a substantial chunk of paper at the end of the book is taken up by long lists of thousands of men who served in the unit.  Such nominal rolls are essential I believe, and not only simply record the names, but also form a part of commemorating the men and the unit as a whole.  However…