I originally wrote this for the history I am preparing on the Kiama Cricket Club, and was posted on my blog for that last year. I am reprinting it here on this blog given the significance of this being the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC troops landing on the Gallipoli peninsula. For those that ave zero interest in cricket, if you can get through the initial passages I think you will find it interesting and hopefully informative.
Three Tales of World War I Bill Peters
This was always meant to be a collection of stories which related to the Kiama Cricket Club, and obviously the journal was meant to highlight cricket stories. Sometimes though you come across a story that makes you stop in your tracks, and consider what you should do about it. When I came across the following tales during my research into the club, I was completely fascinated, and for a while it took my complete attention. So much so that I had to make sure that I had the story right, that I had the whole chronology correct, and (hopefully) that I gave the tales and the men involved the dignity and honour that they all rightly deserve. Also perhaps, at a time when we are looking back at the sacrifice and courage of young men of a long ago generation, it is an opportunity to bring to the fore of our township of Kiama some people that should be remembered for all of the right reasons.
With the calendar having now clicked over to September 2014, the world's attention has returned to focus in memory on the start of “The Great War”, World War I, which began 100 years ago, running from 1914 until 1918. With it will come memorials, television events, and no doubt an abundance of recollecting of the deeds of those who lost their lives fighting for their country – on both sides. It was a different world, a different time. Volunteering to fight for the Empire was seen as an adventure. One wonders whether most would have doubted their thoughts once they faced the horror of the battlefield.
All of the small townships of the Australian nation faced their young men and women shipping off to fight the war. The communities would have felt the joy and despair of those within them whose sons and daughters left for parts unknown.
The Kiama Cricket Club felt the steely blade of the war as well, and while the game of cricket was for the most part paused indefinitely when war was declared, members of the Club were drawn to battle. Three of those men who were former members of the cricket club who served the nation were Richard McDonald and the brothers Norman and Aubrey McClintock. Each found a different side of the war, and their stories can somewhat exemplify the devastating effects of such conflicts.
Norman McClintock had played little organised sport, and perhaps heeded the call of a desperate time for Kiama cricket, and was most probably elbowed in the right direction by his brother, when he became a member of the Kiama Cricket Club at the start of the 1907/08 season. He had not played any organised cricket before this, but coming from a big family he had no doubt participated in some tough backyard struggles. At the age of 21, coming into a team that had not played any matches for 12 months due to falling numbers and interest in the town, Norman was thrust into the role of top order batsman, no doubt to plug the holes left by the departure of some senior players such as Harry Pickeman and Aub Riley. As it turned out, it was a baptism by fire. Norman played eight games for the club that season, managing just 14 runs at an average of 2.00, with a highest score in his second match, of 9. Tough tidings, but they weren't the easiest wickets to play on in those days, especially at the top of the order against fresh bowlers. He did, however, enjoy playing with his friends and townsfolk. We can only presume as to whether or not Norman would have improved on this the following season, but it was not to be. Norman had been working as a relief night officer at Kiama Railway Station, and in June of 1908 he was offered and accepted a promotion to move to Newcastle Railway Station and moved out of the District. His one unsuccessful (on paper) season with the Kiama Cricket Club was all that he would play.
Aubrey McClintock was doubtless the more enthusiastic sportsman and cricketer of the two brothers who threw their lot in with the Kiama Cricket Club in those pre-war years. He also spread his talents around a number of activities. He made his debut at the tender age of 16 in the 1904/05 season, playing three matches at the back half of that season as a late fill-in to make up numbers. He scored 31 runs in three innings, with a top score of 12, averaging 10.33.
The following season, Aub played a major complement of Kiama's matches, generally batting in the lower middle order, and holding up his end in a solid if not spectacular way. He was able to break away in one match when he was given an opportunity to bat at number five, when he raced away to 33 not out before the match came to a conclusion. It was by far his highest score in competitive cricket to that point in time, though it was also the only real score he was able to produce during that season, finishing with 80 runs at an average of 10.00 from the 12 matches he played. He also made a reasonable impression when given a chance to show his wares as a bowler, taking three wickets in his sporadic appearances at the crease. As was still the norm in those days, the bowling stocks were mostly shared between only two or three members of the team, with others outside of the circle rarely getting a chance to participate. This was certainly the case with Aub that season, but his chance would come in time.
The Kiama Cricket Club mostly vanished from view during 1906/07, with players within the town either moving away or being unable to commit to cricket in general. As a result, there was no competitive cricket for the team during that 12 month period, something that was thankfully sorted out and organised by the time the 1907/08 season rolled around.
It was a pivotal season for Aub. With an older generation of cricketers removed from the Kiama team, he was able to move into one of the key bowling positions, and he took his chance with open hands. While his batting continued to be solid rather than dominating, he became a prolific wicket-taker for the Club, on several occasions bowling the team to victory on the strength of his own performances. His finest performance was against Jamberoo on the Church Point ground. On this day, defending a modest total, the now 18 year old Aub put the Roo batsmen to the sword, finishing with an amazing 7 wickets for just 10 runs conceded, leading Kiama to a famous victory. His potential had been exposed for all to see, and his first season as a fully-fledged member of the Kiama bowling attack reaped 47 wickets at a miserly average of 6.60, which was enough for him to snare the club award for best bowling average and aggregate.
Just how good a cricketer Aub could have become cannot be calculated. Having begun the 1908/09 season in a similar fashion to how he had completed the previous one, he managed only three matches in October and November of 1908 before he fell seriously ill. So ill, in fact, that he was transferred to a Sydney hospital in order to keep him under full care. Though it is not clear what illness Aubrey had contracted, it was enough that he did not play cricket again in that season, and did not return to the Kiama Township itself until May of 1909. What is clear is that, no matter how talented he was in the game of cricket, he showed just as much talent in other sporting pursuits, and it was in these that he began to spend more time. He became champion of the Kiama Billiards Club, as well as the Kiama Table Tennis Club. He was well renowned within the Kiama Swimming Club, and was moving up in the ranks of the Kiama Rifle Club. He was also well versed in the dramatic arts. It would appear that his illness meant that either was unable to play cricket or felt unwilling to play cricket, as he did not participate in any matches during the 1909/10 season for Kiama. Then, in October 1910, he too followed his brother by accepting a promotion in his employment, and moved away from Kiama to further his career.
In all for the Kiama Cricket Club, Aubrey played 30 matches, scoring 209 runs at an average of 8.71, with a top score of 33 not out, and took 62 wickets at an average of 8.15, with his best figures being the wonderful 7/10 he took against Jamberoo.
Richard McDonald, known as Dick to everyone in the Kiama Township, was a talented and likeable man. A young Aboriginal man, Dick worked in the local quarries during the week, and played cricket and rugby union for Kiama on the weekends. While he played various social games for the Quarries against other such work-related or church-related teams, as well as an occasional match for the Bombo Cricket Club, it wasn’t until the 1908/09 season – the final year that Aubrey McClintock played for Kiama – that Dick began his career with the Kiama Cricket Club.
His early seasons were solid rather than spectacular. Apart from the occasional match in the middle order, Dick was an opening batsman, and was always taking on the avant-garde of opposing teams best new ball bowlers. From reports and accounts of the day, it appears Dick was not a fan of the defensive form of batting, and in fact was more likely to want to dominate from the start. In many ways his first two seasons of batting reflected this. While his figures are respectable, scoring 337 runs over those two seasons at an average of 15.30, with two half centuries to match, there were occasions when discretion could have been in order, and yet was not necessarily shown.
When a ‘cricket union’ competition finally took off in a general area that is now administered by the current S.C.D.C.A, Kiama was a dominant early force, and with not just a little help from McDonald. His performances with bat and ball, which to this point had been handy, now suddenly bloomed into full force, and with it he dragged the Kiama team into recognisable success. In the first (and only) season of the Southern Division of the Illawarra Cricket Union, Dick's batting remained on a par with what he had achieved in previous seasons, his 341 runs coming at an average of 14.83, with two half centuries. It was his bowling that not only became relied upon, but in fact led the way for the Club. He took a remarkable 61 wickets at an astounding average of 6.98 each, and in doing so allowed Kiama to be competitive in matches during that season that they had no right to be. Though the Club missed the final that season, it was well set up to make itself stronger the following season.
Rather than aligning themselves with the Illawarra again, 1911/12 saw the same teams form the Kiama District Cricket Association, and thus began Kiama's domination within the district during this period. There were actually less matches completed than the previous season, but Dick's batting average grew, managing 268 runs for the season at an average of 24.36. It papered over the fact that he managed only two scores for the season over 30, those being 70 and 86, once again falling short of that elusive century. With the ball he continued to impress, finishing with 37 wickets at just 8.16, with his best being 6/12 against Albion Park.
1912/13 was a watershed season for Dick. Kiama won the competition, and for most of the season he was the man with both bat and ball that provided the impetus. He scored two early half centuries, 77 and 71, and along with 30's and 40's was compiling runs, but unable to get that one really big score. He had no problems with the ball in his hand though. In the first round clash with Shellharbour he destroyed their batting, taking 7/32 in their first innings followed by 6/44 in their second, for match-winning figures of 13/76. In his next innings against Jamberoo, he took 5/52, completing three consecutive 5-wicket innings, a remarkable feat.
Then, on 15 February 1913, in the second round clash against Albion Park, having scored 29 in the first innings, Dick finally cracked it for his first century, scoring 110 not out.
The Kiama - Albion Park competition match was completed on Saturday last, Kiama winning by 34 runs. In the second innings of Kiama the special feature was the brilliant batting of R. McDonald, who scored 110 not out, and never gave a chance. "Dick's" ability with the bat is well known, and although he has on many occasions scored within a few runs of the century this is the first time he passed 100 in local competition cricket. It is the second highest score made this season in the local union, and is termed a dashing innings, which included twenty 4's. 
To show that this was no fluke, Dick came out the next weekend against his favourite punching bag, Shellharbour, and scored 76 in Kiama's only innings, before he took 6/37 with the ball, which included a hat-trick. Is it any wonder Shellharbour failed to show up the following weekend to complete the match? Of course, it's not all beer and skittles on the field, and just to show what a great leveller the game of cricket can be, just two games later he scored a pair, and followed it up with another duck in the following match for good measure to finish with three ducks in a row. Still, he finished the season with scores of 31 not out and 34 not out, and also tore Berry apart in their match at the end of the season, taking 9/22 in an amazing spell of bowling that meant he finished the season on a huge high. In all for the 1913/13 season, Dick scored 652 runs at an average of 34.32, and took 61 wickets at an average of 9.75, and also managed to take 16 catches. A reasonable return…
If you were a part of the Shellharbour team that then played Kiama in the first round of the 1913/14 season on October 11, 1913, you would expect that they should have approached it with a fair bit of trepidation. And, as it turned out, it would have been with good reason. Dick took on his favourite team, and immediately rolled them for 104. Dick finished with 8/38 in yet another terrific spell of bowling. By stumps, Kiama had romped to 2 for 155 - Dick McDonald was 97 not out. One would say another reasonable day at the office. Now, would you have spent the entire week fretting over how to approach making your century the following weekend? Would you have a look for the first couple of overs, and try and work three singles to get to that magical triple figure score? Well, if you were Dick McDonald, you come to the crease, and slog the first ball to the boundary to move to 101. No nerves there. He finished on 113, his highest score in organised cricket.
The season was marred by short numbers at some teams, wet weather, and forfeits. Dick pummelled Jamberoo a few weeks later, taking 6/30 and 6/32 to finished the match with 12/62, but opportunities became more sporadic as the season wound down. He finished with 241 runs at 26.78 for the season, as well as 38 wickets at 11.18.
When war broke out before the start of the following cricket season, it meant that few communities were able to draw enough players to continue the Kiama Union as it had been. Kiama managed to find three teams whom they were able to play single matches against, but for the most part, the organised game of cricket in the District - indeed, the country - ground to a halt for three years.
At the outbreak of war, Dick's record for the Kiama Cricket Club was outstanding - 67 matches, scoring 1839 runs at an average of 21.89, including two centuries, and taking 205 wickets at an average of 9.34, with two ten-wicket matches, a best bowling analysis of 9/22, and one hat-trick in the bargain. His record stands up with the very best the Kiama Cricket Club has ever produced.
These three men all experienced differing success in their short careers with the Kiama Cricket Club, and all were popular amongst their teammates and within the District. It was also no surprise that all three young men signed up to fight for King and Country when the war first started. As with their cricketing careers, the story of the war for each man was just as varied. Indeed, the tragedy and triumph of life at war could easily be packaged by the amazing stories of these three men who had shared a life in the small seaside township of Kiama.
Once Britain had declared war on Germany in August 1914, it wasn't long before many Australians had decided to join up and fight for "old Blighty". One of the first to put his hand up for service was Norman McClintock. He was accepted in the Royal Australian Field Artillery, sailed out of Sydney on 18 October 1914. They travelled to Albany, and from there set sail for Colombo, where along the way;
We started to travel by night then, with all the lights out, every precaution being taken, as some German gun-boats were somewhere in the locality. 
Do you wish for action on a trip when you are actually on your way to train for battle? Norman had a front row seat to one of Australia’s early victories on the water, when the fleet he was travelling in came across the German light cruiser, SMS Emden. One of the ships that were a part of their escort to their destination, the HMAS Sydney, intercepted a transmission, and headed off to take on the rogue enemy.
On Monday the first great event took place. I will try briefly to give you the details as best I can: On Sunday night, the 8th, a wireless message was intercepted by H.M.S. Sydney, which was one of our escort, that was being sent from a Collier to the German gunboat Emden. The Sydney at once went full speed to where the Emden was making, which was Cocos Islands. At 7.30a.m, the Emden was sighted, and at 10.45 the Sydney was in range, and the first shots fired at 11.50a.m. Twenty minutes after the Emden was a total wreck, and the Captain, to avoid her sinking, beached her. The carnage aboard was terrible, 120 being killed; and 160 wounded, two of the wounded afterwards dying. The Sydney, after the Emden was safe, chased the Collies and after taking her crew and coal off, sent her to the bottom. There was great rejoicing on the fleet when the news was received. The Emden must have been very close to us on the Sunday night. 
Over a raiding career that spanned three months, SMS Emden had destroyed two Entente warships and sank or captured sixteen British steamers and one Russian merchant ship. Another four British ships were captured and released, and one British and one Greek ship were used as colliers. 
SMS Emden 
The final resting place of the SMS Emden 
After all of the excitement, Norman’s boats all continued on to Colombo, before eventually heading to their destination of Egypt for final training manoeuvres. Then it was back to the boats, and off to start their campaign. Norman was to be a part of the initial force sent to a far outpost, off the coast of Turkey. A place called Gallipoli.
On 3 July 1915, Mrs McClintock received a cable from the Secretary of Defence in Melbourne, stating that her son Norman McClintock had received a bullet wound to the leg, and had been transferred to the Heliopolis general hospital, though the injury was not reported as serious.
While he was recovering from his wounds, Norman wrote a letter to his mother, describing the details of his experiences of that fateful day on April 25, 1915. It is reprinted in full here, as it was in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser.
FROM GUNNER McCLINTOCK.
Heliopolis Camp, 9/7/'15
I hope you received the cable from the hospital saying I am O.K. again. I left there three days ago, and am waiting for a boat to take me back to the Dardanelles. I could have a longer spell here, but the weather is terribly trying, about 110 every day; and then again I miss the smell of powder; and the music of the guns. I can tell you I am just longing to get back. My leg is tip-top. I did not receive a very bad wound; the bullet went through the muscle of my leg. Well mother dear, I suppose long before this, you have had a very good account of all that happened since we left Egypt four months ago, any way I will just give you a brief outline.
Our first move after leaving Egypt was to Lemos Island, which is about four hours sail from the Dardanelles. Here we stayed for a fortnight, leaving on April 24th to have our 1st meeting with the Turks. We just cruised around all day, on the Saturday, as we had not to reach our destination till next morning. Now we come to the day which I'm afraid I'm unable to describe. It was Sunday, and about 4am; those who had been unable to sleep were awakened and realised the great deed was about to be tried, and we had not long to wait, for hardly had the day begun to break, when the most fearful noise one could possibly hear shook us from our seats for we were in amongst about 35 battleships which had commenced to shell the forts. The roaring and screaming of the guns was awful, and when dawn came we could see what lay in front of us - once beautiful forts were being tumbled down like matchwood; and the cliffs everywhere torn and battered by the enormous shells. Presently the fire slackened, and we could see the infantry towed with pinnaces to the awful hell on shore that awaited them. Then the terrible slaughter and carnage began, which only those that saw it could realise or imagine. The Turks who had lived under the murderous fire of our ships opened on our infantry boat - loads never reached the shore, but returned to the hospital boat - one that got adrift from its pinnace, drifted over to our boat, and all we could see for a while was a huddled mass of humanity covered in blood. I can tell you it took an iron nerve to stand it, but from that out, we began to get hardened, yet many of the awful sights I have seen, I would never try to describe, and pray that someday I may forget them. For hours this awful slaughter continued, till about mid-day when the brave Tommies shifted the Turks, drove them back, and occupied a position that was considered impregnable. This was occurring at the top of a peninsula called Cape Heles, the Australians meanwhile were having a still harder landing about 20 miles further down, and obtained a victory, though they paid an awful price, which must for all time remain unchallenged as one of the greatest feats ever achieved by any army.
We were unable to land our guns until a couple of days later, but while waiting to do so, had some exciting experiences first with a German sub-marine then from some big guns from the Turkish forts which were sending their shots flying all round us and then from the German aeroplanes. However, we had a very quiet landing, but as we advanced from the shore, to our position, everywhere could be seen our brave boys being buried. I saw one grave with eighty bodies in it.
From the moment we landed until I left three weeks ago, it was nothing but bullets and shells, day and night, it is a miracle how we escape them. We took part in all the battles after the landing, and later on I'll try to describe them. Everybody is perfectly happy over there, and quite contented; we sleep in the ground like rabbits, and so far in our battery we have had only one killed and about 14 wounded, so have been very lucky. I am still keeping my diary, and when I come home, it will take me twelve months to tell you all the news. Well mother dear I will write again before I go back, my mail is all over Egypt looking for me. I am taking some paper back to the guns with me, so I'll be able to write to you. Tell all the boys I am well. 
Norman was in the trenches on the Gallipoli peninsula for just over five weeks before he was injured in battle, and sent to Heliopolis to recuperate. He was there for about three weeks, before being able to return to the battlefront.
We are all very pleased over here to see by the papers that the young fellows are responding to the call so well. We hope the response will continue; you can tell them from me they are all wanted over here, for there’s a lot to be done yet. 
The Turks haven’t got me again yet, although they have had plenty of tries, and I think I’ve had revenge for the bullet they gave me.
Interestingly, it appears that Norman and his fellow Anzacs held some respect for their foes, at least those they were fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula.
We have every admiration here for the Turk as a fighter; he is a good, clean and brave fellow, but it is the German dog that is flogging him on that we want to get. The Turks have behaved splendidly to our wounded and also to our prisoners they have captured.
I think I told you in my last letter that we expected a move any day, we are still waiting for it and expect it will come when we least expect it. There is still great talk of our having a rest but will have to wait and see. Several of our battery have gone home to Australia and a lot to England.
By 5 October 1915, Gunner McClintock had finally had a shift, and had joined the Australians at Anzac Cove at a place called “Shrapnel Gully”. Indeed, Norman writes,
“We are well and happy and having lovely weather, and there is a wonderful view from the side of the mountain where we are camped. At times you’d hardly realise there was a war on, and then all of a sudden it is hell let loose” 
Three days later, and Norman’s leave finally arrived, and he was sent off to Mudros Island, some 50 miles from the firing line, for what they were told would be a month of holiday. Their officers had told them to make the most of their time, for which Norman took to mean they would have plenty to do once they arrived back at the front. It was here that, perhaps for the first time coming home to him, Norman began to realise how costly this war could be.
“There is a big camp here, most of the first division being here for the rest. I have been round today enquiring after my friends and needless to tell you I was pretty upset when I couldn’t find one, three were killed, three missing and two wounded, so I had quite a bad day, for there is only a handful left of the first infantry brigade. They are quite different men to what they were in Egypt; each one wears a sterner and more determined expression.” 
“I don’t think the Turks are going to let us come home for Xmas but I don’t think it will be long after, for I firmly believe like most of them here, we are at the beginning of the end.” 
News home was heavily censored, and soldiers had to sign release forms to indicate that their letters contained no information of any sensitive nature that could be discovered by the enemy, and so for the most part the information coming back from Norman McClintock was probably long out of date by the time the letters arrived home. They still paint a wonderful picture 100 years on of what life was like on the Gallipoli peninsula, holed up in the mountainside and fighting an enemy that refused to budge.
As they pushed on to December, the weather had started to turn, and priorities changed for all.
“We have just finished our winter quarters and think we will be fairly comfortable. I have plenty of blankets and warm underclothes so will be OK… The snow is still lying on the ground from a heavy fall we had a few days ago. We gather it and use it when melted to have a wash and a shave in for just now water is a bit scarce and we are on quarter rations which is a quart per man per day and that has to do for three meals and wash and shave as well. Sometimes we keep the cold tea to clean our teeth and to shave with, and sometimes we get salt water from the beach. To wash our clothes we hang them out when it rains and leave them for a day or two until undesirable companion’s (fleas) die of hunger and fall off” 
At this time, unbeknownst to the soldiers, a withdrawal from Gallipoli was in the works, and Norman had but a couple of weeks remaining in his time on this battlefront. In what is generally regarded as the best executed part of the whole Allied campaign here, all troops from Suvla and Anzac Cove were to be withdrawn before the end of December, and this being completed by December 20, 1915. Norman’s next letter home was from Tel-El-Kabir, 40 miles from the Suez Canal, where he arrived on Christmas Day, 1915.
“We are training here, in fact, started directly on our arrival, so to be ready when they want us, and more fit than last time. I’d sooner be in the firing line than in the desert… The camp is in a great state of activity, guns and battalions arriving every day and it seems very strange to us not hearing the bullets whistle round or the screeching of the shells.” 
By April 1916, Norman had been attached to the 101 Howitzer Battery, 21st Howitzer Brigade of the 1st Australian Division, in France. After a month in France it was almost time to return to battle, and come July he was back in the thick of things.
Things are very busy here right now; we are giving the Germans something to go on with. We have now been bombarding for seven days and at times it is something terrible, and very hard to explain what it is like. Nothing like it has every happened before, the air is simply torn with the screeching of shells. Our boys in front in the trenches are having a pretty anxious time, but they seem quite happy. The end seems a long way off yet, but I feel confident they will get tired long before we do… We are very comfortable here and all we want now is to get home, which I hope is not far off.
On 19 June 1916, Norman was admitted into hospital in Marseilles. This was not initially revealed by Norman to his mother, and she in fact only heard about it in a letter from her other son Aubrey, who by now was in England himself. Norman’s continued letters home gave only the vaguest notion that he had been forced away from the lines, or that he had had anything wrong with him during his fighting.
“Things here are very busy indeed, and we have made great progress, unfortunately the rain had to come again and hamper things a bit, still I think the shells fell quicker than the rain. Everybody is very happy and please indeed at the great success… we have got very comfortable billets here, and treated very well with plenty to do, but we don’t mind that at all as long as we are shaking Fritz up. Our boys in the trenches have been doing some raiding work lately of a night and giving poor old Fritz quite an unpleasant time, generally bringing a few back with them as curios.” 
Norman was lucky enough not to have had a front row seat when the “big push” came, but he was certainly in the stadium, so to speak. Sitting in the middle of the artillery barrage that the Allies threw at the Germans, Norman manages to put into words what he experienced.
“I am sorry I am not able to tell you all I would like to about our argument with Fritz, as you know Mr. Censor is as hard-hearted as ever; but you will have seen by the papers we have been very busy. I’m afraid my poor old dull cranium isn’t capable of giving you any idea of the magnitude of the “big push” that has just taken place. The only way to express the Artillery part of the argument is to say it was like Hell let loose, the screeching and the roaring of shells from every conceivable sort of gun was awful and there was a mixture of sounds I can tell you from the huge siege guns to the coal boxes. Whizz Bangs, Hell fire Jacks, Sneaking Sams, down to Weary Willies. Day and night we were firing as hard as we could go, and it was grand – a sight worth seeing, and taking part in. I was glad I was on this side of the fence anyhow. I’m thinking Fritz rather regrets his hasty invitation for the Anzacs to come to their trenches and see them, at any rate they seemed very pleased when our boys made them forcibly return the visit and come back with them. “Mercy Kamerad” greeted our chaps before they had any opportunity of testing their ribs with the bayonet. The prisoners seemed very pleased to be taken and they looked a downhearted lot. I had my first sniff of gas the other day and I don’t go much on it at all, and have smelt a better perfume. The tear shells are very funny, they smell like pineapple, but they make you cry as if you wanted to go home, but we generally managed to laugh amongst the tears, they are far better than onions to make you cry when it’s not “dinkum”. 
Each letter coming home was of a positive note. Whether or not this was a directive, that no negative news should be sent home to loved ones, is unclear, or perhaps it was just Norman himself who self-regulated the tone of his letters.
“Things are very busy here just now, as I expect you have seen by the papers. Everything is going on splendidly. Fritz is having a bad time of it, and is losing a lot of his punch, and I hope before many more weeks will be getting tired of it… Prisoners being brought in now seem very down hearted, and looked pleased at escaping even as a prisoner”. 
Norman had already been through more than any man should have to, but had managed to get through with only a minimum of injury. However, his fortune was about to change, when both injury and battle fatigue caught up with him at the same time.
“At last I have a chance to write you a few lines in peace. Before I give you any news I must tell you I am getting along OK. I was admitted last week to hospital, but don’t know what day, as I had lost count of the days. You will have wondered why I have not written this long time so I will tell you all I can.
About six weeks ago we left where we had been previously stationed with no idea where our destination was to be, but we had an idea it was to be a warm corner of the firing line, and without doubt it was. We were a good many days on the road, as we could only travel very slowly on account of the bad roads and wet weather. Everywhere was a picture of desolation, ruined towns everywhere and mud over our knees. We reached our wagon line, which is some distance from the firing line, after a lot of trouble, late in the evening, for some parts of the way were almost impassable. It was terribly cold then and raining heavily. After we had fixed up the horses we started to take our guns into action, and – talk about a picnic – everywhere the ground was dotted with shell holes, and every few yards we would get bogged, once I sank up to my arm pits in mud and had to be pulled out. We were unable to take up our position until the next night. We had scarcely got the guns into position before we engaged Fritz, and he retaliated properly giving us Jack Johnston’s and high explosives day and night. We never stopped and the noise was terrible, it was impossible to speak to each other, and regret to say our usual good luck deserted us. We had been holding this position for about 15 days when I had to leave. It was raining the whole time and we had to do our work over our knees in mud and slush, but we were all as happy as circumstances would permit. I was rather unfortunate in having to leave, but I got rather a shaking up and the doctor made me go away for awhile. The night before I left our gun pit was blown in, and fortunately I happened to be at the mouth of the pit and escaped with getting bruised and a severe shaking up, my poor old mate was not so fortunate, but I believe he is doing well.
This was undoubtedly the worst place ever we struck, as we the leading battery and worst of all Fritz knew we were there, and didn’t forget to acquaint us with the fact.
Sleep was practically impossible, also dry clothes, and we used to make sox out of sand bags. The sights there were terrible to witness. However I am nearly OK again and hope soon to rejoin the boys” 
Norman made it back to his mates, but it wasn’t long before it was obvious that this was a more serious case of gun shock than anyone had considered.
“As you see by the address (Beaufort War Hospital, Bristol, England), I am in England. After I left hospital in France when I last wrote to you, I was in too big a hurry to get to the front again and unfortunately lasted only a couple of days before I had to leave again, but I am pleased to say nothing serious was wrong, only a rest was all I wanted, so the doctor sent me over here where I am getting on splendidly and feeling quite strong again. I hope to leave hospital in a few days and intend taking a trip to Scotland for a week and then back to have my revenge on Fritz. It seems quite strange being here in England after so long in France and with the French people and not to have the ever screeching shells flying over your head. We had a very rough time the last three months for our brigade was in the front line of artillery and I can tell you Fritz gives us plenty of shells. Still I think he got a worse time than we did. We had a good many casualties, though only a few killed, but it’s a miracle to me how any of us ever got out of it. We took up our positions right on the edge of a road and day and night was that road shelled, and there was hardly a yard of ground that was not a shell hole – they had our range lovely and did some splendid shooting. We had all our pots blown in eventually so we had to take up another position, but I wasn’t with them at the new position long enough to say if it was any worse than the first. I don’t think it could very well be. I haven’t got out of bed since I got here, but I hope to be up and have a look around tomorrow”. 
"I expect as soon as I finish furlough I will go back again to mud in France and have my revenge on Fritz... I suppose in Australia like here, you have "peace talk" as the subject of the day, but Fritz is getting a very poor hearing. It would indeed be a terrible thing if we were to grasp the first opportunity of coming to terms under present conditions when what we have been fighting for for so long is just coming into sight. Fritz has some more pills to swallow for all his crimes before the boys will listen to his wails for peace. I owe him a bit myself yet that I want to settle". 
Norman saw in the New Year in Edinburgh, and returned to spend a further couple of days in London, before heading to Salisbury Plains, and back into camp. Though at the time Norman felt he would only be at the camp for a couple of weeks, he in fact was at Salisbury until April 5, 1917, before he was once again shipped back to the front in France. By April 8, 1917, he was back in the mud, manning the guns and firing at the Germans.
From here though, most information dries up. No doubt it was a busy time for Norman on the front lines between April and October of 1917, and whether he was unable to write letters, or they disappeared or were lost in delivery, cannot be ascertained. Whatever Norman went through during those six months on the front lines, no further news is evident until a report in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser on 24 November, 1917, which simply reports:
"Mrs. McClintock has received word her son Gunner McClintock has again been wounded. We trust further news will speedily follow, telling of his satisfactory progress." 
Indeed, after three years’ service, the majority of which had been on the battlefields of the Gallipoli peninsula and the Western Front in France, Norman McClintock had finally succumbed, both to mortal wounds and the gas attacks of the Germans. On this occasion, the combination of the two had meant he was to have some serous rehabilitation away from the war, and he was shipped back to a convalescent camp in Weymouth, England in order to recover.
"As you will see by the address I am still at Weymouth. I have not heard anything further yet what they are going to do with me, whether I am going home or back to France, although I would dearly love to come and see you, if they think I am fit to go back, well I won't mind having another go. I don't feel too bad but still I don't feel as well as I did, but there is nothing like a few shells for a tonic. I have been very fortunate indeed so far and have had some miraculous escapes and have a lot to be thankful for, so if I have to go back I hope, Dear Mother, you will not worry. They told me at first I would not be returning to France, but would be employed over here... I haven't written very much lately as I have been expecting word every day what they were going to do with me. I am not doing any duty over here at present. I am classified unfit for any service at all, but of course that may be altered at any time as I am medically examined every week... There are a great number of our boys over here returning to Australia. A great many of them have never seen the firing line, a large number only 12 months service and I believe are more medically fit than I am, still good luck to them. I won't complain but wait patiently till my turn comes to see the dear old homeland again." 
Though a journey home was not soon to come, Norman had at least seen the last of his fighting at the front. He indeed was rehabilitated in England, and in October 1918 he was informed that, after four years’ service, he was being sent home to Australia. Ironically however, by the time he sailed into Sydney and then stepped off the train at Kiama Station on 22 November 1918, the war had concluded. He and his mother were greeted by decorations, banners, confetti and a huge crowd of well-wishers at the station when the train arrived, as well as a band, and a welcoming few words from the Mayor. There then followed a week later a great welcome home party for Norman and other fellow returned soldiers, where more merriment was seen and fond words spoken.
Norman's story is a remarkable one. He had been one of the first to leave Australian shores. He had fought on the beaches of Gallipoli, and had fought on the Somme and the front line in France. For over four years he had been a soldier for his country, and then he had survived and returned home, when over 60,000 Australians had not.
Norman moved back up to the north coast after his return from duty, settling in the Taree district of New South Wales. There he met Annie Campbell, who was thirteen years his senior, and in 1933 they were married in Wingham. Norman was 47, and Annie was 60. They were married for ten years, before Annie died in 1943. Norman himself lived on until 1956, when he died in Sydney at the age of 70.
Aubrey McClintock did not rush to sign up as soon as war was announced as his older brother Norman had, but eventually he felt the pull too strong, and also consented to join the Australian war effort. One can't help but wonder if he was inspired to do so by the letters that his brother was sending back about his experiences, and whether he felt he was missing out on the adventure. It is impossible to say, but it would fit in with the general beliefs that seemed to be around the young men of Australia at the time. He enlisted in August 1915, before going through the initial training camps in Sydney before eventually shipping out on 20 December 1915.
He and his shipmates were destined for Egypt, for the Allies training camp at Tel-El-Kabir. Soon after his arrival however, Aubrey contracted mumps, an epidemic amongst newcomers to the area, though apparently for Aub it was only a mild case.
Campsites at Tel-el-Kabir 
"None of us will be sorry to get into the thick of it, the routine of camp life gets monotonous. The alarm was sounded on Sunday and we thought we were off to get our christening in warfare, but it only turned out to be a small rising among the natives, easily quelled". 
This may have been the case, but an early shot at the front lines was not in the cards for Aubrey. From Egypt, he was shipped off to England, where he was then sent to the training camp at Salisbury.
"For the last fortnight in Egypt when the heat was so terrible (126 degrees nearly every day) my health was none too good and in fact the doctor ordered me to the hospital, but knowing that we were leaving Egypt at then no distant date I managed to keep going as best I could. the doctor said I had acute gastritis, and I was not sorry to see the last of the desert. We left Tel-el-Kabir on June 7th... we arrived at Devonport on the 17th at 4am, and it was that cold we had to don our overcoats. Until we reached our destination (Salisbury Plains) we had a great reception from the people, old ladies and young girls throwing kisses and frantically waving aprons, all of which spoke volumes for the welcome of our boys, the first of the Australians who landed in England for training purposes... it is a very comfortable camp we are in, all huts and each one has a little stove in it. Water is plentiful and good, and when we are properly settled it will be very home like. We are supposed to stay here to train the Australians when they land, but anything might happen in the Army and we may be moved somewhere else" 
At least, being in England, Aub was able to have some delights, such as a week-long holiday in London, taking in shows, sight-seeing, and even having a close encounter with the Queen Mother, Queen Alexandria. Still, he was still eager to throw his lot in with those on the front line.
"I did not like commencing work again. We are very busy, only this morning I had to be up at 3am to get a draft away to France. Before long the Australians will have a big army in the firing line for they are being sent over almost every day. There are about 75,000 of our troops here, nearly all ready for the firing line. I tried to get over with the last draft but they will not let me go. The training staff, of which I am one, is being held back for some reason or other. It is getting very monotonous, and I hope it will not be long before we move into action. Of course, we may be sent at any moment, our stay here is uncertain, although we are not given to understand that a move is imminent." 
As a training officer, one can only try and understand how Aub felt about his predicament. Despite seeing the injured men being transported back to England from the front, and hearing their stories, as well as knowing many who were dying in the fighting, he was still anxious to get to the front and join in. How many in his position would have felt the same? And how many would have secretly been thankful for their roles as training officers and, at least for the present, be as far away from the actual front line as they could get?
Aubrey even went so far as to receive training at the prestigious Chelsea Academy during his time in England, something that pleased him no end, but did not satisfy him.
"I told you last letter I was studying at Chelsea, and had a really good time, and am pleased to say came away with a Distinguished Pass. I hope something will come out of it. It was not too nice coming back to camp life but am gradually settling down again. We have a large number of Australians here and before very long they will most of them be off to France. I think before the winter sets in properly there will be a tremendous number of our men put in the firing line. The Australians have suffered heavily the last six weeks and poor fellows I knew well have gone under."
"Well I've not been able to get to France yet, though I've tried very hard. We may possibly be away in a week or two so they say, but we can get no definite satisfaction. Truly I am so tired of the monotony of camp life, although we are kept very busy just now training the men. We have many long tedious hours to fill in, up at 6, going all day, then we do night marches and trench work, generally getting home about midnight. The days are closing in now too, and its dark about 8 'clock and getting on the cool side". 
But even in England, you can't completely avoid the war, and with Germany employing zeppelins to do fly-overs, it could become a bit more exciting that perhaps you would want.
"Probably you'll be surprised to hear that I was right in the middle of the last Zeppelin raid, when one was brought down. It happened I was away from the Barracks for the week end, and the place I was boarding at was only half a mile away. It was no joke when I was wakened about 2a.m. with all the guns around firing as hard as they could go. I quickly got into the street and just in time to see the huge machine burst into flames and illuminate the sky as I've never seen it before. Then it came crashing to the ground in a burning heap landing not far from where I was. I started out next morning to go and have a look at it, and what a crowd did go to see it". 
A little short of two months later though, Aub had been given the good word, and almost eleven months after leaving Australian shores, he was about to move into the conflict.
"You will be doubtless surprised to hear that at long last, they are letting us away to the front. We are all ready just waiting for orders to move off. The officers and N.Co's to relieve us arrived last Thursday. We are a bit unfortunate striking a move just now, as it has been raining heavily, and today has been blowing a hurricane. I suppose we will have it pretty rough in France too, but I am off, with a big stout heart determined to do my best, and to look on the brightest side. Some must go under, and we must just take our share, whether it be good or bad. I hope you won't worry too much. If I am lucky over there, I fully expect to get a commission before long. There are a jolly fine lot going over with me, so I will not be lonely". 
And so Aubrey was finally going to see some battle on the front line. Despite his bravado there is little doubt that he would have approached his posting with unease. News of the dead and wounded travelled through all the troops, and from behind the lines it would have been even more noticeable. Still, now he was off, to join the fight...
... and he promptly disappeared.
There was no news from him, neither good nor bad. Nothing filtered through from the front, the letters home to his mother in Kiama had stopped, and no one had the slightest idea as to what had happened to Aubrey. The worst was feared, the best was hoped for. He could have been separated from his platoon, he could have been injured and be holed up anonymously in a battlefield hospital, he could have been on a secret mission... he could be dead, lying in a mass grave somewhere in no man's land. No one seemed to know, and for four months, not a word was heard from or about Aubrey McClintock.
On 11 May 1917, Mrs McClintock was informed by wire that her son Aubrey had been officially reported as missing on 11 April, 1917. 
One can only imagine the worry that was felt by family and friends alike at the news, especially when contact had been cut off for so long, and then to hear through official channels that Aubrey was in fact "missing".
Nothing further was heard for almost a month, and then, a small glimpse of hope was found. The wife of Private W. D. Vidler, another Anzac who hailed from Kiama, and whom had been reported as missing on the same day as Aub, was contacted in early June by cable and informed that her husband had been captured as a prisoner of war in Germany.  The fact that he was alive, and had gone missing from the same area on the same day as Aub, brought hope that Aub too may still be alive.
The weeks dragged on though, with no word from any channel as to the fate of Aubrey. No doubt hope would have been seeping away the longer than time passed with no word. Finally though, on 30 July 1917, more than six months since any word had been heard from Aubrey, Mrs McClintock received word that Aubrey was no longer missing. He had in fact been taken as a prisoner of war, and was currently in camp in the German town of Limburg, a manufacturing town on the Leine River.
It was more than a month later before Aubrey's mother finally received a letter from him, though it was obviously not the first he had written her from his internment camp. The letters were heavily censored, taking out any information that his captors felt may be of interest to their enemy, and so they were difficult to read and conveyed little.
"This is the first time we have been allowed to write since my last of 19/4/17, which I trust reached you safely (it did not). In case it did not, I write to tell you I am a prisoner of war, captured on April 11th. We are only privileged to write one letter per month and four post cards, so please do not expect a heap of correspondence. I will write every opportunity... So far I am alright though eagerly looking forward to returning home. The camp where I am at present is not a permanent one for us (for information censored)... but rumours are going around that we will move shortly, and I will be glad when we are permanently settled. We have daily work to do, chiefly on the roads, so that our time is fully occupied and goes quickly. The hours are long but we manage to pull through".
And so began Aub's life as a prisoner of war. Information sharing between himself and his mother was intermittent. The mail delivery system was sketchy at best, and months could stretch between deliveries, and then a bunch of letters written over a period of months could all arrive together. It was not unusual for Aub to receive letters from his mother that were written some 9-12 months previously, but one can imagine that, in a POW camp, any news would be heart-warming. The same could be said for his mother at home.
"Since last writing we have moved again, and are now in a fresh camp, which I think will be permanent for some time to come. There are not too many of us here, and we are very comfortably quartered. Our work is connected chiefly with general farming, with the exception of milking, so we are fully occupied and the days seem to fly away fairly quickly. Nevertheless the one thought in my mind is home, and looking forward to the day of peace and liberation which we hope is near. We hear no outside news that is reliable, so do not know what prospects are in sight. My health is good and everything considered have much to be thankful for".
"Am at present with a party of 14 others working in the forest, falling and cutting trees. We are all doing well and thankful to say our Red Cross parcels are at last coming more regularly. They are a great help to us".
"Expect to finish our forest work tomorrow, but do not know what next we will be put to, more than likely farming. There is a lot of talk about peace just now, so we are looking eagerly forward to the good news coming along any day... had a quiet birthday, chopping trees all day” 
"Well, Dearest Mother, we have finished our forest work and back again to the Lager. We were working about 100 miles distant from here. We quite expect to be sent out again soon, but most likely it will be land work this time. I think the worst of the winter is over now. We had a few rough and cold weeks working in the snow but thank goodness came through alright" 
"Had myself weighed here the other day and turned the scales at 12 stone. So you will say I am not too bad. Our Red Cross parcels are still coming along alright and we are kept well supplied.
I don't know whether I told you much about the place where we are working. It is a fairly large farm - about 70 hands are engaged daily, of course this includes female labour too - by the way, they work as hard as the men do. There are about 50 horses constantly working. The place is stocked with about 100 cows and 1000 sheep. It has been a fairly busy time lately, ploughing and pulling the crops in. Our work is chiefly the odd jobs about the place - picking up stones, gardening, cleaning cow sheds, etc. The hours are very very long (5.30am to 7.30pm) but we will have to put up with them for a couple of months". 
Certainly life in a prisoner of war camp was no day spa. It was tough, long, grinding work, and the spirit of these men and women must have been tested to their limits. Finally though, the Allies began to take the upper hand, and the ceasefire on 11 November 1918 finally gave hope for peace. This did eventuate within weeks, and the Allied prisoners of war were shipped back to England. It was from here, safe once again and his interminable ordeal over with, that Aubrey McClintock wrote again to his mother, and was able to fill her in on the latter stages of his confinement.
“You will see that I am at last quartered back in dear “old Blighty”. I sent you a cablegram this evening and penning you these few lines to confirm it.
I can tell you the last few weeks of our imprisonment was anything but pleasant. The days and nights seemed awfully long, and knowing that our side had got the best of things and still we had to work on, was very humiliating. However, they came to an end on December 9, just after 20 months imprisonment to the very day we started on our long looked for journey home. Of course it was hard to realise, and even yet I have not settled down to my new life properly. We had to spend two days in the Lager and then marched about ten miles to the boat. As our men marched through cities, or rather, large towns, we gave the population a pretty miserable parting, singing all of our patriotic songs, etc. Arrived at Stettin about 11pm, on the night of the 13th. It did not take the lot of us long to get aboard the two ships waiting for us. There was no Germans to supervise our embarkation. The crowd (1500 men) just walked on as they pleased. Any German who would have dared interfere I guess would have had a pretty rough handling. Well, we got away about midnight and next morning at eight o’clock was the last we saw of Germany or its people…
We have had some very hard rough times, but they are all over now, and I’m out of it all, little the worse. One must really be thankful to be alive and so well. As I write, before me is a cake that you sent over for Norman. It’s not going to waste though just yet I have to refrain from indulging too freely in such rich luxuries. By the time I get home though I hope I’ll not have need to be afraid. I guess by this Norman is home. Sincerely hope he is alright again”. 
Aubrey’s ordeal wasn’t quite over yet, as was seen on his trip home. He departed England on 9 February 1919 on the troop ship Ascanius, but while his ship harboured in Egypt, he was taken off because of severe illness, and the boat left port without him. He was diagnosed with pneumonia, and was checked into the hospital at Port Said, where he remained until 28 February 1919, when he was discharged and housed on Base. He eventually received passage on the City of Poona, and disembarked in Sydney on 17 May 1919. As was the case with his brother Norman, and all of the soldiers of Kiama who returned, he was met by a reception at the railway station. On 4 June 1919, a great social gathering was held to welcome Aubrey back home, and celebrated his arrival back to his hometown.
While his brother had spent the better part of three years of the front lines of the war, Aubrey’s experience of action was only a few short months, firstly held back to help complete the training of thousands of young men to be sent to the trenches, and then captured himself while in action. His twenty months in captivity must have changed him, not only mentally, but physically. At one stage they were on quarter rations for a period of three months, not something the human body can easily recover from. Just over 4000 Australians were taken as prisoner of war during the First World War, and not all of them made it home alive.
However, he had returned from his ordeal alive, and moved on with his life. He married a girl from Berry, and together they moved to the North Coast. Unfortunately, his was not to be the long-lived life that his brother Norman experienced. On 26 June 1922, just three years after his return from the Great War, Aub died suddenly at his home at the age of 32, leaving behind his widow and two children, his youngest just three weeks old. It is a sad end for a young man whose dreams of a life after the war had gotten him through the long months of internment in Germany.
In 1915, as a recruitment drive to encourage young men to join up for the cause, the Waratah march took place. In essence, this was a snowball march, which began in Nowra on 30 November 1915, and finished in Sydney at The Domain on 18 December 1915. Along the way, they would encourage and recruit young men to join their walk, where they would eventually sign up for the war effort and go into training camp. Great crowds would welcome the men as they arrived in each township along the way, often including civic receptions and recruitment meetings. It was with the Waratah March that Dick McDonald joined and went forward with his destiny. When the march reached Kiama, he was one of the men from the district who tagged on, and went the remainder of the journey with the congregation.
The ‘Waratahs’ March leaving Kiama on its way to Jamberoo, December 1915
Once in Sydney, the men headed out to the Liverpool Camp to undergo their weeks of military training. Once this was complete, the men were allowed to come home on furlough before being shipped off to parts unknown. On his return to Kiama, Dick was afforded a huge beneficiary evening, where all of his friends came to pay tribute to his character, and wish him the best in his future endeavours.
"One of the most successful presentation functions held in Kiama eventuated on Friday night last, Feb. 4 at Attwater's Hotel, organised by the Cricket Club of which Mr. R. McDonald (more popularly known as "Dick") has been an active and most successful member. The gathering was fully representative of the district of Kiama, of both citizens, sportsmen and military... Owing to Mr. McDonald not arriving till the 8 p.m. train, proceedings were rather late in commencing, but everyone was relieved when the final word came, "He's here", the lingering doubt that some military duty may prevent his attendance was dispelled and every obstacle wiped away towards the complete success of the evening's entertainment"
"Mr. Dennis (chairman) remarked that though knowing "Dick" for a comparatively short while compared to some of the friends present, yet during, the time he had known him he had learned to fully appreciate the sterling characteristics of our Cricketing Corporal, which had made him so popular among all classes in Kiama. He extended the heartiest wishes of Kiama people for glory, honour, and a safe return. Rev. A. H. Gallop splendidly supported the chairman's remarks, in a natty little speech to an appreciative audience. He was glad to have "Dick" on his side at last, previously they had always been opponents (but only on the cricket field), and he had not always fared well from "Dick's" attentions. Mr. G. Chin spoke on behalf of the Cricket Club, giving testimony to the sterling worth of the guest both on the cricket field and off. The toast was drunk with musical honours. Mr. McDonald suitably responded".
"Mr. Marsh spoke at length on the merits of the guest and on conclusion presented him with a gold medal inscribed "K.C.C to 'Dick"" with R.M. on the face. A bowling trophy (gold medal) presented by Mrs. Attwater, and won by Mr. C. B. Minnett was presented by Mr. Marsh on behalf of Mr. Minnett to 'Dick' as a token of esteem. The medal was inscribed "C.B.M to 'Dick'". A nice wristlet watch was also presented to Dick, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Belyon, of Shellharbour, and was highly appreciated by the recipient.
After the National Anthem had been sung, the company dispersed with the most pleasant recollections of a happy night, spent with a worthy and respected citizen, sportsman and soldier". 
Private Dick McDonald. Courtesy Kiama Library 
Dick left Australia by ship in April 1916. Because he had no known relatives (certainly none that his friends or anyone in Kiama knew of), there was no news filtering back to Kiama of his whereabouts, or how he was going, or even what he was doing or where he was posted. The first hint that there was any trouble for Dick came in a notice in the "Local & General News" column in the local paper.
"There is a strong feeling here that Private R. McDonald, no relatives, mentioned in yesterday's list of those who died from wounds, refers to the popular Dick McDonald, one of our local "Waratahs"... It is hoped authentic news will yet be received by someone locally to prove the supposition not true. Dick had been promoted to Corporal before he left Liverpool, so the reference may not concern him".
So - was it true? Had Dick met an untimely fate in battle? Or was this a case of mistaken identity?
While the mystery of Dick's fate was not resolved for his friends in Kiama for some time, due to the complete lack of information, documents obtained by the Kiama Library in recent years can shed a little more light on what happened during those months in 1916. Service records and other military documents allow the observer to piece together Dick's movements from the time he left Sydney on that troop ship, and though it doesn't give all the information to completely accurately trace his steps, we can at least make some good assumptions.
On 2 May 1916, Dick disembarked with his fellow troops at Suez. No doubt from here they were transported to the training camp at Tel-el-Kabir. Once all of the troops were together, they made the journey to the other side of Egypt to Alexandria, where they boarded another boat on 9 May 1916, bound for France. Eight days later, on 17 May 1916, they disembarked at Marseilles. From here they were transported to the 1st Division Base Depot at Etaples. Here men were generally given tests as well as at least ten days additional training, and a strict medical check. 
Dick was at Etaples until 25 June 1916, at which time he was seconded into the 1st Anzac Entrenching Battalion. They left Etaples at midday, and arrived at Bailleul at 5.30pm that evening. For the next two days there was reconnaissance done in selecting a site for their new camp, which on 28 June 1916 was decided on a site near Dranoutre. For the next week, the working parties were organised in camp improvements, the routine continuing in a similar manner each day.
On 10 July 1916, 6 officers and 237 troops were dispatched to Paris as reinforcements. The following day, on 11 July 1916 another 8 officers and 141 troops were also sent to Paris as reinforcements for the front line. Dick McDonald was one of the men sent on to the capital. 
From here Dick was drafted into the 1st Battalion on 11 May 1916, and finally into the war. His destiny was to be a part of the Battle of Pozieres, a battle which has gone into Australian folklore. Pozieres was claimed by the Allies forces on 23 July 1916. However, as it had been the only Allied gain on that day, Pozieres became a focus of attention for the German forces. Between 23 July 1916 and 27 July 1916, when their division was relieved, 5,285 Australians lost their lives. Sometime on either 23 or 24 July 1916, Dick McDonald was wounded by a gunshot to his abdomen. He was taken to the South Midlands Field Army Ambulance (a medical unit, not a vehicle), but his condition was too dire, and he died of his wounds on 24 July 1916.
By late September back in Kiama, some confirmation had been received in letters back home from some of the few Kiama district soldiers who had survived the Battle of Pozieres. Private B. Leggatt, who was a fellow 'Waratah', wrote to the mother of another fallen comrade, "Dick McDonald was wounded too" , while Private E. J. Lucas, another 'Waratah' wrote to his sister on 2 August 1916 and mentioned that "Dick McDonald was killed" 
Dick McDonald’s headstone. Courtesy Kiama Library 
The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser had already printed a tribute to the town's fallen friend a month earlier, having no doubt decided that the information available was already telling the tale.
ROLL OF HONOR
PRIVATE DICK McDONALD
There seems little doubt that Private R. McDonald, no relatives, referred to Dick McDonald, who left Kiama as a Waratah, since the Sydney papers announce such to be the case; and though there may be no relatives to mourn him, he has not passed away doing his duty as a soldier and a man, unwept and unmourned, for he had a warm place in Kiama's heart, and many honoured the white soul of him who so earnestly wanted to do his bit. His dark skin it was said stopped his acceptance when he tried first to enlist and when he finally was accepted, no happier man set out on the great adventure than did he. A recollection that will long remain with those that saw it, was his childlike delight in the presents that were showered upon him at the public send-off to the Waratahs. After the meeting he spread them out, taking a joy in each one - "it was just like Xmas time" he said, with the bright smile that was his own. In the national kinship that binds us close in these days of stress and struggle for our Empire, Dick McDonald, whose fine physique and manly qualities, gentleness of nature and kindly seal, gained him many friends and well-wishers, as his patriotism gained our admirations, passes away sincerely mourned. He died of wounds in France, and far from the old district he rests, but his name will live in honored remembrance with those who went forth from our midst, and were called upon to give their greatest gift, for their country. 
The respect that the town had for Dick was evident and given further proof the following year:
The 25th of April not only marked the anniversary of the landing of our glorious Anzacs at Gallipoli, but was also the 35th anniversary of the birth of one of our most popular fallen heroes, Pte Dick McDonald.
To commemorate this event, and also to help perpetuate a memory dear to most Kiama folk, Mr W. G. Walker, of Manning Street, Kiama, planted on Anzac Day a beautiful young Moreton Bay fig tree in the reserve, where the old Council Chambers stood. Bombo quarrymen were well represented. Mr G. Chin as secretary, represented the Kiama Cricket Club, while the military was well represented by about 50 cadets under the command of Lieut. G. V. Booth, together with Drill Instructor Sergt-Major Spicer. Lieut. Booth explained the object of the tree planting to the boys, and there is no doubt that in years to come, when their boyhood days have passed away, and the tree planted in memory of Pte. Dick McDonald has become an ornament and a boon to the town, they will be able to look back and say with pride and pleasure "I was present when that tree was planted, and I remember well that it was planted in memory of one of Kiama's fallen heroes, Pte. Dick McDonald"
A number of ladies were also present and other interested spectators. The tree was planted at 4 p.m., April 25th, 1917. 
Not only does Kiama have a Moreton Bay fig to remind itself of one of its fallen heroes from World War I, but just recently they also have another memorial for him.
When Dick died, he had put down a friend, Miss A.M. Morrow from Dapto, as his ‘next of kin’ should anything happen to him. When he was killed after just under two weeks on the front lines of France, all of his worldy possessions were sent home to his friend – photos, his pipe, his wallet, his wrist watch and strap (no doubt the very one he received before heading to the front) and two devotional books. The bible had been given to him by Kiama Salvation Army before he left for overseas, and had been inscribed on the inside cover.
Miss Morrow eventually relocated to St. Leonards in Sydney, and when she died in 1949, she also had no next of kin, and so her belongings were no doubt distributed amongst various charitable organisations. In 2006, Dick’s bible was discovered in a box of second hand books bought in Surry Hills by Gordon Ridley. He then became interested enough in the history of the bible that he spent some years tracking down its history. When it was discovered that it was Dick’s and that he had no kin to speak of, Gordon presented it to Kiama Council, a wonderful gesture on his behalf. It is now on display at Kiama Library, as a lasting memory to a man who was loved by the community, and who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to fight for its freedom. 
Dick McDonald’s Bible. Photo courtesy of Kiama Library 
As you have seen, three different men from the same township of Kiama had three completely different experiences of the Great War, and three completely different outcomes. These stories engender the whole array of emotions throughout the years of the conflict. The fact that all three had a common link – the Kiama Cricket Club – that brought them to my attention, and then immersed myself for a month in researching the full details of their stories, living the highs and the lows of all their stories, and in the process feeling all of these emotions myself. Though all of this took place over a hundred years ago, I found myself still feeling the sorrow of the death in battle of Dick, the pain of imprisonment of Aubrey, and the horror of Gallipoli and the Somme with Norman. Though I never knew them, I feel proud, as a former youth of Kiama, of what these three men did, and how they fought for their country, and represented their home town with both dignity and honour. They are true life heroes, and should be remembered as such into the future.
None of this would have been possible without the valuable work already done by those involved with the Kiama Library. Their efforts in beginning to track down Kiama’s war heroes is wonderful, and in compiling the history of our town in words and pictures, all fully accessible via the internet. The photos here of Dick McDonald, and of his military records which are posted on their Facebook page, are courtesy of their hard work. I look forward to more of their research becoming available in the future.
There were also two websites which provide invaluable information on our military and past heroes. The Australian War Memorial (http://www.awm.gov.au) is a fantastic resource, as is The AIF Project (https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/index.html). They were both excellent points of reference when necessary.
Google, as always, was a help. However, the wonderful Government initiative at Trove (http://trove.nla.gov.au/) where the nation’s newspapers and other such texts are being digitalised, and made available for everyone to access and see, is a bottomless well of information, and an amazing read when you have the time. My research into our great cricket club is being made all the easier by this site. Apart from being able to access reports and scorecards as printed in newspapers, especially through The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, the fact that people such as Mrs McClintock gave permission for her sons’ letters to be published in the newspaper for all to see is a remarkable and amazing thing, and something that not only am I sure the Kiama township was grateful for at the time, but I am extremely grateful for myself, for it has allowed these stories to be told and remembered a century later.
Norman McClintock - 1886 - 1956
Kiama Cricket Club statistics
7 innings, 0 not out, 14 runs, 9 high score, 2.00 average
Aubrey McClintock – 1889 - 1922
Kiama Cricket Club statistics
27 innings, 3 not out, 209 runs, 33* high score, 8.71 average
62 wickets, 505 runs, 7/10 best bowling, 8.15 average
Richard “Dick” McDonald – 25/4/1882 – 24/7/1916
Kiama Cricket Club statistics
88 innings, 4 not out, 1839 runs, 113 high score, 21.89 average, 2 centuries
205 wickets, 1915 runs, 9.34 average, 9/22 best innings, 13/76 best match, 1 hat-trick
 Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. Wednesday 19 February 1913.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 24 November 1914. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 9 January 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 24 November 1914. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 9 January 1915.
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 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 7 July 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 9 July 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 21 August 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 21 August 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 9 October 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 27 July 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 10 November 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 24 September 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 20 November 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 24 September 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 20 November 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 5 October 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 1 December 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 8 October 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 1 December 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 8 October 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 1 December 1915.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 2 December 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 5 February 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 27 December 1915. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 16 February 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 4 July 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 30 August 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 15 July 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 16 September 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 7 October 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 11 September 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 11 November 1916.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 10 November 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 13 January 1917.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 10 December 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 7 February 1917.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 26 December 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 28 February 1917.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 4 April 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 14 July 1917.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 24 November 1917.
 Norman McClintock letter home, 5 February 1918. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 6 April 1918.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 18 March 1916.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 18 June 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 30 August 1916.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 25 July 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 16 September 1916.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 13 September 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 11 November 1916.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 13 September 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 11 November 1916.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 5 November 1916. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 13 January 1917.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 12 May 1917.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 9 June 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 28 May 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 8 September 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 1 September 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 29 December 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 17 February 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 15 June 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 10 March 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 15 June 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 14 March 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 15 June 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 4 May 1917. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 14 August 1917.
 Aubrey McClintock letter home, 19 December 1918. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 1 March 1919.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 9 February 1916.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 19 August 1916.
 B. Leggatt letter home. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 27 September 1916.
 E.J. Lucas letter home. Published in The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 27 September 1916.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 26 August 1916.
 The Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser. 28 April 1917.