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As it is Remembrance Day today, I have compiled a list of the first (and where applicable, middle names) of the young men from my home town who were killed in action during World War I. The war memorial only records surnames and initials, so I got some help from Kath and Joan at the local historical society to find their full names.

Middle names were significant – many boys were named after their father or uncle, and often shared their name with cousins. The middle name was used to differentiate them from these other relatives, and was often their “real name”, as it was the name they were known by (and, like first names, commonly shortened to a nickname). For example, my distant relatives George Aubyn and Alfred Leopold were known as Auby and Leo.

I’ve recorded which ones were from the town’s founding families as these are the closest thing to an aristocracy our little town has, and thought it might be interesting to see what names they chose. These men would have been born in the late 19th century – before the nation of Australia even existed.

Our town was founded at the start of the twentieth century, and I think is typical for small towns at that time in that World War I was devastating to it. Coupled with a severe drought in 1914, the loss of these young men sent it into an economic decline from which it would not recover until after World War II.

These are not heroic names, but they are the names of our heroes.

Albert

Alexander (from one of our founding families)

Abraham

Alfred Cecil (from one of our founding families)

Alfred Leopold (related to me through my maternal grandfather)

Angus

Blair Clifford

Charles Henry

Clement James

Francis (from one of our founding families)

Frank Walter and John James (brothers)

Frederick

George (from one of our founding families)

George Aubyn (related to me through my maternal grandmother)

Gerald Walter

Henry

Henry Lewis and Harold John (brothers)

Hugo Lawrence

James (from one of our founding families)

James William

John

John Leslie (from one of our founding families)

John William

Joseph Sylvester (from one of our founding families)

Julius Wilbur (from one of our founding families)

Matthew

Michael (from one of our founding families)

Maurice Russell

Norman Leonard

Oscar

Percy (from one of our founding families)

Roy

Robert Clyde

Richard Wilfred (from one of our founding families)

Sydney (from one of our founding families)

Stanley Bede (from one of founding families)

Thomas

Thomas

Thomas

Walter

Wilfred

William

William (from one of our founding families)

~Lest we forget~