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History of Mercantile Rowing Club

Appendix 8 - Roll of Honour—
Mercantile Members who gave their lives in the service of their country

(full list of those who served further down the page)




Members who served in the Boar War

  • Sgt A D Warden
  • Lieut F Hutchings
  • Pte C Morrison

Members who served in WWI

Six Mercantile members died in WWI. Three of them came from one junior eight which won at Henley in 1914, the last full season before the war. They were:

  • J W Cumberland
  • N C Nation
  • N Johnson

This crew obviously enjoyed their rowing and the company of each other. They had won the maiden eight double at Upper Yarra and Albert Park Lake Regattas in the previous season and had kept together through winter to race at the junior level. Henley regatta in those days was not only then first regatta of the season in late October, but also the biggest and most prestigious regatta. They were the next generation of senior oarsmen who were lost to the Club in WWI. In the 1921-22, three new fours were named in their honour.

JW Cumberland, known as William, was the last Mercantile member to die in this conflict, only months before the Armistice. He was a popular Club member. He was a member of the Committee and, for a short period before enlistment, was acting Vice-Captain. He won the Points Trophy for the most successful oarsman in the 1913-14 season.

William Cumberland was a clerk at WD & HO Wills (Australia) Ltd and enlisted 20th December 1915. He lived at 175 Lee Street North Carlton. Four months later on 4th April 1916, he travelled to Egypt on the Euripides and disembarked at Suez on 12th May 1916. He was transferred to the British Expeditionary Force which embarked from Alexandria later that month for France.

His great leadership qualities were soon recognized being promoted in the field to Lance Corporal on 3rd August 1916, and then to Corporal on 27th October 1916, less than a year after enlistment. He suffered severe trench foot in the winter of 1916 which saw him transferred to England for treatment. This meant that he probably lost some parts of his foot for this to occur. Trench foot was an infection of the feet caused by cold, wet and insanitary conditions. By June 1917, he was classified as fit and returned to his Battalion. By September 1917 he was again promoted in the field to Lance Sergeant. But then later that month, he was wounded in action with a gun-shot to the chest. One can only assume that such a wound have most probably arisen from a frontal assault so common in WWI. It was so severe that he was sent back to England for treatment.

By January 1918, three months later, he was fit enough to return to war. On 17th June 1918 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, a significant bravery award. He was now a battle hardened and highly experienced soldier, a leader of men. He was in all respects a distinguished soldier. On 25th June 1918, he was promoted in the field to Sergeant. On 9th August 1918, he was wounded in action with gun-shot wounds to the leg and head. Such wounds again are consistent with another frontal assault on the enemy. He died the next day. He was buried in the Vignacourt British Cemetery in France. In a letter to his father in 1919 he was described as a brave and gallant soldier whose magnificent conduct in the field of battle has helped to earn Australian soldiers great fame.

Norman Nation was aged 27 and a half years old when he joined up in December 1915 at the recruiting office at Melbourne Town Hall. He was a relatively tall man for that time being a six footer but very light. He was the perfect build for a modern lightweight.

He was the only child of Charles and Phoebe Nation and was born in Sydney. In Melbourne, they lived in Armadale. He was listed variously as an accountant and a clerk in his working life and the army initially put him to work in Melbourne. He was promoted to corporal on 16th April 1916. However as the war continued on, reinforcements were needed. On 1st August 1916, he departed Melbourne for France. He returned to the rank of private and joined the front line soldiering in France with 24th Battalion. He was rapidly promoted to lance corporal in February 1917 and on 11th May 1917 promoted to Second Lieutenant as a temporary Commission of the British Army. To be promoted in the field to an officer obviously indicates a man of leadership skills.

The lifespan of front line officers in WWI on the Western Front was short, akin to the lifespan of WWII bomber pilots. He died in the attack on Daisy Wood on 9th October 1917, the first stages of the Passchendaele battle. He was shot in the head from sniper fire. The whole operation was a disaster with Norman’s 24th Battalion suffering the worst casualties with 9 officers and 104 men listed as casualties. Lieutenant Norman Nation, together with Captain Williams and Lieutenant Pickett advanced into enemy fire to bomb the German positions. They led this dangerous task from the front. It was an act of great courage, valour and leadership.

Norman was buried by a party from his Battalion on the day of his death near Polygon Wood, approximately 500m NE of Broodseinde. His body was found and reinterred into the Tyne Cot British Cemetery at Passchendaele in 1921.

Members who served in WWII

  • J. B. Ainslie
  • A. H. Atkins
  • J. P. Appleby
  • M. Bailey
  • N. Balfe
  • E. H. Barkley (K)
  • E. R. Barnfather (K)
  • W. Belltowers (K)
  • M. Bernstein
  • H. F. Bethune
  • B. C. Bickerstaff
  • H. A. Bickerstaff
  • P. A. Black (KA)
  • A. R. Bligh
  • B. F. Bourke
  • V. Bourne
  • H. P. Braddock
  • K. A. Braithwaite (PW)
  • R. Brewin (K)
  • D. C. L. Brooke
  • R. J. Bucirde
  • G. J. Bussell (PW)
  • N. W. Cairnes
  • D. A. Calder
  • T. J. Campbell
  • B. C. Chandler
  • J. W. Chitty
  • J. H. P. Clark
  • A. H. G. Clarke D.F.C.
  • J. B. Clemens
  • N. Coade
  • G. H. Cole
  • D. D. Cook (K)
  • K. N. Cooper
  • J. B. Craig
  • A. Cripps
  • G. H. Davey
  • G. A. T. Davies (K)
  • A. Dickens
  • H. O. Dietrich
  • A.W. Dobbie (PW)
  • C. B. Duncan
  • H. Edwards
  • G. J. Epstein
  • J. M. Ferguson
  • R. Ferguson
  • J. M. Fletcher
  • B. J. Fogarty
  • D. Fox-Lane
  • D. H. Fraser
  • R. M. Gartley
  • V. C. Galvin
  • R. J. Gibson
  • B. L. Grabham
  • W. L. Gray
  • C. J. Gregory
  • G. J. Harrison
  • C. M. Harry
  • G. T. Hastie (PW)
  • W. C. Haworth
  • P. Hemming
  • W. M. Henty (K)
  • J. T. Hill
  • L. Hill
  • G. V. Hiller
  • D. F. Hogan
  • B. M. Holmes
  • G.J. Horder D.C.M. (PW)
  • C. S. Huntley
  • R. B. Irving
  • B. Johnson
  • R. Johnson
  • E. J. Jones
  • J. McD. Jones
  • P. Kerr
  • N. Kerrigan (PW)
  • L. C. Kirsch
  • J. Lee
  • A. Levy
  • G. A. Lind (K)
  • D. Long
  • F. W. Lyons
  • N. K. Mackey
  • A. Macpherson
  • D. M. Macrae
  • F. A. Macrae
  • S. C. Macrae (KA)
  • J. F. Major (PW)
  • K. Mander
  • E. W. Marsh
  • W. Matheson (K)
  • R. F. McDonald
  • R. W. McDonald (K)
  • J. J. McFarlane
  • D. B. McLean
  • W. K. McLennan
  • I. W. McVilly
  • A. R. Meakin
  • J. W. Mirams
  • J. B. Mitchell
  • J. T. Mitchell
  • L. L. B. Moll
  • K. Mollard
  • R. T. Morell
  • D. Morgan
  • W. Morrison
  • J. Neill
  • J. S. Neill
  • C. R. Nethercote (K)
  • F. Newport
  • C. J. Nicholls
  • J. O'Halloran
  • L. D. Orbuck (K)
  • R. A. Parrett
  • J. Peppard
  • H. M. Ponsford
  • K. Pope
  • J. Radcliffe
  • A. F. Rasleigh
  • C. F. Raven (PW)
  • J. M. Reid
  • J. Rees
  • S. G. Richardson
  • R. H. Richardson
  • W. Rigby
  • J. N. Robertson
  • A. T. Rorke
  • A. Rose
  • W. G. Ross D.F.C.
  • A. G. Rosser
  • P. Rowe
  • T. Rowley (PW)
  • T. W. Roxburgh
  • S. O. Sanderson
  • R. B. Schofield (PW)
  • D. Seal
  • J. W. Seamen
  • O. S. Sharpe
  • H. P. Shears
  • W. B. Shears
  • G. K. Sheppard
  • G. M. Sheppard
  • C. L. Shoppe
  • D. C. S. Sissons
  • A. Sloss
  • W. H. R. Smith (K)
  • H. T. Spencer (PW)
  • J. Spooner
  • G. J. Stewart
  • G. Stooke
  • T. B. Stooke
  • D. S. Stirling (PW)
  • G. Story
  • J. L. Stubley
  • R. J. Y. Syme
  • J. Thomas
  • R. W. Thursfield
  • W. A. Trickett
  • W. J. Tulloch
  • W. R. Turnbull
  • P. W. Vanderkelen
  • H. Volk
  • W. Wadey
  • C. H. M. Ward
  • J. M. Ward
  • H. Watsford
  • N. P. Watson
  • G. H. Webster
  • W. H. Weekes
  • L. B. Weire
  • P. V. Wharton
  • D. C. White
  • F. N. White (K)
  • J. Wicks (PW)
  • C. V. Wilkinson
  • D. Williams
  • L. E. R. Williams
  • R. Wilson

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