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Tuesday, 10 May 2011
The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 15 February 1916, Account 1
Topic: BatzA - Liverpool

Australian Battles 

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 15 February 1916, Account 1

 

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 15 February 1916, Account 1

 

The following is the first account of many written in the Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 15 February 1916, page 9. The transcription is below.

 
SOLDIERS REFUSE TO DRILL.
TWO CAMPS IDLE.
HOTELS AND SHOPS WRECKED.
ONE MAN KILLED.
RIOTS AT LIVERPOOL AND SYDNEY.

At breakfast-time yesterday about 5000 troops of the Australian Imperial Forces, camped at Casula, near Liverpool, refused duty and demanded the retraction of a new training syllabus which had been issued that morning. When it was explained to them that the new syllabus was a camp order issued from headquarters, and could not be treated in that caviller fashion, almost the whole body of men marched out of the camp and on to the town of Liverpool. Arrived at Liverpool, the principal training camp of the Commonwealth, the men called to their colleagues there, and in a few minutes' time about 15,000 soldiers were on strike.

Led by a comparatively few irresponsible young privates, in some cases already half drunk, though the day had not long started, thousands of soldiers simply took possession of the trains from Liverpool, and subsequently wrecked business houses.

As darkness came over the city it was apparent that drastic steps would have to be taken to quell the riots. The entire organisation of the police force was got into operation, and word was sent to the military authorities to keep in readiness a huge body of troops to go to the assistance of the police if necessary. Colonel Ramaciotti at once responded, and by 5 o’clock at night the city was well picketed with both civil and military police and other troops.

The precaution of having the hotels of the city and near suburbs closed was taken early in the evening, and though this action was greeted with more or less violent demonstrations of disapproval, there can be no doubt that it was the means of obviating a great deal of trouble.

And all the trouble was for the sake of 4½ hours extra drill per week, which the men in camp were asked to do in order to get fit for the front, and for the assistance of their brave, worn-out comrades in the trenches. Under the old syllabus the men drilled for 36 hours per week. Under the new syllabus, the result of Inspector-General M’Cay's recent examination of the whole of the training system throughout the Commonwealth, the training time was extended slightly each day, and totalled 40½ hours per week. The Australian soldier is the best paid, best fed, and best equipped soldier in the world, yet these men object to work for 40½ hours per week.

In this connection the opinion of a large number of returned soldiers was much to the point. At the Soldiers' Club in the afternoon there foregathered many of our returned heroes. They were there with their medals and their ribbons - and their crutches. Several bodies of men who tried to take possession of the city passed. It was really refreshing to hear some of the war scarred heroes swear "That's the class of soldier who clears for his life at the sound of the first shell," said one "Growling at seven hours a day," said another. "We worked 14 and 10 hours a day, with full packs and rifles for those -." There were many more expressions of opinion of that type. But the best evidence of the attitude of the returned soldiers is supplied by the State Commandant, who said last night:- A very pleasing incident of today’s trouble was an offer made by 250 returned soldiers, who placed themselves at the disposal of the military authorities. They explained that they were disgusted at the behaviour of the men, who ought to be training to help those at the front, and who apparently have not realised what the obligations of a soldier are, or that this is a time of war."

Colonel Ramaciotti also explained that when the trouble arose at the camp the Camp Commandant, Colonel Miller, told the men frankly that their grievances would be inquired into, and that during the inquiry the old syllabus would be reverted to. It is perhaps only fair to point out that thousands of the men were absolutely dragooned into the meeting, and realised their position soon after reaching Sydney. Thousands of them retired quietly to their homes in the afternoon, and returned quietly to camp at night.

The military authorities have determined to deal firmly with the whole matter. The attitude of the Minister for Defence was announced by the State Commandant last night. It is clear and definite. All men are ordered to parade at 11 am today. Those who do not attend this parade, and who are unlawfully absent, will be summarily discharged from the AIF, and will not be re-instated, and their names will be published.

"The Minister will not deviate," went on Colonel Ramaciotti, "from the syllabus laid down That syllabus has been compiled by the highest military authority in Australia, with a view to meeting the necessity of having men trained with the least possible delay."

During the night a large number of arrests were made for offences which will come under the jurisdiction of the civil authorities. With these it is understood the military will not interfere, but their discharge with Ignominy from His Majesty's forces will be a foregone conclusion.

 

See

Gustav Mario RAMACIOTTI

James Whiteside McCAY

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour

Australian Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 15 February 1916, Account 1

Posted by Project Leader at 3:16 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2011 5:21 PM EADT
The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Stanley Reply, 24 August 1915
Topic: BatzA - Liverpool

Australian Battles 

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

Stanley Reply, 24 August 1915

 

Stanley Reply, 24 August 1915

 

The following response was written by Brigadier General John Stanley, Quartermaster General on the Military Board in response to the findings of Mr Justice Rich's Inquiry regarding the Liverpool Camp on 18 August 1915.

 

ROYAL COMMISSIONER'S RECOMMENDATIONS.


1. Camp Administration.

It is understood that the Adjutant General's Branch is submitting a general report under this heading.


2. Quartermaster’s Stores.

Regimental Quartermaster's Stores and necessary Assistants are in existence in all camps.


3. Armoury.

The recommendation as to establishing an armoury in Camp is not concurred in. All necessary repairs to rifles can be more efficiently carried out at the central armoury, and no material delay need occur in getting repairs promptly executed.


4. Rifles

Re rifles being issued to recruits third week after being in camp. As before mentioned, instructions were issued in this connection last April.


5. Public Houses.

I am prepared to concur with the Commissioner in the proposal that public houses throughout the Commonwealth should be closed to soldiers for the sale of liquor if he will go the length of making the prohibition general and thus include all civilians; but I fail to see any good and satisfactory reason why a soldier should be debarred from his ordinary civil privileges and liberties, and branded as an irresponsible being. In my opinion no surer deterrent to recruiting than the adoption of this recommendation could be suggested.


6. Lighting of Huts.

This is concurred in.


7. Kitchen Accommodation - Distribution of food. Mess Sheds and eating utensils -  

(a) Kitchens (e) Butchers' and cooks' implements (d) Means of cleansing utensils.
Instructions have been issued to comply with above recommendations.

(b) Trained cooks and medical inspection.
This is a part of the regular duty of those concerned.

(e)
Light Covered Carts for delivering food are not necessary.

(f) Dining Sheds with concrete floors.
Such accommodation has never been hitherto suggested in any camp of training and I do not personally consider that the circumstances warrant its being provided. It is, however, for the Minister to determine as to how far innovations of this order are to be introduced into camp life.


8. Hot Water Plunge Baths, etc.

The Chief of Ordnance will doubtless submit his views as to the proposal for providing hot water plunge bathe for over 30,000 men - a huge contract.


9. Airing and Disinfecting Blankets and Drying Clothes

Instructions have been issued accordingly.


10. Huts

Instructions have been issued for supply of mattresses as an authorized issue, and for the proper cleansing and disinfecting of the huts, though such should not have been necessary.


11 Latrines

Directions concerning latrines and urine tubs have been given.


12. 
(a) Plain Clothes Store; (b) Issues on arrival in Camp

(a) Instructions were given in October last that a store should be provided at all camps, vide A.I.F. Orders para 64.

(b) If some of the recommendations advanced by the Commissioner are to be put into practice in their entirety, it is clear that service ideas must to some extent be set aside, and methods and devices entirely new to the soldier's mind adopted. For instance "Upon arrival they (the recruited should be provided with a hot meal and immediately after their rations and equipment should be given to them". Surely the Commissioner does not propose that the balance of each man's daily allowance of meat, bread, tea, coffee, sugar, pepper, salt, etc. is to be handed to him to store away as best he cam as is understood to be the custom on out-back stations. In any case it would be quite impossible to make general issues of food and rations to individuals.


(c) Embarkation of troops at too early an hour

As troops are compelled to march for a considerable distance through the main thoroughfares of the city en route for embarkation, it has been found necessary in order to avoid the large crowds which assemble to see them away, to make a start before the street traffic becomes dense, otherwise interference with discipline and serious delays occur.


(d) Stocks in Ordnance Stores

With reference to the suggestions that Head-quarters should take action to ensure that the District Ordnance Store is fully stocked a month or two in advance with the full requirements of all forces to be raised and equipped in each District, it would appear that the Commissioner had failed to appreciate the situation in this connection, it being well within the knowledge even of the general public, that the resources of the Commonwealth have been taxed to the uttermost in order to make even "hand to mouth" supplies at all times available for troops as they enlisted, and relays of clothing and equipment for those serving abroad. No amount of "courage or determination" (to use the Commissioner's words) could prevail to overcome difficulties arising from shortages of output from factories which have been, and are, working day and night and on Sundays to fulfil defence requirements.  


(e)
The Finance Member will doubtless submit a report on this matter.


(f) and (g); Notices and lists in huts.

Instructions have been issued to carry out this recommendation.


(h)
This is a matter for the Adjutant General.


(i) Drafting Yard for Remounts

This matter will be investigated and a further report made.


Brigadier General John Stanley,
Quartermaster General

 

SeeStanley Letter, 24 August 1915

 

John STANLEY Military Biography

AIF Headquarters, 3rd Echelon, John STANLEY

 

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour

Australian Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Stanley Reply, 24 August 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 10:13 AM EADT
The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Stanley Letter, 24 August 1915
Topic: BatzA - Liverpool

Australian Battles 

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

Stanley Letter, 24 August 1915

 

Stanley Letter, 24 August 1915

 

The following letter was written by Brigadier General John Stanley, Quartermaster General on the Military Board in response to the findings of Mr Justice Rich's Inquiry regarding the Liverpool Camp in July 1915.

 

ROYAL COMMISSIONERS REPORT - LIVERPOOL CAMP.

Re above, the following remarks are submitted:-

In framing regulations for the governance of Camps of Training and prescribing scales of equipment, clothing, food and necessaries for Commonwealth troops , the Minister must accept some definite and recognized guiding principle, therefore the Imperial rules in this connection, designed and amended from time to time by a succession of officers with years of experience as to what is suitable and essential, have been adopted as a general guide.

Liberal increases to the Imperial Scale have been made in almost every direction with a view to increasing the comfort and well-being of the troops, and it would now be difficult to determine as to how far the Minister might be warranted in making any essential departures from the general lines upon which the Service Regulations have been enacted.

The British soldier in England is clothed, equipped, housed, fed, and cared for, strictly on the "hard and fast" set out in "Imperial Clothing, Equipment and Allowance Regulations for the Army"; and the Australian soldier after leaving these shores will be similarly dealt with.

In every detail the Australian soldier is better clothed, better fed, better paid, and better cared for than any troops, as far as it is known, in the world. Although some proportion of the soldiers in camp in Australia might miss many comforts to which they have been accustomed in their own homes yet the overwhelming majority are well satisfied with the conditions that obtain, and nearly all improve in health and condition after a few weeks of camp life.

It would almost appear that the Commissioner in framing his report had contemplated that Australia was a country possessed of unlimited resources in highly trained officers, men and material and that therefore very large bodies of troops could continue to be trained over indefinite periods.

Dealing with the various charges sereatim -


1. Clothing. etc.

That certain shortages of dungarees, underclothing and overcoats for recruits existed at the camp during the month of June is probably correct, but this was apparently due to faulty administration by the District Staff, as instructions concerning a full issue being made to all men on joining were given by the Central Administration months before-hand.


2. Bedding

It is stated in the report that "when the huts were first occupied the bedding only consisted of three blankets and a waterproof sheet, straw being sometimes not supplied, and bed-ticks for making the straw into mattresses were only supplied in June". In this connection it must be explained that all Australian allowances for the equipment of camps for the Expeditionary Forces are founded on the scales authorised for the regular troops in the British Army. The War Office scale for bedding for the army does not authorise the issue of any straw when waterproof sheets are supplied, unless the circumstances are very exceptional; and where wooden floors are available straw only is issued. Therefore in a less rigorous climate, Australian soldiers are much more comfortably cared for than in the British service. The Commonwealth issue is three blankets per man; British two.
It is understood that during one short period there was a temporary shortage of straw, none being available in the district. No report that a shortage existed was made to the Central Administration, otherwise steps could have been taken to make good deficiencies. Palliasses, which are not articles of authorised equipment, and for the supply of which the Department could not therefore accept actual responsibility, have been issued wherever they could be made available. Centralization, had it existed, could however, have overcome all bedding difficulties.


3. Rifles.

 Even if as is alleged it was found that there were insufficient rifles for instructional purposes, this is a question which, in my opinion, might well have been left alone under the existing conditions concerning stocks and output of rifles. Definite instructions were, however, issued in April last as follows and full issues should have been made accordingly:-
Men enrolled in the A.I.F. at depots should commence training with arms within 14 days of joining. For this some arms are necessary. By 4th, week of training every man should have his own rifle and be doing musketry. Commandants are responsible that this course is followed.

Pending the supply of latest pattern rifles to the Militia all Rifles, short, M.L.E., Mk. I and M.L.E. (long) will be issued to Light Horse and Infantry for training purposes.

Furthermore it should be brought to notice that the Rifle, short, M.L.E., Mk, I, referred to so disparagingly is actually of a later pattern than that with which the British Territorial troops are armed and fighting.

 As to the pronouncement "It was also proved that some of the rifles from Lithgow had become defective in certain parts" the Commissioner may be assured that it would have been a perfectly simple task for him to prove similar disabilities in a sufficient number of rifles of any other make.


4. Ammunition for training purposes etc.

If, as stated, it was admitted that there was lack of dummy ammunition such deficiency could have easily have been remedied locally or if necessary by application to Central Administration.


5. Centralization

The Commissioner's views concerning centralization are somewhat confusing - even bewildering.

Primarily it is stated "no doubt the system in substance does prevail" as evidenced by one instance wherein Doctor Schlinck said it took a month to get financial authority to erect shelter sheds (this allegation has not so far as is known ever been investigated or proved).

Let it, however, be for the moment assumed that centralization did exist (though it has been abundantly proved that Commandants of Districts have had an absolutely free band from the outset), surely there is only one remedy for, one alternative to, centralization, viz:- decentralization. Yet the Commissioner carefully refrains from recommending it.

What is wanted? Apparently centralization and decentralization are both equally undesirable.

It should, however, be made perfectly clear that any measure of centralization which may have existed at the time Sir Ian Hamilton submitted his report was absolutely abolished at the commencement of the War, and Commandants of Districts were given full powers to obtain all supplies by direct purchase without reference to Head-quarters.

It is not understood upon what evidence Mr. Justice Rich has found in his judgment that the faults he discovered were largely attributes to centralization in the Defence Department in Melbourne. Centralization in some kind must exist in Departments, business concerns, and Institutions of all descriptions. The Commissioner was definitely and conclusively informed that in so far as the Quartermaster General's Branch was concerned no centralization existed except a beneficent one, which enabled the Central Administration at Head-quarters to make provision by transferring supplies from one District to another where failure in deliveries by Contractors had brought about shortage.

 By special war letter published on 6th August, 1914, Commandants were given authority to purchase any article of clothing, equipment, and general stores required for the Australian Imperial Force.

In consequence of certain revelations in connection with orders placed by Districts, this power was on the 16th April last curtailed to the extent that District Commandants were authorized to purchase any articles urgently required if time did not admit of reference to Head-quarters for approval. As illustrating the plenitude of these powers there has never been a single instance to date when the Commandant, New South Wales, has found it necessary to submit any such application to Head-quarters.

With regard to the evidence which it is stated clearly establishes that supplies of clothing, uniforms, overcoats and bedding were, particularly during the month of July, were wholly inadequate, such shortages had they existed to any extent could not in any way be attributable to the effects of centralization. On the 11th March last authority was given to all Districts to issue to troops, on the approach of Winter, one greatcoat and one cardigan jacket, in addition to the underclothing, etc. previously authorised.

On the same date District Commandants were informed that it had been represented that members of the Australian Imperial Force who had been drafted from Depots into units and reinforcements had been kept waiting, in some cases until a few days before embarkation, for their issue of uniform. Instructions were issued that such arrangements were to be made as would ensure that at least one complete outfit would be issued to members of the Australian Imperial Force as soon as they were definitely allotted to units or reinforcements.

Similarly with regard to the statement that recruits had sometimes to wait several weeks before being supplied with dungaree suits, overcoats, underclothing, cardigan jackets and proper bedding, any shortage must have been solely due to faulty District Administration particularly in regard to supply of overcoats, cardigan jackets and dungarees, which articles Head-quarters had definitely ordered should be issued to all troops on joining.

On the 12th. April last the Commandant, 2nd. Military District was instructed by lettergram that in view of the approach of winter and the need of a change of clothing, approval was given for the issue of a second dungaree suit to all members of the Australian Imperial Force not then issued with uniform. It was ascertained by the quartermaster General whilst in Sydney that no action had been taken in the 2nd. Military District to carry out the provisions of this lettergram.

It has been ascertained that on the 25th. June, the date on which the Senior Ordnance Officer reported that his stock of greatcoats would not admit of issues being made to Depot troops having in mind the requirements of the members of the Australian Imperial Force allotted to units, there were at Ordnance Stores, Sydney, over 6,000 greatcoats. Stocktaking sheets also show that on the 31st May last Ordnance stocks were not exhausted in any important article of clothing. On the date mentioned there were on hand in the principal items;- Greatcoats 3300, Dungarees 2160, Drawers 11200, Cardigan Jackets 870, Socks prs 14,870.


6. Lack of Initiative.

It is difficult to follow the Commissioner in his conclusion that the system which prevailed before the War of referring a number of petty details to Head-quarters had the effect of paralysing the initiative of the officers. Surely all healthy and ordinarily intelligent human beings may reasonably be expected to recover from any form of mental paralysis in twelve months. To state that War Letter 81 failed in its object because the officers either shirked their responsibility or were incapable of successfully executing larger powers is a very grave indictment and it is for the Minister to consider whether the Commissioner should not be requested to be more definite concerning accusations against certain officers which only afford them the alternative of being branded either as shirkers of their official responsibilities or as being incompetent for their positions.

Brigadier General John Stanley,
Quartermaster General

Seen

Senator George F Pearce

 

See:  Stanley Reply, 24 August 1915

 

John STANLEY Military Biography

AIF Headquarters, 3rd Echelon, John STANLEY

 

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour

Australian Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Stanley Letter, 24 August 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 8:16 AM EADT
Monday, 9 May 2011
The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Irving Letter, 19 July 1915
Topic: BatzA - Liverpool

Australian Battles 

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

Contents

 


 

 

 

(M.O.3)
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

MINUTE PAPER. AIF 245/1/329

(This side only to be written on.)

SUBJECT SALE OF LIQUOR TO MEMBERS OF A.I.F. FORCES WHILE INTOXICATED.

Secretary,
1. It is presumed that the decision of the police not to prosecute in these cases is based on inability to substantiate the statements in the reports attached to this file; for these statements, if they could be proved, would be evidence that soldiers were in a hotel drunk and drinking and this would be sufficient for a conviction of the licensee.

2. The present case however has brought to notice the precise nature of the provisions of Queensland law as to supply of liquor.

3. The Liquor Act 1912 of Queensland provides for prosecution of a licensee who self liquor to a person already drunk, but not for prosecution in case of a sale to a person not drunk at the time of the sale but who becomes drunk in consequence of drinking the liquor sold to him.

4. The law in Tasmania is similar and the laws in the other States may be the same.
5. Para. 9 of the War Precautions Instructions requires Commandants to report to the police, wlth a view to action against the licensee under State licensing laws, all cases of drunkenness among troops which can be traced to the purchase of liquor in a licensed house.

6. Action can only be taken by the police, at all events In queensland and in Tasmania, in cases of sale to a soldier already drunk; consequently Para. 9 of the War Precautions Instructions is ineffective, as to Queensland and Tasmania at all events, unlees it can be proved that a soldier was both drunk and drinking. Many cases of drunkenness will probably occur in which the soldier was not drunk at the time of the sale, but under the present instructions no action can be taken against the licensee.


GGH Irving, Colonel
Chief of the General Staff
19/7/1915

Secretary

Chief of the General Staff. Do you recommend any alteration of War Precautions Instructions?

Senator George F Pearce
26/7/15

 

Godfrey George Howy IRVING Military Biography

AIF Headquarters, 3rd Echelon, Godfrey George Howy IRVING

 

 

War Diaries and Letters

All War Diaries and letters cited on this site should be read in conjunction with the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy which may be accessed at:

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, War Diaries and Letters, Site Transcription Policy 

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour

Australian Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Irving Letter,  19 July 1915

Posted by Project Leader at 8:02 PM EADT
Thursday, 5 May 2011
The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Contents
Topic: BatzA - Liverpool

Australian Battles 

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

Contents

 

Items

Outline

Outline

 

Reports

Liverpool Military Camp Site Committee Report, 13 December 1915

 

Letters

Humphris Letter, 25 September 1915

Ashford Letter, 15 February 1916

 

Newspapers


 

 

Roll of Honour

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour
Lest We Forget 

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916

The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Roll of Honour

Australian Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Central Station, New South Wales, 14 February 1916, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 1:07 PM EADT
Updated: Friday, 6 May 2011 7:29 AM EADT

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