The 1916 Conscription Referendum is looming – 100 years ago

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Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 30 September 1916, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

, Machine Gun Section, son of Mrs. J. H. Walker, of Queanbeyan, and brother of Mr. Leo Walker of this town, has been reported killed in action in France. Before enlisting he was a school teacher in the Government Service.

MENINGITIS – On Wednesday morning last a young child of Mr. And Mrs. C. Jones, of Bateman’s Bay North, died from meningitis. Before death occurred Dr. Quilter had the house quarantined.

PILOT COTTAGES – The Government has decided to sell the two cottages erected not very long since for the two Pilot men, whose services have now been dispensed with. The sale is advertised to take place at the Court House, Moruya, on 10th October, at 11 a.m.

Pilot Station, Moruya c.1917
Pilot Station, Moruya c.1917

SHIPPING – Owing to the silting up of the Moruya River bar Allen Taylor’s cargo steamer “Narani,” which came up to the wharf on Thursday of last week and took on board a load of logs for Narooma, could not cross out until Tuesday, and the local steamer, “Bodalla,” which arrived here on Friday of last week could not clear the bar with cargo of produce and live stock for Sydney until the same day from the same cause, altho’ Captain Basclain made several attempts to do so. If the heavy rains, which are falling as we go to press, continue, a rise in the river is inevitable, which will cause a change at the entrance either for better or for worse. The sooner the dredge Antleon is got round from Narooma and gets to work on this bar the better it will be for the district.


DEATH – On Wednesday last there passed away to the Great Beyond an old and respected resident of the district in the person of Mrs. Thomas Batt, senr., of Mantle Hill, after a long illness which was borne with Christian resignation. The late Mrs. Batt was a fine stamp of our woman pioneers, robust and jolly, with an attractive appearance and fascinating mannerism. The deceased leaves a husband and five children, all grown up, viz., two sons, Charles Batt (New Zealand) and Thomas Batt (Moruya), and three daughters, Medames Alt (Sydney), Webber (Queensland), and Miss Maud Batt (Sydney), to all of whom we extend our deepest sympathy.

CONSCRIPTION – One of the most important public meetings ever called together in Moruya is convened by the President of the Eurobodalla Shire Council for next Tuesday night, the 3rd of October, to take place in the Shire Hall at 7.30 p.m. The meeting will be asked to deal with the matter of the forthcoming Referendum on the question of the introduction of the system of Conscription into Australia. We trust that the public, realising the gravity of the present frightful war and the seriousness of our lovely country being brought under German domination, will crowd the hall to overflowing.



– That Private Ernest Taylor, son of Mr. John Taylor, late of Mullenderree, Moruya, after serving twelve months in the firing line, is now having a holiday in England on leave.
– That the river fish were biting very freely on Sunday last, as a party of two landed 30 flathead and another small party got a good haul of flathead and flounder at the same time and place, near the heads.
– That Private Ray Bishop, son of Mrs. W. Bishop of Eurobodalla, who was reported missing a week or two ago, is now reported to be a prisoner of war.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 12.48.31 pm
Private Raymond Charles BISHOP. Ray Bishop was killed at the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

BODALLA – (From our Correspondent.)

– Splendid rain has fallen and still continues, and Mr. Hutchison has lost the anxious expression he has worn for some time, as a result of the long dry spell.
– The head teacher Mr. Hogan and family, and assistant, Mr. H. Head, are spending the Michaelmas vacation among the rabbits and schnapper at Potato Point.
– Hellier and Shinnick’s pictures showed to a fair house last evening, Master Melvie Williams, of local fame acting as pianist.


Seventeen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1915 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (



One response to “The 1916 Conscription Referendum is looming – 100 years ago”

  1. Nicholas Dettmann Avatar
    Nicholas Dettmann

    Is anything known about the late Mrs Thomas Batt’s “fascinating mannerism”? Please don’t leave us in suspense.

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