July 1916: Answering the call.

Horace 1894 and George 1896  Emily and James’ youngest children, possibly born on Long Island under the care of Mrs Burgess as elder sister Dolly was born there.

August 1914 the start of WWI, a few months earlier Horace was George were celebrating St Barnabas Day.

20 May 1915 – Jimmy Holt’s nephew Harold John Holt 22, son of William, joins the AIF, a Gunner 14th Field Artillery Brigade and honourably discharged 10/11/1919, reading Harold’s file tells us he spent time in Gallipoli, Lemnos, Dardanelles………..amazing!!! Harold John Holt

5 January 1916 – Emily Holt’s nephew James Willett 22 son of James and Fanny joins the AIF – having only recently discovered the Willett’s and the connection to the Collis and Robinson family when linking to mapping our ANZAC did James Willett click. I recall reading the list in 2011, recognising other old Island names, Willett didn’t mean anything at the time, it sure does now. April 20 Insert 4

21 July 1916 –  Horace 22 and George almost 20 sign up to join the Australian Imperial Force  in the footsteps of other lads from Flinders and Cape Barren Island.

With them is close family friend Daniel Thomas Bowman – Dan’s sister Tot, and George were sweethearts. scan0069

Emily and James handsome sons!! IMG_5578 These photo’s taken in Launceston by Burrows and Co. This photo of George is from the family collection but you can also see it in the in the Weekly Courier 1917  link 25 April 2011 the day I was introduced to the Mapping our ANZAC website (courtesy of my son in-law Chris his ANZAC day address at the end) and so inspired this history journey. Firstly I noticed – Horace and George’s physical characteristics on enlistment were same, I read to Dad, George was the same height as his father 5 feet 10 inches, Horace was 10 pounds heavier, his chest measurement slightly larger, both had fair complexion, blue eyes and sandy hair,  Dad said  ‘Dad and my Uncles always said George was the tallest in the family, he was 6 ft tall’,  for a brief minute I wished I hadn’t mentioned. I didn’t want to be responsible challenging family history about this……… then if I hadn’t we wouldn’t have known this particular story. I finally concluded after a little reflection, this was exactly the sort of history we needed to know, guiding us to understand how the Robinson family revered George, the baby of the family, their hero. Hopefully Dad still believes his Father and Uncles were correct, somehow the medico misread the measurements, and that suits me too!! 14 August 1916 – Horace was discharged on the grounds of being medically unfit. He would have returned home to his family after an emotional farewell with his baby brother, and so begins our George’s journey!

4 thoughts on “July 1916: Answering the call.

  1. Thank you for capturing this family detail. I am Harold John Holt’s grandson, Lyle Holt. To continue the theme of family service, Harold had five children (four boys). His eldest Patrick Joseph served in WWII with the 2-40th Infantry Division, HQ 3 Platoon; he was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and survived 3 years in the Pakan Baroe PoW camps on Java before liberation. He died in Hobart in 1970. Walter Harold served in the 31 Company Unit in Tasmania. My father, Lyle Snr, served in HMAS Anzac during the Korean War. Our family tradition continues!

    Keep up your great work memorialising the Robinson/Collis/Holt family. I look forward to reading more about the proposed trip to Belgium to honour George’s death. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar for Harold Holt.

    • Hello Lyle – thank you for your reply – we certainly have an interesting family history!!
      I know there is a photo of Harold John Holt in your family and I have resisted in adding the one I know of to GravesecretsWW1 by Faithe Jones – it would be great if you could do this as Harold’s close family member…. I have recently added George Collis and Grandfather Horace.
      James and Emily have 3 descendants currently in the ADF, yes the tradition continues.

      • To add another leaf to our family tree of military tradition. My father Tasman Archie Holt served in Borneo during WWII. I served in the WRANS 1968-1972.

      • Thank you Gaye, we are collecting quite an interesting military history from George Collis and Harold John WWI to our three current serving family members across the three ADF services. The WRAN has caught my interest, another female in the family with Maritime connections!!

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