Captain Joseph Lalor, 12th Battalion AIF, grandson of Peter Lalor of Eureka fame, killed in action, 25 April 1915. [Western Mail, 14 May 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Captain Joseph Peter Lalor
12th Battalion AIF
Special Memorial 4
Captain Joseph Peter Lalor, the Melbourne-born grandson of Peter Lalor, leader of the 1854 Eureka Stockade insurrection, is commemorated by a Special Memorial in Baby 700 Cemetery. A professional soldier, Captain Lalor had joined the Royal Navy, from which he later deserted. He then served in the French Foreign Legion in Algeria and in a South American revolution before joining the permanent military forces in Australia in August 1914. At 8.30am on 25 April 1915, Captain Lalor led his men in an advance up Baby 700. Against all regulations, he carried with him a treasured family sword, the hilt of which was wrapped in khaki cloth to prevent it glistening in the sun. Lalor dropped the sword at the The Nek where it was later retrieved by Lance Corporal Harry Freame. Baby 700 was won and lost twice during the day and at 3.30pm another attempt was made to retake it by moving across Malone’s Gully and attacking round the north shoulder. The story was told in the 12th Battalion’s history:
Lalor then moved forward on to the seaward slope of ‘Baby 700’ where the fighting was thickest. Although the mental strain and anxiety, which he had experienced since landing early in the morning had been enormous, he nevertheless rallied his men and, waving his arms, shouted, ‘Come on, the 12th’. The words had hardly passed his lips when he fell dead, and ‘the 12th’ (the last words he uttered) lost one of its most gallant and capable officers.
[L M Newton, The story of the Twelfth, a Record of the 12th Battalion, AIF, during the Great War of 1914-1918, Hobart, 1925, p.73]
Special memorial of Captain Joseph Lalor, 12th Battalion AIF, Baby 700 Cemetery. [DVA] ... Enlarge photo
Later, at dusk, Lance Corporal Freame lost Lalor’s sword in the confusion of the battle. Captain Lalor’s death was, in the words of the battalion history:
… a severe blow to his men with him at the time, as it was to his whole company when they afterwards reformed. Although small of stature, Little Jimmy’s’ heart was large, whilst his vitality was almost inexhaustible.
[L M Newton, The story of the Twelfth, a Record of the 12th Battalion, AIF during the Great War of 1914-1918, Hobart, 1925, p.92]
The epitaph chosen for Captain Lalor’s Special Memorial is a quotation of the Roman poet Horace:
Dulce Et Decorum Est
Pro Patria Mori
[It is sweet and proper to die for one's country.]
Lord Thou Knowest Best
Captain Lalor was survived by his widow, Hester, and infant son, Peter, who during World War II served as a parachutist with the 4th Brigade Parachute Brigade attached to the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (UK). Twenty-eight-year old Rifleman Lalor died on 11 September 1943 following the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland and is buried in the Bari War Cemetery, Italy.
Private Frank Henry Burton Adcock, 11th Battalion AIF, killed in action, 25 April 1915. [Western Mail, 23 July 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Private Frank Henry Burton Adcock
11th Battalion AIF
Row D, Grave 24
The grave of twenty-four-year old Private Frank Henry Adcock recalls a double tragedy. He and his younger brother, Private Frederick Brenchly Adcock, landed on the Gallipoli as part of the 970-man strong 11th Battalion on 25 April 1915. During the first five days of heavy fighting to maintain the Anzac position, the battalion suffered 378 casualties, 154 of whom were missing. Included in this number were the Adcock brothers. Official historian Charles Bean wrote:
Of the missing a proportion were found afterwards to have been sent away without any record being kept. The rest were dead.
Private Frederick Benchley Adcock, 11th Battalion AIF, commemorated on Lone Pine Memorial. [Western Mail 23 July 1915] ... Enlarge photo
For a year, the hopes of their mother, Mrs Charlotte Adcock, of Acacia Farm, Collie Burn, Western Australia, were kept alive by reports, official and otherwise, of her sons being wounded and hospitalised in Alexandria, Egypt and England. In April 1916 a Court of Enquiry found that the brothers had been killed in action on 25 April 1915 and Mrs Adcock was then officially advised of the death of her sons. The remains of Private Frank Adcock were located after the war and re-interred in Baby 700 Cemetery. His mother chose his epitaph:
My Truth Is A Sword
The remains of twenty-one-year-old Private Frederick Adcock were never located and his name appears on the Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing.
Sergeant Edric Doyle Kidson, 12th Battalion, and his brother Noel Doyle Kidson, 10th Light Horse Regiment, both of Perth, Western Australia. [Western Mail, 25 June 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Sergeant Edric Doyle Kidson,
12th Battalion, AIF
Special Memorial 3
Such was the confusion of the early days on Gallipoli that some men were not officially reported missing until several days after the 25 April landing. Among them was twenty-two year old Sergeant Edric Kidson, son of Charles Barclay Kidson, Sergeant-at-Arms in the Western Australia Parliament, and his poet wife, May, née Doyle, who had enlisted at Blackboy Hill, Western Australia in September 1914.
Special Memorial for Sergeant Edric Doyle Kidson, 12th Battalion, AIF, Baby 700 Cemetery. [DVA]s ... Enlarge photo
Conflicting reports as to Sergeant Kidson’s whereabouts reached his wife, Elizabeth and his parents, by various means over the ensuing months after the landing. This raised hopes that he was wounded but alive and receiving treatment in Egypt or a prisoner of war in Constantinople [Istanbul]. In June 1916 a Board of Inquiry concluded that the preliminary finding of ‘missing believed killed’ be altered to ‘killed in action’ on 25 April 1915.
The 12th Battalion had landed just after 4.30 a.m. and, in the words of Private Arthur Wisely of the battalion’s D Coy,
- The Turks were all over us and around us too – just like rabbits out of holes – and in gullies all over the place. Sergeant Kidson was seen on the top of the hill, and then disappeared completely, and no one ever saw him again.
[Personal dossier Edric Doyle Kidson Serries B2455, National Archives of Australia]
His wife asked that his service medals be given to his mother who requested a lengthy epitaph for his Special Memorial next to that of Captain Joseph Lalor. The inscription was subsequently shortened to:
Reached the farthest objective,
Till the dawn break and shadows flee
His only brother, Sergeant Noel Doyle Kidson, 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment, was wounded at Gallipoli, invalided to Australia in January 1916, and, in his father’s words, was ‘much wrecked’.