Guest speaker Mrs Jo Hambrett -News from History Cottage

This month’s meeting on Saturday 13th November will be held in the Uniting Church, Galston, starting at 2.00 pm. COVID 19 health regulations will apply so all visitors will need to have evidence of full vaccination and to register.

Our Guest speaker will be, Mrs Jo Hambrett, who will tell the story of the Best family. They were the first Europeans to settle in the district and probably have the longest continual agricultural connection of any in New South Wales.

With Remembrance Day this month, the society chose, Walter Dumbrell, from its extensive WW1 research, to tell the story of a man born in Galston who served abroad.

He was born in 1883, to parents who settled on Halls Road, Galston, and at 17 was keen to join the 1899-1902 Boer War. Despite failing to obtain parental consent Walter Dumbrell worked his passage to Cape Town and enlisted there. He served one and a half years in that conflict.

On return to Australia, he married Grace Evans in 1913 in Queensland and was employed as a Police Constable at Many Peaks in the Boyne Valley south of Gladstone.

Armed with his war experience he enlisted from Rockhampton, Queensland in the AIF in September 1915 to serve in WW1 arriving in France to active duty during late 1916.

He was promoted to Sergeant in mid-1917 and attended training schools in England until March 1918. On his return to France during the defence of Amiens, he was killed by shell fire on 19 April 1918 at age 33 years.

His widow wrote to the army noting that although she had been told by a soldier of her husband’s death, and since the official army communication quoted an incorrect regimental number she hoped this applied to another Dumbrell in her husband’s unit.

However, Walter’s death was confirmed in May and she was given the official details of his death in September. The WW1 ended in November 1918 and she received a package of Walter’s personal effects in December.

By 1924 Grace had remarried and was living in Mt Morgan, Queensland. The Dumbrell family left the Halls Road property in December 1919.