Yass & District Museum
Yass NSW 2582
Fifteen kilometres to the south-west of Yass on the Euralie Road stands the mailbox for Euralie homestead. Some 100 metres due west is the site of the long vanished Euralie school, once the centre of a tiny rural community.
In July 1918 this community gathered to unveil their honour roll. This was generally the preserve of dignitaries, but on this occasion, a five-year-old child, Amelia ‘Mary’ McGrath performed this duty. Two photographs show Mary dressed in a white uniform with a red cross and a cap that, eighty years later, she recalled being fashioned from one of her father’s handkerchiefs.
In August 1998, Mary Nicholas née McGrath recalled vivid memories of her fear that she might forget the verse she was to recite. She could still remember her lines:
It’s only a small piece of bunting,
It’s only a coloured rag,
Many have died for its honour,
And shed their best blood for the flag.
The honour roll, bearing the inscription ‘Greater Love Hath No Man Than This, That A Man Lay Down His Life For His Friends’, originally listed eight names. Naïve, hand-drawn illustrations of an Australian infantryman and light horseman, with intertwined British and Australian flags signifying the close links with Britain, added visual interest to the roll. Four more names were added later.
Of the twelve men listed, only Cecil Mares remains a mystery. Their average age was twenty-one years and all enlisted between December 1914 and April 1916. Two men lost their lives. Clement McGrath was among the first soldiers of the AIF to be killed on the Western Front and Rupert Crew succumbed to illness in Egypt before reaching a battlefield. Eight of the men were wounded and six were discharged ‘medically unfit’. Lance Corporal Thomas Patrick Goggin’s Military Medal was the only bravery decoration awarded to any of the men on the roll.
After the school closed, the honour roll found its way to nearby Euralie homestead, the principal property in the area, where it remained as the last tangible link to the Euralie residents during the Great War until it was donated to the Yass and District Historical Society in the late 1990s.
Service file of Private Clement Joseph McGrath of the 18th Battalion:
Service file of Private Rupert James Crew, 4th Battalion:
Service file of Lance Corporal Leonard Benjamin Audubon, 55th Battalion:
We have not forgotten: Yass & Districts War 1914–1918, Cheryl Mongan & Richard Reid, Yass, 1998
Euralie Honour Roll, Cheryl Mongan, Yass, 2015.
Yass & District Historical Society
Phone: 02 6226 4966