Sunday, March 20, 2011

Keith Anderson's "Record of Service"

I was able to get a copy of Anderson's "Record of Service" from the nice people at the AWM. We also know that Keith Anderson was born in Perth on the 6th of July 1898.

Anderson joined the Royal Flying Corps on the 11th of April 1917.

Before that in Cape Provincial Educational Office and was living at :
2 Wightown Villas, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa. (since discovered that there was most likely an address mistake..Should be 2 Wigtown Villas, Green Point, Cape Town). The 'H' on the Quirky keyboard is next to the 'G' and this may account for the mistake. Also, Google Maps shows an address matching Wigtown and the photo shows a brick house of the 1910's period that has had a upper floor added. 

At this point in time Anderson was 18 years old.
Keith Anderson was posted to 2 Offices Cadet Wing on the 11th on April 1917.

Keith Anderson was then posted to No. 2 School of Aeronautics on 27th of July.

Keith Anderson was appointed as 2nd Lt (on probation) R.F.C. on the 30th of August 1917.

His next posting was 89 sqn on 28th of September 1917.

Then he was promoted to Flying officer on the 14th of December 1917.

Keith Anderson was posted to 73 sqn in France on the 24th February 1918.(he would have been 19 years old by then and going to war).

Keith Anderson was Transfered as a Lieutanent to the newly formed Royal Air Force on the 1st of April 1918.

Anderson was posted to the "Home Establishment" on the 6th of April 1918.

Anderson found himself posted to No. 14 Training Depot on the 6th of June 1918.

Anderson was then posted to No. 1 Fighting School on the 10th of August 1918.

His posting was to the "Independant Force France" the 23rd of October 1918.

The Armistice came into affect on the 11th of  November 1918 which affectivly ment that Anderson didn't have a job anymore.

Anderson was then posted to No. 32 Training Depot Station on the 5th of December 1918.

Anderson was then posted to No. 2 Training Depot Station on the 5th of February 1919.

Anderson's next posting was to the Repatriation Camp, Blandford on the 5th of May 1919.

Anderson then finds himself transfered to the "Unemployed List" on the 6th of October 1919 aged 21.

Lt. Keith Vincent Anderson Relinquished his Commission on the 1st of September 1921. He was permitted to retain his rank.

Anderson in WW1

So what did Keith Anderson do during World War 1? In order to answer this question we need to find his diary, pilot's log book, so we contacted the Mossman RSL for any information that they might have because they were involved with Anderson's funeral in 1929. However they were unable to provide any useful information. I used the internet to research the Imperial War Museum and the UK National  Archives in London but this was a dead end. We spoke to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on two occasions without any success. After hours of research on the AWM website we found a minor referance to his name and rang the research departmant for more information. There was some information in the private collection that is only avalible to see in person as there may be copyright issues. The research staff were fantastic. They went out of their way to search for the unknown document which turned out to be Anderson's "record of service". His birthdate, his name and his referance to 73 sqn match perfectly and we can be confidant that this is the same person. The AWM staff  sent a copy of his "record of service" via email as it was not copyright. This document is a goldmine of information and tells his us a story about his wartime adventures.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finding Anderson's Birthday

So we have been trying to find out Keith Anderson's birthday for a long, long time because none of the records show his birthday, not even his grave. I tried the NSW births, deaths, and marriages records and it showed me nothing, so then i tried the WA births, deaths, and marriages records which revealed his birthplace as Perth WA, registration number 35021898. His fathers name was Sidney Jerrold Anderson and his mothers name was Constance Willdridge. The record only showed his birth year which was 1898. We rang the WA births, deaths, and marriages department (1300 305 021) and they helped us look up his records on a micro film. They rang back the next day to tell me that Keith Anderson was born on the 6th of July 1898. Now comes the AMAZING part which was that he was buried the same day as his birthday only 31 years later on the 6th of July 1929. He died very young, he was only 30yrs and 9 months, he died on the 12 April 1929!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Looking for Keith Anderson's fience (Bon Hilliard)

So I have said some stuff about Keith Anderson's fience and you are probably wondering who that is well I will explain. Well you see we were looking through Peter Fitzsimons' book and it told us that Keith Anderson's fience said in her will that when she died she wanted her ashes spread over Keith Anderson's grave by plane, but Mossman Council refused to do that so I thought that we should make her wish come true and we should do that and the first thing we had to do was find out information on where she was.

So firstly I looked up births, deaths, and marriages, typed in "Tate" because that was her married name to her late husband Thomas (he died after 11yrs of married life) and we found that she got married to him in 1935 and her name was not really Bon Hilliard it was in fact "Lyal Maud Hilliard". Now that we know this information we could look at the "Ryerson" death index. So then I looked up Ryerson death notices which told me that there was a notice placed in the Sydney Morning Herald in June of 1982. Then we rang the Sydney Morning Herald which has a department that will search their advertised death notices for you. A day or so later the death notice was emailed to me which confermed her identity but stated she was privately cremated (location unknown). My father rang the Northern Suburbs Crematorium (being closeto Mossman) where a search of their records revealed that Lyal Tate's (Bon Hilliard's) ashes had been scattered amongst the rose bushes in the South garden.

We plan to visit Bon Hilliard and collect some roses and spread them over Keith Anderson's grave as a tribute to their undying love. We dont know where Thomas Tate is, but its interesting that Bon wanted to rest with Keith Anderson. She must have been overjoyed when Dick Smith gave her the telgram she sent keith Anderson just before he died, confirming her undying love for him. How amazing is that! We should never forget such stories of bravery, passion and emotion.