For parents to farewell their 4 sons off to fight for Australia in World War 1, a parent can only begin to imagine how frightening that was. Especially when they lived in the quiet outback area of South Australia. Here are a few of the newspaper clippings of the day…when they lived in Hawker in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, and the town farewelled the young men:
“HAWKER Dec 10 – A large country gathering of residents of Hawker and the district assembled in the Forester’s Hall, Hawker, last evening to bid farewell to Private Colin Reed, of the 2nd Reinforcements of the 32nd Infantry Battalion (3rd son of Mr and Mrs Francis P Reed) of Hawker.
Mr B Mansom presided. Appropriate speeches were made by Messrs B Mansom, HA Condon, TV Harnett, WJ Pyman and the Rev. CR Dadds (Methodist).
Each speaker congratulated Mr and Mrs Reed on having three sons going to fight for their king and Empire – Private Kenneth F Reed (the eldest son, who sailed about a month ago for the front). Private Colin Reed, and Private Thomas Reed (4th son now in camp at the Exhibition Buildings.)
Mr WJ Pyman on behalf of residents of Hawker and district, presented Private Reed with a purse of money. Mr. Mansom, on behalf of Private Reed, suitably replied. After the singing of the National Anthem and “God bless our men” ringing cheers were given for the Allies and for Private Reed and the and the hall was then cleared for dancing Messrs H A Condon and H Palmer were MC’s, and the music was supplied by Messrs Roy Gloede and Frank Prigent.”
[The Register (Adel, SA: 1901-1929)/Mon 13 Dec 1915/Page 7/The Country
KENNETH FEA REED
“Hawker, Oct 27 – There was a large gathering of residents in the institute on Sunday evening to bid farewell to Private Kenneth Fea, eldest son of Mr and Mrs Francis P Reed and Private James George Melville on the eve of their departure for the front.
Mr B Mansom, president. Speeches were delivered by Messrs B Mansom, HA Condon, TV Harnett, WG Wigell. WJ Pyman on behalf of the residents, presented Private Reed and Melville each with a purse of money. Mr and Mrs Reed have another son (Colin) in camp.”
[The Chronicle (Adel,SA: 1895-1954) Sat 6 Nov 1915/Page 43/Honoring Soldiers]
Thomas Hepburn REED
“HAWKER Feb 23 – A large gathering of residents of Hawker and district assembled in the local institute last evening to bid farewell to Private Thomas Hepburn Reed (15th Reinforcement of the 10th Battalion). Fourth son of Mr and Mrs Francis P Reed, of Hawker. Mr B Mansom presided. Lieutenant H Penhall (Salvation Army) and Corporal Frank Poole (Military Engineers) contributed songs and Miss E Malone acted as accompanist. Speeches were made by Messrs B Mansom, WP Reed, WJ Pyman and Lieutenant Penhall. The Chairman congratulated Mr and Mrs Reed in having three sons with the colours. Private Kenneth F Reed (eldest) and Private Colin Reed (third son) are both in Egypt. Mr Cameron Reed, the other son, is about to enlist. Mr WJ Pyman, on behalf of local residents, presented Private Reed with a purse of money. Mr Mansom (for Private Reed), replied.
Dancing followed. Mr HA Condon was MC and music was supplied by the Misses Ada and Cora McRae and Messrs Frank Prigent and WA Reed. Recruiting Sergeant Thompson approached a number of the male dancers with some success. There was a large gathering at the train this afternoon to bid farewell to Private Reed.”
[The Register (Adel,SA: 1901-1929) Fri 25 Feb 1916/Page 3/The Country]
Cameron Reed was the other eldest son, and he also apparently enlisted. However, I have not been able to come across any information other than the mention of a “4th son” who had enlisted. I will continue to search. So far, there seems to be no mention on the official War sites online.