Benjamin Baxter dead at 75 years


WE are compelled to hold over a number of items of news till our next issue, owing to pressure on our space.


MR Sheridan received the welcome news on Monday, by cable, from his son Percy, from the front, dated June 24th, that he was quite well.


WE call special attention to an advertisement in another column in connection with the Recruiting movement. It will be seen that energetic action has been taken since the preliminary public meeting was held in Frankston on Monday evening last.

  It will be noted also that meetings will be held at Frankston, Wednesday June 7th; Somerville, Thursday June 8th; Hastings, Friday June 9th; at 8 p.m.

The Hon Sec, Dr Plowman, is in correspondence with distinguished Public Men to address the meetings. Sufficient time has not elapsed for replies to have been received from most of them but the services of Sir William Irvine M.P. have been secured for Frankston and of the Hon A. Downward M.L A. for Hastings.

At Frankston, the Frankston Brass Band has kindly given their services to play for the audience and a short programme of Patriotic music has been arranged.

  No charge for admission will be made, and it is to be hoped that there will be crowded houses at each meeting. In fact, everyone who has the welfare of his country at heart, or who is actuated by patriotic feeling should be present at one, or all the meetings.    All letters on the subject should be addressed to the Hon Secretary, Dr Plowman.


THE Frankston Dramatic Club has consented to give an entertainment for the Somerville Social Club this  evening July 3rd. They will produce their comedy “All a mistake”.


THERE is talk of starting an automobile club in Somerville, the cars in the immediate district numbering nearly a dozen.

Mr Duncan Puckle has just purchased a fine French “Bayard” car, Mr G. Coop a “Maxwell” and Mr Geo Griffith a “Hupmobile”.

There will probably be one or two lady drivers in the club if it is started.


AN innovation in the Church of England service recently was a gentle- man organist, Mr E. A. Dunn, a musician and organist lately resident of Ballarat, but now of Somerville kindly presided.


MR S. S. Gault has yet another iron in the fire, having decided to stock hardware and up to date implements   of all kinds.


GREAT regret was expressed this week on the news being made public that Mr Stan Clark had been wounded at the Dardanells. He is reported to be in the hospital in Manchester, England. We wish our young hero a speedy recovery.


DEATH of Mr B. Baxter. The death of Mr Benjamin Baxter, aged 75 years, on the 30th ultimo, at Frankston, brings hack recollections of the long past.

His father, the late Captain Baxter, was, born in Ireland in 1805, arriving in Melbourne in 1837.

Some of his education was acquired on the Continent, he had up to the time of his death a vivid recollection of the Battle of Waterloo, and distinctly remembered hearing the guns when he was at school in Belgium.

The late Captain Baxter was one of the founders of the Melbourne  Club, took part in the first cricket match played in the Colony, at the foot of Batman’s Hill (now Spencer Street Railway Station) on November 12th, 1838, also one of the Directors of the first Pastoral and Agricultural Society, founded in Melbourne in 1840, he was also connected with the   first theatrical performance played in Melbourne in 1842.

His first stock yard was erected at Emerald Hill (now South Melbourne.)

It is also a matter of further interest that the late Benjamin Baxter’s mother was the first Postmistress in Melbourne, and shipped the first mails to London without consulting the authorities in Sydney.

  Mr Baxter was born in Batman House, Batman’s Hill, in 1840. Subsequently the family removed to the Frankston district, well known as Baxter’s Flat. He was connected with local shire council for many years, retiring a few years ago on account of failing health.

  He was an ardent cricketer and yielded the willow and trundled the ball for Frankston club up to a few years ago, when he still bowled a tricky and tempting ball, and had a stubborn defence with the bat.

Indeed for over forty years he was one of the mainstays of the club, always turning up punctually and in this respect putting younger members to the blush. The lack of interest taken in the game in Frankston of later years was a cause of great regret to him.


FATAL Railway Accident. A shocking accident occurred at the railway station, Frankston, on Thursday evening last, when an employee of the Department, named H. Maudsley was run over and killed instantly while proceeding home from his work. An inquiry into the circumstances will be held today, and full particulars will be given next issue.


A UNITED effort must be made to forward more soldiers from Australia, and a fortnight’s work in arranging details will culminate in a ‘Recruitment Week’, from Monday, 5th July to Monday, 12th July, and for this purpose a public meeting was held in the Mechanics’ Hall, on Monday evening last.

There was a good attendance. Cr Oates (President of the shire) took the chair, and read the request from State Parliament that more men were wanted to fill the places of the fallen — the places of men who had accomplished such wonderful achievements.

We are proud to know they have accomplished such deeds with honor to our Empire. They have fought well and died, and it is our duty to see that their places are filled.

Everybody must be willing to do their share and take their part in this great campaign. Dr Plowman was elected to carry out the secretarial duties and said he was happy to accept the position.

He was too old to go to the front himself, but he could drive a quill, and would do his best to carry out his duties. Apologies were read from Dr Maxwell, Captain Sherlock, and Mr Young.   Dr Plowman read a letter from Captain Hartland, who, so far has escaped and managed to get word through to his parents.

A younger brother of Captain Hartland has been wounded, but not severely, we are pleased to say.

After a short discussion, July 7th was fixed for the public meeting, on the motion of Mr Pimm, seconded by Mr Hartland.

Mr Pimm moved Sir John Madden be asked to speak at the meeting, also Mr Elmslie and Sir William Irvine— Seconded by Cr Oates and carried. The programme arrangements to be left in hands of secretary. Mr Willox answered on behalf of the local band that he thought they would be willing to assist on the night of the 7th July.

From the pages of the Mornington Standard, 3 July, 1915

First published in the Mornington News – 30 June 2015


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