Westgarthtown & WWI





Timm family



Friedrich and Maria (née Rubach) Timm arrived in Australia from Mecklenburg-Schwerin in February 1850 aboard the Alfred with two children – Elizabeth (Eliza) Marie Louise and Friedrich (Frederick) John.

The Timms were original settlers at Westgarthtown. Friedrich was naturalized on 20 March 1851 aged 38 and on 7 May 1851, purchased ten acres (Lot 14, Section 25, Parish of Keelbundora) for £10. Soon after, he bought a further five acres from a neighbour, Wilhelm Gustavus Franke. The Timm family did not remain long at Westgarthtown, however, purchasing 258 acres in Bindts Road, Wollert on 12 August 1854 for £1,219. They retained the land at Westgarthtown and let it out. At Wollert the Timm family were dairy farmers. Friedrich died there in 1866 and the farms at Westgarthtown and Wollert were eventually sold in 1893 following Maria’s death in 1890 aged 83. Both are buried at Epping.

In 1863 Eliza Timm married Edward Louden and Frederick Timm married Amelia Louisa Hanuschke. Within ten years, the Loudens had moved to Mansfield and Frederick and Amelia, after farming at Wollert, Glenvale and Christmas Hills, crossed the Murray River and settled at Deniliquin in New South Wales. Around the same time, they changed their surname from Timm to Timms.

Frederick and Amelia had six children and two of their grandsons – brothers Donald Ross Timms and Frederick William Timms - served with the 7th Light Horse Regiment during the First World War. Frederick Timms died at Double Bay, Sydney in 1927, aged 86, a year after Amelia. Both are buried at Rookwood Cemetery.

Donald Ross Timms

Donald Ross Timms (1891-1957) was born at Deniliquin on 1 May 1891. His father, Frederick William Timms, born on 7 June 1866 at Glenvale near Whittlesea, married Catherine Ross during the late 1880s and they had four children – Millie, Ross, Augusta and Frederick – before Catherine died in 1899. Frederick William Timms, a coach driver for Cobb & Co., remarried in 1900 to Mary Catherine Nagel and had another five children. By 1907 they had moved at Booroorban, then by 1919 to Hay, where he died in 1947 and she in 1953. They are buried in the Roman Catholic section of Hay Cemetery.

Ross, a horsebreaker, enlisted at Holsworthy in Sydney on 4 December 1914 aged 23 and was allocated to the 3rd Reinforcements, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, Private No. 797. His religion was given as Presbyterian. After training, he embarked for Egypt aboard the Hymettus on 5 February 1915 and was assigned to A Squadron, 7th Light Horse Regiment at Maadi on 22 April 1915 as a Trooper. The following month he arrived at Gallipoli and on 9 September wrote a letter home in which he stated:

"Winter is just starting here, and it’s going to be pretty cold, but I suppose a fellow will live through it if they let him. Abdullah has not made a bullet to stop me so far, although he has gone near it a few times…I suppose the people in Australia are awaiting news of us in Constantinople. Well, with time and patience we’ll get there, but these Turks are not so easy to choke off as some might lead you to believe. He is putting up a good fight for his country. I have been here since 20th May, and have shot two Turks and a donkey that I know of…"

In October 1915 Ross was evacuated sick from Gallipoli with dysentery and hepatitis. He was admitted to hospital at Woolwich on 9 November and remained there until 15 February 1916. While in England he wrote to his father again, saying he had spent four months in four different hospitals, but managed to visit Edinburgh in Scotland for two weeks while on leave.

By June 1916, Ross had returned to Egypt and after further training, rejoined the 7th Light Horse Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir. Within a week, however, he was ill again and admitted to hospital at Abassia with malaria on 14 July. He was discharged in early August and then served for seven months with 2nd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, before being transferred back to his regiment in March 1917. By then the Australian Light Horse was in Palestine and about to unsuccessfully attack Gaza.

In early November 1917, shortly after the Battle of Beersheba, Ross was found to have pyrexia, then gastritis. He was admitted to hospital at Moascar in December and it was 29 January 1918 before he returned to the 7th Light Horse Regiment. In May he was again admitted to hospital, before returning to his regiment in June 1918. In August he was detached to 2nd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters and in November, following the Armistice, appointed a Temporary Driver, but he reverted to Trooper on 31 May 1919 when he rejoined the 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Ross embarked on the Madras at Kantara on 27 June for the return voyage to Australia and reached Sydney on 3 August 1919. His brother Fred came home on the same ship. Ross arrived at his parents’ home at Hay on 9 August and was discharged from the AIF on 3 October 1919 after almost five years service.

When he returned home, Ross brought a large silver candle stick, won by him at a Light Horse race meeting in Palestine. At just 5 feet 4½ inches tall, he was ideal jockey size. In 1920 he won the pony jumping event at the Hay Show.

From 1920-39, Ross owned Norwood, a sheep grazing property west of Hay. He married Elizabeth Stamp (1888-1974) in 1922 and four children – James, Patricia, Joan and Freda - were born while the family lived at Norwood. In 1948 he was a boundary rider and when he died at Hay on 13 July 1957 aged 66, his occupation was recorded as station hand. Ross and Elizabeth are buried in the Church of England section of Hay Cemetery. His name appears on the Honour Rolls at the Deniliquin Cenotaph; Deniliquin Public School; and Deniliquin Presbyterian Church.

Ross’ son James Timms, a mechanic, enlisted in the RAAF during the Second World War. From 1942-46 he served in Canada, Britain, the Middle East, Italy and Gibraltar as an air gunner and wireless operator, reaching the rank of Warrant Officer.

Frederick William Timms

Fred (1895-1968) was born at Deniliquin on 19 September 1895. He was a driver aged 21 when he applied to enlist at Victoria Barracks, Sydney on 22 November 1916. After a medical examination he was accepted at the Royal Sydney Show Grounds on 11 December 1916. He was allocated to the 24th Reinforcements, 7th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, No. 3135. At 5 feet 2¾ he was even shorter than his older brother Ross. His religion was Presbyterian.

After training, Fred embarked for Egypt aboard the Boorara on 10 May 1917 and arrived at Suez on 20 June. After treatment for scabies in early July, then further training, he was taken on strength of the 7th Light Horse Regiment on 28 July 1917. On 22 January 2018, he was briefly detached to 2nd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, then returned to his regiment. On 19 July 1918, he was admitted to hospital at Port Said with malaria. The following month he was fined a day’s pay for failing to salute an officer on 24 August, then hospitalized again from 29 August – 24 September with pyrexia.

By the time Fred left the rest camp at Port Said on 10 October 1918 the war against the Turks in the Middle East was over. He finally rejoined the 7th Light Horse Regiment on 14 October. On 10 December, he embarked for Gallipoli and remained there until 27 January 1919, when he left for Alexandria. On 20 February he was appointed a Temporary Driver but reverted to Trooper on 29 May 1919.

Fred embarked for Australia on 27 June aboard the Madras with his brother Ross and arrived in Sydney on 3 August 1919. He was hospitalized on arrival with a recurrence of malaria but soon recovered and was discharged from the AIF on 19 September 1919. His name appears on the Honour Rolls at the Deniliquin Cenotaph; Deniliquin Public School; and Deniliquin Presbyterian Church.

Fred married Emily Augusta Padget (née Wilson) in Sydney on 27 September 1926, however, they divorced in 1938. He re-enlisted during the Second World War (N75824) but details of his service are not known. He died on 22 May 1968 aged about 73.