War Memories of Robert Ellwood
Table of Contents
A Volunteer for the Light Horse, August - September 1914
Ellwood: The regiment was a good regiment because it had good men and that crosses my line of philosophy about anything being only as good as its head cause after all's said and done we were a good show, I suppose, that is, we were a good show, yes a fine lot of fellows and not only that me being on the land today I think the responsibility for it is the type of man that I met when I joined up with the 2nd Light Horse Regiment - they were all from the country and they were - without saying anything disparaging about the city people or the side of the range - they were a fine type of fellow who were brought up in an atmosphere where they had to develop their initiative to live and their ability to survive on their initiative, you know, to overcome obstacles, a fine type and they made me feel that way that.
I admired them that much - I was a city boy - all my family are city people, business people and they made me feel that way about the country life an the atmosphere in which they were brought up that I wanted to follow on in their footsteps and that was really why when I came back I took to the land. I had a property out at Gordon Green's selection, and that was really what put me on the land, as a matter of fact I feel that my association with those people in that regiment developed character in me - that's the type of men that were there.
Turnbull: Could I ask you why it was that you joined up? Was it your background in military activities... [Robert Ellwood had been a school cadet].
Well, you read there where I had.. Well, how it begun. I think there must be something in my ancestry somewhere, but, when I was a young fellow, I was always very fond of reading and I had access... When I'm speaking now, I'm speaking of anything from twelve up. I had access to a private library which was owned by an ex-captain who had been posted in India for quite a while during the British occupation of India.. you know what I'm talking about? And in his library there was a good deal of that old army stuff about Kitchener of Khartoum and Gordon of this and all the rest of it and the Indian mutiny and other things of that description and I think that I was more or less a little bit probably influenced by that background but when I was at school I joined up with the cadets and I think that may have been a beginning of my military life or it could have been that I had some sort of an ancestry somewhere.
But I did... Well to give you an idea, I owned this property in those days and before I went away I simply signed it over to my mother. Well had I any other feeling but one that I may not come back, I wouldn't have done it. So I had a feeling, I had the knowledge that it was possible that I wouldn't come back so I went with my eyes opened. Can you see the logic of my reasoning. I signed the property over to her and gave it away which meant that I felt that I was not going to... Not that I felt that I was not coming back but I felt that there was a danger ahead which meant that I could not, I may not... Not that I was not but that I may not, so I went there with my eyes open. That is the only explanation I can give you as to why I went. I was very staunch, I still am, a lover of my country, lover of my family and my culture and standard of living all that sort of business. I was very... I am still very keen that way and that influenced me plus, as I say, I may be a little bit brainwashed through my associations with this private library I'm talking about but that's the reason why I went, and of course I had an adventurous nature, I suppose you can put something in that too. I was always adventurous. I drove the first motor vehicle between here and Tewantin and I was always doing something or the other. You know I was foundation member for this and that and all the rest of it.
I had a peace time commission
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