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Author Topic: Lockyer family Goomalling 10th Light horse ww1 & 2 - 2  (Read 16998 times)
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« on: 15 September 2011, 07:21:46 pm »

By January 1916, the government had decided against returning infected troops to Australia and the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital (ADH) was formed and sent overseas complete with the best specialists in the treatment of VD and equipped with the latest instruments.114

Due to the early mismanagement of VD treatment in the AIF, the men were now sceptical about everything the army said it was going to do to combat the problem. The kit failed, men had their pay docked, and their families learned of their infidelity through newspaper reports. As a result the warnings went unheeded and as far as the men were concerned if they had to pay twice for the consequences of their actions then so be it.

Finally the army surrendered and took a common sense approach to what had been up until this time a legalistic one. Threats of punishments ceased, and all treatment for VD was offered without question or cost.

A room has been equipped in the basement of Australian Headquarters, Cairo, for treatment to prevent Venereal Disease. It is reached by the alleyway along the north side of the Headquarters Building and is open nightly from 2000 (8pm) to 2300 (11pm). Names of the men parading for treatment will not be taken.

This humane approach went some way to addressing a social problem as distinct from what had up until this time been seen as military one. By 1918, printed on the backs of all AIF leave passes in the UK was the following information:

Treatment of V.D....Should it be necessary, treatment can be received free at 103 Horseferry Road, where no questions are asked. (Look for blue light in courtyard ).115

With the formation of the Anzac Provost Corps (APC) in April of 1916 the introduction of a trained military police force allowed the army to take a more proactive role in the detection of prostitutes infected with VD and to monitor brothels where women known to be infected with VD were working. The APC, as part of their duties, were given the onerous task of monitoring these brothels and placing them out of bounds if they had sufficient information that infected women were working there. This was

Military Police

done with the assistance of the troops themselves, who were required when seeking treatment to identify the prostitute or the brothel in which they had become infected.

But removing or arresting prostitutes for spreading a contagion was to cause problems in all areas of operation. In the UK a member of the APC could arrange through a magistrate to have a known prostitute held and examined by a doctor: if she was found to be infected she would be imprisoned. In Egypt the brothel would be placed out of bounds, but identifying an infected prostitute or having that prostitute detained was virtually impossible. In France and Belgium, when a prostitute was identified the APC would have to liaise with the French or Belgian Missions, who at their leisure would arrange for the brothel to be placed out of bounds to the troops and the infected prostitute removed.117 There were double standards applied when dealing with VD. Men infected with VD were offered treatment; women on the other hand, especially in the UK, could be charged with transmitting a disease to a soldier, brought before a court and receive a jail sentence.

Mabel Raker. This person appeared on remand on the 20th inst. At Warmilister Petty Sessions charged under Reg. 40 (d) D.R.R. with conveying Venereal Disease to an Australian soldier and was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for three (3) months.118

The APC relied on the men themselves to identify who had infected them and then the APM or military police could intervene. This unpleasant task was a necessary one. The number of men being admitted to the ADH for treatment was continuing to escalate and some men were infected a number of times. The drain on resources was affecting the fighting ability of the AIF. Some men chose to ignore all warnings and as a result spent considerable periods recovering from VD. Whalert noted:

'.. .we had enough of them [the MPs] when in the billets in France... One cove described their actions as 'treasonous conduct likely to adversely affect the morale of the fighting troops' by their efforts in preventing contact between the soldiers and 'the lovely belles of Blighty. They didn't really stop us anyway.119

France was to cause its own problems. Estaminets, favourite meeting places for troops also attracted many prostitutes. Estaminets identified as being frequented by infected prostitutes were to cause considerable problems and the APM would have to meet with either the French or Belgium Missions, to have the cafe placed out of bounds. However, as quickly as one was placed out of bounds another took its place, or the owner simply moved his business elsewhere.

Deputy Assistant Provost Marshals (DAPM) and APMs were given the responsibility of recording all cases of VD together with details of where the soldier had contracted the disease and which brothel should therefore be placed out of bounds. These figures were to be included in their weekly reports to Headquarters:120

Major Langley, A/A.P.M., 1st Anzac Corps, December 1917. Venereal Cases, LOCALITY CONTRACTED, France, 93, Scotland, 3 Relapse, 12, England, 87, Ireland, I, Unknown, 5. Eight women have been identified and one case referred to French Authorities for necessary action.121

WEEK ENDING, 12.8.1917. Venereal. 42 cases were reported during the week. Places where contracted: England 12, Scotland 5, Aire I, Arques 2, Paris 2, St. Omar 9,


Beyond The Myth

Abbey steen J.Havre 3, Abbeville 7, Outtarstan 2, Relapse 2, Unknown 2. Two cases are being investigated. A number of women have been evacuated.122

VD had of course long term health problems not only for the men, but also their relatives and in many cases their unborn children. Hemming noted:

Syphilis not only attacks the innocent wife, but it attacks and in many cases slays her child, even while yet unborn. It is practically the only disease that affects the offspring before birth, and of these it takes a heavy toll. It is the most fruitful source of miscarriage and of stillbirths.123

It should also be remembered that the treatment for VD at this time was as dangerous as the disease itself. There was only one treatment and it involved a combination of mercury and arsenic. These treated the symptoms but they were not a cure. The severity of VD infection amongst the troops produced the following sobering statistics. In 1917 the ratio of venereal diseases among all armies was: British 34 per 1000: New Zealand 134 per 1,000; Australia 144 per 1,000. In 1918, 60,099 British and Dominion troops were treated for VD in France alone.124 Again from Hemming:

Taking the number of venereal cases dealt with in Australian camps as 13,000 and the average time at 10 weeks for each, it is found that venereal disease alone was responsible for the loss of military efficiency as measured by time of rather more than two thousand five hundred years.125

The British figures probably reflect their proximity to their wives and loved ones, unlike NZ and Australian troops. Syphilis is an insidious disease; its side effects damage the brain, liver, heart, spinal cord and vision, with often fatal consequences. Untreated syphilis progresses to general paresis of the insane (GPI) a form of paralysis and insanity and the prognosis around the time of WWI, without antibiotics, was dismal with eventual death inevitable. Military police undertook the task of minimising the risk to the troops, but their work was often misunderstood. In monitoring brothels and street walkers, the police satisfied neither the provider nor the client and neither was pleased with the interruption to trade.



95 - Soldiers. Sex and Syphilis: Venereal Disease in the Australian Imperial Force, August 1914 to April 1915. p. 6. Lisabeth Hemming, University of New England.
96 - Hemming, pp. 53,54, 55, 56.
97 - Hemming, p. 60.
98 - AWM21, 171/16, part, 2.
99 - AWM 33, 65/4.
100 - AWM 27, 352/11.
AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS, Printed, The Societe Orientair De Publicite, Cairo, 1915, pp. 14, 15
102 - AWM 22, 80/5/2023, Proceedings of Court of Inquiry, into the Riot in Cairo, July 1915, pp. 37, 38.
103 - Hemming p. 49.
104 - calomel is a sub-chloride of mercury and has all the peculiar characteristics of mercury compounds.
105 - Hemming, p. 51
106 - Ibid.
107 - Ibid.
108 - AWM 22, 130/1/2008.
109 - Ibid.
110 - AWM 25, 707/15, part, 5.
111 - AWM Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Orders, Department of Defence, Melbourne, Government Printer, 1914-1921, A. I.F. Order No, 1005, 1918.
112 - NLA- Doctor R Arthur, MLA, 'Keep Yourself Fit: The Dangers of Venereal Disease' Australian White Cross League, Shipping Newspapers LTD, Sydney, 1916, pp. 4, 5, Anicus:
113 - NLA-Doctor R Arthur, The Military Problem of Venereal Decease, Australian White Cross League, Shipping Newspapers LTD, Sydney, 1917, FERG/3364.
114 - Hemming, pp. 62, 63, 64.
115 - AWM 25, 70715. part, 5.
116 - AWM21, 130/16.
117 - AWM 4, War diaries, Anzac/Australian Provost Corps, BEF.
118 - AWM 4, War Diaries. Provost Corps, 1918.
119 - Wahlert. p. 68.
120 - REGULATIONS, For The Use of the PROVOST MARSHAL'S BRANCH, British Armies in France. (Second Edition) Printed by His Majesty's Stationary Office, by Harrison and Sons. London,1917,p. 64.
121 - AWM 4, War Diary Provost, 1st Anzac Corps, 1917.
122 - AWM 25,233/6, part. 4.
123 - Hemming, p. 24.
124 - Hemming p. 65.
125 - Hemming, p. 55.


So ends the short arm parade.



Forum Member

4 Posts    Posted - 22/11/2005 :  10:54:41 PM  
Hello. Continuing on from my email. My great uncle is Horace Basset Lockyer (born May 1848) father Thomas and mother Emma, who served in the 10th Lighthorse but does not show up on the WWI list I downloaded. Horace Joseph Lockyer (3612) also from the 10th Lighthorse is on the WWI records and the postings are mainly about him, I think. My grandmother is also Mabel Lockyer so this can get very confusing. My great uncle, Horace, had three brothers, George Brooks (born 1/1/1847), Alfred Brookes (born 8/6/1850) and Elliot Agett (born 25/12/1855) - my great grandfather.
Can you supply any more information. Thanks, Shirley

Forum Member

176 Posts    Posted - 23/11/2005 :  3:02:13 PM  
Dear All,
Ouch. Thanks kindly for your answers to a difficult topic.
In my medal collectoing days, a gong turnedup to an English lancer. Having read his paperwork, we decidedto handle the medal withtongs. Time after time! Some people never listen or learn.Don.
Bill Woerlee
Veteran Forum Member

1069 Posts    Posted - 23/11/2005 :  3:39:22 PM    
G'day matess

You great uncle is Horace Basset Lockyer, born May 1848, would never have served in the 10th LHR in the AIF. He would have been 66 at the outbreak of war. I know folks lied about their ages and one fellow was 69 but the chances are, if he is not on the records of the 10th LHR, he never enlisted. At best he might have been in a Western Australian Light Horse militia unit in the 1880's and 90's. By the time the South African War occurred, he would have been too old for service.

Here are the Lockyers I could find who were definitely related:

2822 LOCKYER, Claude Agett Care of E A Lockyer, Avon Bridge Hotel, Northam, Western Australia 11th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement

2794 LOCKYER, Alfred Malcolm Brooks Goomalling, Western Australia March 1917 Reinforcements 10th Light Horse Regiment Returned to Australia 17 July 1919

5036 LOCKYER, Eugene Valentine Northam, Western Australia 28th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement

1962 LOCKYER, George Elliott Agett Avon Bridge Hotel, Northam, Western Australia 51st Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement

As for Horace Joseph Lockyer 3612, he enlisted in the 10th LHR, 32nd Reinforcements on 26 June 1917. He was a mounted policeman stationed at Pingelly. He trained at Black Boy Hill. He embarked on the "Canberra", 24 November 1917 and arrived at Moascar and the 3rd LHRTS on 22 December 1917. After a bout of knee problems he finally was taken on strength in the 10th LHR on 18 May 1918.

He seems to have had a timing problem. When he was about to board his ship at Fremantle, it left at 6.30pm while he arrived at 7pm. When the War was over, at Tripoli January 1919, he received a friendly reminder that if it wasn't on it wasn't on. A couple weeks in the VD clinic. But he didn't learn. He had another dose in May 1919.

His knee played up on him. During footy practice on 17 January 1919, while he was picking up the pill his knee dropped out of place. It must have been painful.

He returned to Oz on the Don Castle on 17 August 1919 and was discharged the following year on 31 March 1920.

Hope this helps


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