Right before your Eyes!
While visiting Kiama’s Family History Centre I parked right near a memorial obelisk in memory of Capt. Charles Moore Stevenson who died in 1909. Here’s a transcription from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 31 May 1909 which you can find on Trove.
CAPTAIN C. M. STEVENSON, V.D.
MEMORIAL AT KIAMA.
At 3 o’clock this afternoon there was a large gathering of residents of the town and district in the vicinity of the drill hall to witness the unveiling of the memorial obelisk erected by the officers, N. C. officers, and men of E Company, First Battalion, 2nd A.I.R, to the memory of the late Captain Charles Moore Stevenson, VD, who served with the 2nd Regiment from October 25, 1886, to February 11, 1909. The band of the 2nd Australian Infantry Regiment was present and rendered Handel’s ‘Largo’ as a voluntary, after which Captain the Rev. T. V. Alkin, M.A., offered prayer, which was followed by an address from Brigadier-Colonel C. M. Ranclaud, V.D. in which he spoke in the highest terms of the late Captain Stevenson. At the request of Major Ramaclotti the Brigadier unveiled the monument, the foundation of which is of Victorian bluestone, surmounted by a column of Swedish emerald green granite bearing the following inscription “Erected to the memory of Captain C. M. Stevenson, V. D., by his late comrades of the E (Kiama) Company, 2nd A. I. Regiment, 1909”. The monument occupies, a position at the east end of the military ground, and faces Manning-street.
Kiama’s Local History Weblog has more information and pictures of the unveiling and details of his funeral and burial at North Kiama from the Sydney Morning Herald dated 15 February, 1909. The article also mentions he owned a store at Kiama. While looking for articles on the drowning of William McClelland in 1897, I happened to find and advertisement for “C.M. Stevenson’s” in the Kiama Independent Newspaper.
A quick look at the Australian War Memorial didn’t produce any results for Charles M. Stevenson but Wikipaedia says the V.D. stands for Volunteer Officers Decoration and the names of the officers receiving the decoration were published in the relevant countries Government Gazette and included the picture above. The Australian War Memorial’s blog has an article on colonial defence personnel pre 1900 which provides some starting points including Robert Dalton’s 1985, “The Volunteer Officer’s Decoration, the Volunteer Long Service Medal, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer’s Decoration, the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal to Australia, 1894-1938, R. Dalton, [Brighton, Vic.] which is available at the Australian War Memorial or the National Library of Australia, in Canberra. I wonder if they might look it up for us? I’ll keep you posted. As yet I haven’t found a connection with my research for the Stevenson family at Bombala, but you never know!