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NONMUS Gilbert Brierly
2856
Private
42 Battalion
Buderim Mountain
Yes
15 July 1885
Woodford - Queensland
29 September 1916
HMAT A64 Demosthenes
23 December 1916
Sydney

Gilbert enlisted on 29 September 1916 at Brisbane with the 42nd Battalion.

He was described as being 31 years old, single, saw miller, 5 feet 4½ inches tall, blue eyes, dark brown hair, and of the Church of England faith. He gave his mother, Sarah Catherine Nonmus, Woodford, Queensland as his next of kin.

Gilbert embarked Sydney for England on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 23 December, 1916. He arrived in England and was sent to the Larkhill Camp on the Salisbury Plain to complete his training. While at Larkhill camp Gilbert became sick and was admitted to the Fargo Hospital on 11 April 1917 suffering from mumps. He was discharged on 29 April.

He left for France in July 1917, and was wounded at Ypres, and sent to hospital at Bayeul, thence to Etaples and then on to England to recuperate. He was admitted to the Colchester General Military Hospital, England on 29 October 1917 suffering from severe multiple wounds to the right arm and chest.

Gilbert was pronounced medically unfit and returned to Australia from Devonport, England per Euripides on 30 January 1918. The ship arrived in Melbourne on 21 March. Gilbert spent 12 months in the Rosemount Hospital, Brisbane and was discharged on 16 June 1919.

APPRECIATION OF SOLDIERS – Woodford, May 22 - A social evening was held in the school at Stanmore on Friday night to welcome home Private Gilbert Nonmus, who has just returned from the Front. Mr. C. Ferris welcomed the guest, and on behalf of the residents of the district presented him with a gold medal, suitably inscribed. Mr. C. Ward, late of the AIF, also spoke. Private Nonmus, in responding, spoke in glowing terms of the work of the Red Cross Society. The Brisbane Courier, 23 May 1918.

Medals

 British War Medal 26626.  Victory Medal 25590.

Where Commemorated

 Buderim Mountain Roll of Honour Board, Buderim War Memorial Hall.  Woodford Community Memorial Centre Honour Board, 109 Archer Street, Woodford.

Gilbert Brierly NONMUS was born on 15 July 1885 at Woodford, Queensland and educated there.

Around 1915 he established a Sawmill in Buderim on land formerly owned by the sugar mill known as the “Company’s Mill”. The site was chosen because of the good spring water supply, and of course, the quantity of red cedar made milling very attractive.

When Gilbert enlisted in the Great War 1914-1918 he transferred his sawmill to two local men and on his return purchased the Sawmill back.

SAW & PLANING MILL BUDERIM - I beg to notify the public of Buderim and surrounding districts that I have transferred my sawmill to Mr. C. H. Pope and Mr. A. Jensen, of Buderim during my absence in the Australian Military Forces and thanking you for your liberal support and trusting you will bestow the same confidence in my successors. Yours faithfully, Gilbert B. Nonmus. Chronicle, 3 November 1916.

NEW SHED - The shed to cover Mr. Nonmus’ sawmill has been completed by the contractor, Mr. H. Kuskopf. The structure, which is very substantial one, greatly adds to the appearance of the business part of the township. Mr. Nonmus intends to considerably enlarge the plant, and one of the first items to be an up to date planing machine. Chronicle, 28 April 1922.

ACCIDENT - Mr. Gilbert Nonmus, owner of the local sawmill while on a visit to Woodford during the Christmas holidays was unfortunate when helping his brother at the sawmill there, in having the fingers of his left hand rather severely gashed by a circular saw. Mr. Nonmus came to Nambour for medical treatment, and it is possible he may have to lose one finger. The accident is all the more regrettable, owing to the fact that Mr. Nonmus’ right arm, through being severely injured in the late Great War, is practically useless. Chronicle, 6 January 1922.

In 1928 Gilbert married Miss Agnes Neil.

BACHELOR’S CLUB – PRE-NUPTIAL DINNER - Members of the Bachelor’s Club tendered a pre-nuptial dinner to their president, Mr. G. B, Nonmus, of Buderim, in honour of his forthcoming marriage to Miss Neil, also of Buderim. The function was held in the artistic dining room of the Alexandra Temperance Hotel. Mr. Thomas O’Connor, the popular proprietor, presided, and the guest occupied the seat of honour. Mr. Nonmus received the hearty congratulations of the members for his future happiness, but regret was expressed at the sad loss of so popular a president to the club. Those present included Messrs. G. B. Nonmus, W. F. Bell, C. A. Blakey, T. O’Connor, C. H. Nelson, and P. Jakeman. Nambour Chronicle 22 June 1928.

BUDERIM SOCIAL EVENING - Mr. and Mrs. J. Neil entertained their friends at a social evening in the School of Arts on Wednesday, June 27, to celebrate the occasion of their daughter’s marriage to Mr. G. B. Nonmus. The large hall was filled to overflowing, and extra seating accommodation had to be procured. The arrangements, were admirably carried out by members of the Neil family. Dancing, competitions, musical items, and cards were the principal attractions. Musical items were rendered by Misses O. Neil, and W. A. Dyble (piano), Miss I. Crosby (vocal), and Mr. V. J. Crosby (elocutionary), Mrs. W. H. Doe’s jazz orchestra supplied suitable dance music, and Mr. A. E. Doe undertook the duties of MC. The supper tables on the spacious verandas, were prettily decorated by Mrs. J. B. Waters. During the evening Mr. W. Crosby, on behalf of those present, extended thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Neil. The winners of the various competitions were Mrs. J. Mitchell, Miss M. Crack, Mr. A. Luke, and Mr. C. Forster.  The employees of the Buderim Saw and Planing Mills waited on Mr. G. B. Nonmus to convey to him their good wishes for his future happiness. Mr. A. Parker made Mr. Nonmus the presentation of a handsome silver teapot, suitably engraved on behalf of the employees. The teamsters of Buderim presented Mr. Nonmus with a Doulton china afternoon tea service. The Brisbane Courier, 4 July 1928.

WEDDING - A wedding of interest to Buderim residents and also to a large number of people on the North Coast districts was celebrated at St. Mark’s Church of England Buderim on June 27, when Mr. Gilbert B. Nonmus of Buderim, (fourth son of the late Mr. & Mrs. A. Nonmus, Woodford), was married to Miss Agnes Neil (second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Neil, Buderim). Friends of the bride had decorated the church with palms and flowers, and a wedding bell was suspended over the bridal couple. Archdeacon Glover, assisted by the Rev. J. De la Parelle was the officiating clergyman. Miss Beryl Waters presided at the organ, and during the signing of the register Miss I. Crosby rendered a vocal solo, to the accompaniment of Miss W. A. Dyble. Mr. J. Neil gave away his daughter. She wore a frock of ivory Mariette, showing a silver-beaded underskirt, caught at the waist with a diamante buckle, the bodice and long sleeves also showing silver beading in an all-over design. Her veil of silk embroidered tulle was worn in coronet effect, and she carried a sheaf of Arum lilies. Miss Vena Neil attended her sister as bridesmaid and wore a frock of pink crepe de Chine, with a double Vandyke French pleated skirt. Her black picture-hat showed roses to tone with her frock, and she carried a bouquet of pink gerberas and maidenhair fern, set in tulle. Mr. H. McLean was best man. After the ceremony about 50 relatives and friends were entertained at a wedding breakfast at Birdwood Boarding House, where Mr. and Mrs. Neil received their guests. Mrs. Neil was frocked in violet crepe de Chine, relieved with mastic Mariette, and she carried a posy of violets. Mrs. Nonmus, Snr. (mother of the bridegroom), wearing a gown of black satin, also assisted in receiving the guests. The dining hall at Birdwood was artistically decorated in the battalion colours of the Bridegroom. Subsequently Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Nonmus left by the Northern Mail for Atherton and Northern towns. Mrs. Nonmus’ travelling frock was of mulberry wool crepe de Chine, with a hat to tone.

Gilbert died on 8 March 1966 aged 80. Agnes (1899-1985) died in September 1985. Both are buried in the Buderim Cemetery, Queensland.

Children

 Gloria Nonmus m Alan Grant.  Max Nonmus.  

PARENTS - Alfred Edgar Nonmus (1836-1915) and Sarah Catherine Nonmus nee Brierly.

The family left South Australia ca 1852, they settled in Eversley near Ararat, Victoria possibly in search of gold. Alfred (Age 37) married there in 1873, and he and the family headed north to Brisbane and on to Woodford, where they had a dairy farm and sawmill.

Alfred and Sarah had 8 children. Alfred died on 6 September 1915 Age 79 and Sarah died 9 August 1931 aged 83. Both are buried in the Woodford Cemetery, Queensland.

PIONEERING DAYS BY GILBERT BRIERLY NONMUS

Alfred Nonmus and Sarah Brierly, my father and mother, were married in a little church at Eversley, Victoria, in 1873. After their second child was born they journeyed to Brisbane in a small boat called the Wadonga.

They enjoyed winding their way slowly up the Brisbane River, for at that time the natural bush with its climbing vines grew to the water’s edge. They made their first home in George Street, and soon Alfred was able to obtain work in the Botanic Gardens. He helped to plant and care for many of the trees that are admired by so many today. My mother never liked Brisbane. Having a gentle and sensitive nature, it hurt her to hear the lash of the whip and the clang of the chains as the convicts were taken along the different streets to and from work. She told me that it was not an uncommon sight to see a pool of blood in the street where some unfortunate had been flogged.

Later they had their first great sorrow in losing their little son, Edgar (1877), who was laid to rest in the Toowong Cemetery on the day they opened the first Brisbane Exhibition. My mother never went to a Brisbane Exhibition for she always held that day sacred. Shortly afterwards they left Brisbane, working for a time at the Pine River, a delightful spot. Later they moved by the famous old Cobb and Co. Coach to Caboolture, where another son was born, who lived to be one of the courageous Anzacs in the Great War.

The next move was made in a bullock wagon along some rough roads to Durundur Station, then owned by Messrs. McConnell and Wood. It was a long, dusty trip with two little children, but, when they arrived, to mother’s great joy there was another white woman to greet her with a cup of tea.

Alfred Nonmus worked around the district for many years, doing miles and miles of two-rail fencing, and in the wet seasons helped another friend of his to take cedar and pine logs down on a raft on the flooded Mary River, dangerous and exciting work. Mother and her young family went with him whenever possible, and camped in tents and slab huts in the lonely parts of the bush. She told me that she was seldom afraid.

She grew fond of the aborigines and found them very kind, for they often brought in fish and wild game.

However, when Campbell, the bushranger, roamed in the scrub surrounding the little hut, she grew nervous. On those lonely nights when her husband had to be away she placed us all in the one room, pushing the bed up against the door and making it as secure as possible. She would then open the little window slightly, extinguish the light and sit on a seat close by the window with an axe in her hand to defend her children. However, each night she sat there, Campbell raided some other camp.   Those women of the bush knew how to be brave, knew how to be good and knew how to be kind to one another.

We did not have a Sunday school or a church to attend when we first went to the Woodford district, but time was always found to bring down the family Bible. It was read to us on Sundays when we sang the old hymns and learned at the bedside to say, “Our Father which art in heaven”, taught in the simple faith.

When the school was built, Mother and father went back to the little township so that the children could receive a little education. In this township of Woodford they opened the first Church of England Sunday School.

Later they selected a piece of land at the foot of the Postman’s track, which was so called because they carried mail over the ranges to Gympie long before the days of the railways. By that time the family had grown, one girl and four boys, and then later two girls were born. One of the latter two girls entered the nursing profession and served with her three brothers in the Great War.

They toiled for many years and they really saw results, but how we loved that little home, first a tent, then a slab hut and later a little house with a shingle roof, flowers, vegetables and fruit trees growing, and our cows and horses roaming around.

We used to play for hours in the glorious sunshine, bathe in the creek and walk for miles along tracks in the heart of the wild flowers and ferns. We could all shoot, and it was a great delight to bring home pigeons and wild turkeys for the menu.

They are days we shall always remember. In the evenings we would sit and watch the stars and the moon creeping up over the mountaintop, flooding the Glen with its glorious light.

We had a number of pets, always a faithful dog, cats, kookaburras, magpies, parrots, wallabies and many others besides. All were allowed, to roam in their natural state of freedom.

Alfred and Sarah lived over the allotted span of life, and were ready when their time came to pass on to the Great Beyond, leaving in that valley a memory of service and love.

Named in their Honour - Nonmus Road, Woodford.

Belgium
NONMUS Gilbert Brierly
NONMUS Gilbert Brierly
Returned to Australia
30 January 1918 per Euripides
8 March 1966
Buderim - Queensland
80
Buderim Cemetery - Queensland

Buderim Mountain Roll of Honour Board, Buderim War Memorial Hall, Corner of Main & Church Streets, Buderim, Queensland.

Woodford Community Memorial Centre Honour Board, 109 Archer Street, Woodford, Queensland.

National Archives. Australian War Memorial. Buderim Historical Society. Chronicle, 6 January 1922. Nambour Chronicle, 22 June 1928. The Brisbane Courier, 4 July 1928. Photo: Sawmills donated to BHS by son Max. Photo: Gilbert & Family - Buderim Historical Soc. (BHS)

Helene
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