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Two brothers and their cousin lost to war

November 10, 2020

*This post was first published in 2018. I am posting it again as, to me, it shows, the dreadful heartache faced by families during WW1.

For this Remembrance Day post, I am remembering two brothers and their cousin, who lost their lives in World War 1.

 David Waters, Private. Service Number 2711, Eighth Reinforcements,  5th Batallion AIF
Born in 1897 at Rochester, Victoria, Australia. He enlisted in the army on 8. April 1915, at age 18. He was killed in battle, in France on 11 February 1917.  Buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery in France.

from:  The Bendionian, Thursday, 1st March 1917, page 9
Obit David WatersPRIVATE D. WATERS. Rochester, 24th February. News is to hand of the death in France of Private David Waters, nephew of Mrs. A. Mancer, of Rochester East. He was the son of Mr. George Waters, butcher of Echuca, a former resident of Rochester.

DA09826David Waters

Albert William Mancer, Private.  Service Number 2716. 60th Batallion
Born in 1892 at Rochester, Victoria, Australia. He enlisted in the army on 25 August 1916., at age 24, He died in the front line trench at the Battle of Bullecourt on 12 May 1917, age 25. Memorial Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Belgium

from: The Rochester Express, Tuesday 5 June, 1917, page 3

Killed in Action.


On Saturday the Rev E.L. Slade Mallen, Presbyterian minister, received official intimation that Pte. Albert Mancer, of Rochester East, had been killed in action, and accompanied by a request that the rev gentleman would break the tidings to the soldier’s parents.

Pte Mancer, aged 24 years, was the son of Mr A. Mancer, a settler at Nanneella, and Mrs Mancer, who, with her daughter, Mrs Austin, lives in the family homestead, in Rochester East. Mrs Austin’s husband is at the front.

Pte Mancer had been many years employed in the establishment of Messrs Moore Bros (previously Mr. A. Connell’s), where he learned his trade as a plumber. When the war broke out, he was at once desirous of serving under the flag, but was declared ineligible on account of the malformation of a toe. He tried to enlist again and again, without success, and ultimately had an operation performed on the toe, after which he was accepted, though a throat affection when in camp nearly resulted in further rejection.

In company with a number of other lads from Rochester, he sailed front on 2nd October, 1916, and had been only a few weeks in the trenches, when he yielded his life as a sacrifice to the great cause. He was born and bred in Rochester, where he was identified with a number of local bodies, including the Rochester Band and the I.O.R. He was also the efficient operator of the apparatus used at Mr. Armstrong’s picture shows, and was much esteemed by those with whom he was brought into contact.

He was married to a sister of Sergt. Vic. Lamb, another Rochester hero, who fell in the good fight some months ago, and leaves, besides his widow, a little daughter, about a year old. Much sympathy is felt for the relatives of the departed soldier, and the family of his widow has been sorely afflicted of late years. It is not long ago, since her father, the late Mr. Jas Lamb, passed away, in the almost prime of life. Then followed his son, Vic, and his son in law, Pte. Mancer

Ernest Charles  Mancer, Private. Service Number 5145. 7th Batallion
Born in 1898 at Rochester, Victoria, Australia.  He enlisted in the army on 25 January 1916. He was killed on 12 December 1917, in the battle of Flanders in Belgium, age 19. He was part of the 15th Brigade Trench Mortar Battery and was in a trench when a shell in the gun exploded, killing him instantly. Derry Road No 2 Cemetery, Messines, Belgium.

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Thursday 10 January 1918, page 5
Mancer Ernest Death NoticePRIVATE ERNEST MANCER  News was received on Saturday that Private Ernest Mancer, who had just served seven months in the trenches, was killed on the 10th of December, in France.  The deceased is the second son of MR. and Mrs. Albert Mancer, of Rochester East, to pay the supreme sacrifice.  The late Private Mancer was only 20 years old.

DA14782Ernest Charles Mancer

These three young men were were nephews of my Great Grandfather Ernest Waters. I knew my great grandfather well as a child, and do wonder at the pain he must have felt as the bad news continued to arrive during the war years.
*please note: punctuation and paragraphs have been added to transcribed articles for ease and speed of reading.

  1. flissie permalink

    So sad to read. So many deaths following each other and all that grief – it must have been just terrible for the family

  2. Ivan Waters permalink

    Appreciate receiving your posts Jennifer, especially the last with the photo of David as we will be able to identify which full size photo at home is David and my Father Edward. I will also endeavour to have the photo of GG Father Thomas enlarged as we have a wall prepared to display them. Keep the posts coming and would love to meet up some day. Best Wishes. Ivan Waters. PS could you please acknowledge receipt through this address.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Bravo for your post Jennifer and remembering these men who gave their lives for their country. Love the connection to your Great Grandfather as well. Thank you for sharing with us at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week. xx

  4. What an interesting, yet sad, post Jennifer. Your family history recording is a great way of keeping their memories alive. #mlstl

  5. Denyse Whelan permalink

    These young men who set off for ‘the adventure” and to “save the King” is oh so common and typical of the time and of course it is sad. Knowing how many did not return is even sadder. My paternal grandfather (he returned but died from a workplace accident later) was under 21 when he wanted to enlist from Wollongong and it needed his very reluctant mother’s signature to do so. Thank you for sharing as you bring these men to life.

    Denyse #mlstl

  6. I don’t know how families coped back then with the loss of their sons in the prime of their lives. So much unfulfilled potential and so many sad memories and the knowledge that they would never experience the life their parents had hoped for them.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  7. 3 nephews and one of them died at Flanders Field. What sadness war brings. WWI is a war that I only know from the history books. While my father and Uncles all fought in WWII I’m not aware of any family members that were in WWI.

  8. It’s important to remember those who gave all for freedom. I pray that some day war will be a thing of the past. My father-in-law was a prisoner of war in Japan for 3-1/2 years during WWII. #MLSTL

    • Christie the important thing is that as the years go by the next generations do not forget the sacrifices that were made in all wars. Sorry to hear that your father in law suffered

  9. Pradeep permalink

    Quite a moving piece. Those were days of unimaginable hardship and suffering. The least we can do is to recall the sacrifices, and pray.
    — Pradeep |

  10. John Rose permalink

    Hi Jennifer, Thank you for posting this sad story. Albert and Ernest Mancer were my Grandmother’s first cousins, her mother was Alice Matilda Mancer. Kind regards,

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