First World War talks to shine light on Ballarat's men

Harold ‘‘Pompey’’ Elliott as Brigadier-General and General Officer Commanding the 15th Australian Infantry Brigade.
Harold ‘‘Pompey’’ Elliott as Brigadier-General and General Officer Commanding the 15th Australian Infantry Brigade.

History buffs have been given the opportunity to learn more about two of Ballarat's most lively First World War personalities on Thursday and Friday.

Author Ross McMullins will talk about the life of renowned Brigadier-General Pompey Elliot at Ballarat Library on Thursday night.

It will be followed by a talk on the highly acclaimed cartoonist and writer Will Dyson at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute on Friday.

Mr McMullins said both men were exceptional characters of their time.

“They influenced the times sign because they were such lively, vivid personalities,” he said.

“They should be better known, although Pompey has become well known in Ballarat in recent years.

“The story of the lives of Pompey Elliott and Will Dyson were very interesting and have not been told before.”

Mr McMullins has recently released his second book on Elliott, titled Pompey Elliott At War: In His Own Words.

As a leading Australian commander at Gallipoli and the Western Front, Elliott led the 7th Battalion, made up of me from northern Melbourne suburbs and surrounding rural districts.

Dyson was even less known for his exploits, despite his Alfredton roots.

The cartoonist departed Australia to find success as an artist overseas, where he soon found it on the Western Front.

He became internationally acclaimed for exceptional talent and versatility as an official artist during the First World War.

Dyson later became a writer of prose, poetry and humour, but never achieved fame in his home country.

Mr McMullins will speak about Elliott at the Ballarat Library on Thursday, from 6pm to 7.30pm. Call 5338 6850 for more information.

He will then deliver a talk at the Ballaarat Mechanics Institute about Dyson on Friday night at 5pm. Call 5331 3042 for more information.