Lt Howie: 'For courage and devotion to duty'

Bravery: Lt Oscar Roy Howie MC of the 3rd Tunnelling Coy; Military Cross medal; Anzac poppy; and 'Collie Boys' of the 3rd Tunnelling Company. Photos: Supplied.

Bravery: Lt Oscar Roy Howie MC of the 3rd Tunnelling Coy; Military Cross medal; Anzac poppy; and 'Collie Boys' of the 3rd Tunnelling Company. Photos: Supplied.

Continued from last fortnight's column.

Bravery Award:

Lieutenant Oscar Roy HOWIEMC, 3rd Tunnelling Coy

'Collie Boy', Oscar Roy HOWIE, from Steere Street, Collie, enlisted into the Mining Corps in 1915.

Howie, a mining engineer, was employed as a colliery undermanager in the Collie coalfields.

His engineering expertise saw him enlisted as a direct entry officer with the rank of Lieutenant.

Lieutenant Howie was awarded a Military Cross (MC) for bravery during actions in France in July 1916.

The recommendation read:

" For general good work for the past six months; for courage and devotion to duty on two occasions:

(1) On night 8/7/16 when he took a small party into No Man's Land and worked for 2 1/2 hours under intermittent machine gun and rifle fire to adjust a push pipe charge required to assist an Infantry Attack; his work enabled the operation to be successfully carried out.

(2) On 19/7/16 when leads and fuse to a charge for making communication trench were cut by shell fire, he, accompanied by 2 N.C.O's again successfully repaired the damage, working under very heavy fire; the charge was later successfully exploded."

In total, there were 21 miners from Colliewho served in the Mining Corps during WW1, sadly two 'Collie Boys' died whilst on active service (see asterisks beside their names below).

Australian Mining Corps

'Collie Boys' who served in the Tunnelling Companies of the Australian Mining Corps are listed below:

6796 Alexander ANDERSON

913 Thomas Richard ATHERTON

917 Robinson BARNES

488 David Rowland BEDLINGTON

5285 Ambrose Henry BRAY

9535 Henry COLBRAN

4327 Peter FERGUSON

4353 Charles HENDERSON

6464 James HORROCKS

Lt Oscar Roy HOWIEMC

1044 John Arnold JONES

*6821 William KENNY

5155 John Henry McLAREN

1118 Thomas PAGE

7697 John PEMBER

*5400 James Rhys PRITCHARD

6837 Rupert Charles PRITCHARD

7165 Thomas Archibald RICHARDS

5419 Thomas Greer SHANNON

1166 Samson SIMPSON

1186Evan THOMPSON

'Collie Boys' of the 3rd Tunnelling Company (pictured above)

Back row L to R: Bob Watson (not known - Collie); 1186 Evan Thompson Snr; 243 Robinson Barnes; 1166 Samson Simpson; 913 Thomas Atherton.

Front row L to R: 488 David Bedlington; Lt Oscar Roy Howie MC; unknown soldier.

'Lest we Forget'