Ballarat School of Mines

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Glyn Evans, and Ballarat School of Mines Magazine Committee, 1905. Glyn is in the centre of the back row. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection

The Ballarat School of Mines was established in 1870 making it the first School of Mines established in Australia. It is now a predecessor institution of Federation University Australia.

Three hundred and ninety four students from the Ballarat School of Mines were known to have enlisted during World War One: 18 students gained Distinctions, 87 students became commissioned officers, and 44 students who were killed in action. [1]

War Service - Nothing is more worthy of a place in this history than the School's record of service in the Great War. Many students left Australia with the first contingent, and, since them, the School has been represented on every field where Australians have fought, from the first landing to Gallipoli to the decisive victory on August 8th.
The Honor Roll at present contains the name of 394 students, including 31 who gained distinctions, 87 commissioned officers, and 31 non-commissioned officers. Owing, however, to the difficulty of keeping in touch with the students who left the School before the commencement of the war, and who have followed their careers in various parts of the world, it is very probably that there are many names to be added to the list. As would be supposed, a large proportion of students were attached to those branches of the A.I.F. where technically trained men were specially required. This influence of the School is appropriately shown in the fact that at least 13 of its students were officers in the first Australian Miners' Corps.[2]

Former Ballarat School of Mines Students who served with the Australian Mining Corps

Out of the 40 officers of the Australian corps of miners which has been formed to accompany our troops to the Front 10 are old Ballarat School of Mines boys. A handsomely-framed group photograph of them, together with three other old boys who are non-commissioned officers, has been sent to the school, and another to Prof. Mica Smith.[3]
Leslie J. Coulter, member of the Ballarat School of Mines Football Team", 1907. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection
Back left to right: Beaumont, Norman Buley, Charles, Elliott
2nd back row left to right: Crossley, Robin, Pearce, Stanger-Leathes, Treloar, Leslie J. Coulter
2nd front row left to right: Bieske, Davenport, Seward, Robert A. Clinton, Ditchburn, Dawson, Campbell

Ernest S. Anderson - John A. Anderson Wilfred P. Avery - David W. Bonar - Richard B. Boyce - Colin C. Brittain - Francis M. Bruce - Norman Buley - Robert A. Clinton - Leslie J. Coulter - Frederick Daniel - Martin Dunn - Glyndwr David Evans [4] - William Gilbert - Leslie Grut - Mack J. M. Kerby - William J. Lakeland - Leslie J. Lambert - Lionel Lambert - Hamilton Liddiard - Edward H. McGregor - Harry Manchester - William T. Sayer - A. E. Tandy - Frederick W. Vale - Thomas R. Williams - Charles W. Whyte

Ernest Anderson and the Ballarat School of Mines Student's Association Committee, 1910. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection
back row: H. Conran, H. Caulfield, V. Millington, L. Middleton, V. Tucker, William Baragwanath (slightly forward), C. Stubbs, W. Geddard, J. Sampson
Ernest S. Anderson, B. Whittington, Prof. Alfred Mica Smith, A.D. Gilchrist, E.C. Hurdsfield
Sitting from left: Ralph I. Moore, C.C. Corrie; Absent, Les Coulter, Ray Blight, H. Cornell.

... -speaking at the annual prize-giving in connection with the Ballarat School of Mines, which was held last evening. The president of the Council (Mr W. H. Middleton) remarked that since the war started no fewer than 130 students had left this school to enlist and fight for King and country. He was informed by Mr Frank Brind, an old schoolmate of the students, that in the Mining Corp at the front these were fourteen officers who were old boys of the Ballarat School of Mines. The former students of the School of Mines were the first of the members of the corps to obtain their commissions. He thought that was a record of which the school might well be proud. It showed that the school not only trained the boys in science, art. and trade, but also in character, citizenship, and love of country. ... [5]


The Secretary,
Executive Committee
War Relief Fund
Education Department
I beg to inform you that, Mr A.W. Steane, Head Master of the Junior Technical School, Ballarat, will be able to dispose of about one hundred (100) "ANZAC Medallions, and I shall be obliged if you will forward a supply to me as soon as possible.
Yours faithfully
L.St.G. Austin

Also See

Australian Mining Corps

Cartoon by Ted Cannon, former student of the Ballarat School of Mines, c1916. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection


  2. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1920.
  3. Ballarat Courier, 11 January 1916.
  5. Ballarat Star, 28 September 1917.
  6. Ballarat School of Mines Letterbook, 17 April 1916. (cat. no. 446)