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The tool maker of Bellarine East. T.W Holmes

The aim of the Bellarine Historical Society/Museum is to collect and preserve the history of the Bellarine Peninsula. We hold many objects and images, some which we cannot identify. A Recent donation to the Museum was a hand-made farm tool minus the handle with the name T.W Holmes BELLARINE E (EAST) engraved on the metal. The tool is larger and heavier than a garden hoe and has a metal plate that has been welded across the join.

Who was T Holmes from Bellarine East?

Thomas was born in Melbourne in 1870. At the age of 24 he married Helen Alston on 5 November 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria. He established a blacksmith and wheelwright business at Bellarine. Thomas was also the Postmaster at Bellarine Post Office in 1903. He was involved in other community activities, on the Bellarine school committee, the Arbour Day Committee and was involved with the Methodist Church as well as a member of Arlington Freemasons Lodge.

In 1916 he felt it was his duty to defend his country, and in his late forties, sold his Blacksmith shop and left for Melbourne where he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Army, (AIF). At the camp in Maribyrnong he gain top marks and was promoted to Farrier Sergeant. He embarked from Melbourne on board the HMAT Medic. He left behind his wife, Helen who remained at Hyland Street, South Yarra for eight years. After serving on the Western Front he was sent to England after a bout of trench fever then returned to Australia on board the Karmala in 1919 aged 49.

Both Thomas and his wife returned to Portarlington in the 1920s living in Stevens Street. There is no evidence of any employment record. His name is on the War Memorial in Portarlington and the RSL Honour Board.

Thomas died in 1950 in Portarlington, Victoria, at the age of 80, and is buried in the Portarlington Cemetery along with his wife, Helen.

The tool was kindly donated by Joyce (Hammond) Batson.