Arthur Dowling was 38 and working in Hobart as Secretary of the Tasmania Club when he joined the 12th Battalion in July 1915. His father bred fine Merino sheep on Trefusis before retiring to Roseneath at Ross.
Arthur saw service in the Gallipoli campaign and then served in France and Belgium as part of the 13th Light Trench Mortar Battery. He was hospitalised in September 1917, suffering from shell shock after an incident near Ypres when his mortar was blown out. Five of the team were killed and Arthur was buried by the explosion. He worked behind the lines for the remainder of the war.
On his return, Arthur ran sheep at Runnymede on land obtained as part of the Returned Soldiers Settlement Scheme.
In 1921 he married Kathleen Nairn. Their wedding, in St David’s Cathedral, was attended by the Governor’s family. Arthur and Kathleen made their home in Ross, living is what is now known as the Scotch Thistle Inn. Arthur served on the Ross Council for 25 years, including 14 years as Warden. He died in 1965.
This image shows Arthur’s signature from his enlistment papers.
Arthur’s story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.