Private Arthur John Ormes, 20th (later 2nd) Battalion of Summer Hill, New South Wales. A photo engraver prior to enlisting, he embarked from Sydney aboard the HMAT Aeneas on 20 December 1915. He died, aged 22, on 12 August 1916 at the St Johns Ambulance Brigade, Etaples, France, from gunshot wounds received in action at Pozieres, France on 23 July 1916. He is buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery, France.
A Clever Parramatta Hero. The Late Private Arthur John Ormes.
Private Arthur John Ormes, whose death from wounds in France was recently reported in ‘The Argus,” was a promising young Parramatta native. Both his parents are also natives of the old town, and his grandfather, the late Jonathan Ormes, was a resident for more than half a century. Private Ormes was in his 24th year, and a process engraver by trade. Most of his schooling was received under Mr. S. C. Byrnes (headmaster of Summer Hill Superior Public School), who is also a Parramatta man, and to whose tuition the young soldier owed much for the promise of a bright career in life. Private Ormes had natural artistic gifts, and painting in oils and water colors and pen-and-ink sketching were some of his hobbies. Indeed, the best pictures in his parents home at Summer Hill today are his handiwork. Two or three are worthy of mention, namely, “Sunset on the Parramatta River”; a view from Abbotsford, looking westward alone the championship course, with the hills of Ryde, etc., in the background; and a view of Abbotsford from Gladesvllle. Another good picture is Kurnell, from La Perouse”; as is also one of Sorrento Beach, Victoria, which he painted for his uncle, Mr. Jack Ormes, of Elsternwick, who was once Parramatta’s champion walker, and whose son, Victor, has been through Gallipoli and is now in France. While billeted at the front Private Ormes also did some good pen-and-ink sketches as souvenir letter-heads. He said in one letter; ” I have done quite a lot of these for the boys, and others are asking when I will do theirs.” A special sketch for his sister shown the clock-tower of an old abbey in France, ruined by the Huns, and is full of fine detail. Besides fake-photography, another hobby was the construction of neat mechanical models of different types of aeroplanes, and the Flying of these in a paddock near his parents’ residence often attracted a crowd of interested spectators. The motive power was derived from twisted strands of special rubber to work the propellers. In conjunction with Reggie Williams, of Bexley, now at the Richmond Aviation School, the late Private Ormes constructed a biplane glider 30 ft. in width, which was taken by the two lads to North Menangle, where, every weekend some three years ago, short flights were obtained from the tops of the steep hills.
While at the front Private Ormes wrote some verses entitled “Der Strafe,” and, although he Intended those to be satirical only of ‘Bellerive’s” (a “Bulletin” poet’s style), he developed a serious tone combined with some fine sentiment. Sadly enough it was not for the author to realise the last verse.