Capt Hugh Marcell Conran, Maj William Brazenor and Maj Eric Thomas Brind, 23rd Battalion

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Posted on 26 July 2021
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Studio portrait of three officer of the 23rd Battalion who all embarked together from Melbourne on 10 May 1915 aboard HMAT Euripides. Two are from Ballarat.

Identified on the left is Captain (Capt) Hugh Marcell Conran from Balcombe, Victoria. A 25 year old assayer prior to being appointed a Lieutenant (Lt) on 28 April 1915, he embarked for overseas with C Company. While serving at Gallipoli, he was taken ill and evacuated to Lemnos and then to Egypt.

After being promoted to Captain on 24 February 1916, he rejoined the 23rd Battalion in France in April 1916. He was wounded in action at Pozieres, France on 29 July 1916 and evacuated to England for medical treatment before being returned to Australia to have his appointment terminated on medical grounds on 16 May 1917.

Conran served again in the Second World War from 1 July 1940 until 19 July 1946, including six months in New Guinea.

Seated is Major (Maj) William Brazenor from Ballarat, Victoria. A 27 year old accountant prior to being appointed a Lieutenant on 29 March 1915, he also embarked with C Company.

While serving at Gallipoli, he was promoted to Major on 27 August 1915 and then went on to serve in France where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) on 2 December 1916.

He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for distinguished service at Pozieres in August 1916 and later was awarded a Bar to the DSO for gallantry near Villers-Bretonneux, France in July 1918, as well as being Mentioned in Despatches (MID) on three separate occasions.

Lt Col Brazenor arrived back in Australia on 7 May 1919.

On the right is Maj Eric Thomas Brind from Ballarat. A 31 year old distiller prior to being appointed a Lieutenant on 24 March 1915 and promoted to Captain on 1 May 1916, he embarked with the Headquarters Staff.

After serving at Gallipoli, he went on to serve in France where he was promoted to Major on 27 May 1916. He was Mentioned in Despatches for conspicuous good work as Company Commander since arriving in France.

Maj Brind was reported missing in action at Pozieres on 28 July 1916 and is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France with others who have no known grave.