History – WW1 Soldier – Cicolini, Horace Raymond 2003

Horace Raymond Cicolini was one of the three sons of Emanuele and Mary Jane Cicolini, whose farm in Upper Lansdowne was located at what is now known as 150 Koppin Yarratt Road. He was 21 years and one month when he enlisted on 10th August 1915 in Newcastle and served with his brothers John (known as Jack) and Raymond.

Horace left Sydney, Australia on the “Malakuta” on 16th March 1916. On 23 April 1916 at Tel-el-Kebir, he was taken on the strength of the 14th Reinforcement, 7th Light Horse Regiment, which became the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, serving in the Middle East. He embarked for overseas on the 25 May 1916 from Alexandria. He was transferred to the Artillery as a Gunner on 27 June 1916.

He moved to the French theatre of war and was appointed a Motor Transport Driver on 8 March 1917. and with the 4th Motor Transport Company in France. His brother, Raymond, was wounded on 31st May 1918, when German shells destroyed the barn in Allonville where he and many other units were billeted. Raymond died of his wounds on 3rd June 1918, in 5th CCS (Grouy St. Pierre). Both Horace and Jack were with him when he died.

Horace was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. A link to his Active Service Form is here.

Horace and Jack returned to Australia on the “Beltana” which left England on 2nd June 1919, and they disembarked in Sydney on 19th July 1919. His father, Emanuele, had died on 3rd December 1913, and his mother’s home was where the local school teachers stayed. In 1920 after his return to Upper Lansdowne, Horace married Elizabeth Cunningham, who was a local school teacher. Their home, “Veronique” was built on part of the Cicolini farm, and the home is still there, and is now known as “Flame Tree Cottage”. Under the Soldier Settlement Scheme for returned servicemen, Horace was also granted acres around Mt. Coxcombe Road.

Horace and Elizabeth (Bessie) had five children, Leo, Margaret, Paul, Daniel and Joan. They had a tennis court in the front yard of “Veronique” (now Flame Tree Cottage), and many family and friends in Upper Lansdowne would gather there on the weekend for sport and recreation. It was some time in the early 1940s that the family moved to Willoughby in Sydney. Horace worked for a friend from his Army days, who had a service station on the Pacific Highway in Gordon. Bernie Unger worked the farm for Horace for many years. When Bernie left the property, Les Atkins had been leasing it for a period of time before he bought it from the family some time after Horace died of natural causes on 17th August, 1970, aged 76 years. Horace is buried in the Field of Mars Cemetery, in Ryde.

Photos and information supplied by Clare Coleman, niece