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John Oxley Library


By JOL Admin | 24 February 2014


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The Buzzer was written on board Transport 72 during its homeward voyage in November 1917.

This review in The Worker in December 1918 calls it "by far the most artistic and elegantly produced journal of its kind that has yet reached this office".  The last sentence, which is a little hard to decipher, ends "the cover paper is Australian made, having been turned out of the Barwon paper mills, Victoria."

The Buzzer

As well as the usual combination of poems and humorous pieces, it includes at least a dozen photographs showing the personnel on board.

Some content, such as articles about the Beerburrum Soldiers Settlement Farm or Queensland's State Butcher's Shops, was no doubt added after the editor had disembarked in Brisbane.

Like most troop publications the tone is lighthearted , an exception being a description of the burial at sea of Private Thomas James Caffrey, age 33 years.

It's worth noting that the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour transcript says that Caffrey died in France, but the Nominal Roll gives the correct information, ie. Private Thomas James Caffrey, service no. 1083 died at sea on 15 November 1917.  He was a farmer from Armidale.

Ten nurses accompanied the 900 men and 31 officers on Transport 72.  They were led by Matron Lily Jane Rinder, who had enlisted on 19 September 1916 and finally returned to Australian on 5 January 1919.  More information can be found about Matron Rinder on the World War 1 Australian Army Nursing Service webpage and you can see her enlistment form here.

The Buzzer's editor was Gilbert "Gunner" Taylour.  He has been confused in the history books with George Cuthbert Taylour, according to Martin Sullivan.  In a review of the "Red Flag Riots" appearing in Australian Historical Studies, vol. 23, no. 92 (1989), p. 322-323, Sullivan says that the family of George Cuthbert Taylour was anxious to have the record show that it was he who was jailed after the Red Flag riots in Brisbane in 1919, not Gilbert Taylour.   Gilbert "Gunner" Taylour may have been less radical, but he was still active after the war, associated with organizations such as the Queensland Development League and the Queensland Preference League.

You can viewed the digitised version of The Buzzer via our One Search catalogue.

About The Buzzer

WORLD OF RECREATION. (1918, December 5). Worker (Brisbane, Qld. : 1890 - 1955), p. 12. Retrieved November 20, 2013, from

About Digger Journalism

"Digger Journalism on Land and Sea" (1920 column).  Aussie: The Australian Soldiers Magazine,  vol. 2 no. 17,  15 July 1920 (p.19-21)





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