One of our well known and he would have many believe, better looking graduates, Terry Holland is seeking assistance in finding a missing artefact. He has provided the following as background.
‘When we were cadets at OCS, around the time of Julius Caesar, we had a ‘dinner bell’ in the cadets’ anteroom. The ‘bell’ was a shell from the Boer War. It was a small calibre shell of about 40 – 45 mm calibre and was about 300 mm long (but I am not very good at these new little measuring things). The shell hung from a wooden frame and was, of course, highly polished! On the shell was engraved ‘Toll’s Revenge’. There may have been more, perhaps ‘Boer War’ or ‘South African War’ and/or a date, I cannot now remember. No one at the college in my time knew the provenance of ‘Toll’s Revenge’. When the Officer Cadet School was amalgamated with the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1985, all of the OCS mess property was apparently sent to the Officers’ Mess at Duntroon. Some years ago, I made a casual enquiry at Duntroon concerning the whereabouts of ‘Toll’s Revenge’. No-one to whom I spoke had any knowledge of it; generally supposing that it is probably in storage somewhere at RMC.
Major (later Colonel) Frederick Toll, was a very fine and decorated soldier who served in both the Boer War and WWl and held defence appointments in WWll. His force was ambushed at one stage and the lot ‘went into the bag’. This was for a short time only before the force was released and was later back in action. I wondered if some action fought after this ambush and capture was seen as a ‘revenge’ and ‘Toll’s Revenge’ was fired then. (Perhaps something like the WW ll occasional practice of writing cheery notes on bombs destined for Germany, e.g., ‘Happy Birthday Mr Hitler’ or ‘Do not return to sender’ etc. ?).
The Toll’s are a leading family in the Bundaberg area and I have established their direct link to Colonel Toll. The family has stated that they would be very grateful if this piece of family memorabilia could be returned to them.
So, I am hoping that someone in ‘our mob’ might have an idea of where ‘Toll’s Revenge’ may be (or if it is taking pride of place in someone’s shed after having been rescued from recycling on the break-up of OCS) . If there is no information forthcoming, I may approach the RMC Commandant for his help. As you would well know, requests of this nature need to be reasonably well substantiated and have evidence of search in other areas (but mainly be a bit interesting). So, I would be very grateful for any help you may be able to provide please.
If you can provide any insight, please reply to Terry through the firstname.lastname@example.org email initially. Any photos would be appreciated.
As an aside, more information on Toll is available here.
- Essay – https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/toll-frederick-william-8826#:~:text=Frederick%20William%20Toll%20(1872%2D1955,n%C3%A9e%20Richards%2C%20both%20English%20born.
- The Australian Light Horse Association – https://www.lighthorse.org.au/colonel-frederick-william-toll/