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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Crowl, Joseph Terrell

Place of Birth: South Melbourne, VIC

Age: 30 years 11 months

Enlistment Details: Monday, 21 September 1914 – Unknown

Service Number: N/A           view online service record

c/o National Bank, Bay Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
Joseph Terrell Crowl (father)
c/o National Bank, Bay Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Thursday, 25 February 1915
Ship: HMAT Star of Victoria A16
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 8th Light Horse Regiment

KIA: Sunday, 27 June 1915
Place: Gallipoli

Played football in the VFL for Geelong, cousin of St Kilda VFL footballer Claude Terrel Crowl who was killed in action 25 April 1915.

Captain, 6 Light Horse, killed in action 27 June, 1915, aged 31, Gallipoli, commemorated Ari Burnu Cemetery, Gallipoli.

Parents: Joseph Terrell and Matilda Orr CROWL, born South Melbourne, educated Flinders School, Geelong, parents originally at 22 Service Crescent, South Melbourne. He enlisted as a 31-year-old stock auctioneer, his address c/o National Bank, Port Melbourne where his father was manager, parents later in Ormond. Death Notice Port Melbourne Standard, August, 1915, youngest son, one brother, three sisters, two married. Circular notes a cousin: 337 Pte Claude Terrell CROWL, from Poowong in South Gippsland killed in action, 25-26 April 1915.

Additional research by Brian Membrey

JOSEPH TERRELL CROWL: First Geelong Officer to be Killed in Action at the Dardanelles

Joseph Terrell Crowl was born at Emerald Hill (South Melbourne) on December 13, 1884, the second son of National Bank manager Joseph Terrell Crowl and his wife Matilda. As a bank manager Joseph senior was posted to a number of branches throughout his career, and one of those postings took the family to Geelong.

Joseph was educated locally at Flinders School and when the family was posted away from Geelong, young Crowl stayed, finding work in the stock division of Armstrong, Howe and Co., which eventually was taken over by Dalgety and Co.
An outstanding athlete, Crowl showed talent in several sports, including football, swimming and sailing. He played football while at Flinders School, then with Chilwell before joining Geelong Football Club in 1906 and playing four games that season against Collingwood, Essendon (twice) and South Melbourne.

Playing mainly in the back pocket or ruck, he was not a regular in the Geelong line-up and drifted away from league football to concentrate on his business career. He was promoted to stock agent and then went on to become an auctioneer manager. His cousin Claude Crowl had followed a similar career path, played for local VFL clubs, and also becoming a stock agent. Joseph Crowl was described as a gregarious character who made friends easily.

When war was declared Crowl, who had been a Lieutenant in the Australian Light Horse Militia (29th Squadron), volunteered. He had been eager to serve, but there were health issues relating to complications from an operation. After review, however, he was appointed adjutant at the Broadmeadows training camp in the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Crowl sailed to Egypt on the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 25 February 1915 and took part in the famous landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. Just two months later, on June 27, he was killed when a six-inch Turkish shell exploded near him at Walker’s Ridge.

The city of Geelong went into mourning at the news of Captain Crowl’s death and the News of the Week reported in its 5th August edition:

The first Geelong officer to be killed in action at the Dardanelles is Captain J T Crowl, news of whose death reached his father, manager of the National Bank at Port Melbourne on July 28″. Captain Crowl was a member of the Geelong Auctioneers’ Association, and the offices were closed for an hour on Friday as a tribute to his memory.

Dalgety and Co’s manager, Mr. J. F Guthrie wrote: “The late Captain Crowl was a splendid specimen of Australian manhood, 31 years of age, about 6 ft in height, cleanly built and weighed 13 st.”

The Argus of August 20th 1915 reported:

Captain Joseph Terrell Crowl (killed) was well and widely known throughout Victoria. As a stock salesman and manager of the stock department of the Geelong branch of Dalgety and Company he was brought into close touch with the pastoral and agricultural interests of the Western District. Among the stock raisers and producers, he was held in warm esteem…
When news of his death reached Geelong flags were lowered half-mast throughout the city and the offices of the stock and station agencies were closed for an hour as a mark of respect.

When a staff officer was asked to comment on Crowl regarding “particulars required for the Roll of Honour”, he wrote: “Captain Crowl was a perfect soldier, a splendid officer. He died as he would have wished, doing his duty.”

The family death notice under the heading “KILLED IN ACTION” appeared in the Argus on July 31, 1915.

Crowl – On the 27th June, killed in action at the Dardanelles, Captain Joseph Terrell (8th light horse) younger son of Joseph Terrell and Matilda Orr Crowl, National Bank, Port Melbourne; brother of Vera and George T Crowl, Mrs M T Fetherstone, Melbourne and Mrs E Dodge, Sydney. Aged 31 years; Loved by all.

Joseph Terrell Crowl is buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery Row D, Grave No. 4, Anzac, Gallipoli.

Compiled by Sharron Dickman
Honouring the Past Coordinator
Geelong Football Club
April 2015


  • Brian Membrey
    Posted October 14, 2017 5.41 pm 0Likes

    The family had an extended history in the military, his father Joseph Terrell senior was appointed as Lieutenant and second-in-command of the new South Melbourne Field Battery in 1884 after the formation of the new Militia Forces after previously being a Lieutenant in the disbanded Volunteer Forces. The family were shown in Dorcas-street West, south Melbourne at the time of his appointment

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