Arthur Leslie Rush
Arthur Leslie Rush was the first to sign up, enlisting in August 1915. He sailed for the Middle East two months later and served in the 53rd Battalion until March 1916 when he transferred to the 14th Machine Gun Company. In June 1916 he left Egypt for France. Arthur showed great aptitude as a gunner and was soon promoted, moving through the ranks from private, to corporal and in January 1917 to sergeant. His cool courage and the inspiration of his men during an engagement in January 1918 earned him the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and soon after, promotion to Lieutenant. Arthur Rush was killed in action during the battle to recapture Villers Bretonneux from 24-27 April 1918, a battle which would pass into AIF legend: ‘Thereafter, no German ever set foot in Villers–Bretonneux save as a prisoner of war.’
For Jemima Erskine Rush the First World War brought more than her share of grief. Widowed in 1907, Jemima continued on the family orchard, Sylvan Glen at Penrose, after her husband Philip died. During the course of the war, four of her sons enlisted, two of whom would die on the battlefields of France.