by Peter Munro
It is an oppressively hot Friday in March as I stood beside the grave of Trooper William Croome in the Mudgee Cemetery. Beside me stood William’s great niece Helen Shearman. As we read the inscription on the headstone, my thoughts were with William’s five mates who were buried on the Sorrento Cemetery and of the ‘Drayton Grange’ that ill-fated, ill equipped troopship who through sickness and death is the catalyst for the connection between these two towns.
Sorrento to Mudgee is quite a distance, even by to-day’s standards with the comforts of plane and hire car. Back in August 1902, the trip would have been considerably longer for William Croome who made his final journey from the military hospital at Fort Franklin, Portsea, to his home town of Mudgee, N.S.W. This was a homecoming poor William would never see. Continue reading