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Vivian Thomas MAYNARD MM

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 1695 30y8m 16 Apr 1916 21 Aug 1919 6

Private Vivian Thomas Maynard MM (1881—1955)


Family background

Vivian Thomas Maynard was born on 10 November 1881, son of John Henry Maynard and Louise Susan (nèe Blee).  Mr J. H. Maynard was Headmaster of Bowen Bridge Road State School later known as Windsor State School.  An historical account of the Windsor school refers to the important contribution made by the Maynard family after difficulties in the very early days of the Bowen Bridge Road School.  

“Stability came to the school in 1873 with the arrival of John Henry Maynard. At this point there were 90 students for him to manage. This load was somewhat lightened when Mrs Maynard was appointed as an assistant teacher.”1

Indeed, some of Mr and Mrs Maynard’s children including Vivian Thomas Maynard also became involved in staffing the school as assistant teachers or pupil-teachers.

Another account in praise of John Henry Maynard was written by an experienced Queensland journalist and soldier, Major-General Spencer Browne.  He had this to say:

“He came to Queensland as a lad of 19 in 1864, and intended to go to the ordinary Civil Service. He passed whatever educational test there was, but Randell McDonald was then, I think, Under Secretary for Education, and he sensed a valuable recruit for his service, and young Maynard was sent to the schools. He opened the first school at Townsville in 1869, and as I was there nine years later we were able, after I came to Brisbane, to talk over many of the Northern identities. Mr Maynard was transferred to Bowen Bridge in 1873, and at that school served for 38 years. Happily he has left a considerable family with us, and one, a “digger” is in the Education Department head office in Brisbane. Mr Maynard, sen., trained thousands of Queenslanders, and was a faithful and capable head master.”2

The “digger” was Vivian Thomas Maynard.  He had three older brothers, four older sisters and three younger sisters.  One of his older sisters died in infancy.  The Maynard family home was Endsleigh in Thorne Street, Windsor.  Misses Daisy, Violet and Ivy Maynard were listed as members of Wharf Street Congregational Church in 1919.

Teacher training

Vivian Thomas Maynard received his professional training for the teaching service through the pupil-teacher system.  He was a pupil-teacher at his father’s school at Bowen Bridge Road from 1 January 1897 to 31st December 1901.  Then as an Assistant Teacher at the same school, he received yearly promotions to the next level of classification, dependent on a satisfactory report by the District Inspector.

Inspectors were not noted for high praise of teachers’ performances but when he had reached Class III, Division 5 in 1903, Inspector A. S.  Kennedy remarked: 

“A good teacher and disciplinary ability steadily improving; work very creditable.”

Vivian Maynard remained an Assistant Teacher at Bowen Bridge Road School till 31 December 1911.  He then transferred to the Head Office of the Department of Public Instruction where he was employed as a Clerk.

Enlistment and service

On 16 July 1915, Vivian Thomas Maynard enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.  His mother was next-of-kin, his father having died in 1913.  Given service number 1695, he was appointed as a Driver in 3rd Field Ambulance and embarked from the Port of Brisbane on HMAT Armadale on 22 September 1915.  He was assigned to field ambulance duties at Gallipoli and Mudros in December 1915 just prior to the evacuation.  In early 1916, he was transferred from transport duties to Field Ambulance Bearer at his own request. His rank thereafter was Private.

On the Western Front the ambulance units were involved in numerous areas and sectors including Ploegsteert, Messines, Charing Cross, Ypres, the Somme and Villers-Bretonneux.  Often bearers carried the wounded over long, trackless and shell-churned ground.  Sometimes  it was necessary for the bearers to wear gas masks.  The casualties were numerous and the bearers had a very strenuous task evacuating wounded men from the various posts.

Private Maynard was involved in such heavy fighting while serving with the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion on the Western Front in Belgium and the Somme in 1917 and 1918.

His Commanding Officer commended Maynard’s particularly brave action in August 1918. He said: 

“Near Pozières on 11 August 1918, Private Maynard with Private Eva was on duty with six other stretcher bearers when a gas shrapnel shell suddenly exploded among them killing one man and severely wounding or gassing the other five men. Although these two men were considerably shaken by the shock of the explosion and were subjected to heavy shell fire at the time they adjusted the respirators of their wounded comrades, dressed their wounds and carried them to safety.”3

For his bravery in the field, Private V. T. Maynard was awarded the Military Medal by His Majesty the King.  Notification of the award appeared in the London Gazette numbered 31405.  The award was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette dated 10 October 1919. Besides his Military Medal he was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Post war

After the Armistice on 11 November 1918, Vivian Maynard was able to take leave for various periods in France and England.  He returned to Australia per HMAT Borda and was discharged on 21 August 1919.  In Brisbane, he re-commenced his duties as a Public Servant in the Department of Public Instruction.  His mother died in 1922.  He moved with his brother Sheldon to live at Isedale Street, Wooloowin till Sheldon’s death in 1926.  He and his sisters later resided at Pring and Derby Streets, Hendra.  It is recorded that Vivian T Maynard travelled by sea on the P & O ship Strathmore from London to Sydney in October 1938, perhaps returning to Australia after a period of leave in the United Kingdom. He died on 15 September 1955.

1. Masel P, Education in Early Windsor, Windsor and Districts Historical Society Inc.
2. Browne S, A Journalist’s Memories, page 220
3. Wording of commendation by Commanding Officer, 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps

• Browne, Major-General Spencer, CB, VD, FRGS, A Journalist’s Memories, Read Press Ltd, Brisbane, 1927
• Masel, Pam, Education in early Windsor, article published by Windsor & Districts’ Historical Society, not dated
• Australian War Memorial
• Embarkation Rolls, World War 1
• Honours and Awards, World War 1
• National Archives of Australia, military records
Blue Book of Queensland, selected volumes 1902 – 1930, Queensland State Archives
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 10 October, 1919, page 1494, National Library of Australia
• Wharf Street Congregational Church Year Books 1909 – 1920, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Archives, Brisbane
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths, Marriages
•, family history online
The Brisbane Courier, 19 July 1926, page 6 and 25 May 1928, page 9
• Queensland Electoral Rolls, 1905 - 1954

Mr Graham Maynard, great-nephew of Vivian Thomas Maynard is thanked for kindly providing copies of family papers and photographs.

Prepared by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane, September 2015 ©



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