Ernest S. Anderson

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Ernest Sleeman Anderson, 1910. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection


Ernest Sleeman Anderson attended the Ballarat School of Mines in 1904 and 1905, becoming an Associate of the Ballarat School of Mines in 1914. Before enlisting in the AIF during World War One Anderson was working at the Port Pirie Smelting Works. [1]

In 1916 Anderson occupied the position of night superintendent at the Port Pirrie Smelting Works, which he relinquished to enlist. He now holds a commission in the Mining Corps, and is serving in France.[2]
Ballarat Made Bombs.
An exhibxtion of hand grenade throwing and the use of explosives, in warfare afforded instruction and enter tainment to close upon 1000 soldiers at the Canadian rifle ranges yesterday afternoon, and it also showed realistically the destructive power of bombs in trench warfare. The exhibition was given by Lieut. Anderson, who is an enthusiast in such matters, and Bombthrowers James Harrison (well-known in Ballarat Labor circles) and Mark Dunn (son of Cr. John N. Dunn), who have recently been through a course of instruction at the departmental school in Melbourne on bomb throwing and demolition. The three recently evolved a hand grenade, easy and cheap of manufacture, simple to charge and manipulate and handy for use on active service. The grenades exhibited were just hollow spheres of cast iron made at Mes srs. Ronaldson Bros, and Tippett's foundry, and cast with a quantity of metal fillings in them. The explosive is put in, a fuse with detonator attach ed is inserted, and the deadly weapon is ready for use. The grenade is about the size of a match cricket ball and weighs, fully charged about 11/4lb. It can be thrown accurately from 30 to 40 yards from a standing position (no room to get a run up in a trench), and the length of fuse determines, of course the period of the occurrence of the explosion, One of the bombs was exploded in a trench on Monday with very satisfac tory results, and it was estimated that in an average trench some 40 casualties would have been caused Yesterday, unfortunately, it was not considered advisable to operate in a trench, but two bombs were lighted and thrown by Lieut. Anderson in the open. Judging by the concussion experienced 250 yards away, and from the holes made in the ground (the most force is upward and outward), the 'Ballarat' bomb would be an awkward customer to meet under active service conditions. It is understood that Lieut-Colonel Bolton was very pleased with the grenade, and said that thousands, of them were required in Gallipoli. The explosive experts also made four makeshift jam tin bombs yesterday, and charged them with gelignite, and a couple were lighted and thrown into a pond. The explosions each threw a big column of water into the air, and violently agitated the whole pond. The soldier spectators rushed to the banks and a dead frog, thrown out of the water, was hailed with a cry of 'The first casualty killed in action.' A land mine, similar to those used against an attacking foe, was also laid and exploded, this being a feature of the demonstration. A dense cloud of black smoke rose, and many pounds of clods were thrown, several hundred feet into the air, to fall with a curious sound of 'incessant 'plomps' over a wide area. 'I'm going home,' announ ced a soldier, pretending fright at the unexpected results to be achieved with explosives, and there was a call for 'Cold feet, one step forward. Lecturettes on the various items were given by the officers to add to the val ue of the demonstration. The grenade is to be brought under the notice of the Minister for Defence. Lieut. Anderson expects, to be leaving shortly with the corps of miners, and Grenadiers Harrison and Dunn and several others at the Ballarat camp with mining experience are also anxious to give their services in that connection. Ballarat'Star.' [The Lieut. Anderson referred to is Mr. Sleeman Anderson, son of the Bishop of Riverina.— Ed. R.G.][3]

Military Experience

Ernest Anderson and the Ballarat School of Mines Student's Association Committee, 1910. Courtesy Federation University Historical Collection
back row: H. Conran, H. Caulfield, V. Millington, L. Middleton, V. Tucker, William Baragwanath (slightly forward), C. Stubbs, W. Geddard, J. Sampson
Ernest S. Anderson, B. Whittington, Prof. Alfred Mica Smith, A.D. Gilchrist, E.C. Hurdsfield
Sitting from left: R.J. Moore, C.C. Corrie; Absent, Les Coulter, Ray Blight, H. Cornell.

In 1916 Ernest Anderson held a commission in the Mining Corps and was serving in France. [4] At the time of his enlistment he was a 25 year old married mining enginner living at Bishop's Point, Hay, New South Wales.[5]

2nd Lieutenant Anderson embarked for overseas duty from Sydney on board the on HMAT Ulysses on 20 February 1916.[6]

See also

1st Tunnelling Company

Australian Mining Corps

Ballarat School of Mines

Leslie J. Coulter


  1. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916, p46.
  2. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916, p46.
  3. Riverina Grazier, 05 November 1915.
  4. Ballarat School of Mines Students' Magazine, 1916, p46.
  5.,accessed 20 September 2014.
  6., accessed 20 September 2014.

Other links

--Cgervasoni (talk) 11:28, 2 September 2014 (EST)

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