Just Another Pair Of Socks

Melton District ANZACS

Joseph Daniel Pryse EXELL


Born: 5 October, 1890

Birth registration: Victorian Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration No. 32969

Birthplace: Glenloth / Charlton, Victoria

Parents: George Exell, 1854 (born Indented Heads -1941 died Bacchus Marsh); Mary Jane (Jennie) Pryse

Died: 18 January, 1992

Burial place: Lilydale Lawn Cemetery

Awards and Honours

  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal


17th reinforcements, 23rd battalion



Regimental Service Number: 6052

Enlistment date: 5 October, 1916 Cootamundra, NSW

Age at enlistment: 26 years

Address at enlistment: Cootamundra; Also C/- Railway Station, Melton

Religion: Presbyterian

Marital Status: Single

Next of kin: Mother: Mary Jane Exell, Railway Station, Melton

Physical Description: Height: 5 feet 10 inches
Weight: 158 pounds.
Complexion: Fair
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Brown
Distinctive marks:

Embarkation ship: HMAT A 8 Argyllshire.

Rank: Private

Return Date: 21 December, 1917

Return Vessel: HT A34 Persic; 12/02/1918 transhipped to HMT Ormande for Sydney.

War Service Summary

30/10/1916 - Embarked from Sydney
10/01/1917 - Disembarked Devonport, England for training
12/01/1917 - Marched in from Australia to Larkhill
19/04/1917    To proceed to France
20/04/1917 - To France; Etaples
27/04/1917 - Rejoins 23rd battalion
03/05/1917 - Wounded in action gun shot wound to right arm; Rouen
25/05/1917   To be invalided to England
28/05/1917 - Gun Shot Wound Right arm, severe; sent to England from Havre
04/10/1917    Discharged from Southwark Hospital to furlo to 18/10/1917
21/12/1917    Returned to Australia for discharge  18/08/1918    Discharged Medically unfit

Full time duty AIF 694 days; overseas service 461 days

War Service Commemerated

Life After the War

Names of wife & children:
10/02/1923 Joseph married Hazel Phyllis Loft. They had 6 children; 4 boys, 2 girls

Joseph's parents: George Exell, Jennie Pryse, married 1882 Reg # 5541. Their children: George Percival (1883 1954); Hilda Blanche Pryse Exell (1884-1889); John Austin Pryse Exell (1887-1934); Leslie Gordon Pryse Exell (1888-1971); Joseph Daniel Pryse Exell (1890-1892); Thomas Stanley Pryse Exell (1893-1917)  Place/s of residence:
From Service Record:
04/10/1916 in Cootamundra, but gives address as Railway Staton, Melton
10/09/1923 Greenvale Post Office
27/07/1945 Craigieburn
12/02/1946 32A Aberfeldie St., Essendon
27/07/1959 Cottles Bridge

From Electoral Rolls:
1919 110 Nicholson St. Carlton
1924 159 Pelham St., Carlton; Ethel May Exell is living at the same address. Joseph had married Hazel by 1924, so Ethel may be a relative.
1931 Yuroke; Hazel Phyllis is living at the same address (home duties)
1937, 1942 Craigeburn; Hazel Phyllis is living at the same address (home duties)
1954 32 A Aberfeldie St., Moonee Ponds; Hazel Phyllis is living at the same address (home duties)
1958, 1968 Cottles Bridge; Hazel Phyllis is living at the same address (home duties)

From Electoral Rolls:
1919 Soldier
1924 Nil occupation
1931 Labourer;
1937, 1942 Farm manger
1954 Textile worker
1958, 1968 Nil occupation

Date of death:
18/01/1992 Aged 101 years and 3 months  Place of burial:
21/01/1992 - Lilydale Lawn Cemetery
The Greater Melbourne Cemeteries Trust database shows that Hazel Phyllis Exell, his wife, was buried at the same location on 26/02/1971.

Other relevant information:
There is mention of Austin Pryse Exell in the Heritage Study, residence Glenloth in Melton.

Additional Information

The Bacchus Marsh Express
Saturday 13 October 1917 p 3

Letter received by Mrs. George Exell, Melton South, illustrating the kindness shown to our wounded men: - 18 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London, S.W, June 29. "I am writing to tell you of your son, Private J. Exell. I've seen him every week since 28.5.17, when he came into the Southwark Military Hospital, East Dulwich, London; S.E. Your boy doesn't seem to have much pain from his wound. He is in the nicest ward of the Hospital, and well looked after. The Sister is charming, kind and sympathetic, and liked by all the boys. It's a long ward, with 28 beds in it; there are eight other Australians in the ward, and about 160 altogether in the Hospital. It's very hard on all of you, so far away, to know one's boy is in bed, wounded. The distributors from the Red Cross go round once a week, and give them 40 cigarettes, matches notepaper, soap, toothbrushes, tooth powder, brushes, combs, &c., as they want them. I (who come from Adelaide), am the official visitor for the Australian Red Cross, so see the boys always once a week, and oftener if they are not so well. I take them the Australian newspapers, and do any little odd thing I can to make them feel they are thought of. It may cheer you to know your boy is not being neglected. Personally, I am always glad when they do not get well too soon. Every month means a month nearer the end of the war, and there is no thought of Private Exell being disabled by his wound. - Yrs sincerely, J. A. Crawford."  Melton Express
Saturday 20 April 1918 p 2

This Saturday evening, 20th inst., a social and presentation will be tendered to Mr. Thomas Lang, late head teacher at Melton S.S. All friends and well-wishers cordially invited to do honor to a worthy ex-citizen.
Mr. Walter Missen, Toolern Vale, has been officially informed that his
son, Pte. A. P. Missen, has been "gassed" whilst on Active Service.
Despite the threatening weather on Saturday evening last, the Melton
Mechanics' hall was well filled with local and district residents, who assembled to tender a "Welcome home" to Privates Cameron, Morris, and McDonald, and at the same time to bid bon voyage and au revoir to Privates G. Burland, E. Mulrooney, and Albert Coburn. Rev. F. Stanley Love was M.C., and read apologies for unavoidable absence from Privates Percy and Joe Exell, W. Moore and E. Minns (returned men); also from Rev. Father Gleeson, Rev. Davis and Rev Williams. Vocal and instrumental harmony was contributed by Misses Riddell, Crone, Scotson, Mrs. Finch, Rev. Love, Messrs. Hansforth, Steinfort and Small. After the National Anthem, the chairman, in a spirited address, extended a welcome to the returned boys. He urged more local interest in the committee meetings and greater enthusiasm for our brave returned. Melton should not be behind other centres in doing honor to the men who had risked their lives in the great cause of freedom and humanity. - Mr. Bulman (Methodist Church) endorsed the chairman's sentiments and paid a tribute to the patriotism and bravery of the Australian boys. He hoped those who were about to sail would be spared to return. - Mr. J. H. Cunningham, J.P., said every available eligible man was needed in the great push now going on at the Front. He was delighted to be present to welcome back the local boys, who had returned after having done their duty to King and Country. - Cr. Robininson contrasted the hardships and sufferings of the men at the Front with our comfortable positions at home. We should do all in our power at this critical juncture to uphold the cause of the Allies. - Mr. J. F. Roe (State School) joined in the welcome and congratulation, and said thousands were giving their lives in the cause of freedom and civilization. It was a pity there was so much strife and hate in the world; but he expressed the hope that, after the war, the world would settle down in fulfillment of the dictum, "Peace on earth, good will toward men." Each of the returned soldiers returned thanks. - Mr. Cunningham, on behalf of the local Minstrel troupe, presented Privates Burland and Mulrooney with leather wallets, for which they expressed their thanks. - The function terminated with the singing of Auld Lang Syne, in which the audience lustily joined. After refreshments were served, a dance was held, when the light fantastic was gaily tripped till 12 o'clock, the music being supplied voluntary by Misses Ross and McPherson.
The platform and interior of hall was very prettily decorated with Easter daisies, pot plants, bunting, &c., by Mrs. Whittington and Miss M. McPherson; while the commissariat arrangements were in the capable hands of Mrs. Riddell, and were all that could be desired.
Gratification has been expressed at the success of the deputation which waited on the Melton Shire Council urging that mementoes be presented to the returned soldiers. Each returned man will now receive a certificate signed by the President and Councillors.


Australian War Memorial
Service Record
Nominal Roll
Newspaper accounts