Image found at Anzacs Online
5667 Private Ernest Robert Dunbar Carey sailed for the war with the 17th Reinforcements of the 5th Infantry Battalion in April 1916 as a nineteen year old.
At the time he had no connections to Coburg, but as is the way of things, there were at least three men on board the ship who did, three men who died on the Western Front: brothers William and Edward Ashcroft and Daniel Angland (a member of the Coburg Harriers Club). The Ashcrofts’ brother Walter suffered a double amputation trying to rescue Edward, returned and settled in Coburg and spent the rest of his life working for disabled soldiers.
On his return, Carey worked for the Federal Taxation Department, but his great love was music and in the early 1920s he began to compose songs and conduct various suburban orchestras and was the director of the Malvern RSL Orchestra at one stage, styling himself Dunbar Carey. He also acted as a musical editor, adviser and arranger for Allans, Collins and Medley Music House at various times.
As a composer, he published a number of songs about high profile public figures, none very successful.
One, Just Plain ‘Johnnie’ was about the aviatrix Amy Johnson, who visited Melbourne to such acclaim in June 1930.
Image courtesy National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.mus-an6160987
Another was Take Off Your Hats to Bradman! Also written in 1930.
Image courtesy National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.mus-vn3353781
Interestingly, the producer of this publication, Herbert Rouvray, was also a returned servicemen.
Dunbar Carey’s brief career in the music industry forms part of an academic study on the music written about the great Australian cricketer Don Bradman, so if you have any insights you can offer on Ernest R.D. (Dunbar) Carey or on music written about Don Bradman, please contact me and I’ll pass it on.