Historical information

Gifted in 1917 by Mrs Balfour Neil in memory of Charles Bingham Elwell, R.N.(1882-1914) : in the Jotting 44 (Michaelmas 1916).

Mrs Balfour Neil was born Roma Mary Hill James, a daughter of Dr Edwin M. James of Armadale and sister of Mrs Molesworth. She married in 1904 with Mr Balfour Henderson Neil, a barrister and they lived in Dunedin, New Zealand. He died in 1911 and Roma came back to Melbourne where she remaried in 1917 with Norman Bayles.

Charles B. Elwell was killed in action in Rabaul, German New Guinea, on 11 September 1914.

He was first commander of HMAS Melbourne.

In the news: "

Lieutenant-Commander Charles Bingham Elwell was a son of the late Mr. P. B. Elwell, former electrical engineer to the New South Wales Railway and Tramway Department. The deceased officer was lent to the Royal Australian Navy by the Imperial authorities, and returned to the Commonwealth as first lieutenant of the cruiser Melbourne last year. He afterwards joined the gunnery tender Pioneer, and at the beginning of 1914 was attached to the Royal Naval College at Geelong as skilled instructor. He then became Lieutenant-commander. When the mixed force was lately sent away from Sydney, Lieuenant-commander Elwell was appointed to the command of the Royal Naval Reservists who went with it. He was an officer who was intensely popular with the cadets at Geelong and with his brother officers. He had a great charm of manner, and though quiet in speech was full of energy in action — in work and games. The college boat's crew owes its efficiency to his coaching."

Inscriptions & markings

Engraved at the base:
September 12th 191?