Written by Norman Cramp, Director of the Darwin Military Museum
We know little of his family other than he had a brother, R.G. Raymond of Mareeba, Queensland who ‘Nugget’ nominated as his next-of-kin when he enlisted in the AIF in 1915.
Following his enlistment, he was attached to the 9th Reinforcements, 15th Infantry Battalion, AIF and left Australia for the Great War. His military service record does not show the date or place of his embarkation, but it does record that he was taken ill with mumps, possibly en-route to the Middle East, and was hospitalised in Alexandria for a short period.
He was hospitalised as a result of his wounds (gunshot to right arm) and re-joined his Unit on 4th October 1916 after recovering.
Throughout late 1916 and early 1917, ‘Nugget’ was transferred from the front lines on three occasions due to illness or injury. One illness being ‘scabies’ while the most severe injury, other than the gunshot wound, was deafness.
They also recalled that he had lived in a hut in the township for some years, however, the hut, that stood on the site of today’s BP roadhouse, is long gone – as is ‘Nugget’ himself.
It appears ‘Nugget’ lived out the rest (or most) of his live in, and around, Mataranka before he passed away on 29th September 1968 aged 88. He was buried in the Elsey Cemetery, Mataranka with his headstone being inscribed, ‘In memory 2820 Private V.C. Raymond 15 BN, 29th September, 1968 aged 88. The Dandy Stockman – He saw the vision splendid’.
Years after his death, the NT government installed a plaque alongside his grave referring to ‘Nugget’ as the ‘Dandy Stockman’, the legendary figure mentioned by Jeannie Gunn in her book We of the Never-Never. However, the plaque also stated that some doubt existed regarding ‘Nugget’ being the ‘Dandy Stockman’.