The small town of Bombala, New South Wales in 1930 commemorated ANZAC Day and published a masterpiece of expression that was perfection then and is just as perfect today.
It is well that Australia should have one day in the year set apart as a day for the remembrance of sacrifices made in the Great War by the virile manhood and womanhood of our embryo nation;
of the sadness and sorrow brought to many homes; and of the glorious deeds accomplished by the bravery of those who went from our shores to fight for the freedom which we value so dearly.
And it is fitting that the day chosen should be that day on which so many of our men received their baptism of fire, and attempted that almost impossible task of capturing the Gallipoli Peninsula from the Turks.
So each year we keep the 25th of April as Anzac Day,
a name that will last while Australia remains on the map, and a name of which every’ true Australian must be proud. It is a day of remembrance and thanksgiving.
What memories drifted through the minds of the little band of returned men who marched down our main street on Friday morning last, just fifteen years after the great assault on Gallipoli, No boasters these! What they did in the Great War is not a subject to be touched on lightly. It is over -now and they want to forget.
What thoughts passed through the minds of those whose loved ones made the supreme sacrifice, and who now lie in a foreign land or in our own burial grounds ! That tears dimmed the eyes of some was not surprising, for their memories were burdened with sorrow. Parents paid as well as their sons. Some of them are still paying in sorrow and suffering.
War creates many credits, but it leaves many debits.
Published Bombala Times 2nd May 1930 – The original Author UNKNOWN.… such a shame nla.news-article141299942
Over 100 years ago this young man from Gladesville in Sydney, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces. He came from a large family with two older brothers and four sisters. His mother had passed away just 7 months prior to his enlistment.
Sidney felt it was his duty to respond to the call to war and he didn’t hesitate.
Sidney was a gallant first day lander and a member of the sapper team that heroically rowed ashore dodging heavy shrapnel fire all the way and constructed the barrel piers on landing day at Gallipoli.
Sidney Matthew Garrett died from his wounds on the 6th March 1917 , today he is honoured and remembered and his story is available to read…. click here
Sapper 204 Patrick Finn Walshe died from wounds on the 5th March 1917. Today he is honoured and remembered and his story is available to read….
A portrait of Patrick Finn Walshe does exist, however he is only named in a group photo.
Which one is Patrick is not known at this stage, or are the identities of the other Engineers from the 1st Field Company captured in the same photo.
This photo can be viewed and is AWM copyright protected. The photo is from the Thuillier Collection of glass plate negatives taken by Louis and Antoinette Thuillier in Vignacourt, France during the period 1916 to 1918.
A new discovery of what is likely to be the first pictures published of original members of the 1st Field Company Australian Engineers.
The picture above showing a relaxed and cheerful group of sappers “ON A PONTOON OF THEIR OWN CONSTRUCTION” on the lakes of Centennial Park , Sydney. They look proud of their achievement and at this early stage of their training completely unaware of how valuable these skills would prove to be throughout the war.
The pictures were published in the ‘Sydney Mail’ on the 23rd September 1914 just weeks after the men had enlisted.
– ON A PONTOON OF THEIR OWN CONSTRUCTION-
– ERECTING BARRICADES FOR PROTECTION FROM THE ENEMY’S FIRE –
“The work of the Field Engineers includes the construction of roads, pontoons, trestle bridges, barricades, wire entanglements, laying ground mines, digging entrenchments, and many other important as well as frequently dangerous duties.”
“Corporal Smirthwaite was a splendid type of Australian-of great physique, steady, sober, and industrious, and a man with an honored English name. Indeed, he was the descendant of a family with an unbroken line for upwards of 400 years……..” Gilgandra Weekly -NSW , Friday 12 January 1917
George Smirthwaite died form his wounds on the 24th December 1916 , today he is honoured and remembered and his story is available to read….CLICK LINK
Known as Billy McDevitt,….. a rowing champion from Tasmania.
In 1911 Billy was travelling between Tasmania and Sydney and was planning his course towards becoming the world sculling champion when Australia suddenly joined the war in 1914.
An original member of the 1st Field Company Engineers, Billy was severely wounded at Gallipoli. Billy returned to Australia and with strength and determination recovered and when the war ended he returned to his love of rowing.
Ten years after he volunteered as an original member with the 1st FCE and at age 36 he became the Australasian Rowing Champion and was regarded by his peers as the best in the world.
In 1925 Charles “Billy” McDevitt was later declared World Rowing Champion.
John Thurlby was an honest hard working man. A young man who left his remaining family in England in 1910 to explore new opportunities in Australia and like so many young men of the time would later join the Australian Imperial Forces to fight in the great war.
A clean military record as a Driver with the 1st Field Company Engineers and later duly promoted. His life was cut short not by his engagement in the theatre of war, but by misfortune.
On this day we remember original 169 John Thurlby who tragically died on the 20th October 1916.