Braidwood commemorated the centenary of the Gallipoli Landings on a beautiful sunny morning on 25 April, 2015.
There was a dawn service at 6.30am, a March at 10.45am and a Service at 11am in Ryrie Park.
In the Service, eighty-eight schoolchildren represented each ANZAC soldier from the town. One of the names in the roll of honour was Robert Catlin. Robert died at Gallipoli early on the first day of the Landings. Robert was born at Reidsdale in 1888 and enlisted with the 11th Battalion in Western Australia. There is some information about Robert here.
Robert has no known grave but his name appears in the Lone Pine Cemetery, the Australian War Memorial and on the Braidwood War Memorial. He is remembered with one of these flags.
One of the people in the parade was Neale Lavis. He rides in the parade each year. This year he was accompanied by two other riders to commemorate the deeds of the Light Horse.
Neale won a gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics in the team equestrian event. Neil is 85 years old and I look forward to his horsemanship in the parade. This year his two colleagues helped Neale with his very young horse and in doing so epitomised for me the deeds of the Light Horsemen all those years ago.
There is a delightful celebration of Neale’s life prepared by the the National Museum of Australia to mark his 80th birthday.
There is a lot to remember and celebrate in a small New South Wales Town.
I have been thinking about the young men and women who were at Gallipoli from April 2015 onwards.
Syd, Clegg and Charlie were three of them.
Syd is Sydney Middleton (to the right of the officer in this picture).
Clegg is Frederick Kelly.
Charlie is Charles Savory.
All three were elite sportsmen before the War. Syd and Clegg were gold medallists at the London 1908 Olympic Games (for Australia in rugby and Great Britain in rowing, respectively). Charlie was a New Zealand rugby union and rugby league player who played for Australasia in the 1911-1912 Rugby League Test Series against Great Britain.
Syd will be an important character in my research on the 1919 Peace Regatta. He survived Gallipoli and the Western Front. He died in 1945.
Clegg was wounded twice at Gallipoli but survived. He went to the Western Front and died in the Battle of the Somme in November 1916. His gravestone is in the Martinsart British Cemetery.
Charlie died on the beach at Anzac Cove on 8 May 1915. His gravestone is at Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery.
They are just three of the Gallipoli stories. This has been a week for remembering.
ANZAC Cove (State Library of South Australia, CC BY 2.0)
1919 Henley Peace Regatta AIF Crew (no known copyright)
Frederick Kelly (BBC Radio 5)
Charles Savory (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Andrew McGarry of the ABC has written a beautiful tribute to Richie Benaud. It sent me off thinking.
Richie was one of the first players I followed when I was developing my interest in cricket. He has been a guide for me since 1961. I did not see his second innings bowling performance in the Fourth Test at Old Trafford but did listen to some of it on the wireless. I spent the rest of that summer imagining how I would play against spin on a turning pitch.
This image from the National Archives of Australia brought back all those memories.
Two years ago, I was walking along a path at Coogee, and passed Richie on his walk. I nodded, he smiled and I was back in Manchester batting against him as the elegant Ted Dexter.
Richie Benaud – Cricketer (National Archives of Australia, Open Access)
Richie Benaud – a cricketer for NSW (National Archives of Australia, Open Access)