Visit to Australian War Memorial 3rd-5th January 2015
Last weekend (3rd-5th January 2015) Stephen and I visited the Australian War Memorial. We attended the Last Post Ceremony on the Saturday evening, and listened to the story presented on a local WWI soldier from Wongarbon.
On Sunday morning we located and photographed the names of the fallen Coo-ees on the Roll of Honour bronze panels.
I noted the names of Coo-ees Louis Leoville (who joined the Coo-ee March at Lithgow) and Spencer John Letcher (who joined at Bathurst) are next to each other on the Roll of Honour in the 45th Battalion section. We placed poppies next to their names in remembrance of them.
Researching their stories this week I was saddened to learn that they both died within three days of each other, while fighting in the front lines at Pozieres in France – Spencer John Letcher being killed in action on the 6th August 1916, and Louis Leoville dying of wounds on the 8th August 1916.
Three more Coo-ees on the 45th Battalion Roll of Honour who also died while the Battalion was at Pozieres in this three day period are William Emerton Hunter (who joined at Geurie), Jack Morris (who joined at Parramatta), and Rowland John Wilson (who joined at Lawson). Jack Morris was killed on the 6th August 1916, William Emerton Hunter on the 7th August 1916, and Rowland John Wilson on the 8th August 1916.
The Australian War Memorial during the 2014-2018 centenary period is at night projecting the names of each of the 62,000 Australians who gave their lives during the Great War on the wall of the Hall of Memory, about 30 times over these four years. The names are visible for 30 seconds, and people can search the Roll of Honour database on the Australian War Memorial website to see when a particular name is planned to be projected.
In the early hours of Monday morning we visited the Australian War Memorial to view the Roll of Honour name projections for two of the fallen Coo-ees – Rowland John Wilson at 1.52 a.m., and William Emerton Hunter at 2.44 a.m. We saw only a mob of kangaroos near the entrance gate, a rabbit on the lawns, a friendly black cat who came up to us as we walked back to the car, and a lone security guard wandering around with a torch during our night time visit.
On Monday morning we met with a curator in the Research Centre to view a photograph of the Coo-ees entering Dubbo in October 1915 that is listed on the Australian War Memorial catalogue (with no image of the photograph). It has apparently only quite recently been donated to the Australian War Memorial collection. I have not seen this particular photograph before so was very excited to see it.
I have placed an order for a print copy of the photograph so I can have a closer look at it, and hopefully a digital image of the photograph will then be placed on the AWM catalogue.