Katherine Times Wed 24 Jan 2018
Katherine Times; NewspaperNT
Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
North Australian News for Katherine Times
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North Australian News for Katherine Times
Australians on the Western Front ]ROAD TO REMEMBRANCE Wednesday January 24, 2018 KATHERINETIMES 9katherinetimes.com.au DIGGER RESEARCH Australian soldiers Ralph Eldridge and Frank Foster were awarded the Military Medal for their courage when loading artillery onto railway trucks late in 1917 nearYpres in Belgium. While the other men ran for cover on four occasions, the pair at one stage hung onto ropes securing one gun, and prevented it from smashing to the ground. The story of Eldridge and Foster is recorded in the digitised records of the 1st Australian Infantry Force Divisions recommendation file for honours and awards of January 1918. Its never been easier for Australians to discover the stories of Australian service men and women. The AustralianWar Memorial (AWM) has millions of items in its collections and a website that can help people research the wartime experiences of relatives. The AWM and the National Library of Australia are also sources for all the battalion histories and for finding information about the recommendations for military honours and awards. Extensive personal service records containing enlistment details, unit attachments and health records can be accessed through the National Archives of Australia. The CommonwealthWar Graves Commission lists the graves or memorials where 1.7 million men and women are commemorated. Genealogy website Ancestry helps people to search for FirstWorldWar ancestors while Fairfax Medias Best AnzacTributes web page, supported by Legacy.com, looks at memorable ways people are honouring veterans. INSIGHT: Brigadier General Harold Pompey Elliott outside a German headquarters captured in the 1918 Somme offensive. PHOTO: AWM E02855 Truth from the front IN HUNDREDS of candid letters to his wife Kate from 1914 to 1919, Brigadier General Harold Pompey Elliott adhered to their pact of no secrets. As 1917 ended, lamenting the bitter cold and snow of the Western Front and the delay in letters from home, he told his wife that the past year had held more sadness and disappointment than any other of his life. In one of five letters to Kate during January 1918, Elliott predicted a terrible fight coming. The enemy are sending all the best men from the Russian front, and any prisoners we get are full of tales of the preparations the Bosche are making to settle us for good this time. Elliott also wrote frequently to his young children Violet and Neil, and sisterin-law Belle, in the time he led the 7th Battalion on Gallipoli and the 15th Brigade at Fromelles, PolygonWood. Devastated by his younger brother George dying at Polygon Wood, he told Kate, I saw him dead, so white and rigid and still we have buried him so far from home amongst strangers. Historian Ross McMullin, in his new book Pompey Elliott at War In His Own Words, says Elliott could turn theWestern Front into a bedtime story. Of tankwarfare, Elliott told his little laddieNeil: Wegot a lot of big wagons like traction engines and put guns in them and ran them bumpety bump up against the old Kaisers wall and knocked a great big hole in it. McMullin chose 1105 excerpts from Elliotts letters, diary, speeches and battle reports that reveal the wartime thoughts of the revered, charismatic, controversial and successful soldier. While Elliott treated censorship regulations seriously about troop locations and future operations, McMullin says compliance was less likely when it came to criticism of previous military operations, references to recent casualties or comments prejudicial to harmony with allies. On sending men into battle, Elliott wrote: It is always a terrible decision, this launching of magnificent men towards death each one priceless. Despite repeated success in the field, Elliott protested bitterly when he missed promotion to divisional command inMay 1918. Returning home, Elliott served two terms as a Victorian Senator from 1919. McMullin records that he was profoundly unsettled by the hardships of returned soldiers during the Great Depression. Elliotts grievance over promotion became an obsession and he admitted it has actually coloured all my post war life. Plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder, he suicided onMarch 23, 1931, aged 52. BYMICHAEL GREALY Quick Simple Now Take the hassle out of finding your next car. Go to CountryCars.com.au to find your dream car today. With constantly changing stock and open 24/7, why would you go any where else? From online to on road Call Kevin Comley 0419 822 117 firstname.lastname@example.org 0419 822 117 VACATE CLEANS A W 30 07 55 9 Katherine CBDs only locally owned Service Station Now accepting all Coles and Woolworths shopper dockets. Receive 4 cents per litre discount on all fuel. TTTTTTeeeeellllllleeeeeppppphhhhhhhooooonnnnneeeee ::::: 88888889999999777777111111 999999999999992222222444444 WE ACCEPT ALL BP ROADHOUSE eftpos cards Major credit cards BP fuel cars Puma fuel cards Motorpass fuel cards Motorcharge fuel cards Fleetcard AW3316647