Lest We Forget


3 thoughts on “Lest We Forget

  1. Hello Allison,
    I have just finished reading your book ‘Anzac Sons’, after seeing it on the shelf at my local library yesterday. I cannot express in words how touched I was reading about your great uncles and their sacrifices during WW1.
    My husband had four great uncles and one grandfather (a twin) who enlisted for WW1 like the Marlow ‘boys’. Three did not return, one was repatriated because of flat feet and bronchitis and the other (grandfather) deserted before embarkation as his twin brother was Killed in Action. This was not known to us for some time but with National Archives of Australia digitising records is now on the public record.
    I am a volunteer guide and ‘Friends of’ at the Frenchs Forest Bushland Cemetery (Sydney) and today we are having a ‘Anzac Heroes of the Forest’ tour to honour our WW1, WW2, Prisoners of War in all conflicts of War.
    Last Sunday the ‘Friends’ placed over 300 Australian flags on service personnel graves in the Catholic Lawn section of the Cemetery.
    I will write to my local newspaper about your book as I did recently about a picture book, ‘Anzac Ted’ of which I have a copy for my grandchildren to read.
    I will purchase your book, another reminder for my grandchildren and others to remember our Fallen.

    I am also a member of Garigal-BELROSE Combined Probus Club.

    Kind regards
    Gloria VELLELEY


    1. Dear Gloria
      Thank you for your message and I am delighted that you discovered Anzac Sons in your library. I gather it was the children’s version that you have read. We were fortunate to have so many images, as well as letters, to be able to include.
      There are so many tragic family stories and yours is another heartbreaking one. Your husband’s grandfather must have had a remarkable tale, but I suppose, like most, he did not share his experience very often. The National Archives are amazing, the work that has been achieved helps to fill in so many gaps for the descendants of the Anzacs. Can I inquire if you know where the great-uncles are buried?
      Thank you for sharing your activities to care for the fallen, not allowing their sacrifice to be forgotten is a great responsibility for us all. My son and brand new daughter-in-law are currently in the air on their way to France for the Anzac Day service at Villers-Bretonneux, they will also be at the resting place of Charlie one hundred years since his death on April 26. It will be a moving experience for them both.
      Kind regards


  2. Hello Allison,
    Yes, you are correct, the copy of ‘Anzac Sons’ was the children’s version. It is listed for the New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge, 5-6 grade.
    I have ordered the adult version as a birthday gift for my eldest grandson, a Year 12 student and Vice Captain of his High School. He participated in the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge from Kindergarten to Year 9 for which he received a certificate. He is a prolific reader. I think his love of reading came when I took him to our local Library for ‘Story Time’ as a three year old. I am sure he will enjoy the book.

    The five McKINERY brothers’ (Melbourne born) digitised records are on NAA if you would like to read as are records from the Australian Red Cross Society Wounded Enquiry Bureau 1914-1918 War files on three of the brothers who did not return.
    William Edward, KIA at Messines, buried in BELGIUM.John Patrick (twin brother of Henry David),KIA in FRANCE, no known grave. Charles Albert, accidental death in FRANCE, no known grave.
    Ernest James returned to AUSTRALIA suffering chronic bronchitis and flat feet.
    Henry David (twin brother of John Patrick), deserted before embarkation on hearing of his brother’s death. He came to live in Sydney with his wife and young daughter. Changed his surname, was a hard worker all his life. With his wife, he helped his only child, rear her two children when her husband died. ‘Pop’ McKinery never told the story of his desertion to anyone. Ashamed, perhaps. It was not until when his granddaughter and grandson were to marry and filling in documents, that his secret for all those years, was exposed. He still owes the Australian Army for the price of his uniform.

    Allison, I hope that the pilgrimage for your son and daughter-in-law was an experience they will keep in their memory forever. To visit the burial place of an ancestor will be a emotional time for any relative.

    We must always remember our War dead.

    Kind regards.

    Gloria VELLELEY


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