FINDING OUR FORGOTTEN ANZACS
Thousands of towns and suburbs all over Australia have war memorials that honour and commemorate the service and sacrifice of their World War One service men and women.
These monuments have become an integral part of the fabric of their communities and the centrepieces of their ANZAC Day and Armistice Day commemorations.
As we commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC, Lowood still has no WW1 memorial or Roll of Honour listing and honouring all our local volunteers.
NAMES AND FACES REDISCOVERED
Lowood History Group has identified 116 local ANZACs. Most were born and raised in the district. Others born elsewhere were living and working in the district when they signed up.
Some interesting facts have been uncovered about these local volunteers...
- the first local (see below) enlisted just two weeks after war was declared.
- nine fought at Gallipoli - they all survived
- 12 were only 18 years old when they enlisted - three of these 'boy soldiers' were killed, three others were wounded
- 30% of local enlistees were from German emigrant families
- two local ANZACs had also fought in the Boer War (1899-1902)
- there were 15 pairs of brothers, three lots of three brothers and one lot of four brothers; some enlisted together but generally brothers enlisted individually
- 90% of local ANZACs were unmarried
- half were farmers or farm labourers; others included butcher, bank clerk, teacher, baker, blacksmith, tailor, carter, grocer, policeman and jockey
- their casualty rate was 40% (killed, wounded, missing, POW, died of disease)
A typical volunteer's World War One enlistment file contains an application to join up, original enlistment forms, deployment details, discipline and medical records, medals awarded and correspondence that often adds valuable personal insights.
Walter Edward Lindemann was 18 years old when he enlisted in 1917. He was the only son of the early Lowood settler and prominent businessman, C.H.D. Lindeman, After attending Lowood State School Walter worked for his father as a grocer.
This telegram was found in Walter's records. It was sent to the enlistment office by his father to confirm that he consented to Walter's enlistment in the AIF.
18 months later a telegram arrived at his Lowood home. His father learned that Walter had died in France on 17 August 1918. He was only 19. Walter is buried in Fouilloy Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.
SONS AND BROTHERS
Richard and William Pascoe were born in Bendigo, Victoria, but were living and working in Lowood when they enlisted together on 19 February 1916.
Richard was 26, married, lived in Walters Street and worked as a tailor. 23 year old William was also married, lived around the corner from his brother in Church Street and worked as a carter.
While fighting in France, Richard was wounded on three separate occasions. He survived his wounds and returned to married life in Lowood.
William was in the same battalion as Richard and may have fought in the same battles as his brother. Despite the high casualty rates he remained injury free and also returned to live in Lowood.
(Their younger brother, Alfred, had stayed in Bendigo and enlisted there in September 1915, aged 21. In July 1916 he was reported missing-in-action. 12 months later it was confirmed that he had been killed at Pozieres on 29 July 1916.)
TWIST OF FATE
Warwick-born Charles Joseph Haines was a 20 year old carpenter living in Lowood when he became this district’s first WW1 recruit.
He enlisted in Brisbane soon after war with Germany was declared and joined Queensland’s 9th Battalion in D Company. Private Haines and 9th Battalion were among the first ANZACs to land at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
In May Haines was wounded and hospitalised, later re-joining his unit at Gallipoli until the ANZACs were evacuated in December.
In April 1916 Charles was deployed to France. He was wounded the following month but soon recovered. While returning by train to the Western Front to join the battle of the Somme, the train stopped and Charles and some other soldiers left their freezing carriage to warm themselves.
Having survived the carnage of Gallipoli and the Western Front, fate took an extraordinary twist - Charles was struck by an approaching train. He later wrote to his parents, “It was all done in a twinkling of an eye. I awoke the following day and found one of my legs off at the knee.”
After lengthy hospitalisation in England, Charles returned to Australia in September 1917.