Topics:  anzac day, bundaberg rsl, diggers, first world war, war

Families across city hit by war

ALMOST every family in the Bundaberg district was personally affected by the First World War, and the anguish and concern about loved ones continued for more than four years, according to the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch.

The effects of war on women have been researched as part of a project the sub-branch has been working on for the past few years.

According to the sub-branch, for the women of the district, the enormity of a loss could shape, inhibit, or even preclude participation in daily social life.

Such inexplicable and devastating loss could force women to live within, or even retreat from, a fearful world to an empty one sustained only by memories, longings and unanswerable emotions.

The NewsMail obituaries graphically reflect this anguish, as the numbers who died rose from one per week at Gallipoli, to 12 a week, in the second half of 1917.

It tapered off gradually during 1918 when the Allies defeated the German Army.

Families across the city were affected by soldier losses during the First World War, with few spared grief or at least a connection with a soldier who had fallen.

RSL sub-branch statistics show families in Bourbong St lost the most men (12), while close behind were Woongarra St (10), Barolin St (9) and George St (8).

There was no grief counselling available back then - just the empty experience of loss, without knowing where their sons or loved ones fell.


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