Parish seeks relatives of volunteers for war

The Christ Church Anglican Church is looking for descendants of soldiers who fought in the First World War.
The Christ Church Anglican Church is looking for descendants of soldiers who fought in the First World War. contributed

AS THE centenary of the start of the First World War approaches Bundaberg's Christ Church Anglican Church is looking to commemorate its parishioners of that time who signed up to go and serve in the battles at Gallipoli and in northern Europe.

Spokesman Howard Kingston said the church had a large honour board which listed the names of some 240 men who answered the Empire's call and offered themselves for service.

"Their families were in some way associated with the Anglican Church and the young men came from all sections of the wider Bundaberg community," he said.

"The parish is anxious to contact descendants of those listed on the honour board so that they may participate, if they so wish, in commemorations at the church later this year, around Armistice Day, November 11, and probably each year until 2018."

Mr Kingston said the parish was aware of three of those named on the honour board: A Dunton, G Whalley and W Pashley, whose daughters were active members of the church, as was the niece of G Whittred.

Many other family names of those who served are still represented in the Bundaberg community.

"Among those who enlisted were labourers, carpenters, farmers, clerks, shop assistants, teachers, chemists, and medical practitioners," Mr Kingston said.

A quick look at their records, available digitally at the Australian National Archives, indicates former school friends or young men from neighbouring farms enlisting together.

"Forty-two of these names are marked with a cross, indicating that those young men paid the supreme sacrifice," Mr Kingston said.

Four of these servicemen lost their lives at Gallipoli.

Of those the first death was that of Denis Charles Taylor, who was killed in action on May 1, 1915.

His enlistment records show that he was an apprentice fitter at Millaquin and he was 19 years six months old.

Two more young men, Herbert Booker and Frederick Youden, were both killed at Gallipoli on August 8, 1915.

According to a newspaper account Dr Guy Luther found the wounded Herbert Booker on the battlefield and carried him to the beach, but all to no avail.

Dr Luther himself was killed at Gallipoli on August 25, 1915.

Mr Kingston said the Bundaberg Anglican Parish was hoping that anyone who felt that they have a connection to those listed on the honour board would come forward.

This could be done by phoning the parish office on 41513128 or emailing admin@bundaberg

Topics:  first world war history

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