Feature

We Remember: Tragedy takes three

The wooden bunkhouse the Allen brothers once slept in at the back of the family homestead, forms part of the Kookaburra Park eco-village. Photo Contributed
The wooden bunkhouse the Allen brothers once slept in at the back of the family homestead, forms part of the Kookaburra Park eco-village. Photo Contributed Contributed

AS AUSTRALIA prepared to farewell its first contingent of troops from Western Australia, thoughts of who might make it home were no doubt in the backs of the minds of many families.

There are countless stories of families who said goodbye to sons and daughters and tragically, they never saw them again.

One such family faced with this reality was the Allen family of Gin Gin.

Three brothers - Ernest, James and Josiah Allen - all enlisted on the same day - July 5, 1916.

They were considered as skilled marksmen and horsemen, and left from Sydney three months later as reinforcements for the 49th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Ceramic.

The brothers wrote regular letters home, in particular to brother William, and some of these letters are now in the hands of the Australian War Memorial.

Having been sent to England and then the Western Front, the brothers fought at the battle of Messines on June 7, 1917, and it was here that both James and Josiah were killed in action.

A letter home from Josiah dated April 18, 1917, is heartbreakingly marked "Killed in Action" on the back - it took several months to reach his family.

A letter a month earlier from Ernest remarked he and his compatriots had been pleased the 1916 referendum on conscription had failed, saying his mates had commented "they would be sorry to see their friends enlist to come over here to fight".

In a letter dated October 10, 1917, - after the Allen family back home in Gin Gin had finally learned of James' and Josiah's deaths - Ernest wrote to his brother: "Will, I am pretty right as yet, but as this is the land of Hell at present, I do not know how things will turn out later on."

Sadly, Ernest was killed in action trying to recapture the French village of Villers-Bretonneux on April 25, 1918.

Ernest is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.

James and Josiah are commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium, although Josiah's body was never recovered.

Sadly, while the Allen family requested any and all information about Ernest's burial and belongings, the transport ship carrying his personal effects from England back to Australia was sunk by a German submarine.

All they received were two photographs of his grave and his service medals.

Another legacy of the Allen brothers lives on near Gin Gin - the wooden bunkhouse they once slept in at the back of the family homestead, which now forms part of the Kookaburra Park eco-village.

Topics:  anzac-centenary editors picks first world war



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

Vape store 'raided by health department'

NEW SIGNS: Shane Kerrigan has changed his signage to comply with health department regulations at his e-cigarette shop, iVape, on Bourbong St.

Business owner says it's a little bit ironic

Bennett calls for reinstating of dental vouchers

An MP has called for dental vouchers to be brought back to help people in smaller communities.

MP says regional communities disadvantaged

Bundy Rum donates $90,000 to cyclone victims

DONATION: Bundaberg Rum donated more than $90,000 to the Red Cross to help with the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie. Red Cross state emergency services manager Collin Sivalingum accepted the cheque from Bundy Rum's Duncan Littler today.

Distillery tour sales for April handed over

Local Partners

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!