2nd Lieutenant:1973 Reuben PARKES, of the 34th Battalion.
He was a 36 year old Waiter from Newtown in NSW when he enlisted in the AIF on the 24th of February 1916.
He embarked with the 3rd Reinforcements to the 53rd Battalion on board the 'Baranbah' on the 23rd of June 1916.
He was taken-on-strength by the 34th BATTALION, in England, on the 23rd of September 1916 and proceeded to France with the Battalion on the 21st of November.
He was appointed a 2nd-LIEUTENANT in the 34th Battalion on the 20th of December 1917.
He was Killed-in-Action by enemy machine-gun fire near 'Hangard Wood' (Southeast of Villers-Bretonneux) on the night of the 30th of March 1918. His body was not recovered.
As he has no known grave, his name is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.
UPDATE - On the 29th of November 2018 it was reported that his resting place had been located (he was buried as an Unknown Lieutenant). The identification was made possible in a joint effort between Fallen Diggers and UWC-A's Major Tim Dawe and Director Andrew Bernieby. He is buried in Plot II.E.13 at Hangard Communal Cemetery Extension, and a service will be held in March of 2019.
(Bill Durant: November 2018)
Armistice Day 1918.
Seventeen members of the First AIF died on the 11th November 1918, the day the Armistice ending World War 1 was signed. They came from all states in Australia: eight from New South Wales, three in Western Australia, two each in South Australia and Queensland. There was no pattern to their deaths. Some died of Wounds, others of illness. Most were single, but some were married. Their ranks ranged from Private to Sergeant. Several had previously been wounded in action. One had been decorated for bravery. The highest and most decorated Australian who died on the 11th November was Military Medal recipient: Sergeant: 2135 John PAGE. M.M. 34th Battalion AIF.
Newcastle Historical Society Inc. Journal No:168, December 2004.
Centenary of Armistice Day 11th November 1918-2018
Cessnock Library Display 1st to 13th November 2018
Representing men from 5 of the local Government Areas of Cessnock from the Harrower Collection
Lest We Forget.
10th September 2018. Official Luncheon at the Crown Hunter Valley.
There will be some medals and plaques to the Branxton and Greta men who served from the Harrower Collection on display.
100th Anniversary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux
25th April 1918- 25th April 2018
On April 25, 1918 the village of Villers-Bretonneux was liberated by ANZAC forces after what has been described as perhaps “the finest Australian feat of arms on the Western Front”. At that time and to this day the words “Villers-Bretonneux” represent a powerful symbol to Australians of the horrors of war and of the courage, resilience and selflessness of those who give their lives for liberty and the safety of others. Villers-Bretonneux is testament to an unbreakable bond between the peoples of France and Australia. On July 14 1919 the French community expressed words that reverberated with compassion, respect and friendship: “Soldiers of Australia, whose brothers lie here in French soil, be assured that your memory will always be kept alive, and that the burial places of your dead will always be respected and cared for...”Let us now add our own words of thanks to the people of Villers-Bretonneux for your ongoing belief in the links between our countries.
4th April 1918 - 4th April 2018
100th Anniversary of Villers-Brettonneux
4th-5th April 1918
The First VILLERS-BRETONNEUX
The Strength of the 9th Infantry Brigade was about 2,250 but their casualties during the 2 days of fighting numbered 30 Officers and 635 men either killed in action or missing.
9th Infantry Brigade Casualties.4th-5th April 1918
|33rd Battalion. AIF||3 Officers||82 Other ranks|
|34th Battalion. AIF||5 Officers||120 Other ranks|
|35th Battalion. AIF||9 Officers||282 Other ranks (including 44 missing)|
|36th Battalion. AIF||12 Officers||133 Other ranks (including 1 missing)|
|9th Machine Gun Company. AIF||1 Officer||18 Other ranks (including 4 missing)|
Merry Christmas To All
The Battle of Fromelles in France during the First World War was Australia's worst 24 hours. Thousands of men were shot down amid the horror of that blundered attack.
The whereabouts of hundreds of dead soldiers was unknown for almost a century until the discovery in 2008 of unmarked mass graves at Pheasant Wood. The remains of these 250 men sparked a mission to reclaim their identities.
Tim Lycett and Sandra Playle became key players in the identification project, volunteering their time and working alongside other amateur advocates and international experts. Tim tells how they pieced together fragments of information from relics, military records and family histories using genealogy data and DNA analysis. They fought to have authorities reopen investigations in their quest to find the untold stories of the diggers and reconnect them with their families.
This is an inspiring, heart-rending account of war, its aftermath and its effect on the lives of the lost diggers' descendants.
It was an honour to be a guest speaker at Sandgate Cemetery 12th October 2017 at the dedication for the men of the 35th Battalion AIF who fought and died at Passchendaele on the 12th October 1917.
Sandgate Cemetery 12th October 2017. Descendants of Private 1235 Stephen Scott. Killed in Action at Passchendaele 12th October 1917 with the 35th Battalion. Lest We Forget.
Latest acquisition for collection, 35th Battalion man from Miller's Forrest via Raymond Terrace.