‘Lest We Forget’

It is a far cry from the first Anzac day, fifty years ago

Supplied courtesy of the © Robinvale Sentinel – Published 1971

The large crowd which gathered at the Robinvale Cenotaph to take part in this year’s observance of that day proves that “We Remember.”

Twenty-eight ex-servicemen assembled for the Dawn Service. There was a good attendance at a Requiem Eucharist Service for the fallen held at St.

Peter’s Anglican War Memorial Church at 8 a.m. The President of the Robinvale RSL Mr. J. W. Philpot read one of the lessons.

Approximately 80 men from four wars marched or were present at the Cenotaph for the services. Included in the marchers were two veterans from the 1914-18 war, Harry Johnson and Bill Cornford.

Scanning the neat lines of men drawn up around the square, the sombre thought intruded, that the ranks were thinning.

Familiar faces were missing, but the sorrow was eased by the pride in those who remained, in their
steadfastness to the memory of those missing from the ranks.

The guest speaker was Colonel Theo Walker D.S.O. 2/7 Btn, who could well have taken the subject for his address from a chapter in his own life. The 2/7 Btn. fought the last rear guard on Crete. Through enemy pressure the Battalion reached the beach too late to be taken off by the Navy.

The ships had to be clear of the land before daylight, owing to severe losses in ships and men from enemy air attacks.

A place for Col. Walker had been reserved in the last boat to leave the beach.

He gave up this place to his batman, choosing to remain with his men and share with them whatever

An act of courage and sacrifice truly in the Anzac tradition. A few hours later, the island capitulated and the battalion became prisoners of war.

In his address, Col. Walker emphasised the spirit of comradeship which began during the dark days of battle and still remain the strongest ties today.

In commending this to the young people, he said that if they kept this warmth of feeling as their guiding star, it would auger well for the future.

Floral tributes were laid by representatives of the following organisations: Robinvale Sub-Branch R.S.L., R.S.L. Ladies Auxiliary, Red Cross, Country Women’s Association, Rotary Club, Guides and Brownies.

After the service, ex-servicemen and their wives gathered for refreshments at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Johnson in Bromley Rd.

On behalf of those present, a vote of thanks was passed to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for making their home and beautiful garden available for the reception. The Robinvale RSL Sub-Branch wishes to thank Bugler Claude Trickey and the Robinvale Pipe Band for their services.

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