Friday, August 8, 2014

Australia's Unknown Soldier

Because I haven't been able to drive for a couple of weeks I dragged my chauffeur Mr GeniAus off to a talk at our local library in Hornsby this morning.

Hornsby Local Studies Librarian, Neil Chippendale and Mr GeniAus at the talk today.
The talk "Australia’s Unknown Soldier Returns Home" was delivered by Linda from local funeral directors T J Andrews. Linda related the story of how Rob Allison former Managing Director of the firm, helped to bring home Australia’s "Unknown Soldier" in 1993.

Prior to the talk we had a jolly time chatting with other folk we found there including my distant cousin Elva, friend Judy and several of Mr Geniaus's former workmates.

Once the talk commenced a stillness descended upon the room, The content was fascinating, the delivery was reverent and the attendees were respectful and attentive as they reflected on the content being presented. Linda included several readings including the eulogy delivered by then Prime Minister Paul Keating in the presentation. I have never encoutered such a silent group at any talk I have attended.

Linda from T J Andrews

Information leaflet from T J Andrews tells the story
Thanks to to Neil Chippendale from Hornsby Library and Linda from T J Andrews for organising such a moving talk during this special week.

Although this wasn't a #NFHM2014 event it caused me to reflect on the sacrifices made by my family members who served their country so selflessly. Mr GeniAus and I both enjoyed the talk and, on the way home, discussed taking a tour of the Western Front battlefields. We have previously visited the area independently but feel that we would benefit from a tour lead by a historian and military expert.

T J Andrews state on their website  "If your organisation would like a complimentary presentation about the Unknown Soldier then please call: 1800 386 372." I would commend this offer to genealogy and local history societies.


Alex Daw said...

Jill - thanks for reporting on this talk. It sounds very special indeed and thanks for giving us contact details as well. I'll see if we can follow up on this as I'm sure plenty of people in our area would appreciate this presentation too.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

What an absolutely fascinating approach to this topic. And pleased everyone treated it as the topic deserved. And yes, the battlefield tour would be great.

Caitie G said...

This was very interesting to read Jill. I did not know about this part of the Unknown Soldier's story. I saw the Unknown Soldier's resting place when I was at the AWM in July. It was my first time to see it in person - that I can remember anyway. After seeing it on TV many many times, it was very touching to be there. I too would be interested in this presentation.


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