Remembering them

STORIES of suffering and loss were exchanged between relatives of World War I soldiers at The Capital theatre on Monday morning.

They gathered at an event organised by the Returned Servicemen's League of Bendigo to commemorate a century since Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914.

The declaration meant Australia, as a close ally and member of the British Empire, was also at war. 

Bev Hanson came to honour her 'Uncle Vic'. Her great uncle had only been in Gallipoli two weeks before he was killed.

"We don't know if he was buried by the Turks or if there was nothing left to identify him," Mrs Hanson said. 

Faye and Bernie Frewin represented their great uncle Jack Bray who was lost in the disappearance of Australia's submarine, the HMAS AE1. 

Australian soldiers were sent in to German-occupied New Guinea to recapture it but it never returned to base.

It has never been found. 

Ben Dyett came with his son Caleb Dyett in memory of Sir Gilbert Dyett, whose participation in the war was brief - 47 days - before he was badly injured at Gallipoli. 

Sir Gilbert Dyett came home only to make a longer lasting contribution to soldiers at home.

He was instrumental in forming the Retired Servicemen's League and served as the body's national president from 1919 to 1945. Sir Dyett is responsible for bringing the poppy to Australia to be the symbol of remembrance for the blood shed in war.

A common theme among relatives was that soldiers spoke little of what they experienced at war.

Bill Clark remembers only a few anecdotes from his grandfather, one being that the trenches at Gallipoli "stunk like a tip".


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