(from left) Fraser Peterson, Lauren Whittaker, Ashleigh Whittaker.
(from left) Fraser Peterson, Lauren Whittaker, Ashleigh Whittaker. Contributed

Anzac Day honour for Scots

AS the bugle sounds The Last Post at the Anzac commemoration on the Western Front in France next year, students from The Scots PGC College will be honouring relatives who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields on which they will stand.

Principal Michael Harding said students from the college choir and pipes and drums would perform at the service and for some, the experience of knowing their relatives were among those laid to rest at the site would be overwhelming.

The college has been selected by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide music for the dawn service on Anzac Day, 2013, which will be televised on the ABC.

They will also perform at the daily commemoration at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and at the Menin Gate commemoration in Brussells.

"The college has a deep tradition of the Anzac spirit and has held a dawn service for many years, but this trip will help some members of the party who have family links with the Anzac legend," Mr Harding said.

"The party will be performing at various Anzac services in the week leading up to Anzac Day, where they will perform at Villers-Bretonneux, and later visit the grave sites of family members."

The Peterson family...

Fraser Peterson, a Year 8 student from Old Koreelah, has four relatives buried in the World War 1 battlefields, and he will try to find each one to lay flowers on their graves.

One relative, Sapper Joshua Charles Gross, from Summer Hill in NSW, was killed at Bellicourt near the Hindenberg Line on September 29, 1918, and is buried at Bellicourt British Cemetery.

Another relative, Private Francis O'Brien of Warialda, also died on September 29, 1918. He departed Australia on January 2, 1917, with the 34th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement (Infantry), and at the age of 23 died in the battle for St Quentin Canal. He lies buried in the Unicorn Cemetery, Vend'huile, France.

His uncle, Edmund Elias O'Brien, was killed the next day, September 30, at Navroy in France. During this three-day battle alone, there were 2577 Australians killed.

Fraser's other relative was William Reid of Woodenbong. He was a member of the 25th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and embarked from Brisbane, Queensland on October 21, 1915, for the Middle East, but following the carnage on the Western Front was sent to France on January 27, 1917. He was promoted to Lance Corporal before he was killed in the Battle of Butte de Warlencourt at Bapaume on February 26, 1917.

The Whittaker family...

Students Ashleigh, Matthew and Lauren Whittaker wish to honour their great, great-uncle Private Robert Sutton of Roma. He enlisted on December 18, 1916, at 18 years of age. He was the son of Horatio and Annie Sutton, of Rockybank Station, and he sailed for England on June 21, 1917. He ended up in France in January 1918 and was taken on strength with the 41st Battalion on January 8.

Robert was later involved in the second action at Villers-Bretonneux and was killed in the Battle of the Somme on April 24, 1918.


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