Finally, A Place for WWII Remembrance
BY DI SNEDDON
Remembrance Day across the Upper Hunter saw gatherings around memorials on the eleventh of the eleventh with two minutes silence at 11am to reflect on the sacrifice made by so many in times of war and conflict.
The Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour lists the names of more than 103,000 Australian service personnel who have lost their lives in war and conflict.
The service in Singleton included the unveiling of 3088 names in new plinths in Burdekin Park surrounding the World War I memorial. These were men and women who were born in the Singleton district, living in Singleton at the time of enlistment or those enlisting in Singleton.
It includes the names of 50 people who lost their lives and the 161 women who served.
Researching the names was a research task left in the hands of historian Lyn MacBain who was motivated by the late Dot Clayworth. The pair spent many hours together at Family History Singleton and Dot spent a near lifetime contributing to the historical records of the Singleton district including its military history.
Lyn said it was Dot’s long wish to see the WWII service personnel honoured including three members of Dot’s family, husband Geoff, brother-in-law Eric, who lost his life over the English Channel and Eric’s wife, Pearl.
The project began 16 years ago with every name taking hours to research. Overcoming challenges such as enlistment spelling errors in names, researching exact enlistment locations with places like Elderslie and Mt Pleasant causing confusion and even Harry Dorsman, who was at Friday’s unveiling, caused some research headaches for Lyn.
“I personally knew he should be on the memorial but tracking down the documentation wasn’t easy, but I finally got there,” Lyn said.
“There will be no doubt names missing as was the nature of this research project, but every effort was made to determine correctly.
“I would encourage anyone with further information to bring it to our attention,” Lyn told the crowd during the service.
Lyn thanked George Standen and David Walker for their support during the project and to the RSL Sub-Branch for their cooperation with the project.
“It is a humbling process recording the lives of so many veterans but at times I also found the work highly emotive as I researched people I knew and the tragic circumstances surrounding their service and sacrifice.”