Sunday, 17 November 2013

Letter to the editor - Australian Heroes

Letter to the Editor located in Trove

Sir-The reports published in your columns of the glorious deeds of our Australian boys at Gallipoli cause a thrill of pride to all who have of necessity to stay at home. Who can read the account of     the attack made by the 8th Light Horse Regiment on the crowded Turkish trenches at "Lonesome Pine" on August 7 last without feeling that thrill of joy that makes   us proud to ha e been the fathers of such sons, To quote Captain Bean - There are no Victoria Crosses but for sheer self sacrificing heroism there was never a deed in history that surpassed the charge which two Australian Light Horse brigades made on the first light of Saturday August 7 in order to help their comrades in a critical moment of a great battle....'Three minutes to go,' said the colonel; then simply, 'Go! ' they were over the  parapet like a flash the colonel amongst them, officers in line with the men...into certain death, at the call of their comrades' need during a crisis in the greatest battle that has ever been fought on Turkish soil."

Can we read such words and not be affected: lifted out of ourselves glowing with pride and enthusiasm and although sorrowing for our glorious sons killed in   action, at the same rejoicing that Australia can produce such heroes'

I have been privileged to speak with some of the 8th Light Horse Regiment invalided home, who took part in that glorious charge, and learn from them that the night before the battle they were all told of the desperate nature of the work before them, but not a man flinched or grumbled.  They shook hands with each other, saying "Good bye" and saving they were not "tin" soldiers but "triers all". These are the men that voluntarily gave up their horses in Egypt and acted as infantrymen, in order to help their comrades; and how many of them are left? Alas only a handful. At the roll-call on the night of that eventful August 7 under 100 men answered to their names

I notice in English papers just to hand that correspondents suggest that for those     killed in action a medal should be issued to the nearest relative recording the fact; so that future generations may be stimulated to like deeds of heroism and in this   I quite concur, and hope that our Minister of Defence will for the glory of Australia, move in the matter so that wives, fathers mother,-sisters and brothers   may have some small token in acknowledgement of the sacrifice made by our heroes; something tangible that can be shown and encourage recruiting and patriotism.    
A. KNIGHT.  Hawthorn, Oct. 6.
The Argus Friday 8 October 1915 page 8

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