Keeping tale of brave alive

OUT of the 137 soldiers who fought in World War One and whose names appear on the Auburn War Memorial, 42 have no known grave and many of the others died on the first day of battle.

These are just a few of the facts uncovered by Cumberland RSL sub-branch veteran Ron Inglis who was tasked with compiling the book, ‘Auburn Remembers’, with funding received in 2018 for the centenary of the armistice.
A fascinating insight into the local men who paid the ultimate sacrifice, the book is the result of a database developed over the last three years from research here and overseas.
In 2019, Mr Inglis travelled to France, Belgium and Britain and took photos of the graves which appear in the book.
He says he sees the soldiers as victims of circumstance resulting from the Australian Government foolishly over-committing us in World War One but luckily who were not as gung-ho in World War Two.
“The loss of life was enormous and communities everywhere paid a high price,” he said.
“Auburn Council certainly did not escape – the Mayor Alderman Johnson was killed at Pozieres, the Deputy Mayor lost a brother and another Alderman, Ambrose Webber, lost two sons.
“Three others died of disease before they even arrived and one committed suicide while convalescing in a French hospital.
“The son of the Town Clerk got sick on the way to training in Melbourne and his father took time off to bring him back but he died three weeks later in Parramatta Hospital.”
Mr Inglis says the 137 came from all walks of life and religions and he has enjoyed every minute of writing the book.
“I am now compiling some of its information for the War Memorials Register with the State Library,” he said.
‘Auburn Remembers’ is available from Cumberland Library and to purchase from the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park.