Dig­ging up the tales of sol­diers

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

AN IN­FOR­MA­TION board high­light­ing the nine sol­diers from the Brooweena area who died in the First World War has come to fruition.

Dur­ing the past five years, Felic­ity Rock­e­mer has been dig­ging up in­for­ma­tion from wher­ever she can. Clean­ing up the wreaths fol­low­ing a past An­zac Day, Ms Rock­e­mer found a photo of Wil­liam C Sorensen among the dry­ing flow­ers.

“This added to my de­sire to re­search the sol­diers,” she said.

“The poem An­zac on the Wall also pulled at the heart­strings.”

Ms Rock­e­mer said of the nine men, John Keates was a mys­tery.

“He was an English­man and had a sis­ter living at Stratford-upon-Avon,” she said. “I found a story from the Mary­bor­ough Chron­i­cle that his medals were found in a rub­bish bin at Pialba and ask­ing for rel­a­tives to come for­ward.”

Ms Rock­e­mer said the re­search had been re­ward­ing and fas­ci­nat­ing.

“Each sol­dier had his own story – it re­ally takes you back,” she said.

Ms Rock­e­mer said Lau­rence Smith, who built the Me­mo­rial Bridge in the men’s hon­our, was a true pa­triot.

“He had one of the few phones and only car in the dis­trict.”

“When there was (a) casualty he re­ceived the phone call and then drove his car to pass on the heart­break­ing news to the sol­dier’s fam­ily.”

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

RE­WARD­ING: Felic­ity Rock­e­mer spent the past five years re­search­ing sol­diers who died in the First World War.

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