Digging up the tales of soldiers
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.”
REWARDING: Felicity Rockemer spent the past five years researching soldiers who died in the First World War.