RSL receives memorabilia
Interesting items of military memorabilia have been donated to Seymour RSL from various local families during the development of the World War One Memorial Park, which is located at the entrance to the Seymour hospital precinct.
Rod Bain generously presented many items including the World War I framed certificate given by the citizens of Seymour and district to his grandfather, Private Leslie Bain of the 14th Battalion, along with Les’ service medals.
Les was a stretcher bearer and took part in the landing at Gallipoli and remained there until October 28, 1915.
He was also wounded in action at Pozieres on August 8, 1916, fought at Bullecourt, was in the advance to the Hindenberg Line in 1917, and participated in the allied offensive of August 1918 near Amiens — the Allies’ greatest success in a single day on the Western Front.
Les was later given a special six months’ leave due to shell shock and left France for Australia on October 3, 1918. The Armistice was only five weeks away. Rod also presented the World War II service medals which belonged to his father, Keith Bain.
Keith enlisted in the Australian Army in September 1942, just after his 19th birthday, and served for four years including time in New Guinea.
Lynne Ravenhall, niece of George Manson who served with the 23rd Battalion, presented the RSL with George’s World War I photograph book in which he marked various photos relating to his own and his brother Jack’s service.
George marched out to France on April 25, 1917 and was in Ypres, Belgium, when the church was bombed and the steeple broke but did not fall. His Battalion then moved south to take part in the Battle for Hamel where George was shot in the chest.
His wounds were so severe that he was repatriated home just three days before the Armistice occurred.
George’s brother, Jack, was serving at Villers-Bretonneux in April 1918 when he was killed while manning a machine-gun post.
He has no known grave and his personal effects were lost at sea when the SS Barunga was sunk by the enemy.
Lynne also presented George’s treasured gold and enamel medal which was given to him by the Hilldene community in thanks for his military service.
The medal has been mounted in a specially-designed framed artwork which depicts George and Jack Manson’s military histories. The back of George’s medal reads: PRESENTED TO PTE O.G. MANSON BY THE RESIDENTS OF HILLDENE ON HIS RETURN FROM THE GREAT WAR.
The Seymour RSL wishes to sincerely thank everyone who donated their military memorabilia, and would like to invite the public to drop in to view the displays and have a chat.
The RSL is often open on Friday evenings from 5 pm.
If you have any local military memorabilia you would like to donate, email your details to seymourrslsubbranch @bigpond.com
Founded in January 1919 to help returned soldiers integrate back into family life and society, and to assist them in finding work, the Seymour RSL sub-branch will also be celebrating its 100th anniversary in the new year.