Re­fur­bished mor­tar back in time for ser­vice

The Daily Examiner - - NEWS -

THANKS to staff and stu­dents from Wol­long­bar TAFE a longab­sent fea­ture of the Ma­clean War Memo­rial will be re­in­stalled this Re­mem­brance Day.

A Ger­man trench mor­tar that had been gifted to Ma­clean af­ter World War I was re­moved from its place at the memo­rial sev­eral years ago due to se­vere de­te­ri­o­ra­tion.

But with the cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice fast ap­proach­ing the mor­tar was traced from where it had been stored at the Ma­clean His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, to be­ing sand-blasted at Har­wood Marine and fi­nally for­got­ten in a ship­ping con­tainer at the TAFE cam­pus.

In ad­di­tion to the as­sis­tance pro­vided by Clarence Val­ley Coun­cil, Kevin Ho­gan MP and the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, mem­bers of the Ma­clean RSL sub-branch have noth­ing but praise for the teach­ers and ap­pren­tices in metal fab­ri­ca­tion and au­to­mo­tive paint­ing at Wol­long­bar TAFE who vol­un­teered their time and skills to re­fur­bish the cen­tury old weapon.

The mor­tar was orig­i­nally cap­tured by the 20th Aus­tralian In­fantry Bat­tal­ion at the vil­lage of War­fusée-Aban­court on Au­gust 8, 1918.

This date is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause it marked the open­ing phase of Al­lied at­tacks known as the Hun­dred Days Of­fen­sive that ul­ti­mately led to the end of World War I.

RSL sub-branch pres­i­dent Steve Wal­ton said that re­turn­ing the mor­tar to its orig­i­nal po­si­tion will serve as a re­minder of the sac­ri­fice of Aus­tralians dur­ing World War I.

From a pop­u­la­tion of fewer than five mil­lion at the time, just over 400,000 men en­listed of whom more than 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken pris­oner.

REPIECING HIS­TORY: Teach­ers and ap­pren­tices at Wol­long­bar TAFE re­pair the World War I Ger­man trench mor­tar.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.