Lo­cal war hero com­mem­o­rated

Dig­ger Bug­den had ‘amaz­ing courage’

The Northern Star - - NEWS - Alina Rylko alina.rylko@north­ern­star.com.au Young scouts were thrilled to meet war he­roes. War veter­ans Ray Deed and Mur­ray Bull­pitt.

A MEMORIAL ser­vice in Al­stonville on Satur­day com­mem­o­rated the life of a lo­cal hero who showed “amaz­ing courage” just be­fore he was killed in the First World War, aged 20.

The oc­ca­sion marked the cen­te­nary of the ac­tion for which World War I Dig­ger, Pri­vate Paddy Bug­den, was posthu­mously awarded the high­est mil­i­tary hon­our, the Vic­to­ria Cross.

It also re­mem­bered all the young men from the area who gave their life in the war.

Pte Bug­den, who was born in Tatham near Casino, served with the 31st Bat­tal­ion in 1917 near Ypres, Bel­gium, after en­list­ing in the army from Al­stonville, where his step­fa­ther and mother owned the Federal Ho­tel.

Dur­ing the bat­tle of Poly­gon Wood, from September 26-28, Pte Bug­den on two oc­ca­sions led small par­ties in at­tacks on en­emy ma­chine gun po­si­tions.

On five oc­ca­sions he res­cued wounded men trapped by en­emy fire.

He also sin­gle-hand­edly went to the aid of an Aus­tralian sol­dier who had been cap­tured by the en­emy.

He was aged 20 when he was killed by shrap­nel in ac­tion on September 28 and was buried at Hooge Crater ceme­tery at Zille­beke in Bel­gium.

Pte Bug­den was rec­om­mended for the Vic­to­ria Cross later on Oc­to­ber 12 and the hon­our was for­mally gazetted on Novem­ber 23.

Al­stonville RSL Sub-Branch pres­i­dent Mark Quil­li­gan said Pte Bug­den showed “amaz­ing courage”.

“He prob­a­bly could have been awarded the Vic­to­ria Cross at least five times,” Mr Quil­li­gan said.

Mr Quil­li­gan said the lo­cal com­mu­nity was heav­ily im­pacted by the First World War, with the Bug­den fam­ily hav­ing had four young cousins go­ing off to war.

Trag­i­cally, only one re­turned home.

“Ini­tially we had grief about the death of Paddy, but that has now changed to a cel­e­bra­tion of the life of one im­mensely brave young fel­low,” Mr Quil­li­gan said.

“And he is rep­re­sen­ta­tive of all the brave young fel­lows who served.”

About 70 de­scen­dants of Paddy Bug­den at­tended the Paddy Bug­den Memorial at Bug­den Ave, with Doug and Kay Baird, the par­ents of re­cent Vic­to­ria Cross re­cip­i­ent, the late Cor­po­ral Cameron Baird VC MG.

Pat Bug­den of Al­stonville at­tended the day be­cause his great-grand­fa­ther was the brother of Pte Bug­den’s fa­ther.

“When we were young we didn’t talk too much about it, it’s prob­a­bly only in the last 20 years I’ve learned of Pte Bug­den’s his­tory,” Mr Bug­den said.

“It’s ex­tremely spe­cial to have Paddy recog­nised.”

Bris­bane 31st Bat­tal­ion As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Ray Fogg said the dig­gers were im­pressed by the com­mu­nity turnout and they felt “much bet­ter sup­ported” in coun­try ar­eas such as Al­stonville.

“Th­ese tra­di­tions are very im­por­tant for the young people so they un­der­stand them and know about them,” Mr Fogg said.

Mem­bers of the 1st Bat­tal­ion, the Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment, pro­vided the catafalque party, sup­ported by sol­diers of the 41st Bat­tal­ion, the Royal NSW Reg­i­ment, as a Royal Aus­tralian Air Force C-17 Globe­mas­ter con­ducted a fly-past at 11.30am.

The memorial was con­se­crated in 1997, ad­ja­cent to the orig­i­nal memorial un­veiled in 1948, and was a project of the Ro­tary Club of Al­stonville.

TRIB­UTE: A com­mu­nity com­mem­o­ra­tion for Pri­vate Patrick (Paddy) Bug­den VC at Al­stonville on Satur­day.

PHOTOS: ALINA RYLKO

A memorial for Pri­vate Patrick (Paddy) Bug­den VC at Al­stonville cel­e­brated his brav­ery.

Pat Bug­den of Al­stonville, a descen­dant of Pri­vate Patrick Bug­den VC.

A memorial for Pri­vate Patrick (Paddy) Bug­den VC at Al­stonville.

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