Boy in a war zone
OWEN Domeney, who grew up at Flowerpot, never got to outgrow his nickname “Boy”.
He enlisted in World War I on his 17th birthday, in September 1916.
“Boy” lied about his age so he could join his two older brothers, William and Edward, who were already fighting in Europe.
He joined the 40th Battalion and was soon sent to Europe, first to the UK and then to France and Belgium.
He sent a letter home to his father on June 4, 1917: “Just a line or two to let you know I’m still going all right …”
After a page of writing about hometown friends at war, Boy signs off with: “Hoping you’re keeping as well and fit as I am.”
Three days later, Boy was killed in battle at the German frontline near Messines, Belgium. He was 17 and nine months. Too young to fight, let alone die.
His name is engraved on a memorial at Ypres, and his mother wrote this epitaph:
“Not life but boyhood dreams lose I, to keep Australia free.”