Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

We Won't Forget Those Who Bravely Served

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

We Won't Forget Those Who Bravely Served

Article excerpt

ANZAC Day is a time when we gather to reflect on those who served and sacrificed their lives in all wars, conflicts and peace-keeping operations.

April 25 marks the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I but many Sunshine Coast residents also lost family members in other conflicts and monuments to the fallen are common in our towns and cities.

After the military debacle of Gallipoli, life in Australia changed politically, economically and socially.

The hopes and fears of our entire country had been focused on the war effort and troop trains travelled the country raising funds and gather support for enlistments.

Many towns began fundraising to create local memorials, which were seen as an important way for communities to pull together.

Practical and enduring monuments were built, including community halls, parks and sporting facilities.

Many trees were also planted to remember those who did not return.

In 1916, the Australian Government secured land around Beerburrum to create a "soldier settlement", which would become the largest in Queensland.

The site was chosen because it had an established rail service and the surrounding area was deemed suitable for the cultivation of pineapples and citrus.

Beerburrum was central to the settlement and development of the area.

Known as the "Digger", Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited from July 26 to August 5, 1920 on behalf of his father, King George V, to thank Australians for their part in World War I.

Travelling by royal train, Prince Edward visited Maryborough, Gympie, Nambour and Landsborough, stopping at the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement where he was presented with a pineapple.

Train platforms were decorated and the route was lined with crowds.

Special emphasis was given to him meeting ex-servicemen, including visits to soldier settlements at Amiens and Cottonvale, near Stanthorpe, and Beerburrum, as well as Anzac House, Rosemount and Enoggera military hospitals.

Since colonial times, Australian troops have been characterised as larrikins, even in their darkest hours.

One such story is about Dick Caplick, a Eumundi pioneer and soldier. His statue stands tall, adjacent to Eumundi Markets, in a park named after him.

Private Dick Caplick, a machine-gunner, was one of the soldiers from the 26th Battalion who retrieved the German tank Mephisto which was stuck in a trench at Villers-Breronneux.

On July 13, 1918, Lt Colonel Robinson, Commanding Officer of the 26th Battalion, was determined to have the disabled tank taken back to Queensland.

Under the cover of darkness, Dick Caplick and his fellow soldiers prepared the tank for retrieval.

They dug it from the mud during bombardment and it was towed about five kilometres behind Australian lines by a British tank. …

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