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Daylesford honours its Anzacs
Daylesford CFA has honoured its Anzacs at a major commemorative event held recently in the town’s main street attended by hundreds of locals, CFA members and visitors.
Nine Daylesford Fire Brigade volunteers who served in the Great War were honoured with the restoration of Daylesford CFA’s honours board and the public presentation of two commemorative plaques by Federal Ballarat MP Catherine King to Daylesford RSL President Ian Tinetti and Fire Brigade Captain Alistair Grant.
The presentation on Saturday 11 April was preceded by a street parade that featured the Creswick Light Horse in WWI-era uniform and Daylesford and Kingston CFA members in period dress pulling vintage firefighting equipment.
The project was inspired by Daylesford CFA members Rob Taylor and Russ Jenkin, who were motivated to learn more about some of the names on the brigade’s honour board.
“We wanted to know more about these men, their backgrounds, where they fought and what might have happened to them,” said Rob.
“We also wanted to connect with their descendants, so we could honour their relatives in some way.
“We were fortunate to have the families of three of the Anzacs at the presentation—the relatives of Vincent Wallis, Archibald Campbell and Ivor Harris. It was fantastic they attended so we could jointly remember them and acknowledge their sacrifice in the service of our country.”
Rob said in addition to researching WWI records, the brigade reached out to the local community, engaging with local schools, media, Daylesford & District Historical Society and Daylesford RSL to unearth additional local historical materials.
“In addition to the honour board and commemorative plaques, we also plan to have an information plaque erected outside the fire station. This will feature photos and biographies of the nine men that we hope to have ready by Remembrance Day,” he said.
Funding for the plaques and honour board was made available through the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.
List of Daylesford Fire Brigade members that served during WWI:
Bob Anderson, a salesman, was 24 and in the first group of Daylesford men who enlisted shortly after the war started, serving in the 7th Battalion. He was killed at Gallipoli in April 1915, most likely on the first day.
Vincent Wallis, a gardener and miner, enlisted aged 24 in July 1915 and was killed in action at Fromelles, France on the night of 19–20July 1916.
Horace Hubert Sibbison, Vincent Wallis’ cousin, was a blacksmith and rose to the rank of Lieutenant in the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion. He was killed in France on 14 April 1916 while leading a raid during the Villers- Bretonneux campaign. Three of his brothers also served in the war.
Archibald Campbell, a railway porter, was killed in action in France in September 1917.
Ivor Francis Harris was wounded in action in France in August 1916 and hospitalised in England until March 1917. He returned to France where he was wounded a second time. He arrived back in Melbourne in September 1919.
Albert Roy Kutcher, a grocer; Albert Tremayne, a blacksmith; James Henry Robertson, a plumber, and his apprenticed brother, David Norman Robertson, were the other Daylesford CFA Anzacs.