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The Forgotten Monument at Forest Range and Lenswood: ANZAC Day

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events.
The Monument that is no longer forgotten
Commemorating the men of Forest Range and Lenswood who died in World War One - their families, their lives and their deaths.

This year, with ANZAC Day being the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC Cove landings at Gallipoli in World War One, the RSL and Department of Veterans Affairs are rallying Australians around the country to support their home towns to increase attendances at services, not just in the cities, but in the smaller communities too.

In the Adelaide Hills, two small towns, Forest Range and Lenswood will unite to host their first Anzac Day service in 70 years.

ANZAC DAY at Forest Range and Lenswood
Australian Army Slouch Hat. Courtesy of Military Artist, Barry Spicer

The stories about the men of Forest Range and Lenswood who died in World War One - their families, their lives and their deaths have been collected and recently published in the book The Forgotten Monument by the Forest Range and Lenswood History Group Inc., which commemorates these men and their families.

The story behind The Forgotten Monument begins with a small World War I memorial that has remained forgotten, tucked away on a reserve and hidden for decades by pine trees, which had self-seeded and some grew quite close to the memorial, shading it from view and dropping pine resin. It seems the site located between the two small towns, Forest Range and Lenswood on the Lobethal Road, was left vacant for some time. As time passed, this memorial, along with another World War II memorial were both largely forgotten.

ANZAC DAY at Forest Range and Lenswood
Royal Australian Artillery Hat Badge. Courtesy of Military Artist, Barry Spicer

About 2 years ago the Forest Range and Lenswood History Group was formed to collect the local history. One member has a passion for war history, and as the group was always intending to do something about their local war history, and with the centenary of ANZAC, they spent the last year sourcing grants and conducting working bees and restored the area.

Jo-Anne Shaw, spokesperson for the History Group said, "Our members wanted to improve the memorial to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. We were successful in securing a small grant from the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program to allow us to arrange for the services of a stone mason to clean and restore the cenotaph, replace a white picket fence around the memorial, and place white crushed marble inside this area. Adelaide Hills Council assisted with funds to remove some of the pine trees and we have planted grass in the immediate area and planted native plants to hold the verge of the road."

Lest We Forget - 100Years of the ANZAC Spirit Exhibition
During my whole life I have never seen a service there. Only lately I have seen people place flowers there. On this 100 year remembrance we will host our first ANZAC Day service in 70 years. Photo courtesy of Jo-Anne Shaw.

Shaw said, "I grew up living across the road from the memorial. Later, I lived next door, so I always felt some connection to it. During my whole life I have never seen a service there. Only lately I have seen people place flowers there."

The history group in its research into the War History decided to produce a book that not only recorded who died from the district, but also recorded how they lived. We tell the story of their families and how they came into the area. We share how they interacted, for example whether they played sport or were in the local Debating Society. We recorded their lives and then we said how they went off to war and died."

ANZAC DAY at Forest Range and Lenswood
Postcard from the War Years. Courtesy of Australian War Poet, Robert John Jarrad

The group felt it was imperative that they investigate the lives, and deaths of the men commemorated on the memorial. They wanted to place the men in the community, not just record their deaths. The sheer number of deaths of so many young men had a wider impact that was than just on their immediate families. The Forgotten Moment is an attempt to honour their lives. The group interviewed people within the district, around Australia and overseas, gathering information and stories, making every effort to ensure the information is accurate.

ANZAC DAY at Forest Range and Lenswood
Maconochie stew tasted crap. Bully Beef and vegies we'd slap into any tin pot, It gave us all the trots; Our farts drove the enemy back. Poem by Robert John Jarrad from his book 'Slouch Hat Soldiers.' Drawing by Military Artist, Barry Spicer.

The Australian War Memorial cites that "around 420,000 Australians enlisted for service in the First World War; 34,959 men from South Australia enlisted; 59 men from Forest Range and Lenswood went to war and 15 of those men did not return.

ANZAC DAY at Forest Range and Lenswood
The five Eglinton brothers. Photo courtesy of Eglinton Family.

Below is the list of the men who did not survive the war, showing names, enlisted ages, country they served in and rank. It is the story of the lives and deaths of these men that is the focus of The Forgotten Monument.


Biggs, Arthur John Thomas 31 Egypt 10th light horse Temp Sergeant
Brockhoff, Alexander Geoffrey 21 France 48th Private
East, Walter Leonard 19 Turkey 10th Private
East, William Henry 19 France 50th Private
Eglinton, Clarence Roy 30 Belgium 27th Lance Corporal
Eglinton, Laurence 23 France 50th Private
Eglinton, Thomas William 21 -18 France 50th Private
Hocking, Norman 23 France 32nd Private
Lawson, Arthur Walter 27 France 27th Private
Mason, Charles Alfred Robe 20 France 27th Corporal
McDonald, Hugh Rennie 26 France 32nd Private
Norton, Bert Henry 36 10th France Private
Norton, William Charles 19 France 50th Lance Corporal
Plummer, Charles Edward 27 Turkey 2nd light horse Private
Pollard, Oliver Stanley 30 Belgium 50th Lance Corporal
Plus Reu, Eric 27 Egypt 5th Private

For readers who wish to read the war records of each of these men it is recommended you take advantage of the records located at the following resources:
Australian War Memorial
National Archives of Australia, 'Service records




WELCOME: Adrian Probert
SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 103 verses 6-7: Padre Barry Fox
ADDRESS: Adrian Probert, Vietnam War Veteran
POEM: The Burial : Leon Gellert by Kevin East
LORDS PRAYER: Padre Barry Fox
NATIONAL ANTHEM: Singing by Lenswood Primary School Choir
BENEDICTION: Padre Barry Fox
DISMISSAL: Adrian Probert

LAUNCH of Forgotten Monument ISBN 978-0-646-93475-4

Following the formal ceremony the Forest Range and Lenswood History Group Inc. will launch the book, The Forgotten Memorial at the Lenswood Primary School.
Copies of the book will be available.
Pre ANZAC Day orders close 30 March - $50. These books are available for collection on ANZAC Day.
Post ANZAC Day orders $65 (Includes postage.) At the launch on ANZAC Day copies on USB will be available for $10.
After ANZAC Day online copies can be downloaded at no charge.

A Gunfire Brunch (Sausage sizzle) will be held at the Lenswood Primary School.

Parking available at the memorial and at the school.

All are welcome.
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Why? 100th Anniversary commemorating the men of Forest Range and Lenswood who died in World War One - their families, their lives and their deaths.
When: ANZAC DAY, 25 April, 2015
Phone: 8389 8221
Where: World War One Memorial, Lobethal Road, Forest Range.
Cost: FREE ENTRY - All welcome. See article for details for cost of book and USB.
Your Comment
A moving story, well done Haydn.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11307) 2072 days ago
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