Items are a part of our history
JOHN Muir finds it difficult to believe that the carved box and walking stick brought home from Gallipoli by an Australian soldier was tossed into the rubbish bin.
Mr Muir, AAC Captain Ret’d and a cadet historian was given the box and the walking stick by a friend who retrieved them from the skip when an old couple’s house was cleared out for sale by their son.
“They were worthless to him but they are priceless to me,” said Mr Muir who is hoping to find someone who can tell him more about the soldier who carved the box, which has the initials A.W. and 1st ARF AB among the carvings of the Australian rising sun badge, the Turkish flag and a field piece.
The box is lined with padded silk in magenta and blue, probably the soldier’s regimental colours. The walking stick is carved with the names of 38 soldiers, all from different units as well as the dates of the Gallipoli campaign on the handle.
It was apparently made by WE Wakeford on Lemnos Island, who may have been a medical officer.
Lemnos Island was a staging post for the Gallipoli landings and also the medical facility for the Gallipoli soldiers.
“I’d say by the variation of the names, regions and battalions, as people passed though the medical facility they were asked to write their names on the stick,” Mr Muir said.
Mr Muir, who addressed Bellingen High School students at their Anzac Day ceremony yesterday, has a collection of military items and has established the website www.youthinuniform.com.au for all uniformed youth groups.