This year, with my wife Anne, I was able to attend the service at Fromelles due to a number of fortunate circumstances, and represent the Association on the occasion of the unveiling of 9 new headstones.
Those identified this year were: Captain Kenneth Malcolm MORTIMER, Corporal Alfred THOMPSON, Private Henry BELL, Private William Edwin BOYCE, Private Henry GARDNER, Private Alexander McCULLOCH, Private Stanley Richard O’DONNELL, Private James Robert SMITH, and Private Claude YEO. Anne and I were able to join the official party at the Cross of Sacrifice, and join in the service.
The Master of Ceremonies was Colonel Scott Clingan, cousin of John Clingan, who himself was a relative of previously-identified Alexander Clingan.
After the various speeches were delivered, it came time to reveal the headstones of those who had been identified this year. School children from Ecole Cobbers had been given the task of leading various persons to the headstone of the soldier to be identified. First in the order was that of Captain Mortimer. Other families represented were those of Gardner, McCulloch, Bell, and Thompson. Family descendants were present for Gardner, Bell, and Thompson, but in the case of Alexander McCulloch, I was honoured together with Major Dave Wilson of of UWC-A to be called upon to unveil Alexander’s headstone.
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