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Anzac Day – Parkerville Children and Youth Care

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. While it broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served“, ANZAC Day originated as a way to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZACs) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. It is observed on the 25thof April each year, and is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga.

 

ANZAC Day has an even greater significance to Parkerville Children and Youth Care; all but one of the orphaned boys brought to Australia by the Sisters in 1901 enlisted, and six of them never returned. Sister Jane had a special connection with the orphaned boys – two of the six that died even appointed her as beneficiary of their wills. In memory of the fallen boys, a special stained glass window was created and installed in the Parkerville chapel – “…a special brick chancel was built with its centre piece a large circular window of clear glass surrounded by six stained glass panels depicting six angelic children, representing the six fallen soldiers.” (Taken from Parkerville: Caring for Children, Caring for their Future by Kevin Casey, p. 66.)

We continue to show our gratitude to the fallen with the six petals represented in the Parkerville Children and Youth Care logo.

Two brass plaques were also installed in the chapel; one dedicated to Sister Jane, the other dedicated to the Parkerville boys who fell in the war. They are listed as such:

524 Private Herbert Hallett

10th Light Horse A.I.F.

Killed bayonet charge, Gallipoli

6th October 1915

Aged 24 years

 

1789 Driver Lionel Churchill

8th Battery Artillery A.I.F.

Killed Shrapnel Valley, Gallipoli

6th October

Aged 21 years

 

3403 Private Edgar Bentley, M.M D.C.M

16th Battalion, 48th Australian infantry

Killed in France, 22nd December 1917

Aged 25 years

 

3942 Private James Lloyd

16th Battalion

Killed in action 22nd September 1917

Aged 20 years

 

128 Lance Corporal John Lea

11th Battalion

Died of wounds in Belgium, 22nd November 1917

Aged 25 years

 

557 Private Fred Ruffle

51st Battalion

Killed 30th September 1918

Aged 20 years

 

However, the soldiers did not go unacknowledged. Edgar Bentley won the Military Medal for gallantry at Messines, and Lionel Churchill’s legacy lived on through a letter from the Front by a colleague:

Churchill was a favourite in the Battery and well he deserved to be, he was absolutely fearless and cheerful as a lark and the most unselfish fellow. If these are the sorts of boys the Sisters bring up in Parkerville, they need to be proud of their work, anyhow they may feel proud of Gunner Churchill.

 

To find out more about the history of Parkerville Children and Youth Care click here.

 

This Year

 

Celebrations and commemorative events are happening all around Perth on ANZAC Day. The most popular will no doubt be the dawn service at Kings Park’s State War Memorial (6am), as well as the ANZAC Day Parade starting 9am at the corner of Barrack Street and St Georges Terrace in the city.

 

For more information on 2017 ANZAC services around Perth, check out https://www.rslwa.org.au/

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