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Annual Report 2014–15

Feature Articles

Links to the Centenary of Anzac

Corporal Andrew Franks was a veteran of Gallipoli and the Somme and the grandfather of Defence regional property services officer Rosalie Joyce.

‘I didn’t get to meet my grandfather, although I’m proud of the sacrifices he and many other Anzacs made’, Rosalie said.

Andrew enlisted in August 1914. He left in October 1914 for Egypt and eventually Gallipoli, where he fought with B Company, 7th Battalion. Andrew took part in the Anzac landing on 25 April 1915.

The 7th Battalion’s first major action in France and Belgium was at Pozières in 1916, in the Somme. They fought major battles at Menin Road and Broodseinde in September and October 1917 and then spent much of the ensuing winter in the Ypres mud.

In 1918, the 7th Battalion helped stop the German spring offensive and later participated in the Allies’ own great offensive that began with the battle of Amiens.

Andrew returned to Australia after the war, married and raised a family, only to re-enlist following the outbreak of World War II. He died on 5 March 1959 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne.

Being involved in the Centenary of Anzac commemorations was particularly significant for Leading Seaman Communication Information Systems Mark Butler.

‘My great-grandfather, Ashton Butler, served in World War I as an artilleryman with the 10th Field Artillery stationed in Belgium’, Mark said.

‘He saw battle on the Western Front in 1917 and 1918, including the major battles in and around the Hindenburg Line in France, before he fell foul of a gas attack near the village of Rouelles and was sent home to Australia.’

Mark’s grandfather, Maxwell, joined the Navy during World War II and was part of the commissioning crew of the famed HMAS Sydney (II). Fortunately, he was posted off the ship just before Sydney’s ill-fated final mission.

Major Lynn Harding, Staff Officer 2 Health Governance at Headquarters Forces Command, Victoria Barracks, Sydney, joined the Army in 1975. She is proud of her Anzac heritage.

Her paternal great-uncle, Ralph Carlyle Geoffrey Prisk, was a graduate of the first class at the Royal Military College.

‘He was 20 years old when commissioned after three-and-a-half years at the Royal Military College and was posted as a lieutenant to a Victorian unit, which was immediately sent to Gallipoli’, Lynn said.

His older brother, Harold Tennyson Prisk, enlisted in the 5th Reinforcement of the South Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment in December 1914.

‘He served at Gallipoli and later in the Middle East as a sergeant’, she said.

Lynn’s maternal grandfather, Douglas Moore, joined the Navy in August 1915. He served as a stoker on HMAS Cerberus and in London throughout World War I.

‘He was discharged after the war, and re-enlisted for World War II, eventually retiring from the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer in January 1959’, Lynn said.

Lynn attributes her long military career to the influences of her grandfather and two great-uncles.

Passion mixed with pride is a strong emotion for anyone, especially if you’re a serving ADF officer with a direct link to the landings at Anzac Cove.

Wing Commander Greg Pasfield, of Headquarters Joint Operations Command, gets understandably emotional when he talks about his grandfather, Company Sergeant Major James Albert Pasfield.

James enlisted in August 1914 in the 1st Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers.

He was part of the 3rd Brigade, in one of the first units on the beach at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. He then served in Egypt and later as part of the 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front, returning to Australia in 1919.

‘My grandfather’s service has always been a source of motivation for me’, Greg said.