MERYL SWANSON MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PATERSON
MISSING WAR MEDALS TO BE PRESENTED IN RAYMOND TERRACE
Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson will present the World War I service medals of Millers Forest farmer Private Herbert “Herb” Hamilton, who was killed in action in France in September 1916, to Raymond Terrace & District Historical Society on July 8.
The medals were among 73,000 that were never claimed, and have been tracked down by local historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher, who researched Private Hamilton as part of the Centenary of ANZAC commemorations.
Private Hamilton’s enlistment papers declared that his parents were dead and he had no known family. He listed as his next of kin farmer Thomas Elkin, with whom he had served a farming apprenticeship.
Private Hamilton enlisted in Melbourne, missing any local send-off. There are no known photographs of him and he has no grave.
However, his name is inscribed at the Australian War Memorial, the Villers Bretonneux Memorial in France, and has recently been added to a local monument. During the Centenary of ANZAC commemorations, a brick bearing his name was laid at Pozieres Peace Park in France.
Ms Swanson was instrumental in persuading the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Dan Tehan, to issue Private Hamilton’s medals to the Raymond Terrace & District Historical Society.
“I’m really pleased to have been able to help in this important project that commemorates the local men and women who gave their lives for our nation,” Ms Swanson said.
“This young man went off to fight for his country, and was killed only a month after he arrived on the Western Front. Now our community in Raymond Terrace can properly honour him.”
Ms Swanson will present Private Hamilton’s medals to Raymond Terrace & District Historical Society president Kevin Barlow in a ceremony at Sketchley Cottage, which will be bedecked in the colours of Private Hamilton’s 51st Battalion. Details are:
SATURDAY, JULY 8, 2017
10am for 10.30am
1 SKETCHLEY STREET, RAYMOND TERRACE