Nanango veterans bring Belgian archaeologist to Australia
THE brotherly bond of Nanango First World War heroes John (Jack) and Jim Hunter has sent a Belgian archaeologist on a mission across the globe.
Jack was severely wounded in the Battle of Polygon Wood in 1917 and died in his brother's arms.
Jim moved his brother's body to a temporary cemetery in Westhoek and buried him with his own hands.
He made a promise to return and bring the remains of his brother home back to Australia. Jim returned in 1918 but had no idea could not find his brother's grave among the destroyed terrain.
During the construction of a gas pipeline nearly 90 years later, the bodies of five Australian soldiers, including Jack's, were found on Westhoek Ridge.
Archaeologist Johan Vanderwalle, who excavated the bodies, said Jack's stood out from the rest.
"I have seen many things, above and below ground, but I will never forget number five," Mr Vanderwalle said.
"The moment I had to take off the groundsheet, I made a promise. I felt the need to retrace this man's footsteps."
Mr Vanderwalle now wants to build a memorial to recognise the impact the First World War had on families through the story of Jack and Jim Hunter.
The Brothers-In-Arms Memorial Project will bring Mr Vanderwalle to Nanango next month.
He will have afternoon tea at Nanango RSL on May 3.
Mr Vanderwalle intends to unveil the memorial in May 2017.
More information on the memorial can be found at brothersinarmsmemorial.org.
Anzac Day service list
- 4.27am: Dawn Service at Memorial at Hart and Coulsen Sts.
- 11am: Commemoration Service at corner Muir and Douglas Sts
- 9am: Commemoration and wreath laying service, Boondooma Homestead, 8262 Mundubbera-Durong Rd
- 8am: Wreath Laying Service at Lone Park (Dandabah camping area)
- 5.30am: Dawn Service in Main St, followed by breakfast in the park
- 4.28am: Dawn Service in Memorial Park; 8am Pilgrimage to War Service Graves at Taabinga Cemetery
- 10.30am: Assemble for march
- 11am: March from RSL Club Rooms to Memorial Park.
- 11.10am: Citizens' observance in Memorial Park
- 8.45am: Assemble for service at the Flower Garden (Northern end of Bell St).
- 9am: March steps off.
- 9.10am: Commemoration service.
- 9.30am: Morning tea hosted by the QCWA in the Maidenwell Hall.
- 10.30am: Wreath Laying Service at Memorial
- 4.45am: Fellowship at Murgon RSL Club
- 5.20am: Gather for Dawn Service in Gore St opposite the RSL Club;
- 5.30am: Dawn Service;
- 9am: Assemble for parade in carpark at rear of Murgon RSL Club.
- 9.45am: Parade steps off.
- 10am: Commemoration Service and wreath laying at Memorial followed by light refreshments at the Murgon RSL Club
- 5am: Coffee Royale and Fellowship, Tara's Hall for Nanango RSL Sub Branch members and their families, visiting veterans, ex defence personnel and their families.
- 5.20am: Assemble for march to the Nanango War Memorial.
- 5.30am: Dawn Service at the Nanango War Memorial followed by Gunfire Breakfast of savoury mince and damper in Tara's Hall - open to the Public at a gold coin donation.
- 7am: Pilgrimage to Veterans Graves at Nanango Cemetery, public welcome to participate.
- 8.15am: Assemble for parade in Howlett Ln.
- 8.45am: Anzac Day March from Corner Drayton and Howlett Ln, down Drayton St to the Nanango War Memorial.
- 9am: Anzac Day Main Service at the Nanango War Memorial
- 10am: Fellowship in Tara's Hall for Nanango RSL Sub Branch members and their families, visiting veterans, ex-defence personnel and their families.
- 6am: Dawn Service at Cenotaph in Memorial Park.
- 7am: Pilgrimage to War Service Graves at Yarraman; Cemetery.
- 10.45am: Street march to Cenotaph in Memorial Park.
- 11am: Main service at Cenotaph in Memorial Park.
- Noon: Luncheon at Memorial Hall for the community.
- 5am: Dawn Service procession commencing Wondai Post Office.
- 8am: Pilgrimage to War Service Graves at Wondai Cemetery.
- 10am: Commemoration Service and wreath laying with procession from Wondai Post Office
- 11am: Assemble for parade.
- 11.15am: Commemoration Service at Memorial Hall
- 8am: Commemoration service followed by morning tea at the Ration Shed