Today began at 3.45a.m. when Dallas, myself, our son Liam and grandson Aidan rose early in order to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Bellbowrie. The Bellbowrie/Moggill/Kenmore area is where the Pacey/Baker Family find their roots. William and James Pacey, brothers to Dorothy (mother of Dallas) joined the Australian Imperial Forces which departed the shores of this country in 1914 to fight on the Western Front. James, who was seriously injured when kicked in the head by a horse whilst training in Egypt, spent three months in hospital in Cairo and was repatriated back home. James passed away seven years later. William (Billy) set foot on the Gallipoli shore on the first day of landing where he lived and fought in horrendous conditions for four months before he was mortally wounded. Their mother and young sister Dorothy were grief-stricken by the loss of these two vibrant young men.
Dallas, Liam and Aidan attended the Dawn Service and then marched in the Kenmore District ANZAC Day March in memory of and tribute to both James and William. Today’s Dawn Service was attended by 3,500 people – a record attendance for the area – it was held in the park at Bellbowrie by the banks of the Brisbane River. As dawn broke, the aroma of the eucalypt trees was pungent and the river shrugged off its shroud of darkness. A lone bugle rang out the notes of the Last Post and prompted the unmistakable call of Kookaburras and Magpies. The atmosphere was proudly and patriotically Australian!
Later, at 8.15a.m., Dallas, Liam and Aidan joined the Kenmore District ANZAC Day March along Moggill Road to the Kenmore Cenotaph where a memorial service was held. It also was attended by a record crowd of 6,000 people.
Once the service was complete and commemorative wreaths laid at the Cenotaph, Dallas revealed that today, on the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, he had brought along the diaries of Uncle Billy which are beautifully hand-written and record his days of service with the Australian Imperial Forces.
An added level of pride for us is that, in Harvey Bay, our two young grand-daughters, Mackenzie and Alexis, marched with their school in the local ANZAC Day Parade. Such pride I have in knowing that my husband, sons, grandson and grand-daughters have all paid tribute to the enormous sacrifice and bravery of Australian Forces, not only in the Great War, but in serving and defending our nation in so many arenas of conflict.
Today was completed with a visit to Toowong Cemetery where we visited the graves of (Uncle) James Pacey and my parents Elvon and Agnes Bingham.