A SERVICE at Scone Cenotaph on Friday morning has remembered those who died in conflict.
Wreaths were laid by school students, Hunter Valley Local Area Command Chief Inspector Guy Guiana, Upper Hunter Shire mayor Wayne Bedggood, Scone Pipes and Drums representative Charles Cook, veterans, and members of the public as part of Remembrance Day.
Mayor Bedggood spoke of the day’s significance.
“This hour, this day marks the anniversary of the end of World War l,” he said.
“In those terrible four years, over 16 million soldiers and civilians from all over the world died, including sixty-two thousand Australians.
“One hundred years ago the Scone Mayor proposed building a monument to the men of the Scone district who were dying in World War 1.
“The Scone Memorial Gateway which now stands at the front of Transcare, holds over 100 names of those from the Scone district who fell in that conflict alone.
“I acknowledge Mr Harry Willey, who is here today, and whose 2005 book Scone’s Fallen ANZACs has recorded their stories, so future generations can know their sacrifices.”
The story of Joseph Cumberland
At each service, a story is taken from Scone’s Fallen ANZACS and recited to the crowd.
This year’s story focused on Joseph Cumberland.
Joe was a student at Scone Public School and went on to become the youngest train engine driver in NSW.
Railway employees were exempt from military service, but that didn’t stop Joe enlisting in 1914. He was 20 years old, six foot tall and embraced the military training including daily 18 mile marches.
His older, and even taller brother - Oliver - was working in North Queensland when he heard Joe had enlisted.
So he quit his job and travelled as quickly as he could to Sydney in the hopes of joining his brother before he sailed for the war.
He just made it, into the army and on to the boat.
By February the two Cumberland brothers were experiencing combat defending the Suez Canal under attack from 80,000 Turkish troops, where several hundred Turks were taken prisoner.
In a letter back to his family, Joe described the captured Turks as “having hardly any clothes and being on the verge of starvation… they were in such a deplorable state the Australians feel sorry for them.”
Joe spent considerable time talking to the POWs who could speak English.
On April 25, 1915 Joe and Oliver were amongst the many Australians who landed at Gallipoli with the 1st Brigade.
They were among the thousands wounded in the first days both receiving gunshot wounds to a leg.
Joe died a few weeks later.
Oliver recovered to return to duty in Gallipoli, only to be killed at the Battle of Long Pine a few months later.
The nine-month Gallipoli campaign resulted in the death of more than 130,000 troops including more than 85,000 Turkish soldiers, 21,000 British, 10,000 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 1,370 Indians.
Brothers Joseph and Oliver Cumberland are buried far away, but they are still remembered in Scone, at St Luke’s Anglican Church and on the Cenotaph, and other honour rolls, including the Australian War Memorial.
Their stories were included in a 2005 film Gallipoli that had its Australian premier at the Scone Civic Theatre.
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